ABB orders AFC Energy fuel cell systems for high-power EV charging

ABB has placed an order with AFC Energy for its S Series hydrogen fuel cell system. The order is worth £4 million, and the system is scheduled for delivery in early 2023.

ABB will use the first 200 kW S Series system, which can be fueled with either hydrogen or ammonia, for high-power EV charging, especially in regions where grid connectivity is absent or constrained.

AFC Energy builds alkaline fuel cells, which differ from the PEM fuel cells used in vehicles in their ability to accept different types of hydrogen, or even ammonia, as a fuel source. The company’s most high-profile customer is the Extreme E racing series, which uses AFC’s system to provide power in extremely remote locations (see the feature article in our March/April 2021 issue).

AFC Energy in Harrier hangar, Dunsfold Aerodrome, Cranleigh Surrey – PICTURE BY JOHN McLELLAN – 15.1.21

Iain Thomson, Head of Communications and Stakeholder Management at AFC Energy, explained to Charged that “PEM fuel cells can only accommodate pure hydrogen sources, whereas we can take in ammonia as our feedstock.”

ABB and AFC Energy formed a strategic partnership in 2020 to create a charging solution for grid-constrained locations. More recently, the companies demonstrated an integrated charging system at ABB’s facility in Estonia, using AFC’s L Series fuel cell technology in conjunction with ABB’s storage and charging tech.    

The S Series generator will use AFC Energy’s new anion exchange membrane (AEM) technology, and will be housed in a container about the size of a 10-foot shipping container. The S Series system is also suitable for applications such as data centers, shipping and off-grid power markets.

“There is an increasingly urgent need for fast charging capability in cost-effective areas that are not connected to the grid, or where the grid is constrained,” said Frank Muehlon, President of ABB’s E-mobility Division. “We believe AFC Energy’s zero-emission, hydrogen fuel cell system to be part of the solution that will allow us to make EVs accessible to everyone.”   

“We believe our new S Series fuel cell platform will become the ‘go -to’ high-performance fuel cell technology capturing multiple fuelling strategies, whilst affording best-in-class AEM power density and efficiency,” said AFC Energy CEO Adam Bond.

Source: AFC Energy