EUROSTARS - SME photonics partner sought

REQUEST from United Kingdom, reference: RDUK20160610001, valid from 10-06-2016 untill 14-06-2017

Research & Development
  • Start date:
    10 juni 2016
  • End date:
    14 juni 2017
  • Summary:
    A Scottish fuel cell manufacturing company (SME) active in the power generation sector has developed a highly innovative and efficient solution to be embedded in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells. An important novel feature of the system to be developed under a Eurostars project is the ability to integrate a light source into the core of the cell structure. An experienced SME partner is sought to assist in the research, design, build and test of novel optical waveguide systems.
  • Description:
    Project objective: The company has already demonstrated enhanced fuel cell performance under illumination and this project will deliver a commercially viable solution focused on integrating semiconductor lasers and novel printing techniques to guarantee homogeneity in distributed light intensity.

    Background: An SME founded in 2012, the company was a spin out from a major UK University. It has a strong patent portfolio in energy generation and storage and benefits from a state of the art R&D facility in Scotland. It has an experienced management team with backing from investors and the Scottish Government. The company strategy is based on working with global partners on technology/process development and in key market sectors. Formal collaboration agreements are in place with a number of the world's leading players in the fuel cell sector.

    Market opportunity: Emphasis on efficient clean energy is growing; as a result fuel cells are becoming very important. Global demand is projected to reach $16Bn by 2017 and the potential in 2020 could exceed 5 times that figure. The rate of stationary/back up installations is also increasing due to the growing demand for Combined Heat & Power (CHP) in homes, the ability to deliver power after the impact of unexpected events e.g. Fukishima and the need to safely power mission critical control centres.

    Consortium structure: The project will require the development of a method to produce proton exchange membranes (PEMs) with integrated optical waveguides. The optimal distribution of ‘low power' laser light will be delivered to the catalyst via these printed optical waveguides. The primary deliverable from the project will be a commercially viable fuel cell configuration.
    The consortium will comprise 4 partners:
    1.0 Membrane Electrode Assemblies (MEA) production and test. (Partner already identified)
    2.0 Optical design and modelling. (Partner to be identified through this call)
    3.0 Fuel cell ‘Stack' assembly and test (Partner already identified)
    4.0 Catalyst chemistry optimisation, preparation, deposition and test to be provided by the company.

    Role of the Optical partner: Specifically the optical partner will have the expertise to model, build and demonstrate the optimal distribution of ‘low power' light in a cell structure. The optical design will consider the use of ‘in situ' testing of waveguides, possibly comprising fibers or printed filaments of thicknesses down to 25 microns embedded in the proton conducting membrane such that the distributed light will impinge homogeneously on photosensitive catalysts on the membrane surface. Model outputs will be the basis of the final design and fabrication of a prototype half-cell stack tested under normal fuel cell operating conditions.

    Effectiveness of light distribution will be verified by measuring light intensity across the active catalyst area. The effect of a range of operating conditions will be tested allowing optimum light guide materials, dimensions and configurations to be established.

    The prototype produced will confirm that the concept is directly applicable in a range of commercial fuel cell technologies and applications.

    Eurostars Project: the proposal will be submitted for the next Eurostars submission deadline of 15 September 2016. The project budget is €1-2M and will last approximately 108 weeks. Expressions of Interest must be received by 10 August 2016.
Partner Sought
  • Type of Partnership Considered:
    Research cooperation agreement
  • Technical Specification or Expertise Sought:

    Type of Partner: An experienced SME partner to assist in the research, design, build and test of novel optical waveguide systems.

    The SME must operate out of a country eligible for Eurostars funding - see https://www.eurostars-eureka.eu/eurostars-countries/europe

    Role of Partner: Specifically the optical partner will have the expertise to model, build and demonstrate the optimal distribution of ‘low power' light in a cell structure. The optical design will consider the use of ‘in situ' testing of waveguides, possibly comprising fibers or printed filaments of thicknesses down to 25 microns embedded in the proton conducting membrane such that the distributed light will impinge homogeneously on photosensitive catalysts on the membrane surface. Model outputs will be the basis of the final design and fabrication of a prototype half-cell stack tested under normal fuel cell operating conditions.

Organisation
  • Development stage:
  • IPR Status:
  • Market keywords:
    Combined heat and power (co-generation)
    Other alternative energy
  • Technology keywords:
    Optical Materials
    Fuel cells
  • NACE keywords:
    Manufacture of optical instruments and photographic equipment
    Manufacture of batteries and accumulators
    Other manufacturing n.e.c.
    Production of electricity
  • Advantages and Innovations:
Client
  • Type and Size of Organisation:
    Industry SME <= 10
  • Already Engaged in Trans-National Cooperation
    Ja
  • Year Established:
    0
  • Turnover:
  • Country of origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Languages spoken
    • English
Program