Lab Canada

Astris launches new fuel cell testing product

Mississauga, ON November 24, 2003 Alkaline fuel cell technology developer Astris Energi has announced the launch of its next-generation test load monitoring device for the fuel cell and battery industries, its model TL5 Test Load.

“This enhanced test load device is a precursor to the launch in December of our MC250 Powerstack fuel cells which will enable Astris to begin pre-commercial production of the 2.4 kW model E8 fuel cell generator,” says Jiri Nor, president and chief executive officer. “We are currently in discussion with potential partners to help fund pilot production of the MC250 at our subsidiary in the Czech Republic. The MC250 and E8 have a broad range of potential applications including power backup for uninterruptible power supply, portable power and small vehicle transportation power.”

The TL3 and TL4 test loads have been used in North America and Europe for the testing of fuel cell and battery electrodes, cells and stacks. Together with the TLIF computer interface and the company’s software control program, they allow for streamlined control of fuel cell load and data acquisition for monitoring purposes from a large number of test stations in a test laboratory. They are used for research, production quality assurance and product life testing.

The company says the TL5 offers several improvements in performance and functionality, including a 40 amperage range which is required by the MC250, in addition to the 20 amp range of the TL4. It has improved overload protection, accuracy and repeatability of readings. Like the previous model, it has inputs for a reference electrode and a temperature sensor, and allows for measurements of electrochemical potentials by the “resistance free” method. An added feature is the expansion I/O port with eight pairs of digital inputs and outputs and two differential analog inputs, allowing connection, monitoring and control of additional sensors. It incorporates numerous improvements over earlier models in response to customer feedback, including highly chemically resistant paint for the demanding environment of electrochemical laboratories.