Ceres Power, founded based on Imperial research and now one of the UK’s most valuable cleantech companies, announces collaboration with Bosch
Ceres Power plc, a company founded to commercialise Imperial research and now a leader in solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology, has announced it will progress its strategic collaboration with Bosch Group to prepare for mass production of SOFC systems based on Ceres’ proprietary fuel cell technology. The collaboration could help drive forward the creation of sustainable and resilient electricity systems by enabling highly efficient power stations to be built and distributed throughout the grid in a decentralised fashion.
Ceres was started at Imperial almost 20 years ago, using research carried out by the late Professor Brian Steele, and colleagues in the Department of Materials including Professors John Kilner, Alan Atkinson, and Nigel Brandon (now Dean of the Faculty of Engineering), building on investigations funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.
Ceres operates a licensing business model, allowing it to accelerate its technology through the industrial expertise and scale of its licensees into global markets, working with global partners such as Bosch and Doosan to ramp up their production capabilities.
Bosch Group is preparing to begin volume production of fuel cell systems that incorporate Ceres’ proprietary SteelCell® SOFC technology in 2024. It aims to achieve annual production of c. 200MW – enough to supply power to around 400,000 households - from facilities across Germany. This follows a collaboration begun between Bosch and Ceres in 2018 to develop and manufacture prototype fuel cell stacks.
Fuel cells represent a promising technology for decentralised and distributed power stations. They consume substances such as natural gas or hydrogen and produce electricity with a high rate of efficiency and with low or zero emissions of carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxides or particulates. Ceres Power’s SteelCell® technology used advanced materials to offer a combination of high-efficiency, fuel flexibility, and low costs.
According to its announcement, Bosch intends to apply SOFC technology in distributed power stations which can then be used in cities, factories, for trade and commerce, in data centres and for electric vehicle charging infrastructure. It estimates the market for decentralised power generation will reach €20 billion by 2030.
Phil Caldwell, CEO of Ceres Power said: "We are delighted that our relationship with our trusted partner Bosch goes from strength to strength and are confident that the combination of our innovative technology and Bosch's industrial engineering expertise will deliver significant value for both companies in providing products that contribute towards addressing the challenge of climate change ."
Dr Simon Hepworth, Director of Enterprise at Imperial College London, said: “We are pleased to note that Ceres has reached another important milestone in the development and implementation of its fuel cell technology. Since its formation at Imperial, Ceres has grown to become a true cleantech unicorn, and we look forward to its continued impact in developing a technology that represents a promising route towards sustainable energy supply.”
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