Jiří Libra, Founder & CEO
As energy consumption reaches new heights globally, hydrogen fuel cells (H2FC) are being looked at as the prospective, additional source to meet the surging energy demands. H2FC are pollution-free and deliver higher efficiency than traditional combustion technologies, and this caught the attention of industries such as automobiles and buildings, among others. However, a common challenge in the research and testing of H2FC is the lack of equipment to handle high currents produced by these cells, while enabling electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) analysis measurements. The standard DC loads are available up to 1 kiloamperes or more, but to test a single cell, a potentiostat or a zero-voltage load is needed, along with an EIS feature. “Such combinations are tough to find,” begins Jiří Libra, founder, and CEO of Kolibrik.net, a Czech Republic-based company that has created a niche for itself in the field of H2FC technologies and electrochemistry. Kolibrik.net develops an array of solutions for H2FC research, stack testing and control, and software for spectroscopy data acquisition and processing. The company delivers immense value to scientists and researchers by understanding their pain points and providing them with new strategies and unique solutions to carry out scientific experiments.
Kolibrik.net’s solutions can be divided into two categories: instruments for fuel cell and stack analysis (includes potentiostats, electronic loads, and impedance spectroscopy analysers); and automation and monitoring devices (for target applications and test stands). The company provides potentiostats for single-cell or short-stack testing. The unique devices can handle a hundred amperes and zero-voltage loads of up to more than a kiloampere. “Our potentiostats have a modular design and can be customized as per clients’ specifications,” adds Libra. Additionally, the company offers a cost-effective impedance analysis solution for full-stack testing.
Our potentiostats and loads have a modular design and can be customized as per clients’ specifications
The solution connects a standard DC load to stack EIS impedance analyser.
In the area of automation and monitoring, Kolibik.net offers a proprietary range of products for the automation of both applications and test stands for cells and stacks. Besides off-the-shelf products, the company provides various devices and modules that are customizable based on clients’ needs. Its modules/products in the KMS series, which are of the size of credit card, provide compact control and measurement. One such product is Cell Voltage Monitor, which is uniquely designed for the automotive industry.
Backed by its unique solutions and products, Kolibrik.net has been continuously striving to help clients overcome the impediments. A case in point, team Kolibrik.net developed custom electronics for the stack test stands of one of its clients, LeanCAT. These include cell voltage monitors, potentiostats, zero-voltage loads, and stack EIS analysers. Similarly, for Technical university in Chemnitz, Kolibrik.net developed a solution for I/V and EIS measurements on single fuel cells and short stacks up to 800 amperes for their project Fit-4-AMandA. The device is prepared to upgrade to 1,600 amperes. Kolibrik.net also worked with Fuel Cell Powertrain to develop hydrogen power sources for the client. “We provided our compact automation and cell voltage monitoring with prototype evaluation and control algorithm tuning,” informs Libra.
Kolibrik.net’s journey began with assisting Charles University in Prague in developing potentiostats and test stand automation in 2009. The company provided advanced electronics for small fuel cells. Subsequently, it started developing zero-voltage loads and impedance analysis for hundreds of amperes. Over the years, the company has achieved steady growth, assisting diverse universities, research institutes, and companies in different projects.
Currently, Kolibrik.net is developing high-power test instruments and cell voltage monitors. For the future, the company intends to increase its production capacity and plans to make a move toward the automotive industry with cell voltage monitors.