The Centre for Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Research is part of the School of Chemical Engineering within the College of Engineering & Physical Sciences at The University of Birmingham. It was formed in early 2000 by the former director, Professor Kevin Kendall. As of spring 2012, the centre is headed by Prof. Robert Steinberger-Wilckens.
The Centre is nationally and internationally recognised for its dynamism and expertise in Fuel Cell Technologies. It is also part of the £6.5million Advantage West Midlands Science City initiative, and the Midlands Energy Consortium (MEC) which is host to the Energy Technologies Institute. The Centre, on behalf of the MEC has recently been awarded £5.5million (RCUK) for the creation and running of a Doctoral Training Centre in Hydrogen, Fuel Cells and their Applications, the first of its kind in the UK
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The Centre is composed of five active research groups:
The activities are managed by Dr Aman Dhir.
The Centre focuses on Research and Development, applications and demonstrations of Hydrogen and Fuel Cell systems; and has numerous publications & patents in Fuel Cell Technologies. The Centre also has state of the art facilities and is home to England's first public hydrogen filling station (Launched 14/04/08) and hydrogen powered house (Launched 10/10/08) a hydrogen fuel cell Combined Heat and Power (CHP) system and five hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. The FCG also focuses on the implementation of a Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Supply Chain in the West Midlands and the UK with currently 60 SMEs developing and manufacturing HFC components.
Perhaps the most significant measure of the standing of the Centre is the worldwide press and TV coverage that has been obtained in the last few years. Editorials in the Times and The Guardian, pictures in The Sunday Times, discussions on Radio 4 Today Programme, coverage on Sky News, BBC News 24, BBC Breakfast, ITV News, Channel 4 News, Midlands Today, CNN, Al-Jazeera TV and the Gadget Show, amongst others, have indicated wide public interest.
The major recent research areas are:
- SUAV - Microtubular Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Power System development and integration into a Mini-UAV
- SWARM - Demonstration of Small 4-Wheel fuel cell passenger vehicle Applications in Regional and Municipal transport
- STAMPEM - STAble and low cost Manufactured bipolar plates for PEM Fuel Cells (STAMPEM) is a FCH JU funded project (contract no 303449) aiming at developing coatings for metallic bipolar plates for PEM fuel cells.
- TriSOFC - Durable Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Tri-generation System for Low Carbon Buildings
- MMLRC=SOFC - Working towards Mass Manufactured, Low Cost and Robust SOFC stacks
- MAAD-SOFC - Modelling Accelerated Ageing of Solid Oxide Fuel Cells
- SCRORED 2.0 - Steel Coatings For Reducing Degradation in SOFC
- SAFARI - SOFC APU For Auxiliary Road-truck Installations
- Design and optimisation of Micro-SOFC for use on Hydrocarbon Fuels
- Fuel Reformingfor SOFC
- SOFC Formulation Fuel Cell Integration
- Modelling of fuel cells
- MEA production techniques
- SOFC fabrication
- Hydrogen Production
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