Global Fuel Cell Interconnectors Market Introduction
A fuel cell is a battery that generates electricity through an electrochemical reaction where the fuel cell interconnector is a layer made up of either ceramic or metallic material, which combines the electricity generated by each individual cell. Fuel cell interconnectors are placed between each individual cell to connect the cells in the series. Ceramic fuel cell interconnectors are more suitable for high-temperature working conditions as they exhibit high thermal stability. For long-term usage, ceramic fuel cell interconnectors have been a promising choice for use at high temperatures. However, metal-based fuel cell interconnectors, such as nickel and steel interconnectors, are becoming more popular for low temperature applications due to low cost, good mechanical & thermal expansion and machinability property. Fuel cells are being used in several applications such as stationary power generation, portable power generation, power for transportation, etc. Some of the applications of fuel cell interconnectors include cellular phones, laptops, unattended sensors, power tools, battery chargers and under-water vehicles, among others. The need for portable fuel cell applications is boosting the demand for fuel cell interconnectors, which is making them more attractive among all the end-use applications in the global market.
Global Fuel Cell Interconnectors Market Dynamics
Fuel Cell Interconnectors Market Drivers:
Fuel cell interconnectors are being used in a variety of applications ranging from small to large. One of the factors driving the fuel cell interconnectors market is growth in the automobile industry. Increase in the need for transportation is driving the automobile sector, thus creating demand for fuel cell interconnectors. Automobile manufacturers have been using fuel technology in vehicles, such as buses, scooters and bicycles, which provides advantages over diesel or gas engines as the level of emissions are zero or low. In addition, it also helps balance the heat, is highly resistant to corrosion and more efficient.
Changes in the lifestyle of people have boosted the demand for portable products such as large personal electronics (radios, printers, etc.), Auxiliary Power Units (APU), military applications, small personal electronics (cameras, mp3 players, etc.), portable products (trimmers, torches, etc.), toys and education kits. As compared to conventional batteries, fuel cell interconnectors are more durable, lightweight and portable power sources, which makes them suitable for portable and military applications. On the other hand, conventional batteries are heavy and provide an inadequate supplier of power for portable & military applications. Increasing shift towards portable applications is expected to create lucrative growth for the global fuel cell interconnectors market during the forecast period. Fuel cell interconnectors are being used as non-movable power units to provide electricity and heat. These power units are most commonly used in homes for various applications such as hot water, uninterrupted power supply, etc. Since conventional fuels such as gas or oil are not needed for fuel cell interconnectors, they will help reduce the dependency on oil-producing countries.
Fuel Cell Interconnectors Market Trends
Fuel cell interconnectors can be used to get rid of global waste disposal issues. Fuel cell interconnectors can create energy from waste by converting it into usable forms. Generation of electricity from waste is expected to gain considerable importance in near future, which is expected to boost the global demand for fuel cell interconnectors.
Fuel cell interconnectors have introduced a new way to generate power. A large number of these small-scale power generation plants will increase energy distribution in each possible areas, which will result in the generation of enough power for individual utilisation. This will lead to economic development. Thus, the usage of fuel cell interconnectors is expected to set a trend for energy generation as resources required for it are easily available. This will also help fill the gap between the supply and demand for energy.
Fuel Cell Interconnectors Market Restraints
Ceramic-based fuel cell interconnectors exhibit better performance as compared to metal-based fuel cell interconnectors. On the other hand, ceramic-based fuel cell interconnectors are more expensive than metal-based fuel cell interconnectors. This is likely to restrain the global market of fuel cell interconnectors. Moreover, the oxidation of some the metals in fuel cells are likely to reduce the performance of fuel cell interconnectors, which is likely to affect the global market for fuel cell interconnectors.
Global Fuel Cell Interconnectors Market Segmentation
The global fuel cell interconnectors market can be segmented based on product type, fuel type and application.
On the basis of product type, global fuel cell interconnectors market can be segmented as:
- Ceramic based
- Metal based
On the basis of fuel type, global fuel cell interconnectors market can be segmented as:
- Molten carbonate fuel cells
- Alkaline fuel cells
- Phosphoric acid fuel cells
- Polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells
- Direct methanol fuel cells
- Solid oxide fuel cells
On the basis of application, global fuel cell interconnectors market can be segmented as:
- Power Generation
- Portable products
- Uninterruptible Power Supply
- Residential Heat and Power
Global Fuel Cell Interconnectors Market Regional Outlook
Owing to an increase in the generation as well as consumption of energy in the Asia Pacific region, there is an increase in the demand for fuel cell interconnectors. Thus, Asia Pacific is expected to be an attractive region for all the participants in the global fuel cell interconnectors market. The growing automation industry in Asia pacific, Europe and North America is expected to support the growth of the fuel cell interconnectors market over the forecast period. Asia pacific is expected to dominate the global market for fuel cell interconnectors owing to an increase in energy generation/consumption and growth in the automation industry. Moreover, increasing transportation in Europe due to the rising demand for fuel cell interconnectors is expected to boost the global fuel cell interconnectors market in the near future. The Middle East and Africa region is expected to register moderate growth in the global fuel cell interconnectors market.
Global Fuel Cell Interconnectors Market Participants
Examples of some of the market participants identified across the value chain of the fuel cell interconnectors market are:
- Plansee India High Performance Materials Pvt. Ltd.
- Ballard Power Systems.
- Bloom Energy
- NUVERA FUEL CELLS, LLC
- SFC Energy AG
- Acal Energy Ltd
- AISIN SEIKI Co., Ltd.
- Ceres Power Holdings plc
- Delphi Technologies
- Integer Holdings Corporation
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