Alkaline fuel cells have been around for over half a century, having first been developed in 1959 by Francis Thomas Bacon, and remain integral in the type of fuel cells that exist today.
They are also the most efficient type of fuel cells because they reach up to 90 percent total efficiency and can operate almost immediately without the need to pre-heat, even at sub-zero temperatures.
As a testament to its significance, NASA and MIR space programs have used alkaline fuel cells to produce electricity and drinking water for space missions. Over the last half-century or so, alkaline fuel cell cells have remained integral to electric energy and are considered one of the cheapest available fuel cell technologies.
In line with the continued future growth of alkaline fuel cells, the aptly named Alkaline Fuel Cell Power Corp. (NEO:PWWR, OTCQB:ALKFF Forum) is one such company investors should have on their radar as it positions itself to developing low to no-carbon emission energy systems for residential and small-to-medium-sized power markets globally, and for scale.
Headquartered in Vancouver, BC the company is delivering on two keys components to delivering the low to no-carbon economy. It develops and produces alkaline fuel cell heat and power systems (“CHP”) for residential, industrial, and commercial markets, and is past its first milestone on delivering the commercialized product. While global markets await the delivery of hydrogen backbones, the company has acquired, and is developing, $50 million worth of CHP projects in multi-residential buildings in Canada. The company uses efficient CHP systems to deliver affordable resilient energy to customer, today.
The company is actively de-risking the investment for investors by diversifying immediate revenues and assets with longer-term development of leading fuel cell technology.
From a technology perspective, the Alkaline Fuel Cell technology initially came from the European Space Agency, but now the company has been able to develop a fuel cell smaller in size and scalable due to fewer operating inputs and metals such as platinum-group metals.
In an interview with Stockhouse Editorial, Frank Carnevale, CEO of Alkaline Fuel Cell Power said that “The company intends to become one of the leading players in the hydrogen economy space in the next few years and in a way that incorporates end-goal objectives and the transition to them. There is no silver bullet to delivering a zero-carbon economy.”
Hydrogen has tremendous potential when it comes to acting as feedstock, fuel or energy, which as a result provides many use cases with the potential for reducing carbon emissions.
While its headquarters are in Vancouver, the company has CHP operations in Toronto, a wholly-owned subsidiary in Belgium, called Fuel Cell Power NV in addition to a 100 percent-owned subsidiary in the Czech Republic called Fuel Cell Power s.r.o., which represents a strategic presence for the company in the country.
“Alkaline Fuel Cell Power is taking aim at European jurisdictions that have recently embraced hydrogen as a critical component to achieving a zero-carbon economy, and we’re starting to see signs of North American jurisdictions embracing hydrogen, as well,” said Carnevale.
To that end, Alkaline Fuel Cell Power believes it is well-positioned to be a leading contributor to the clean energy space, especially in Europe where the demand outpaces the supply.
The alkaline fuel cell technology advantage
Carnevale told Stockhouse Editorial that domestic customers and small-to-medium-sized businesses are great marketplaces for the company to be in because of its efficient fuel cell system, adding that the system is poised to take a significant portion of that market space.
In particular, the company’s technology specifically offers an energy source that generates zero carbon emissions and produces only pure water as the only by-product. Further, the system, which is a micro combined heat and power (Micro-CHP, CHP) system, is being built within a 4-kW system prototype that also uses ambient air, hydrogen and generates 3.2 kWh heat in addition to the clean water.
While reducing carbon emissions is undoubtedly a global crisis, the cost of doing so is enormous and unattainable for many; however, Alkaline Fuel Cell Power is making this achievable – affordable, renewable, resilient energy for the masses.
At present, there are other types of fuel cells being developed and sold, but with hydrogen being delivered to customers doors in coming years, the Company expects to deliver energy in the form of electricity, heating and cooling options.
Carnevale said the system will be affordable to customers and explained that with reduced manufacturing costs, the non-usage of precious metals — which he said is the most expensive part of the product — the company can leverage the product with the market to generate a profit.
Essentially what this means is that the company’s technology benefits from cost-effective supply chains, including manufacturing, which makes it affordable for customers in the retail space. As such, this positions Alkaline Fuel Cell Power as a competitive producer for electricity, furnace, boiler replacement and air conditioning systems, globally.
The company’s primary focus
With two distinct groups, the focus in Canada is to develop and own low-carbon energy system, producing revenue for the Company, and the Company has purchased a pipeline of $50 million in projects and various stages of development. Secondly, Carnevale told Stockhouse Editorial that the development of the alkaline fuel cell remains focused on European market for now.
According to Carnevale, the continent currently has the biggest push forward for the use of hydrogen networks in addition to having a strong political climate. He said that in Central Europe there are currently four hydrogen power networks that have strong backing from a political and financial standpoint, which go hand-in-hand with one another.
Case in point, the European Union’s 2030 Climate Target Plan includes a proposal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55 percent over the next decade to become climate neutral by 2050. In tandem with this, the company’s solution is both economical and environmental which will benefit consumers moving away from gas boilers to cleaner alternatives. In other words, Alkaline Fuel Cell Power will play an integral role for the European Union to reach its goals in the coming years.
“Once [the company] has a good foothold in Europe, and [it has its] manufacturing is buttoned up in the next two to three years — we are developing a version [of the technology] that we can sell to the public, then we will team up with similar manufacturers and providers to branch out into the United States, Canada and other places where there is a realization that we need to reduce carbon emissions,” he said.
On May 6th, the company achieved its first key milestone. In a press release, Alkaline Fuel Cell said that it had successfully created a functioning, bench test, single stack and system operation at working temperature. The Company is working to towards commercializing of 4kW micro-combined heat and power (“Micro-CHP”) system.
Other crucial steps include completing the first full 4kW system in a laboratory configuration, which the company expects to complete before the end of 2022, receipt of Conform European (CE) accreditation as well as the installation of the first of the two 4kW prototype systems by mid-2023 and, of course, commercializing the new system which is targeted by the end of 2024.
The management team
The company wouldn’t be able to achieve its goals without an experienced management team, who have decades of experience in developing energy assets in North America, Europe and in alkaline fuel cell technology.
Frank Carnevale, Chief Executive Officer
Over the past two decades, Mr. Carnevale has developed and managed several investments in cleantech and PropTech platforms, including originating over $2.5 billion in transactions in energy and utilities sectors. Mr. Carnevale is passionate in his defence of underserved energy customers- residential and small/medium, industrial, commercial and institutional customers. In delivering in the global energy transformation, he bridges investors with opportunities to deliver customer-centric solutions. Mr. Carnevale previously served as Chief Growth Officer and Chief Operating Officer of a TSXV-listed company delivering design-build thermal energy systems, HVAC and Building Controls in Canada.
Jo Verstappen, COO
Jo Verstappen has been working in the hydrogen and fuel cell technology market over the last five years. Before his shift, he had extensive experience in production methodology, organization and business development of new products.
With his wide range of experience, he has been integral in structuring the company and pushing it forward to having a sizable footprint in the hydrogen market.
Gerard Sauer, Advisor
Gerard Sauer has extensive experience in the hydrogen fuel cell and battery field, having developed a wide range of fuel cell systems and balance of plant-associated applications in static generation, automotive and industrial applications. Sauer is a founding member of the company.
As of the time of this writing, shares of Alkaline Fuel Cell Power are priced at ~C$0.11 and sits with a market capitalization of $19 million.
The company’s recent investment in CHP assets diversifies investment in immediate projects and revenues that balance its strategic investment in delivering a future-ready alkaline fuel cell.
With the European Union’s carbon-free emission targets for 2030 — and the company’s strong position to help make that a reality — Alkaline Fuel Cell Power is undoubtedly an investment opportunity that is sure to bring results in the coming years.
Carnevale told Stockhouse Editorial the company’s potential and strategy will only widen its footprint in CHP and fuel cell markets.
To that end, as Alkaline Fuel Cell Power remains committed to providing a product that benefits the environment, the consumer and investors’ appetite.
FULL DISCLOSURE: This is a sponsored article produced by Stockhouse Publishing.