The U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) has called for lightweight, high-performance fuel cell stacks to be an integral part in the upcoming hydrogen transportation system. TreadStone’s LiteCell technology is answering this call.
The LiteCell corrosion resistant metal plate technology allows fuel cell manufacturers to design and produce PEMFC stacks that are 40 to 50-percent lighter than other stacks currently on the market. According to TreadStone, the new technology will be useful in “…substantially lowering manufacturing cost of the stack, increasing durability and energy density.”
The TreadStone LiteCell technology offers an alternative to other heavy graphite fuel cells currently available that also have issues of poor thermal management. LiteCell allows inexpensive, lighter metals to be used that are corrosion resistant, durable and exceed DOE standards.
The switch from graphite to metal bipolar plates is the key to size and weight reduction in the fuel cells. The technology protects these less costly metal bipolar plates from degradation. In one of the company’s feasibility studies, over 5,000 hours of corrosion protection was achieved where no degradation of the metal was detected.