Cella’s materials are designed to hold a large quantity of hydrogen safely. The number of potential markets are far too numerous and too large for a small company to address alone. For this reason Cella has chosen to partner with larger, well-established companies to exploit three initial premium markets.
- Battery replacement: Cella’s materials combined with a small fuel cell make it possible to produce a power source that has three times the energy of a lithium ion battery for the same weight. The first market we intent to target is the power for small Unmanned Arial Vehicles.
- Emissions reduction: feeding small amounts of hydrogen into a diesel engine can significantly improve the fuel economy and reduce emissions.
- Space radiation shielding: High hydrogen content materials are the most efficient shields for high energy space radiation. This type radiation degrades electronics and reduces the lifetime of satellites and Cella’s materials are proven to provide the best protection for the least weight.
Longer terms we are developing technologies that will use Cella materials to run vehicles on hydrogen; exploiting the fact that large numbers of small Cella pellets behave like a fluid and can be pumped and transported like a liquid. This means low infrastructure costs and a familiar customer experience when refuelling the car.
The initial market will be small airborne electric surveillance drones, called Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). Cella’s technology makes it possible to keep a UAV in the air for three times longer than with current battery technology. Cella estimates that there are more than 50,000 unmanned systems already in service, mostly in military applications, and this sector is one of the fastest growing areas of military expenditure.
Cella is working with a US defense company L2Aerospace to take Cella’s materials and create replaceable cartridges that will mean that the eye in sky will be flying for three times longer than it can with current battery technology.
Once this initial market is proven, Cella plans to adapt this technology for soldier portable applications and eventually for portable electronics – including laptop computers.
Emission abatement - Lower emission diesel vehicles
The second market that the Company will address is emission abatement from diesel vehicles. Many European cities have or plan to have low emission zones. In London for example, diesel vans that exceed certain emission regulations pay £100 per day for access. Together with a consortium of Tier 1 automotive partners, Cella is developing cartridges that can be retro-fitted to diesel vehicles to improve engine efficiency and reduce particulate emissions. Cella is collaborating with the Motor Industry Research Association (MIRA) and Unipart Eberspacher Exhaust Systems (UEES). UEES is a joint venture between the Unipart Group of Companies and Eberspacher GmbH one of the largest suppliers of exhaust systems, fuel systems and engine componentry for a wide range of vehicle manufacturers throughout the UK and Europe. Commercial vehicles such as vans, buses and trucks older than 2006 are not expected to meet this new legislation. Over 477,000 commercial vans enter London annually of which 97% are diesel and around 50% are older than 2006, giving a large market size for London alone.
Longer term, the Company will develop a system that can be used to create a zero emission vehicle running entirely on hydrogen. But unlike battery electric vehicles it will have a range and performance similar to existing hydrocarbon driven vehicles. Many vehicle manufacturers are planning to release hydrogen fuel cell cars onto the market by 2015, including Toyota, Honda, Daimler Benz and many others. In these earlier vehicles the hydrogen will be stored in carbon fiber tanks operating at pressures up to 700 atmospheres. These tanks are expensive and require hugely expensive compressors at the filling stations.Cella Energy’s pellets can be treated as a fluid which means that much of the existing infrastructure can be reused: petrochemical refineries to make and recycle the pellets, tankers for transport and simple liquid pumps at the filling station.
Well-to-wheel analysis indicates that Cella technology can reduce carbon dioxide CO2 emissions by a factor of two using hydrogen derived from natural gas (fracking), and much more for hydrogen derived from renewable sources. The full life cycle costs of the Cella solution would be lower than battery electric or high-pressure gaseous hydrogen.
Communications satellites cost many hundreds of millions of dollars but often their lifetime is limited because the high energy radiation found in space slowly degrades electronics. Normally this is a gradual loss of function, but a large solar flare can cause significant damage in a very short time. Unfortunately aluminium, which is used in the structure of satellites, and to protect against low energy radiation, makes this kind of damage much worse. Cella Energy’s materials have passed space qualification tests and are ready for flight. Cella is able to provide a service that includes computer simulations of the radiation damage in a satellite in a given orbit and the supply of material that will reduce this damage significantly for minimal increase in weight. For space applications weight is the critical factor and so the effectiveness of a radiation shielding material is measured by its ability to reduce the dose for the minimum weight, and high hydrogen content materials like Cella’s are significantly better than anything else that exists. Cella has developed the technology with assistance from the Space Department at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, who have a range of test facilities and regularly certify technology and equipment for use in space. Cella has established links with ESA, NASA and Thales who have helped Cella gain access to a ground based accelerator test facilities at Brookhaven, in the USA and GSI in Germany. Modelling has been performed in conjunction with the High Energy Physics Department at Imperial College.
Computer simulations of the energy deposition in silicon behind various shield thickness when being bombarded with 1GeV protons.
|Cella video 2013
Hydrogen storage without the high pressure tanks
|Cella video 2012
Overview to Cella Energy.
|Springboard Award 2011
Cella Energy wins award.