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Carbon Trust Report-The future’s bright for fuel cells

Concept fuel cell engine by ACAL

A new report released today by the Carbon Trust outlines how innovative UK companies are at the forefront of achieving breakthroughs in polymer fuel cells which could address cost, the main barrier to the wide scale deployment of polymer fuel cells. The report, to be launched today at a major Fuel Cell conference[1] in London, states that a continued focus on technology innovation could make fuel cell cars cost competitive with internal combustion engine cars and lead to them forming a third of all vehicles on the road by 2050.

Polymer fuel cells operate at lower temperatures and are smaller and lighter than other fuel cells, making them more suitable for use in cars and vans. Current state-of-the-art polymer fuel cells are predicted to cost $49 per kilowatt in automotive applications when manufactured at scale.

In order to be competitive with internal combustion engine vehicles, automotive fuel cells must reach a cost of approximately $36 per kilowatt[2]. Cost savings can be achieved by reducing material costs (notably platinum use), while increasing power density, reducing system complexity and improving durability.

The Carbon Trust is supporting five UK organisations; ITM Power, Acal Energy, Ilika, Imperial College and University College London through its $10m Polymer Fuel Cells Challenge to reduce the costs of polymer fuel cells.

The new report shows that reducing the cost to better than $36/kW would lead to a dramatic market expansion with 200 million more fuel cell vehicles being deployed by 2050 taking the total to some 690 million fuel cell vehicles. This would increase the value of the global fuel cell vehicle market by $30bn to $261bn a year by 2050 with the market in the UK worth some $4bn a year.  It would also reduce global carbon emissions from vehicles by an additional 260 million tonnes per year by 2050 – equivalent to the current annual emissions of Taiwan.

James Wilde, Director of Innovation and Policy at the Carbon Trust said:

“Our new analysis shows that the future is bright but innovation is essential to unlock the market potential by driving down the costs of new polymer fuel cells.  The UK, through its leading companies, is in pole position to benefit from an expanded global market for fuel cell vehicles.”

The Carbon Trust’s Polymer Fuel Cell Challenge is now in its second phase where organisations with potential breakthrough technologies that could achieve this step-change in cost are moving from feasibility testing towards commercial development with industry partners.  The Carbon Trust is currently supporting the following companies and organisations:

ITM Power – have developed a membrane with the potential to roughly double the power density of a cell, producing more ‘bang’ for the platinum ‘buck’;

ACAL Energy – have developed a liquid cathode with the potential to directly reduce platinum use by at least two thirds and eliminates the need for some standard components of a fuel cell;

Imperial College and University College London – have developed a novel stackable cell architecture that uses low cost materials and manufacturing techniques with breakthrough potential in terms of cost reduction; and,

Ilika, a company that specialises in developing new materials have developed a platinum free catalyst which, on a cost/performance basis, that has the potential to be 70% cheaper than the current industry standard.

September 28, 2012 - 6:29 AM No Comments

Wake Forest University Professor Awarded Grant to Study Hydrogen Storage

Wake Forest University Professor Awarded Grant to Study Hydrogen Storage

Fueling a passion to teach
Award offers a chance to study alternative energy, mentor students

By Alicia Roberts

Timo Thonhauser, assistant professor of physics, has taken on one of the toughest problems that stands in the way of making hydrogen cars a reality: hydrogen storage.

His research is supported by the most prestigious award the National Science Foundation has to offer for young scientists – the NSF CAREER Award – given to a select few junior faculty nationwide who excel as teacher-scholars. The award comes with a $426,572.00 grant, which Thonhauser will use to determine whether any of three materials – magnesium borohydride, ammonia borane, and special alkanes – could be used to create a safe and efficient storage solution for hydrogen.

“Simply pumping pure hydrogen into pressurized tanks in your car is inefficient and potentially dangerous,” Thonhauser said. “But even if you could, you just cannot get enough of it into the tank – you’d drive for 50 miles, and then your car would stop.”

The NSF CAREER Award, announced in late August, also will allow Thonhauser to expand his role as educator and mentor. As part of the grant, he will set up an interdepartmental mentoring program to help graduate and post-doctoral students improve their research skills and transition to a career in science.

That’s the kind of individualized instruction senior Ashley Anderson said is typical of Thonhauser.

“His class continues to remain one of the most memorable components of my WFU ‘memory bank,’” said Anderson, who took a general physics class with Thonhauser. “His instruction impacted the way in which I interpret and synthesize information, and has remained a vital part of my learning process. But, most importantly, his kindness is a hallmark of this university.”

As part of the CAREER Award, Thonhauser also will work with the SciWorks science center in Winston-Salem to develop an interactive exhibit and related programs about using hydrogen as fuel.

“People in general don’t know enough about alternative fuels, and awareness is an important first step in getting the technology accepted,” he said. “I want to be at the science center – and have some of my students join me there – to help explain problems with our current fossil fuels and possible solutions using hydrogen as an alternative.”

Thonhauser is a condensed matter theorist, using computers to test concepts; he works with other scientists who perform experiments to confirm his findings.

“Today’s technology crucially depends on materials of all kinds,” he said. “For example, if you want to build a new airplane, you want a material that’s light and strong. With the aid of theory – quantum mechanics – I can help you find that material.”

In addition to the hydrogen storage project, his research group is looking at metal organic framework materials that could help capture greenhouse gasses, and nuclear magnetic resonance, which sheds light on the structure of many materials, ranging from water to human DNA.

September 28, 2012 - 5:25 AM No Comments

Eastern Connecticut State University Commissions Fuel Cell Power Plant

Eastern will use 100 percent of the energy produced by this PureCell(R) fuel cell system to provide a majority of the power required for its Science Building, while maximizing the use of the heat output available. (PRNewsFoto/UTC Power)

Eastern will use 100 percent of the energy produced by this PureCell(R) fuel cell system to provide a majority of the power required for its Science Building, while maximizing the use of the heat output available. (PRNewsFoto/UTC Power)

UTC Power PureCell® system will reduce the University’s carbon footprint and supply clean, efficient energy to Eastern’s Campus

WILLIMANTIC, Conn.– Eastern Connecticut State University has a longstanding commitment to energy conservation and sustainability that dates back nearly two decades. Today, Eastern is partnering with UTC Power of South Windsor, Conn., and the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA), on a project that is increasing energy efficiency at the University.

Under a 10-year Energy Services Agreement (ESA), UTC Power has furnished and installed a PureCell system combined heat and power fuel cell at Eastern’s Science Building, made possible by a federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grant through CEFIA.

The PureCell system, a stationary phosphoric acid fuel cell, produces 400 kilowatts of continuous electric power while generating usable by-product heat. Eastern will use 100 percent of the energy produced by the fuel cell system, which was installed earlier this year on the west side of Eastern’s Science Building, to provide a majority of the power required for the Science Building, while maximizing the use of the heat output available. Supplemental heat generated by the operation of the fuel cell will be utilized by Eastern’s infrastructure. With effective utilization of the thermal output, overall system efficiencies of up to 90 percent are possible — more than double that of traditional power sources.

“We have a campus-wide commitment to sustainability at Eastern, evidenced by campus conservation programs, the sustainable energy studies curriculum, and our outreach across Connecticut in support of local energy efficiency efforts,” said Eastern President Elsa Nunez. “We are delighted to work with CEFIA and UTC Power on a fuel cell generating facility that will provide clean, reliable and affordable energy to the University.”

UTC Power, CEFIA and Eastern officials, along with other guests, will formally dedicate the fuel cell during a brief ceremony on Oct. 4 from 10:30-11:30 a.m. on site.

“We are thrilled that our Connecticut-grown fuel cell technology is helping Eastern build upon its commitment to energy conservation and sustainability with installation of a PureCell system on campus,” said Joe Triompo, vice president and general manager of UTC Power. “Our PureCell system is a great fit for Eastern because it delivers efficient, affordable energy to the University, while reducing the impact on the environment.”

By generating and using power on-site with a PureCell system, Eastern will prevent the release of more than 1,356 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually – the equivalent of planting more than 313 acres of trees.  The reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions compared to a conventional power plant is equal to the environmental benefit of removing more than 136 cars from the road.  In addition to the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, the PureCell system saves nearly 3.8 million gallons of water each year.

“We are pleased to have provided support in partnership with Eastern and UTC Power,” stated Bryan Garcia, President of CEFIA.  “The fuel cell at Eastern provides a clean and reliable source of energy and an opportunity for students and faculty both today and for years to come to realize the benefits of distributed generation.”

Other examples of Eastern’s commitment to sustainability can be found throughout the campus. The Science Building is LEED Silver Certified for its use of gray water to irrigate and its many other green features, and three of Eastern’s residence halls are LEED Certified. In addition, a geothermal system provides heat and air conditioning to the 62,973-square-foot High Rise residence hall, the largest geothermal-heated building in Connecticut. The campus also generates 6.2 kilowatts from photovoltaic solar panels to light bus shelters, trash disposal areas and building perimeter lighting.

In addition, dual-fuel burning capability in Eastern’s heating plants allows the University to switch from gas to oil and vice versa based on prices and/or the requirements of its gas utility agreement.  Water-saving features exist on a number of showers, toilets and urinals. Finally, an energy-monitoring system analyzes energy usage for each building, and can automatically reduce electricity usage through preprogrammed initiatives, to reduce peak demand and energy costs.

Eastern is also home to the Institute for Sustainable Energy, which is recognized and widely respected throughout New England as an invaluable resource for supporting sustainable energy conservation efforts in municipalities and public schools.

In April 2012, Eastern was named one of the nation’s Green Colleges by The Princeton Review and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). This is the third year in a row that Eastern has received the designation.

About the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA)
CEFIA was established by Connecticut’s General Assembly on July 1, 2011, as a part of Public Act 11-80. This new quasi-public agency supersedes the former Connecticut Clean Energy Fund. CEFIA’s mission is to help ensure Connecticut’s energy security and community prosperity by realizing its environmental and economic opportunities through clean energy finance and investments. As the nation’s first full-scale clean energy finance authority, CEFIA will leverage public and private funds to drive investment and scale-up clean energy deployment in Connecticut. For more information about CEFIA, please visit www.ctcleanenergy.com.

About UTC Power
UTC Power, a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) company, provides energy-efficient products and services to the aerospace and building industries. UTC Power is the world leader in developing and producing fuel cells that generate energy for buildings and for transportation, space and defense applications. UTC Power has designed, manufactured and installed more than 300 stationary fuel cells in 19 countries on six continents. For more information, please visit www.utcpower.com.

September 27, 2012 - 10:45 AM No Comments

Neah Power Systems Ships Revenue Generating PowerChipTM fuel cell to Fortune 150 Defense Supplier

Bothell, WA – Neah Power Systems, Inc., (OTCBB: NPWZ) http://www.neahpower.com, a provider of power solutions using proprietary, award winning technology for the military, transportation, and portable electronics markets, announced today that it has shipped revenue generating product to a Fortune 150 US Defense Supplier against a previously announced purchase order for the Company’s PowerChipTM fuel cell.

The defense supplier is exploring the use of Neah’s PowerchipTM fuel cell for a range of applications including soldier power, remote power stations, and unmanned underwater and aerial vehicles. Neah anticipates additional purchase orders from this customer throughout the remainder of calendar 2012, with broader adoption in 2013.

Dr. D’Couto, Neah Power Systems, Inc. CEO said, “We continue to be enthused about applications development for a wide variety of uses that require power densities previously considered unsuitable for fuel cells. The superior performance and cost effective product allows Neah Power Systems to offer differentiated solutions for a variety of defense, commercial and consumer customers.”

Neah Power Systems employees visited the customer’s facility for training its personnel on the operational aspects of the fuel cell.

September 27, 2012 - 10:06 AM No Comments

Anaergia Generates Renewable Energy from Organic Waste with the First Power Purchase Agreement using Fuel Cells in California for the City of San José

BURLINGTON, ON–Anaergia Inc., a global leader in the generation of renewable energy from organic waste, today announced the 1.4MW renewable energy plant at the City of San José Water Pollution Control Plant in California is coming online using biogas from the anaerobic digesters.

The partnership between Anaergia Services, a division of Anaergia Inc., and the City of San José uses a zero emission, fuel cell power plant to generate renewable electricity from organic waste at the Water Pollution Control Plant.  A fuel cell converts biogas into electricity using an electrochemical process similar to the process used in batteries.  Although all heat and electricity produced by the facility is used at the Water Pollution Control Plant to reduce natural gas and electricity consumption, the amount of energy generated is enough to offset the annual consumption of 1,400 households.

The project is part of the City of San José Green Vision that aims to position San José as the center of innovation and entrepreneurship for environmental sustainability practices that foster a high quality of life for residents.

“We are pleased to enhance the energy self sufficiency of the San José Water Pollution Control Plant and take a positive step towards the renewable energy goals as part of the City’s Green Vision,” said Joanna De Sa, Deputy Director of Wastewater Management at the City of San José.  “The City of San José has taken a leadership role in environmental stewardship by selecting an anaerobic digestion and fuel cell solution that provides significant environmental benefits over traditional solutions.”

Fewer than 5% of all the municipal wastewater treatment plants in the United States generate renewable electricity using digester gas from sludge.

“San José’s approach provides a great model for other municipalities interested in converting their organic waste streams into renewable energy,” said Steve Watzeck, CEO of Anaergia Inc. “Effective utilization of digester gas at wastewater treatment plants under a power purchase agreement is an emerging service model that can benefit communities across North America. The San José model allows us to provide a cost effective solution by leveraging economies of scale and taking advantages of tax incentives that may not be available to municipal entities. The net result is predictable, low cost electricity that provides long term cost savings and a smaller carbon footprint.”

This project is the first fuel cell project operated under a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) in California.  Anaergia designed, financed, built and now operates the facility under the 20 year PPA.

About Anaergia Inc.

Anaergia, headquartered in Burlington, Ontario, Canada, is a global leader in the generation of renewable energy from organic waste streams.  Anaergia offers the widest range of anaerobic treatment solutions to municipal, industrial and agricultural markets with over 1,600 biogas projects globally.

September 27, 2012 - 7:39 AM No Comments

Acta Announces its Interim Results for the six months ended 30 June 2012

Acta S.p.A (”Acta” or the “Company”), the clean energy products company, today announces its Interim Results for the six months ended 30 June 2012.

First Half Commercial Highlights

Sales and Marketing

- Product sales, order book and proposals pipeline increasing rapidly

- Three new marketing and distribution partnerships in telcoms, educational and consumer markets

- 10-year licensing agreement with Heliocentris, strategic partner and investor

- Commercial interest developing across six market sectors

Operational and Product Development

- Recruitment of Operations Manager

- Three new products and two ancillary units developed

- Professional welding equipment PUREFlame 600 launched

- High purity electrolyser developed for October 2012 launch to educational market

First Half Financial Results

Revenues of €0.3 million (1H 2011: €5.9 million including photovoltaic EPC services; €0.1 million excluding photovoltaic EPC services)
Revenues from products and research services of €102,000 (1H 2011: €34,000).  Proposals pipeline up from €20,000 to over €300,000
10% reduction in operating loss to €1.5 million (1H 2011: €1.6 million loss)
Fundraising of £2.0 million before expenses completed in March 2012
Operating cash outflow of €1.4 million (1H 2011: €0.3 million outflow)
Period end cash of €1.1 million (1H 2011: €0.7 million)

Highlights since Period End:

Business Development

- Recruitment of Global Sales Director and sales support staff

- Recruitment of Technical Production Manager

- Strengthening of Board industrial experience

- Successful product demonstration in Hawaii: from renewable energy to fuel cell scooters

- Receipt of €0.3 million grant funding in August 2012

Robert Drummond, Chairman, said today:  “I am pleased to report that the Company is making substantial progress in the market adoption of its products and in the transformation of the business from research and development to manufacturing and commercialisation.

Our commercial metrics continue to be encouraging, and while still at an early stage we have seen significant increases in product sales, orders, order pipeline and proposals in all the markets that we are addressing. The year to date has seen the development and launch of several important new products to extend our range of customer solutions.  We are developing commercial relationships with some of the largest fuel cell manufacturers in the world, and have established partnerships with system integrators and distributors to extend our reach into new sectors and applications.

Our products and technologies continue to inspire enthusiasm among our customers and have been described by our Australian distributor as “the hydrogen breakthrough that the market in Australia has been waiting for”.  In February 2012 we signed a 10-year licensing agreement with our strategic partner Heliocentris, who invested in Acta at the same time to become a 5% shareholder, and we expect orders from this partnership to increase strongly by the end of this year.

As with any new technology, the adoption rate of our products is determined by factors that are not entirely within the Company’s control, including the speed of customer product integration and testing procedures.  These have moved more slowly than we and our partners had previously anticipated, resulting in a slippage of the Board’s revenue growth expectations for 2012 and to a lesser degree for 2013.  The Company has consequently reduced its cost base, while relocating its expenditure from research and development to commercial and production activities, and the Board continues to review its working capital and funding requirements to meet the expected range and timing of commercial demand through to breakeven and profitability.”

For further information please contact:

Acta S.p.A

Paul Barritt, Chief Financial Officer

Tel: +39 050 644281

www.actagroup.it

Altium Capital (Nominated Advisor)

Adrian Reed / Dominic Orsini

Tel: +44 (0)845 505 4343

Seymour Pierce Limited (Broker)

Mark Percy / David Banks

Tel: +44 (0)20 7107 8000

Media enquiries:

Abchurch Communications Limited

Ashleigh Lezard / Shabnam Bashir / Jamie Hooper

jamie.hooper@abchurch-group.com

Tel: +44 20 7398 7719

www.abchurch-group.com

Chairman’s Statement

Introduction

During the first half of 2012 the Company has achieved several important milestones on the road to full commercialisation, including establishing partnerships with key players in the fuel cell sector and the development of new products specified to meet these partners’ requirements.  At the same time we have focused on the transformation of the business into full commercial operations based around our outstanding product range of electrolysers and hydrogen generator stacks so that we are now delivering the rapidly growing levels of production and support required by our customers.

For the six months ended 30 June 2012 the Company generated turnover of €276,000 (1H 2011: €5.9 million) and reduced operating losses by 10% to €1.5 million (1H 2011: €1.6 million loss).  For purpose of comparison it should be noted that the first half of 2011 revenues include photovoltaic project sales and installation services for €5.9 million, an activity which the Group decided to exit during the second half of 2011 due to adverse changes in Italian legislation and which was consequently deconsolidated from the group accounts at the end of the year.

Revenues from electrolyser products and research services grew from €34,000 in 1H 2011 to €102,000 in 1H 2012, while our order book has risen to €78,000 and our proposals pipeline currently stands at over €300,000.  While still at an early stage, this represents a level of commercial activity and customer demand that the Company has never experienced before.

The reduction in operating losses reflects the sharp reduction achieved in operating costs, from €7.5 million in 1H 2011 to €1.8 million in 1H 2012, following our exit from the photovoltaic sector.  Operating cash outflow was €1.4 million for the period (1H 2011: €0.3 million), broadly in line with losses, and as at 30 June 2012 cash balances stood at €1.1 million (1H 2011: €700,000).

In addition to the period end cash balances, the Company received €300,000 in grant funding in August 2012 and is expecting to receive up to a further €900,000 from grant project funding by the year end or shortly thereafter (€1,200,000 in total since 30 June 2012, before further awards/receipts). This financing plus the operational cash flow generated from the gross margin contributions on product sales and bank financing will be used to fund the expected sales growth going forwards. Due to uncertainties in relation to the timing of future sales growth, the Board continues to monitor the working capital position and cost controls carefully to assess the future funding requirements of the Company.

Product Review

Acta’s products generate low cost, compressed, dry hydrogen onsite and on demand.  Demand for onsite hydrogen generation is being driven by the resurgence of interest in fuel cell systems: every fuel cell sold creates a demand for hydrogen, and onsite generation of hydrogen offers many economic, logistic and environmental benefits over alternative hydrogen sources.

I am pleased to note that our products and technologies have now found demand across six different market applications, although the underlying components for us remain the same, allowing standardisation and efficiencies in our production processes.  These six applications are as follows:

Back-Up Power for Telecommunications

One of the major markets for fuel cells is in the installation of back-up power systems for telecoms base stations.  Acta has been working with system integrators to develop an integrated fuel cell / electrolyser back-up power unit that will replenish its own hydrogen fuel reserves from water when the grid comes back online following a power failure.  One of these systems is undergoing final testing and is expected to be shipped shortly for installation with a major Australian telecoms company.

We are developing other opportunities for this application in South East Asia and elsewhere, where weak power infrastructures are compounded by limited hydrogen infrastructure and logistic barriers to hydrogen delivery, and we are actively pursuing supply chain and distribution partnerships in the area.

Educational and Laboratory Applications

Following the Company’s development of a drying unit to allow hydrogen purity from our electrolysers to reach 99.9995%, Acta will be launching its electrolyser for educational and lab applications at the global trade fair for educational resources in Basel on 24 October 2012, together with Heliocentris, our global distribution partner in these marketplaces.  The product allows a significant cost saving versus comparable products available on the market, and we are confident that sales in volume will commence before the year end.

Renewable Energy Storage

Acta has developed a high efficiency electrolyser to be powered directly from photovoltaic panels without energy conversion loss, combined with a rainwater module for the resupply of water to the electrolyser from rainwater.  This combination allows service-free operations for back-up power systems in remote locations, and is also ideal for renewable energy storage applications (off-grid housing, eco-villages, distributed energy generation and storage, time-shifting etc).  Acta is working with partners in Australia, Europe and elsewhere to specify and install demonstration systems in renewable energy storage.  In view of the scalability of Acta’s technology, from domestic systems to utility scale, and the growing need for effective storage solutions for intermittent renewable power sources, the Company believes that the future market for these systems is very significant.

Light Electric Vehicles (”LEVs”)

Our partner in the LEVs sector, Asia Pacific Fuel Cell Technologies (APFCT), has made good progress over the summer, with the announcement of an 80-scooter beta test with the Taiwanese Government, and the release of road safety standards for fuel cell scooters by the Taiwanese and Chinese governments, based on an extensive road test of APFCT’s scooters.  Acta and APFCT are currently jointly developing a hydrogen refilling station for fuel cell scooters incorporating onsite hydrogen generation from grid or renewable energy.

A further demonstration of this clean mobility solution was successfully carried out in Hawaii during August 2012.  Photovoltaic panels were used to power Acta’s electrolyser, the hydrogen from which was used to refuel APFCT’s fuel cell scooters via a canister vending machine refuelling station. This demonstration has particular significance due to Hawaiis role as a natural hub for US clean technologies.  The island has abundant renewable energy resources, very high energy and transportation costs (four times the US average), and the highest petroleum dependency of any US state.  The partners believe that the demonstration of the technology in such a key environment will assist the adoption of the fuel cell scooters and refuelling system in Hawaii and the US.

Consumer Fuel Cell Applications

Acta is working with a leading fuel cell manufacturer for the development of small, low cost electrolysers to support the introduction of consumer fuel cell products (phone chargers, small electric devices, fuel cell bicycles, etc).  Depending on the application, these electrolysers may range from very small desktop units up to domestic refuelling products.  Success in this area would allow the introduction of a consumer hydrogen infrastructure for the first time.  The Company hopes to be able to announce further details of these developments within the next four to six months.

Gas Welding

The development of the professional PUREFlame 600 model of our oxy-hydrogen gas welding system has created a wider interest in this technology, and we have seen demand from distributors and manufacturers in Australia, Brazil and India for the product and production rights.  We are considering subcontract production arrangements for the welding system in India and Brazil to access these markets without distracting our resources from our core fuel cell markets.

Grant-Funded Projects and Research Services

The Company is pleased to report that it has received grant funding of €0.3 million in the year to date, relating to the NanoCatGeo grant funded project.  This is less than previously expected due to delays in the receipt of the €700,000 FIT grant.  Grant income of €149,000 was recognised as a reduction of costs during the first half.  Further grant project receipts with a total value of up to €0.9 million, including the receipt of the delayed FIT grant, are expected be received by the year end or shortly thereafter.

The Company has also continued its third-party research services contract, now in its third year, paid for by the US Department of Defense, a major US industrial manufacturer, and a number of leading US Universities.  Due to the Company’s long-established and world-leading expertise in alkaline electro-catalysis, Acta is retained as an expert for the testing and characterisation of new catalysts and membranes developed by the project partners.

Operational Progress

The Board is pleased to welcome Mr Rodney Westhead, appointed as a Non-Executive Director on 24 August 2012.  Mr Westhead acted as Chief Financial Officer and then Chief Executive Officer of Ricardo Plc from 1992 to 2005, and is currently Non Executive Director of a number of public companies in the clean technology and other sectors including Clean Air Power plc and Transense plc. We are delighted to have the benefit of his commercial and industrial experience at this crucial time when Acta moves into full production and commercialisationof its products.

In addition, we have recently completed the recruitment of two senior staff, Ms Kim Taylor as Global Sales Director and Mr Alessandro Monti as Operations Manager.  They bring expertise and enthusiasm to these key roles within Acta, and we believe that their contribution will be of great benefit to the Company moving forward.  We have also supported these senior staff with new personnel recruited in the roles of Technical Production Manager and Sales Support Manager.

Business Outlook

This is an exciting time of transition and development for the Company, and we are greatly encouraged by the positive customer feedback that we have received and the wide range of applications that our core technology is capable of achieving.

Over the next 18 months we will continue to drive up our product volumes, through demonstration and test installations, partnerships with system integrators and product distributors, and market launches of our products across a range of fuel cell and industrial gas applications.

We will continue to manage our costs and financial resources carefully, staying mindful of the difficulties in estimating the adoption rate of new technologies such as ours.  We are however confident that the next six months will see the start of volume purchase agreements and distribution of our products, which offer such compelling advantages for fuel cell applications and in other sectors, and that we will see a steady increase in revenues and reduction in losses throughout 2013.

The Board looks forward to notifying the market of the Company’s further commercial progress in due course.

September 27, 2012 - 5:21 AM No Comments

Ballard Ships Initial 100 ElectraGen™ Systems For Backup Power in Wireless Telecom Networks

VANCOUVER– - Ballard Power Systems (NASDAQ: BLDP) (TSX: BLD) today confirmed shipment of the Company’s first 100 ElectraGenTM fuel cell power generation systems to Cascadiant Inc. and Inala Technologies, Ballard distributors in Southeast Asia and South Africa, respectively.

These are the first 100 systems shipped subsequent to a recent transaction through which Ballard acquired select assets from IdaTech, a Ballard customer for the past several years. The systems are comprised of both direct hydrogen ElectraGenTM-H2 units as well as methanol fuelled ElectraGenTM-ME units and are planned for deployment in the networks of wireless telecom service providers.

ElectraGenTM-ME systems incorporate a fuel reformer to extract hydrogen from HydroPlusTM, a mixture of methanol and water available from accredited suppliers around the world. The hydrogen is then used as feedstock for the fuel cells. Methanol is a readily available fuel around the globe, making ElectraGenTM-ME a practical solution for backup power needs even in remote locations.

Ballard’s portfolio of highly reliable fuel cell power generation systems provides more cost-effective and environmentally-friendly solutions for ’short duration runtime’ and ‘extended duration runtime’ backup power applications than the alternatives of lead-acid batteries and diesel generators. Further information regarding Ballard’s backup power solutions is available on the Company’s website at http://www.ballard.com/fuel-cell-applications/backup-power.aspx.

About Ballard Power Systems
Ballard Power Systems (TSX: BLD) (NASDAQ: BLDP) provides clean energy fuel cell products enabling optimized power systems for a range of applications. Products deliver incomparable performance, durability and versatility. To learn more about Ballard, please visit www.ballard.com.

September 26, 2012 - 8:42 PM No Comments

European Hydrogen Road Tour 2012 – From 27 to 29 September 2012 – Paris Motor Show, Porte de Versailles

european-h2-road-tour-hamburg

From 27 to 29 September, Air Liquide welcomes the European Hydrogen Road Tour at the Paris Motor Show. The 7 FCEVs of the Tour, from Daimler, Honda, Hyundai and Toyota will be showcased. Come and try them Hall 2/1 Stand 209.

Starting on the 13th of September, the European Hydrogen Road Tour will last one month, with special event stopovers in nine European cities, where interested public will be given the opportunity to experience the benefits of this alternative drivetrain. Several cities on the tour route will be the first opportunity for the general public to approach and test drive FCEVs where the only emission is water.

Air Liquide, manufacturer of hydrogen refuelling stations, supports the Tour’s stop at Paris during the Paris Motor Show 2012 and provides refuelling at its station nearby Paris. Come and try the OEM’s FCEVs during public day on the 29th of September, Hall 2/1 Stand 209.

The European Hydrogen Road Tour 2012 is part of the “H2moves Scandinavia” project. The project is the first European Lighthouse Project for hydrogen funded by the European Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking programme launched by the European Commission and European industry stakeholders. The project focusses on gaining customer acceptance for hydrogen-powered FCEVs and preparing the market for hydrogen fuel cell technology. The experience from operating 19 FCEVs in Oslo and Copenhagen and the corresponding hydrogen refuelling infrastructure shows that the technology is reliable now even in harsh Scandinavian winters.

Summary

  • Events in nine cities: Hamburg, Hannover, Bolzano, Paris, Cardiff, Bristol, Swindon, London and Copenhagen.
  • Cars available to the general public, politicians and media.
  • Cars from Toyota, Daimler, Hyundai and Honda will take part.
  • Refuelling at a movable station and existing stations along the route.
September 26, 2012 - 8:01 AM No Comments

4th Hamburg Climate Week: Test drives with hydrogen and fuel cells

Hamburg take note: As part of the 4th Hamburg Climate Week takes place from Friday, 28.09. - Sunday, 30.09.2012 a Ride + Drive with Opel HydroGen4 fuel cell vehicles and the Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL instead. The hydrogen cars are in front of the Unilever building (Strandkai 1, 20457 Hamburg) ready in the harbor city for test drives.
In the following periods, you can experience the low-emission and quiet Mobiliät the future today:

Friday, 28.09.2012, 16-23 Clock

Saturday, 29.09.2012, 12-18 clock

Sunday, 30.09.2012, 12-18 clock
For more information on the 4th Hamburg Climate Week and Climate night at 28.09. are on the website :: the Hamburg Climate Week to find.
We look forward to your visit!

September 26, 2012 - 6:55 AM No Comments

Thüga Group to build nationwide first demonstration plant for converting electricity into hydrogen to feed into a municipal gas network


Twelve companies of the energy utility Thüga group are to build a pilot plant to demonstrate the conversion of electricity from wind and solar power to hydrogen for injection into the municipal gas grid. The decision was taken at the end of August and the plant will be located in the Frankfurt/Rhine-Main Metropolitan Region. Once suitable approval has been obtained, construction should begin in the second quarter of next year and the plant will start operating in late 2013. The demonstration phase will run to 2016 for the companies to gain experience of how such a system works under practical conditions.

Michael Riechel, on the Board of Thüga Aktiengesellschaft, one of the twelve Project partners, said that it was important for the project to make the transition from the lab to practical demonstration of hydrogen produced in this way being injected into a municipal natural gas network. For the companies involved, the concept is particularly interesting as over 80% of renewable electricity is produced at some distance from transmission networks and injection into a municipal gas network allows for an alternative way to supply the energy to consumers; the hydrogen can be used for highly-efficient combined heat and power generation or as a fuel. The plant will produce around 60 cubic meters of hydrogen per hour which will be fed in at a rate of 3,000 cubic meters per hour of hydrogen-enriched natural gas into the grid.

The selected location in Frankfurt is ideal as it has the necessary infrastructure for the connection of an electrolysis system. Additionally, a certain level of gas consumption is ensured even during the summer months; this is important because currently the proportion of hydrogen in the gas network may not exceed 5%, or 2% if a CNG filling station is in the network. The location also has a heat production plant, which generates carbon dioxide during combustion. This offers the possibility of a second demonstration phase after 2016 to test the synthesis of methane from the available hydrogen and carbon dioxide; methane can be fed into the gas network without restriction.

Electricity-to-gas is attractive for utilities of all sizes. The project partners include small, medium and larger members of the Thüga group: badenova AG & Co. KG, Erdgas Mittelsachsen GmbH, Energieversorgung Mittelrhein GmbH, erdgas schwaben GmbH, Gasversorgung Westerwald GmbH, Mainova Aktiengesellschaft, Stadtwerke Ansbach GmbH, Stadtwerke Bad Hersfeld GmbH, Thüga Energienetze GmbH, WEMAG AG, e-rp GmbH, with Thüga Aktiengesellschaft as project coordinator. Scientific partners will participate in the operational phase.

The intention is to facilitate efficient and cost-effective development of energy storage technology. The view of the project partners is that energy storage will be key to the German transition to renewable energy, which tends to be variable and challenging to integrate into the electricity grid. Given the high volumes of energy that will have to be stored, the technology in this demonstration is of great importance as it provides a way to buffer the electricity grid from seasonal and daily fluctuations using the existing natural gas distribution network. “The natural gas distribution system may be the battery of the future,” concludes Riechel.

September 26, 2012 - 6:05 AM No Comments

Intelligent Energy is amongst Britain’s Fastest Growing Technology Firms

Intelligent Energy, the global power technology company, has ranked 55th amongst the fastest growing private technology, media and telecoms (TMT) companies in the UK. Making its third appearance on the Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track 100, Intelligent Energy is among the top nine British companies fuelling the fast-paced development of environmentally-friendly technologies. The company’s zero-emission Fuel Cell Black Cabs were used during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games to transport visiting dignitaries and the VIP guests of the Greater London Authority.

During the three years between 2008 and 2011, Intelligent Energy has annual sales growth of 57%, and also raised £22m from investors in February 2012. The company partners some of the world’s best-known names in the automotive, power and consumer electronics markets, including Scottish & Southern Energy and Suzuki Motor Corporation.

The Tech Track 100 league table and awards programme is sponsored by Hiscox and Barclays, and compiled by Fast Track, the Oxford-based networking events and research company.

The 12th Annual Sunday Times Hiscox Tech Track 100 supplement can be found here

September 26, 2012 - 5:49 AM No Comments

H2 Logic launches new H2Station® products for hydrogen refueling of fuel cell powered material handling vehicles and passenger vehicles

H2Station Hydrogen refueling for Fuel Cell Vehicles

H2 Logic has launched two new H2Station® products for hydrogen refueling of fuel cell powered material handling vehicles and passenger vehicles. The products are a result of years of development and tests and mark a shift from customized solutions to standardized products. This has helped to significantly reduce cost and delivery time and improve availability. All important factors in securing cost competitive hydrogen for the planned fuel cell vehicle market introduction.

H2Station® CAR-100 provides 70MPa SAE J2601 compliant fast-fill of hydrogen for passenger vehicles with a capacity of up to 100kg/day. All equipment is integrated into a compact station module allowing for easy transport and installation in only two days. This significantly reduces both the investment cost and time from contract to start of operation, which is important when deploying station networks. As fuel sales in a network grows and reach a level feasible for larger stations the CAR-100 can easily be relocated to outskirts of the network.

H2Station® MH-100 provides 35MPa refueling for material handling vehicles with a capacity of up to 100kg/day. Refueling is conducted using a new OptiHfill™ protocol and active cooling which ensures a safe and fast refueling with a high state-of-charge. A very low investment cost combined with high energy efficiency makes the MH-100 capable of providing hydrogen at a dispensing cost competitive with conventional use of diesel or LPG in material handling vehicles.

Manufacturing of the first CAR-100 and MH-100 H2Station® products for customers are ongoing with expected delivery in early 2013.  

Further information:

Director, Jacob Krogsgaard, +45 2871 8945, jk@h2logic.com

September 25, 2012 - 3:59 PM No Comments

BOC fuel cell technology gets Network Rail approval

BOC's Hymera fuel cell

Hymera, a suite of hydrogen fuel-cell based products from BOC, the industrial gases and clean energy business, has been approved for use by Network Rail, which allows them to be used across the rail network in Great Britain.

The Hymera fuel cell produces energy by combining hydrogen with oxygen from the air to form electricity and water. So there are no carbon or particulate emissions as would be the case with conventional petrol- or diesel-powered generators. In addition, the process is virtually silent which is important for work at night or in built-up areas.

Developed by BOC, a member of The Linde Group, with off-grid applications in mind, Hymera is particularly suited to remote or difficult-to-access locations. Its light weight, even with the associated 54ZH portable hydrogen fuel cylinder, means that it is less cumbersome than conventional generators which is important where easy access is an issue.

Another major benefit of the Hymera is that it is engineered with today’s high-efficiency technologies – such as low-energy lighting – in mind. Diesel- and petrol-powered generators are notoriously inefficient at part-load, a problem that Hymera avoids, meaning that fuel is used more efficiently and with much less waste.

Higher energy loads, like power tools, mixers, etc, can still be serviced with Hymera, using the PowerPack developed for it. A DC version is also available.

The specific products approved for use by Network Rail include:

  • the BOC Hymera hydrogen fuel cell generator and supporting 54-ZH lightweight cylinder, for applications such as LED lighting, security cameras, back-up power and comms
  • a twin LED lighting rig intended for use with the BOC Hymera. This gives an output similar to  2 x 400W halogen lights but is much more resilient and has a lower operating temperature
  • the BOC PowerPack, a high power battery inverter capable of driving power tools such as 9″ angle grinders and bandsaws.

Stewart Dow, BOC’s Packaged Energy Manager, said: “The switch to a low-carbon, sustainable economy can only happen when the tools are available for industry to do its job. Hymera is a vivid example of a system designed to carry out specific tasks using today’s technologies while creating zero emissions. We are delighted that Network Rail has recognised the environmental – and fit-for-purpose – credentials of Hymera.”

September 25, 2012 - 12:41 PM No Comments

Hyundai Provides Zero-Emissions Hydrogen Fuel Cell ix35 to Municipality of Copenhagen

LMFC HME Hyundai joins European fuel cell electric vehicle demonstration program, H2moves Scandinavia2

LMFC HME Hyundai joins European fuel cell electric vehicle demonstration program, H2moves Scandinavia2

- 15 Vehicles to be delivered in spring 2013

- Toward a carbon-free Danish capital by 2025

Hyundai Motor Co. is leasing 15 zero-emissions hydrogen-powered ix35 Fuel Cell vehicles to the Municipality of Copenhagen, supporting the Danish capital in its efforts to become carbon-free by 2025.

Hyundai and Copenhagen are a perfect fit for this deal, the first of its kind for the automaker. Hyundai is acknowledged as an industry leader in fuel cell technology and eco-friendly cars. Denmark is one of the world’s leading countries in the use of renewable energy. The deployment of the ix35 Fuel Cell in Copenhagen’s municipal fleet is a win-win for both parties.

“We are very proud that The Municipality of Copenhagen has chosen us as the supplier of hydrogen vehicles. We consider it as evidence that the municipality is aware of Hyundai’s leadership in eco-friendly vehicles,” said Niels Rønnebech, Managing Director of Hyundai Denmark. “The municipality deserves high praise for leading the way in helping to develop new technology.”

Hyundai’s ix35 Fuel Cell is powered by hydrogen and is a true zero-emissions vehicle. A fuel cell stack of Hyundai’s design converts the hydrogen into electricity to turn the car’s motor. The vehicle’s only emission is water. The ix35 Fuel Cell is a powerful partner for public and private fleets that want to eliminate carbon emissions and a strong statement of their efforts to fight climate change.

The ix35 Fuel Cell has the drivability of the conventional car and the durability to stand the rigors of daily use in public and private fleets. It requires only a few minutes to fill up, has a top speed of 160 km/hr and a range that is nearly equal to its petrol-powered cousin.

Hyundai chose its popular ix35 CUV as the first vehicle for its fuel cell commercialization. The ix35 is a best-seller in Europe and among the first vehicles to display Hyundai’s award-winning Fluidic Sculpture design identity. The ix35 is popular with families and businesses, thanks to its driver-friendly performance and five-passenger seating.

Hyundai has spent 14 years and significant expense in research and development of hydrogen fuel cell technology. Denmark has a well-developed hydrogen infrastructure, making it the perfect starting point for fleet rollout of Hyundai’s ix35 Fuel Cell. The ix35 Fuel Cell is well-acquainted with the Danish climate, with two test cars having logged 45,000 km on Danish roads in recent years.

Hyundai’s fuel cell program was launched in 1998 with a roadmap targeting commercialization of fuel cell vehicles by the end of 2012 and consumer sales by 2015.

Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Mong-koo has made the fuel cell program a top priority for the company, leading its efforts to produce eco-friendly mobility solutions and be a responsible corporate citizen.

About Hyundai Motor

Established in 1967, Hyundai Motor Co. has grown into the Hyundai Motor Group, with more than two dozen auto-related subsidiaries and affiliates. Hyundai Motor sold 4.06 million vehicles globally in 2011. Hyundai Motor, which employs over 80,000 worldwide, offers a full line-up of products including small to large passenger vehicles, SUVs and commercial vehicles. Further information about Hyundai Motor and its products is available at www.hyundai.com.

September 25, 2012 - 8:31 AM No Comments

ElectroChem receives National Science Foundation grant for the Development of Advanced bio-cathode for enhancement of Current Density of Microbial Fuel Cells

ElectroChem has been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation for its proposal, “Development of Advanced bio-cathode for enhancement of Current Density of Microbial Fuel Cells.” Microbial Fuel Cells is a bio-electrochemical system that converts chemical energy into electrical energy by using microorganisms as a biocatalyst. The system has been recognized as one of the most carbon neutral energy sources. ElectroChem plans to improve the power generation potential of the system by 10 fold or higher.

Jalan

Radha Jalan is the president and chief executive officer of the Woburn, Mass.-based ElectroChem. Pei Zheng is the principal investigator of the National Science Foundation proposal; and Peter Girguis of Harvard University will work as an advisor to the project.

ElectroChem is a company that develops fuel cell products. Its subsidiary www.fuelcell.com is a platform for fuel cell products. The company was started in 1986.

A graduate of the University of Calcutta and the University of Florida, Jalan is an expert in the fuel cell market and in fuel cell technology development. She is the founder of US Fuel Cell Council, founder and executive member of the Mass Hydrogen Coalition and on a board member of Mass Energy.

Source: Jalan-indusbusinessjournal.com

September 25, 2012 - 6:32 AM No Comments

Banaras Hindu University (BHU) eyes hydrogen as fuel for future


VARANASI: Even as the rising prices of conventional fuels burn holes in people’s pockets and threaten governments, scientists at Banaras Hindu University (BHU) are busy devising ways to increase the production of Hydrogen from water to find a suitable substitute for fossil fuels.

According to scientist and professor emeritus at Centre for Hydrogen Energy, department of Physics, BHU, Prof ON Srivastava, the BHU scientists are currently carrying out interdisciplinary studies to maximize extraction of hydrogen by replacing anodes with nano-structured titanium dioxide as photo electrodes.

He said the photo electrode is expected to increase the production of hydrogen by nearly 50% during photo electrochemical process for producing the gas. The centre is also carrying out research to find out the best ways to store the extracted hydrogen. “Hydrogen is a light gas and its storage is a major challenge. It is therefore stored in the form of hydrides and extracted by raising the temperature. We are studying the storage of hydrogen in some new nano materials and composite type alanates to achieve a matured hydrogen technology,” he informed.

It is worth mentioning that the department of Physics, BHU has already produced two wheelers and three wheelers which run with hydrogen under different projects supported by the Ministry of Non Renewable Energy and department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India.

Srivastava said after production and storage of the gas is sorted, the main focus would be on its application for various purposes, of which vehicular transport is the most important. “In our country, two wheelers and three wheelers form about 70% of the total vehicle population. They are often also the most polluting. The centre seeks to persuade industry to produce hydrogen fuelled two-wheelers and three-wheelers and for this, we plan to develop around 10 to 15 such motor cycles for industrial demonstration. We have converted a petrol-driven three-wheeler manufactured and provided by a Jalandhar based company, to run on hydrogen stored in Mm-Ni-Fe hydride. The engineers of the company have been trained to convert these wheelers to run on hydrogen,” informed Srivastava.

“The vehicle under trial can cover up to 60 to 80km in a single fill. With higher storage capacity hydride, this range can be increased. We have recently developed Mn-Ni-Fe hydride with a greater storage capacity. We are now in the process of using this hydride so that the average of the vehicle can increase up to 80km to 100km. Later, this work will be extended to three wheelers and small cars,” he informed.

According to Srivastava, it is difficult to make an internal combustion engine on hydrogen fuel, because of significantly different properties of hydrogen as compared to petroleum, especially with regard to density and self ignition temperatures. “The power of a hydrogen fuelled engine can be increased by increasing the compression ratio. The self-ignition temperature of Hydrogen is 630 degrees Celsius as compared to petrol which has a self-ignition temperature of 230 degrees Celsius. Higher compression ratios leading to higher thermal efficiency can be achieved with hydrogen as a fuel. This aspect is also being studies by us,” he added.

Interestingly, in the hydrogen fuelled two-wheeler, the hydride heat exchanger tank is so designed that it doubles as silencer, thereby saving space. It may be mentioned here that the byproduct when hydrogen burns as fuel for vehicular transport is water. Seeing its eco-friendly nature, the centre is also developing room heaters and substitutes to LPG cylinders based on hydrogen gas.

Source:Swati Chandra, The Times of India

“Very recently, we also experimented the same technique in four wheelers because most people, especially in big cities, are switching towards four-wheelers, considering them more convenient and safe. Dr R Chidambaram, principal scientific advisor, Government of India, inaugurated the hydrogen based four-wheeler in the university premises in April,” Srivastava said.

September 25, 2012 - 5:06 AM No Comments

Toyota to Launch New Fuel Cell Vehicle by 2015

Fuel Cell Vehicles
After steady advances in development, TMC’s proprietary FC stack—for use in the
sedan-type FCV scheduled for launch around 2015—boasts the world’s highest2 FC
power output density of 3 kW/L, which is more than twice the density of the FC stack
currently used in the “FCHV-adv” fuel-cell hybrid prototype, but is approximately half
the size and weight.
TMC has also developed a high-efficiency boost converter. Increasing the voltage
has made it possible to reduce the size of the motor and the number of FC cells,
leading to a smaller FC system with enhanced performance at reduced cost.
TMC and its subsidiary Hino Motors are accelerating joint development of a new FC
bus, with the goal of a launch in 2016.

toyota fcv

After steady advances in development, Toyota’s proprietary Fuel Cell stack—for use in the sedan-type Fuel cell vehicle scheduled for launch around 2015—boasts the world’s highest  Fuel Cell power output density of 3 kW/L, which is more than twice the density of the   Fuel Cell stack currently used in the “FCHV-adv” fuel-cell hybrid prototype, but is approximately half the size and weight.

TMC has also developed a high-efficiency boost converter. Increasing the voltage has made it possible to reduce the size of the motor and the number of  Fuel Cell cells, leading to a smaller FC system with enhanced performance at reduced cost.

TMC and its subsidiary Hino Motors are accelerating joint development of a new Fuel Cell bus, with the goal of a launch in 2016.

September 24, 2012 - 8:27 AM No Comments

Kia Confirms First Fuel-Cell Cars By 2015

Kia Motors has confirmed that it will begin producing zero-emission fuel-cell vehicles by 2015, which it sees as a long-term alternative to petrol and diesel power for cars.

Korea’s longest established car manufacturer Kia Motors has just released its latest environmental update, detailing the green initiatives derived from the US$2.25billion being spent by the company in research and development during 2012.

While Kia developed its first fuel-cell powered vehicle, based on a Kia Sportage, back in 2003 and has been trialing a Kia Borrego 4WD recently, the move to commercialise the technology still seemed some way off. But technical developments that have extended the range of fuel-cell vehicles almost to the same as a petrol-driven car and made it more robust in both hot and cold climates are also driving down the cost, to make it more affordable.

Fuel-cell vehicle development has centered on using hydrogen that creates electricity to power an electric engine, by-passing the need for expensive and heavy batteries. The Kia Borrego fuel-cell trials have shown that it is capable of travelling 640 kilometres on a tank of hydrogen, returning the equivalent of 5.2L/100km (54mpg). The only emission is water.

The major drawback with fuel-cells is that there is no distribution system in place anywhere in the world for motorists to readily purchase hydrogen, so Kia has joined other automakers to help establish the necessary framework. If distribution is in place by 2015, Kia says it has plans to build more than 10,000 fuel-cell vehicles a year in the initial stages, expanding to 100,000 a year shortly after.

It will still continue to develop all-electric and hybrid vehicles, as part of its strong environmental programme, which has seen Kia reduce its impact on the environment by a massive 44% since 2004. For instance, the volume of steel recycled by Kia globally in 2011 rose by 33% compared to 2010, thanks to more effective waste management. This enabled Kia’s Sohari and Hwaseong plants in Korea to produce no landfill waste whatsoever last year, helping to reduce Kia’s global production of waste materials by 28% compared to the 2003 level.

Kia is set to increase the pace even further, announcing that it will increase its R&D spend next year to US$2.52billion – around 6% of its total sales revenue to ensure its production processes become even more eco-efficient and to accelerate the development of highly-efficient vehicles with low emissions. At a Group level, more than 9,800 employees, including 30% of all staff recruited since 2010 are now engaged in research and development, according to Kia.

Todd McDonald, General Manager of Kia Motors New Zealand, says the investment level being made in R&D by Kia “continues to support the growth for the future”.

“The typical level of R&D spend by other leading international companies is usually around 3%, so Kia is committing more than double the amount its peers are investing,” says Mr McDonald. “The result of such expenditure will be cleaner and more high-tech vehicles that will be seen on our roads and used by existing and future Kia owners.”

September 24, 2012 - 7:37 AM No Comments

The European Hydrogen Road Tour-Highlights from Tour stop No 2 in Hannover

press_hannover.png

VIP & press event at Solvay, Hannover 18th September.

The movable hydrogen refuelling station from H2 Logic was set up for the second tour stop in Hannover.

The movable hydrogen refuelling station from H2 Logic was set up for the second tour stop in Hannover.

The Hannover event on the 17th of September was well co-organised by the Solvay Company. It comprised a presentation with discussions, a VIP panel discussion with prominent representatives from industry and politics and a public ride&drive event.

In the past, Hannover and the State of Lower Saxony did not stick out specifically on hydrogen and fuel cell technologies. Thus, the participants were keen to learn about future plans and strategies.

The presentations provided valuable guidance on how to kick start activities and join e.g. the cities of Berlin and Hamburg or the states of Northrhine Westfalia and Hessia in their ongoing hydrogen and fuel cell strategies.

It was well received by the audience that both the City of Hannover and the state of Lower Saxony announced to be open for upcoming demonstration projects. They were also applauded for their commitment to establish one or further more hydrogen refuelling stations for fuel cell vehicle refuelling, as part of the Government’s 50 stations plan by 2015, as well as the insight that hydrogen as vehicle fuel will profit from synergies with hydrogen for large scale renewable electricity storage.

Hannover preconditions for Hydrogen

Here follows statements highlighting some of the interesting discussions that took place during the day. It shows that Hannover has the will and the potential to ramp up the hydrogen efforts and become a major hydrogen centre.

In the Cologne area up to 1000 fuel cell buses can be operated on cheap surplus hydrogen from chemical processes, which is otherwise just burnt for heating together with natural gas, thus offering an intelligent and economic early introduction strategy.

Ingredients of a successful region initiative to foster fuel cell and hydrogen commercialization are a “2+2 approach”. This means two local facilitators, cooperating closely (with staff in addition) and, at least, two demonstration projects (but not five) for a three-year period (until early commercialization).

Multiple synergies between different technologies or structural approaches need to be uncovered in the coming years of energy transition; for example the use of hydrogen as vehicle fuel and large scale energy storage (Power to Gas), the use of refuelling infrastructure to supply road (cars, trucks and buses), rail and air transport (increased infrastructure utilization), the development of PEM fuel cell technology in conjunction with the development of PEM electrolysis (scaling effect).

Hannover could actually become one of the major German hydrogen hubs, H2R – Hanover Hydrogen Region, as Lower Saxony boasts ample wind energy potentials, geologic structures for storing hydrogen underground at large scale, large automotive as well as it supplies maritime industry.

A majority of kilometres driven with passenger cars in Germany today are in long distance driving. If greenhouse gas emissions should be decreased decisively, we need to do this with cars that are capable to drive long distance. With e-mobility this will only be possible with fuel cells and hydrogen.

In most fuel cell vehicles’ drive systems only few components originate from Europe today. If Europe in the future is to play a vital industrial role in this industry sector, besides systems integration, then one strategy must be to foster European value creation, and hence, strengthen an industrial knowledge and manufacturing basis.

September 24, 2012 - 6:44 AM No Comments

Winners of Hydrogen Student Design Contest Turn Urban Waste into Energy

The University of Maryland team accepted the award for the best combined heat, hydrogen, and power system design at the World Hydrogen Energy Conference (WHEC) in Toronto. | Photo courtesy of Jennie Moton.

The University of Maryland team accepted the award for the best combined heat, hydrogen, and power system design at the World Hydrogen Energy Conference (WHEC) in Toronto. | Photo courtesy of Jennie Moton.

By:Rebecca Matulka-Digital Communications Specialist, Office of Public Affairs

How do you combine urban waste, hydrogen, and heat recovery into one power system?

A team of University of Maryland undergraduate and graduate engineering students designed a solution to this question as part of the Hydrogen Student Design Contest — a competition supported by the Energy Department to challenge university students to design hydrogen energy applications for real-world use. With a different theme every year, this year’s contest required teams to plan and design a combined heat, hydrogen, and power (CHHP) system (also known as a “tri-generation” system) for their university campus using local resources.

The Maryland team, which won for its tri-generation design, had to think creatively to overcome a challenge associated with its campus’s urban location. During the first phase of the contest — developing a feedstock analysis — the students realized their campus didn’t have enough waste to produce sufficient energy for the fuel cell system design. As an innovative solution, they opted to use waste from the nearby City of College Park in addition to their campus source to feed their CHHP design.

Once the team had enough waste to meet the CHHP system feedstock requirements, the students had to decide how to most efficiently use it as part of the contest’s second phase. The Maryland team combined an anaerobic digester to process organic waste and a gasifier to process inorganic waste to produce methane gas for the fuel cell. The team also included a heat recovery steam generator to capture the heat produced by the gasifier and fuel cell. The captured heat would be used to create steam and fed into the existing heating and cooling system on campus, cutting the university’s natural gas use.

The team’s design also includes using the hydrogen produced by the fuel cell to power the university’s large shuttle bus system. The students estimate their CHHP system would produce enough hydrogen to power 20 fuel cell electric buses, helping displace about 50,000 gallons of diesel fuel a year.

While the team doesn’t have plans for implementing the design, the students hope it will lay the groundwork for the University of Maryland’s Facilities Management to introduce a similar waste-to-energy system on campus that would help the university reduce energy usage and improve its environmental footprint.

September 24, 2012 - 5:29 AM No Comments

Serial fuel cell and battery production: cutting costs and boosting demand

Fuel cells and lithium-ion batteries – indispensable prerequisites for future electro-mobility and a new, sustainable energy economy. Experts in these fields will be meeting at the f-cell and Battery+Storage conferences and trade fairs at the Stuttgart Trade Fair Grounds from 8 to 10 October 2012. One topic on the agenda is cost reduction in system production.

Stuttgart (eos) – Battery and fuel cell technologies are key components of a sustainable future energy economy. They have long since proven their suitability for practical application. The f-cell and Battery+Storage conferences will focus on fuel cell systems for use in automobiles, household energy supply and power plants and on lithium-ion batteries for vehicles and as stationary energy storage media. Fuel cells and lithium-ion batteries are still considerably more expensive than conventional technologies in these fields of application, however. And that puts a damper on demand. How can components and complete systems be produced more economically in future? That is one of the questions to be addressed by speakers at the f-cell and Battery+Storage conferences in Stuttgart from 8 to 10 October. The international conferences featuring 120 presentations in 19 thematic sessions will be accompanied by parallel f-cell and Battery+Storage trade fairs at the ICS International Conference Centre at the Messe Stuttgart. The e-mobil BW TECHNOLOGIETAG will round out the combined event on 10 October with a presentation of future mobility solutions and focal points of energy policy in Baden-Württemberg.

Solving the “chicken-or-the-egg” dilemma
“Fuel cells are still produced essentially by hand,” explains Professor Dr. Angelika Heinzel from the Zentrum für Brennstoffzellentechnik (Fuel Cell Research Centre, ZBT) at the University of Duisburg-Essen with reference to the current status of fuel cell production. The ZBT will be moderating an f-cell forum on production and automation technology. “At the moment, automation is found primarily in component production.” Yet the technology has reached a level of maturity that is sufficient for serial production,” says Edgar Lederer of Fix Maschinenbau, who will also be speaking at the f-cell conference. Due to the high prices, the demand for fuel cells is still so limited, he adds, that the production systems capable of reducing costs cannot be financed. It is the old “chicken-or-the-egg” problem that plagues battery manufacturers as well. “We aim to break out of this vicious circle with the help of resources made available within the framework of the National Electro-mobility Platform,” notes Dr. Rudolf Simon of M+W Germany, a factory planning and construction firm. “The market will grow,” he adds with confidence. “It is only a matter of time before the break-even point is reached and the rising fuel-price and falling e-mobility-price curves intersect.”

The need for cooperation
The problem of funding serial production is not the only hurdle, however. Developers also have their hands full improving the durability of the requisite technologies, finding substitutes for expensive materials and optimizing the design of components for serial production. “We will have to sit down with designers and suppliers and work out solutions for a number of specific problems,” says Edgar Lederer. Dr. Sarah Michaelis of VDMA (German Engineering Federation), who will also be speaking at the Battery+Storage conference, believes that machine and systems manufacturers will play a key role in reducing the costs of battery production. “Companies should join together in order to offer complete battery production systems in the market. And the time has also come for producers and mechanical engineers to engage in dialogue devoted to the further development of suitable systems,” Dr. Michaelis adds.

f-cell and Battery+Storage as platforms for dialogue
The f-cell and Battery+Storage conferences and trade fairs will provide an ideal platform for this dialogue. “The combined presentation of the f-cell industry forum, which has enjoyed international recognition for twelve years, and Battery+Storage enables us to take a closer look at complete systems for the energy economy and respond more effectively to the fact that many companies are involved in both fields of technology,” explains Peter Sauber, Managing Director of Peter Sauber Agentur Messen und Kongresse GmbH, which is organizing the f-cell in cooperation with the Wirtschaftsförderung Region Stuttgart GmbH (WRS) and collaborating with Messe Stuttgart GmbH as organizer of the Battery+Storage trade fair. The alliance also includes e-mobil BW GmbH, which is hosting the e-mobil BW TECHNOLOGIETAG.

Further information
Further information as well as the f-cell and Battery+Storage conference programmes are available at www.f-cell.de/englisch/home/. Information about Battery+Storage trade fair and the e-mobil BW TECHNOLOGIETAG can be found at www.battery-storage.de and www.e-mobilbw.de, respectively. Points of contact for all three events are listed at www.f-cell.de/englisch/service/contact/

Stuttgart, 9 August 2012
No fee for reprinting; complimentary copies requested.

For further information and photographs please contact:
Peter Sauber Agentur
Messen und Kongresse GmbH
Lena Jauernig
Tel.: +49 711-656960-56
E-mail: f-cell@messe-sauber.de
Internet: www.f-cell.de

September 24, 2012 - 4:47 AM No Comments

Summary of Honda CEO Speech: New Fuel Cell Vehicle in 2015, Begin Verification of SOFC (Solid Oxide Fuel Cell) cogeneration unit

Honda CEO

In his speech on September 21st 2012, the CEO of Honda highlighted the following.

“As for fuel cell electric vehicles, which Honda considers to be the ultimate environmentally-responsible vehicle, and therefore has been leading the industry in R&D and sales, Honda will launch an all-new fuel cell electric model sequentially in Japan, the U.S. and Europe starting in 2015. This new fuel cell vehicle will showcase further technological advancement and significant cost reduction that Honda has accomplished.

Honda will proactively introduce dream-inspiring and edgy products as well as exciting and fun products.”

“Moreover, Honda began development of a household SOFC (Solid Oxide Fuel Cell) cogeneration unit in collaboration with NGK SPARK PLUG CO., LTD. Striving to achieve the world’s top-level power generation efficiency for a SOFC-powered cogeneration unit, Honda will begin verification of the system using a demonstration test house featuring the Honda Smart Home System (HSHS).

As a part of its effort to further reduce CO2 emissions in people’s everyday lives including mobility, Honda has been participating in the E-KIZUNA Project run by the city of Saitama. Honda is currently conducting demonstration testing of HSHS using two HSHS-equipped houses. The construction of a third HSHS-equipped house is scheduled to be completed before the end of FY 2014 (fiscal year ending March 31, 2014). When the third house becomes operational, Honda will work together with Toshiba Corporation to link all three houses and conduct demonstration testing of energy management within the community, contributing also to the city of Saitama’s plans to become an environmentally-responsible futuristic city. Honda will continue making progress toward the market introduction in 2015 of the Honda Smart Home System, which proposes the optimal energy management for individual households.

In addition to continuing to provide engine-equipped products, Honda will take on new challenges to expand and increase the level of other new offerings that only Honda can realize or where Honda technologies can be useful to people.”

September 21, 2012 - 7:33 AM No Comments

Vision Industries Enters Into a Joint Development Agreement With Balqon to Build Its Fuel Cell Powered Zero-Emission Terminal Tractor (Zero-TT)

TORRANCE, Calif.– Vision Industries Corp. (OTCBB:VIIC) announces that the Company and Balqon Corporation have entered into a Joint Development Agreement to build its zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell /electric hybrid terminal tractor, the Zero-TT. The intended markets for the Zero-TT are distribution centers, rail yards and marine terminals.

“We are very familiar with Balqon’s technology and are excited to implement their drivetrain into our Zero-TT tractors,” says Martin Schuermann, CEO of Vision Industries Corp.

This agreement combines the Cargotec USA Kalmar chassis with Balqon’s proven drivetrain and Vision’s hydrogen fuel cell range-extender.

“We believe consolidating our efforts to address zero emission cargo transportation which combines our drive system and lithium battery technology with Vision’s fuel cell technology will add to zero emission offerings available to customers seeking to reduce diesel emissions,” says Balwinder Samra, CEO of Balqon Corporation.

About Vision Industries Corporation

Vision is a developer of zero emission hydrogen fuel cell/electric hybrid powered vehicles and turnkey hydrogen fueling systems. Vision’s proprietary hybrid drive system combines the superior acceleration of a battery powered electric vehicle with the extended range provided by a hydrogen fuel cell.  For more information on Vision Industries Corp., please visit www.visionindustriescorp.com.

About Balqon Corporation

Headquartered in Harbor City, California, Balqon Corporation is a leading developer of zero-emissions electric drive systems, lithium battery storage systems and medium to heavy-duty electric vehicles. Balqon’s proprietary electric drive system encompasses complete power management, propulsion, flux vector motor controllers and energy systems. Balqon electric vehicles and drive systems are marketed globally to companies, governments and municipalities looking for viable and effective ways to reduce their vehicle maintenance and operating costs and lower carbon emissions. Balqon is recognized as a pioneer in commercial electric vehicle technology and development of energy efficient transportation solutions. For more information, please visit www.balqon.com.

September 21, 2012 - 6:13 AM No Comments

Gussing Renewable Energy Successfully Operates Biogas Fuel Cell in Austria

Eberspaecher launches
product drive

ClearEdge-GussingGussing

Installed ClearEdge Power Fuel Cell System Successfully Operates on CARE FUEL, Güssing’s Sustainably Cultivated Biogas

Güssing Renewable Energy GmbH, a leading provider of carbon-neutral energy solutions today announced that the first stage of its fuel cell deployment in Güssing, Austria has been completed. In partnership with ClearEdge Power, a leading provider of fuel cell micro-CHP (combined heat and power) systems, a ClearEdge fuel cell system was installed and configured to operate off of Güssing’s CARE FUEL biomethane supply generated sustainably from regional residual biomass. The two companies announced today that the system has successfully been up and running at its full 5 kW capacity since August, 20, 2012.

“This is a very significant milestone for Güssing Renewable Energy GmbH and its CARE FUEL biomethane, ClearEdge Power, and the entire renewable energy market,” said Michael Dichand, Chairman, Güssing Renewable Energy. “Communities no longer want to rely on energy from unpredictable regions or technologies. ClearEdge fuel cells have provided an efficient way for us to use the clean biomethane fuel we are generating via our gasification plants and converting it to usable power and heat for our community. ClearEdge Power has been a terrific partner in helping us meet our carbon-neutral goals. Now that we have successfully demonstrated the viability of operating the ClearEdge system off of biomethane generated in Güssing’s sustainably cultivated biomass facilities, we feel confident moving forward with the subsequent stages of our agreement, including the installation of 8.5 MW of fuel cell systems in Austria over the next three years and 50 MW installed by 2020, which will create cost-effective energy security for theregion.”

“Güssing Renewable Energy is at the cutting-edge of environmental sustainability and the successful deployment of our fuel cell system using their biomethane supply further demonstrates the viability of ClearEdge Power’s system within the renewable energy space,” said ClearEdge Power CEO, David B. Wright. “The use of biomethane to power our system allows us to offer our customers an even larger environmental impact, beyond the 41% carbon reduction that our system currently offers. This milestone clearly illustrates the timeliness of ClearEdge Power and Güssing Renewable Energy’s products in helping to build a more secure, green energy supply in the U.S. and abroad,” commented David B. Wright. After the successful deployment in Austria, we are excited to move forward with our international expansion plans with Güssing as our trusted partner in the European market.”

Headquartered in the Austrian town of Güssing, the first community in the European Union to produce 100 percent of its energy from renewable resources, Güssing Renewable Energy offers customizable and instantly usable carbon-neutral solutions that help communities produce clean, reliable energy from residual biomass. These solutions include proven gasification technologies such as the highly versatile and efficient Hofbauer Gas Reactor and anaerobic digestion that convert non-food organic residual biomass into high-purity biomethane that can be used to cleanly and cost-effectively generate electric power and heat in fuel cells like the ClearEdge systems.

September 20, 2012 - 9:16 AM No Comments

New Fuel Cell Technology Generates Electricity on UCSB Campus

New Fuel Cell Technology Generates Electricity on UCSB Campus

David McHale at UCSB with the Bloom Energy Server, the unique new energy system that uses fuel cell technology. Credit: George Foulsham, UCSB Office of Public Affairs

Santa Barbara, Calif. – UC Santa Barbara is now host to a unique new energy system that is providing electricity as part of the university’s commitment to energy efficiency and sustainability. The new 200-kilowatt Bloom Energy Server is directly connected to Southern California Edison’s electric distribution system.

“UC Santa Barbara is a leader in advanced energy efficiency research,” said David McHale, UCSB’s associate director of Utility and Energy Services in Facilities Management. “Developing next-generation materials and technologies that will power our future is a point of pride for UCSB, and the partnership with Southern California Edison and Bloom Energy to install a 200-kilowatt fuel cell on campus provides an opportunity to evaluate an emerging power generation technology.”

The Bloom Energy Server produces clean, reliable, and affordable electricity on-site. The system utilizes a unique fuel cell technology, which converts fuel into electricity via an electro-chemical process, without any combustion or harmful, smog-forming particulates.

The new server generates power 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It is expected to produce more than 1.75 million kilowatt hours annually, enough to power about 160 average U.S. homes. The system is extremely efficient, cutting carbon emissions by almost 30 percent, nearly eliminating nitrogen oxide and sulfur dioxide pollution, and producing electricity using 99.99 percent less water than an average power plant.

“Effective energy management has always been a high priority for UCSB,” said McHale. “It is critically important to manage the campus’s energy consumption while attaining and maintaining the quality of programs and research for which the university is known. We are proud our students will carry on the conservation measures they have learned here out into the world.”

September 20, 2012 - 8:41 AM No Comments

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