KIER realizes advancing into next-generation building fuel cell market
Commercialization of 5kW high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell system by establishing lab company
Credit: Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER)
Korea Institute of Energy Research (President Jong-Nam Kim) has established a *laboratory company based on the world’s best high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell technology, and has begun to commercialize fuel cell systems.
Recently, due to the increase in energy consumption of homes and commercial buildings, the demand for power in urban areas is rapidly increasing, and it is necessary to introduce distributed energy systems such as fuel cell for urban buildings.
Therefore, KIER *established a laboratory company Dong-A FuelCell Co., Ltd. (Representative Sungkun Lee) through joint investment with Dong-A Hwa Sung Co., Ltd. (Representative Kyung Sik Lim and Nag Jae Sung), and plans to develop and supply fuel cell system for domestic buildings based on the core technology of high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell, which is owned by KIER.
The technology that KIER has contributed to the laboratory company is a commercial technology of 5kw high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell. This technology enables trigeneration to produce electricity, heat as well as cold heat, resulting in superior operating economy compared to conventional fuel cell systems that supply only electricity and heat, and has the world’s best fuel cell stack electrical efficiency (54%).
Since high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell is operated at 160 or higher degrees, oil is used instead of water as a coolant. However, there is a problem in that the performance of the membrane electrode assembly is contaminated by the oil used. Therefore, the researchers succeeded in blocking the performance degradation caused by the inflow of cooling oil by replacing the carbon-based cooling plate used by overseas advanced companies with a metal-based standalone cooling plate.
In addition, in order to minimize the electrical resistance caused by material heterogeneity between the carbon and the metal-based cooling plate used in the separator, a new cooling plate buffer layer was introduced and the stack electrical efficiency was improved.
Dong-A FuelCell will release 5kW high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell products in 2020, and then plan to expand mass production facilities and transfer additional technologies to enter overseas markets.
Principal Researcher Minjin Kim of Fuel Cell Lab who is responsible for this research said, “The technology developed by KIER finds an adequate demand for fuel cell thermal energy of up to 50% and is expected to greatly expand the building fuel cell market and contribute to realize the government’s hydrogen economy revitalization road map. We will continue to collaborate with the laboratory company to enter the overseas markets as well as domestic market and aim to become a leading player in the global market in the future.”
* Laboratory Company: A company established in accordance with the relevant laws and regulations, such as the Special Act on the Promotion of Special R & D Zones, to directly commercialize the technology possessed by the research institute.
* Laboratory company registration date: Dec. 3, 2019