Original
RNS Number : 4291M
Ceres Power Holdings plc
18 September 2012
 



 

18th September 2012

 

Ceres Power Holdings plc

("Ceres", "Ceres Power", or "the Company")

Technology update and publication of independent expert report

In line with the Company's announcement of 26th July 2012, Ceres today provides an update on the planned programme of work to further improve the long term durability of its core fuel cell technology, and publishes an independent assessment of the Company's core technology by an international expert in fuel cells and related technologies. 

Technology Update

The latest durability test data from short stacks demonstrates degradation rates of less than 0.5% per 1,000 hrs over 2,000 hrs of operation. Testing was conducted on simulated natural gas reformate which is identical to actual reformer output in systems operation. In parallel, Ceres continues to improve the already established core technology capability to withstand multiple start-stop events (shut-downs).  The latest results show completion of a 220 thermal cycle stack test (drawing power at c.600 centigrade, cooling down to 100 centigrade and then back to operating temperature in 5 hour cycles) with no reduction in rated power.

These results give the Board further confidence that Ceres core technology is compatible with the requirements for a real-world residential CHP appliance.  The Ceres development plan through to the next field trials in 2014 and the anticipated product launch in 2016, requires further testing and refinement of its core technology and validation of degradation and cycling on multiple stacks over extended periods of operation. 

Independent Expert Report

The Company stated in its announcement of 26th July 2012 that it had commissioned a globally recognized fuel cell expert to undertake an independent assessment of Ceres' core intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cell ('IT-SOFC') technology.  This work, conducted by Dr Nguyen Minh a former Chief Scientist at GE Global Research, has now been completed.  Dr Minh's expert opinion includes the following overall conclusions:

·     Degradation and robustness: Ceres core technology is on track to achieve the degradation level needed for residential CHP (0.5% per 1,000 hrs) with planned development work likely to meet or exceed this level by 2016.  The Company has resolved the rapid degradation caused by anode redox experienced during field trials last year.  Moreover, Ceres technology can exploit its low temperature of operation to address the key driver of long-term durability (interconnect oxidation/corrosion), and shows class-leading levels of interfacial anode-electrolyte strength (high delamination resistance) under representative operating conditions.

·     Manufacturing cost: Ceres has the potential for cost leadership in mass manufacturing of cells and stacks. The Company has developed a low-cost manufacturing sequence that can be conducted in a conventional factory environment using simple processing steps and common equipment.  The manufacturing processes currently used and under development are scalable for commercial volume manufacture, with high levels of quality control. 

·     Performance:  fabricated cells and stacks already show performance and reproducibility suitable for residential CHP under representative operating conditions. Further performance improvements are likely via planned anode, cathode and interconnect engineering.  In addition, the inherent thermal cyclability of Ceres technology is excellent and is likely to exceed the requirements for residential CHP. 

During Dr Minh's 25 year career he has been responsible for the overall technical objectives and R&D direction for GE's $multi-million fuel cell programmes, and led fuel cell activities at Honeywell, AlliedSignal and Argonne National Laboratory in Chicago.  He has consulted for the US Department of Energy, the UN and multiple companies, and served on review panels for the US Department of Defense, National Science Foundation, California Energy Commission and others.  Dr Minh co-authored the book "Science and Technology of Ceramic Fuel Cells" as well as 4 book chapters, 20 patents, and over 100 published technical articles on fuel cells and related technologies.  He is now Associate Director of the Center for Energy Research at the University of California, San Diego. 

Dr Minh was appointed by Ceres to conduct an in-depth assessment of the Company's cell and stack technology, as these core components fundamentally drive performance and durability of the residential CHP product to be launched in the UK with British Gas.  Dr Minh was provided with test results, given access to key technical staff, and made extended visits to Company facilities to conduct reviews.  His report is available for download at:

www.cerespower.com/InvestorRelations/PresentationsVideosandReports/

David Pummell, Chief Executive Officer of Ceres Power, commented:

"We continue to make positive progress in improving the durability performance of our core technology.  The assessment report prepared by Dr Minh gives the Board significant confidence that Ceres core technology is on track to achieve the degradation requirement of residential CHP by 2016.  It also concludes that Ceres has the potential for cost leadership in mass manufacturing of cells and stacks, a key strategic advantage."

 

 For further information contact:



 

 

Ceres Power Holdings plc

Tel. +44 (0)1403 273 463

 

David Pummell, CEO / Rex Vevers, Finance Director

 

 

 

Investec Bank plc

Tel. +44 (0)20 7597 4000

 

Chris Sim / James Ireland

 


 

Kreab Gavin Anderson & Company

Tel. +44 (0)20 7074 1800

Ken Cronin / Deborah Walter



Cautionary note regarding forward-looking statements

This announcement contains forward-looking statements about the Company's core technology, including, without limitation, as regards degradation, robustness, manufacturing costs, performance and reproducibility of the Company's intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cell technology.  These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and they involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the core technology and/or any of the Company's other technology to be materially different from any results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.  These forward-looking statements are based on assumptions regarding the present and future performance of the core technology and the environment in which it will operate in the future.  Readers should not place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements and, save as required by law, the Company does not undertake any obligations to update publicly or revise any forward-looking statements (including to reflect any change in expectations with regard thereto or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based).  All subsequent oral or written forward-looking statements attributed to the Company or any persons acting on its behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statement above.  All forward-looking statements contained in this announcement are based on information available to the directors of the Company at the date of this announcement, unless some other time is specified in relation to them, and the posting or receipt of this announcement shall not give rise to any implication that there has been no change in facts set forth herein since such date.

 

Notes to editors:   

Ceres Power is a leading developer of clean, efficient, cost‐effective decentralised energy products that reduce operating costs, lower CO2 emissions and improve energy security. These products use the Company's mass manufacturable technology platform, the Fuel Cell Module, based on the Company's unique patented intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cell ('IT-SOFC') technology and operating on mains natural gas or in the future packaged fuels, such as LPG. The Company is listed on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange, and has facilities in Horsham and Crawley, UK.

The Ceres Power fuel cell Combined Heat and Power ('CHP') product operates on mains natural gas and generates all of the heating and hot water and the majority of the electricity needs of a typical UK home. The wall‐mounted unit is designed to replace a conventional central heating boiler and uses the same gas, water and electricity connections. With its low heat‐to‐power ratio and unique load‐following ability, a Ceres Power CHP product can operate all year round and optimise the addressable market and carbon emissions reductions.

Significant market opportunities exist for the Company's residential CHP products globally including in Europe, Asia and North America. New product and market opportunities also exist in the longer term including remote industrial power and auxiliary power for transport applications.

www.cerespower.com

 


This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange
 
END
 
 
MSCFMGMLZNNGZZM