By Josh Perry, Editor
Plug Power, Inc., a New York-based innovator in energy solutions, announced that it will begin production of its proprietary membrane electrode assemblies (MEA), which were leveraged as part of its acquisition of American Fuel Cell (AFC) technology and are a component of the new ProGen metal plate stack.
An illustration of the ProGen system from Plug Power. (Plug Power/YouTube)
This development continues Plug Power’s work towards the adoption of “zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles (HFCV).” Plug Power believes that HFCV are the future of clean energy solutions because the only byproduct is heat and water.
According to Plug Power, HFCV “provide markedly improved uptime, offering a sustainable alternative to the lengthy charge times and range anxiety associated with battery-powered electric vehicles (BEVs).”
“It’s no secret that fuel cell adoption is on the rise. Earlier this year KPMG stated that hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles have replaced battery-powered electric vehicles as the number one trend until 2025,” said Andy Marsh, CEO of Plug Power, in the press release.
He added, “With this increase in popularity, it’s critical that we’re prepared to address the growing needs of today’s customers as well as those on the horizon. Thanks to the recent expansion of our facilities in Rochester and Clifton Park, N.Y., Plug Power has the infrastructure required to ramp up production of our new ProGen metal plate stack, ensuring we’re meeting the demands of this rapidly expanding industry.”
The ProGen metal stack will be integrated into the company’s hydrogen engines to simplify the manufacturing process and develop on-road options. The stacks will also improve performance, cost, and quality of vehicles with hydrogen engines.
“A core component of the ProGen metal plate stack, Plug Power developed an ink, catalyst, and material formula for its MEA technology that improves efficiency and enhances durability,” the company announced. “Plug Power began manufacturing MEAs in the third quarter of 2018 from Rochester, N.Y. leveraging existing expertise and infrastructure in fuel cell technology as well as thin film coating and roll-to-roll manufacturing.”
According to a report on this development from FleetOwner.com, the metal stacks are used to produce electricity for the motor and that the acquisition of AFC added metal MEA that have twice the power density and a longer life than Plug Power’s original graphite designs.
The article also noted that Plug Power is working with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) on a refueling station for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles that will be run by robots. “Students at the RPI institute developed the technology used to demonstrate how the robotic fueling station would work, including computer vision, sensors, robotic manipulation of the fueling nozzle, and remote-controlling mechanisms,” the article continued.
Learn more about Plug Power technology in the video below: