Green energy specialist Proton Power Systems is in talks with an Asian manufacturer to help it escalate production of its innovative systems.
The North East-founded firm makes fuel cells and systems that can be used in electric buses, light and heavy duty vehicles, boats and buildings, with its innovations producing anything from 3kW to 30kW of power.
Last month the firm – established and registered in Newcastle with manufacturing taking place in Europe – achieved a milestone when it finalised development of a new fuel cell system for electric vehicles, the HyRange 25 system, which can produce 25kW of energy to power buses as well as light and heavy duty vehicles.
Its solutions are now attracting “significant interest” in all the firm’s market segments – maritime, mobility and stationary – prompting directors to seek industrial partners to step up manufacturing.
The move is announced in the firm’s interim results for the six months ended June 30, in which chief executive Dr Faiz Nahab and chairman Ian Peden said: “We are seeing significant interest for our solutions in all of our market segments, and our objective is to expand volume manufacturing with industrial partners based on licensing agreements.
“We are currently in discussion with an Asian based OEM partner. The group is committed to the future evolution of PEM (proton exchange membrane) fuel cells and is also applying for further funding under new R&D programmes.”
During the six month period the firm announced a 60% increase in turnover to £869,000, following a strong first half of the year which also saw its loss after tax narrow by 17%, from £3.19m to £2.64m.
The group secured new funding in the first half of the year from its major shareholder, Roundstone Properties Limited, which provided loans of €2.95m (£2.31m), and it also received grant funding of €121,624 (£95,499) from the German Government.
In the directors’ statement released on the stock exchange, the business said it is currently planning with several European manufacturers to deploy vehicles fitted with the HyRange 25 Fuel Cell Systems in cities in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and France.
Its “stationary” segment also fared well, with the firm seeing growing demand for safe power, specifically in data centres, telecom and grid applications.
Within the maritime sector, the directors said they have built on the successful implementation of the Alsterwasser tourist boat system in Hamburg, which has been in daily operation since 2008 and has transported more than 60,000 passengers.
The tourist boat’s success has led to requests for applications for yachts, coast guard and tourist boats.
The directors said: “We expect this market to develop over time but we are well positioned with our unique knowledge in the sector, providing us with a very competitive position. We are currently in extensive talks with a Chinese ship builder for our solution to this market.”
Most significantly, the business said it is using the new HyRange 25 system to target the rapidly-growing Chinese market, and it is preparing plans with an Asian bus manufacturer in relation to a significant number of city buses.
The directors said: “As the group continues to expand its worldwide sales activities we are seeing significant interest in China which is developing rapidly as a market for fuel cell applications, due to damaging pollution and air quality problems in major cities like Beijing.
“We are at an advanced stage of commercialisation of our technology and now have a technically proven product and a market ready solutions portfolio.
“Continuous cost reductions, driving down the cost per kW will be our platform for growth and the success of our technology in the markets around the world. Together with our strategic partnership plan, we are on-track to be a leading global fuel cell, fuel cell hybrid system, fuel cell/UPS and wind/solar power storage system provider.”