There are as many different ways of building a fuel cell, as there are types of batteries. Some batteries generate very high power, but in practice are only suitable for stationary use or mounted in a vehicle or a ship. A challenge to be faced with many designs, is that they can become very hot, sometimes in excess of 1,000 degrees. Low internal temperature is an obvious requirement for risk-free use. myFC uses a technology known as Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM), which is very well suited for portable applications. This is also the type of solution on which the automotive industry is now basing its hydrogen cars and myFC therefore benefits from the development taking place in the automotive industry in terms of capacity, quality and cost reduction for the membrane. myFC has a patented “open-end design”, which works with low internal pressures, in contrast to a closed-end architecture, where the pressure becomes high.
As a result, myFC products have a stable construction with a significantly longer life than a closed-end fuel cell. We have chosen to design the cell structures so that they make up a flat segment, partly because a flat surface with maximum oxygen uptake capacity can dissipate the residual heat over a larger area. However, we have also always aspired to develop technology that can be integrated into portable electronics, such as smartphones, tablets and other devices, a flat design is obviously extremely important here.
Hydrogen generated from the chemical reaction is required in order for the fuel cell to generate energy. One of the technical challenges is to create an even flow of hydrogen, irrespective of temperature differences, in this very small format and in a controlled manner. In myFC’s fuel card (PowerCard), hydrogen is created when ordinary water molecules react with a special salt mixture in the card. During this process the fuel cell will produce some water vapor. The chemical reaction produces hydrogen gas and a by-product kept ideally in the card and some clean water vapor may travel with the hydrogen. All parts of the PowerCard can be recycled.
myFC’s choice of chemical hydrides technology was made as far back as in 2008, when we tested the best available tank technologies. We compared the costs to the final consumer, carried out random sample tests of usability among the target groups and evaluated the manufacturing costs. We then made our choice of technology, in which water and safe reaction components are mixed to create an oxidation process. This process binds the oxygen in the water with various salts (or structured ions) and consequently releases pure hydrogen. The JAQ process uses sodium and metal components to produce the hydrogen with myFC being the world leader in this technology. This is particularly noticeable in our PowerCards, which are a fraction of the weight of the few competing solutions on the market.
General interest in fuel cells and fuel cell technologies is continuing to increase around the world. It is therefore critical to myFC’s business both to protect our innovations and technologies and to monitor closely what happens in the outside world. We protect our technology and our technological lead through an extensive patent portfolio. As of September 2018, we have 90+ patents, granted, pending and allowed divided in 21 patent families.