Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells operate using hydrogen fuel in the presence of oxygen. Protons, from dissociated hydrogen, are able to travel from the anode to the cathode through a membrane material that separates the electrodes, while the electrons travel along the external circuit to produce a voltage.
While providing a greener solution to energy consumption requirements, these fuel cells remain expensive, as platinum catalysts are necessary on both sides of the membrane, significantly increasing costs. Also, current membrane materials do not allow for flexibility in their design for easy adaptation to a variety of applications.
Oceanit’s functional fabric technology allows these membranes to be replaced with a less expensive, flexible, and better-performing solution. Our flexible fuel cell membranes also retain the ability to operate at low temperatures suitable for homes and vehicles.
We have applied our technology to Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), deploying our flexible fuel cells on the wings of a drone to maximize constraints on space, weight, and time aloft.
Unlike today's bulky fuel cells, Oceanit's flexible fuel cells can be molded to the shape of the ‘thing’ that they will power. In our UAV tests, we were able to mold the membrane to conform to the wings, saving space and weight, while increasing flight time.
The innovation that's makes the flexible fuel cell possible is a next generation nano-based Proton Exchange Membrane that doubles the power output of a fuel cell while requiring only one-fourth of the platinum.