£35m to build world’s largest fuel cell stack supplier

£35m to build world’s largest fuel cell stack supplier

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

UK startup Bramble Energy has raised £35million to expand production of its hydrogen fuel cell stacks using PCB technology.

Bramble uses existing printed circuit board technology and manufacturing to produce customised fuel cell stacks, with a from design concepts to physical units within days, rather than up to a year for other approaches.

The investment will allow Bramble Energy to roll out its portable power products globally as well as continue to develop its liquid cooled fuel cell stack capability. The company is aiming to be the world’s largest supplier of fuel cell stacks based on its patented PCB Fuel Cell (PCBFC) technology, developed at Imperial College and University College London. Bramble Energy plans to deploy PCBFC in a variety of strategic commercial applications.

The investment was led by HydrogenOne Capital Growth and is supported by the existing institutional investors (BGF, IP Group, Parkwalk Advisors and the UCL Technology Fund and brings the total raised to £43m ($58m, €51m) ). The company has grown from 3 to 35 staff since the previous funding round in summer 2020 and will take the UK-based team to over 100. The company has been developing an initial low-cost, flexible, 20W fuel cell, followed by 60W and 100W versions, that are zero-emissions replacements for diesel generator technologies.

“There is no bigger challenge that humanity faces than the climate crisis and our team’s core purpose is to help the world achieve net zero. Hydrogen fuel cells have long been viewed as a ‘future’ solution however deployment of this clean energy technology has been hindered by complex manufacturing and the high costs associated with this,” said Dr Tom Mason, CEO and Co-Founder of Bramble Energy.

“This is a hugely exciting time for Bramble Energy, with many eyes focused on the UK’s leadership role in the transition to a greener economy. The recent Series B funding round allows us to continue solving some of the greatest barriers to the adoption of fuel cells – through our ground-breaking manufacturing route, scale-up potential and low-cost production.”

The UK and EU have both identified hydrogen as a key technology. In 2020, the UK government released its 10 point plan for a green industrial revolution with hydrogen cited a number of times as a pillar of building back better to decarbonise.  Fuel cells can be scaled to demand and have applications ranging from stationary, primary power sources providing stable and high-power density off-grid electricity, to portable applications such as drivetrain integration for automotive power and even as small as mobile phone power.

“Bramble Energy’s goals are ambitious, and we are aiming high with our purpose. I believe the potential for our technology is limitless and with that in mind we aim to decarbonise as many sectors as possible on a global scale. As net zero goals near, there are only going to be more and more opportunities that present themselves for our technology to develop and work to aid the clean energy transition. The target is for Bramble to become the go-to name in affordable, scalable fuel cell solutions,” said Simon Hogan, chairman of HydrogenOne

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