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Fuel cell system proved its worth at the World Economic Summit in Davos

FutureE ensures power supply for Swiss telecommunications operator Swisscom


In Davos, the participants at the World Economic Forum 2012 were enabled to take part in mobile phone communication with the highest degree of grid availability. A powerful Jupiter fuel cell system provided by Nürtingen-based FutureE Fuel Cell Solutions GmbH successfully protected Swisscom’s mobile communication network against power cuts and grid failures.

In Davos, the participants at the World Economic Forum 2012 were enabled to take part in mobile phone communication with the highest degree of grid availability. A powerful Jupiter fuel cell system provided by Nürtingen-based FutureE Fuel Cell Solutions GmbH successfully protected Swisscom’s mobile communication network against power cuts and grid failures.

• Fuel cell systems in Davos and Luzern protect electricity supply chain in case of mains failure

• Service quality: system availability increased to almost 100 %

• Environmental compatibility: electrical efficiency ratio exceeds 50 %, high resistance to cold temperatures even without battery backup

• Economic efficiency: low maintenance effort, reduced operating costs

Nürtingen/Davos/Luzern – Swisscom, the leading Swiss telecommunications group, has put into service the most innovative technology in the field of modular fuel cell systems: two Jupiter fuel cell systems were installed in Davos und Luzern. The first FutureE fuel cell systems in Switzerland se- cure emergency power supply of Swisscom’s mobile communications base stations. One of these systems impressively proved its high efficiency regarding the safe procurement of cellular phone calls at the World Economic Forum in Davos, held from 25 to 29 January 2012. Both innovative systems in this region have been developed and installed by FutureE Fuel Cell Solutions GmbH from Nürtingen, Swisscom’s cooperation partner within the EU’s “fit-up“ project. “It is an honor and privilege to co-operate with a renowned and technologically pioneering partner like Swisscom in this demanding project“, states Mark-Uwe Oßwald, Managing Director of FutureE.

Efficient power backup for their base stations is of fundamental importance to mobile phone service providers. This is the only way for them to secure a high service quality and reliably protect the mobile communication network against network disturbance and potential mains or grid failure. Jupiter fuel cell systems ensure the required high degree of security by providing the necessary emergency power reserve when needed. At the same time, this power backup can be used to reduce peak loads if required. For Swisscom, the high level of quality and the complete elimination of oils and other liquids that characterize the new FutureE systems is an invaluable advantage due to the fact that these systems have to be operated in environmentally sensitive regions. Before being put into service, their suitability for employment under the challenging topographic and climatic conditions of the Davos mountains was extensively tested to ensure proper functioning at an altitude of more than 2200 metres, low temperatures of minus 25 degrees Celsius, snow and ice. The FutureE system successfully passed all those demanding test runs. The two systems installed in Davos and Luzern ena- ble Swisscom to start with a comprehensive evaluation process of the inno- vative and environmentally compatible fuel cell technology in live operation and under regular operating conditions. Combined with the low costs of op- eration and maintenance, not least resulting from the system’s reduced level of complexity, this allows for considerable cost-saving potentials and the implementation of an improved low-carbon power supply structure for the future.

The fuel cell systems installed in Switzerland originate from FutureE’s Ju- piter product family. These highly efficient systems are based on future- oriented PEM Proton Exchange Membrane fuel cell technology working according to the polymer electrolyte membrane principle. When operated with hydrogen (H2) from renewable sources, PEM fuel cells produce direct current without batteries, lead-free – and absolutely free of CO2. The new indoor variant with super-condensers for energy storage (super-cap tech- nology) applied in Davos and Luzern uses 3 plug-in fuel cell units, each of them providing 2 kW. Their total output amounts to a maximum of 6 kW at an electrical efficiency ratio exceeding 50 per cent.

As Swisscom’s fuel cell system supplier, FutureE takes part in the EU’s “fitup“ project. Within this project, a total of 19 fuel cell systems from two suppliers will be thoroughly examined in selected sites throughout Europe. Operators of communication networks are testing and evaluating not only technical performance and availability of energy reserves but also start-up and response times, service life and number of cycles. Besides Swisscom and FutureE, further participants in this project are Electro Power Systems (I), Environment Park (I), Luzern University (CH), Joint Research Centre JRC (NL), UNIDO-ICHET (TR), Wind (I), Polycom operations commission Nidwalden (CH) and TÜV Süd Industrial Services (D). In addition to enabling a comprehensive evaluation under live conditions, the main target of this project will result in developing unified certification standards valid not only amongst the 27 EU member states but also in associated coun- tries, e.g. Switzerland and Turkey. The certification procedure takes place under the lead of TÜV Süd.

• Fuel cell systems in Davos and Luzern protect electricity supply chain in case of mains failure
• Service quality: system availability increased to almost 100 %
• Environmental compatibility: electrical efficiency ratio exceeds 50 %, high resistance to cold
temperatures even without battery backup
• Economic efficiency: low maintenance effort, reduced operating costs
Nürtingen/Davos/Luzern – Swisscom, the leading Swiss telecommunica- tions group, has put into
service the most innovative technology in the field of modular fuel cell systems: two Jupiter fuel
cell systems were installed in Davos und Luzern. The first FutureE fuel cell systems in Switzerland
se- cure emergency power supply of Swisscom’s mobile communications base stations. One of these
systems impressively proved its high efficiency re- garding the safe procurement of cellular phone
calls at the World Economic Forum in Davos, held from 25 to 29 January 2012. Both innovative
systems in this region have been developed and installed by FutureE Fuel Cell Solu- tions GmbH from
Nürtingen, Swisscom’s cooperation partner within the
EU’s “fitup“ project. “It is an honour and privilege to co-operate with a re- nowned and
technologically pioneering partner like Swisscom in this de- manding project“, states Mark-Uwe
Oßwald, Managing Director of FutureE.
Efficient power backup for their base stations is of fundamental importance to mobile phone service
providers. This is the only way for them to secure a high service quality and reliably protect the
mobile communication network against network disturbance and potential mains or grid failure.
Jupiter fuel cell systems ensure the required high degree of security by providing the necessary
emergency power reserve when needed. At the same time, this power backup can be used to reduce peak
loads if required. For Swisscom, the high level of quality and the complete elimination of oils and
other
liquids that characterize the new FutureE systems is an invaluable advan-
tage due to the fact that these systems have to be operated in environmen-• Fuel cell systems in Davos and Luzern protect electricity supply chain in case of mains failure

• Service quality: system availability increased to almost 100 %

• Environmental compatibility: electrical efficiency ratio exceeds 50 %, high resistance to cold

temperatures even without battery backup

• Economic efficiency: low maintenance effort, reduced operating costs

Nürtingen/Davos/Luzern – Swisscom, the leading Swiss telecommunica- tions group, has put into

service the most innovative technology in the field of modular fuel cell systems: two Jupiter fuel

cell systems were installed in Davos und Luzern. The first FutureE fuel cell systems in Switzerland

se- cure emergency power supply of Swisscom’s mobile communications base stations. One of these

systems impressively proved its high efficiency re- garding the safe procurement of cellular phone

calls at the World Economic Forum in Davos, held from 25 to 29 January 2012. Both innovative

systems in this region have been developed and installed by FutureE Fuel Cell Solu- tions GmbH from

Nürtingen, Swisscom’s cooperation partner within the

EU’s “fitup“ project. “It is an honour and privilege to co-operate with a re- nowned and

technologically pioneering partner like Swisscom in this de- manding project“, states Mark-Uwe

Oßwald, Managing Director of FutureE.

Efficient power backup for their base stations is of fundamental importance to mobile phone service

providers. This is the only way for them to secure a high service quality and reliably protect the

mobile communication network against network disturbance and potential mains or grid failure.

Jupiter fuel cell systems ensure the required high degree of security by providing the necessary

emergency power reserve when needed. At the same time, this power backup can be used to reduce peak

loads if required. For Swisscom, the high level of quality and the complete elimination of oils and

other

liquids that characterize the new FutureE systems is an invaluable advan-

tage due to the fact that these systems have to be operated in environmen-

January 31, 2012 - 2:00 PM No Comments

Hy9 Corporation Appoints Gary Clarke to the Position of President and Chief Executive Officer

HOPKINTON, MA– Hy9 Corporation ( http://www.hy9.com ), the leading manufacturer of high purity hydrogen purifiers, and hydrogen generators for the hydrogen economy, today announced that it appointed Gary Clarke to the position of President and Chief Executive Officer. As CEO, Mr. Clarke will guide the company through a phase of rapid product development as it solidifies its position as category leader in the point of use purification and generation of hydrogen.

“Gary has a proven record of leading technology companies through high-growth phases,” said Jon Rotenstreich, Chairman of Hy9. “His experience with emerging technologies is invaluable as we commercialize our advanced technologies to power the hydrogen economy.”

About Gary Clarke

Gary Clarke, 48, most recently served as the General Manager with Olive Software. Previously he held senior positions at category leading firms, including Amazon Kindle, Vignette and Netscape Communications. Mr. Clarke also served as a consultant in the launch of Wolfram|Alpha, the world’s first computational knowledge engine.

Mr. Clarke earned a PMD from Harvard Business School. He also graduated from the College of Charleston with a BS in Sociology. Mr. Clarke also served honorably in the US Army as a member of Army Special Operations.

About Hy9 Corporation Based in Hopkinton, Massachusetts (USA), Hy9 Corporation designs, manufactures and sells high-performance hydrogen generators and hydrogen purifiers for the portable and stationary/backup power, industrial gas and transportation markets. Hy9’s HGS family of hydrogen generators run on methanol, reliably, efficiently and cost effectively producing high purity hydrogen for PEM fuel cells. Hy9’s HPS purifiers give customers the assurance that they are consistently and reliably receiving hydrogen for their applications at greater than 99.9999% purity.

January 31, 2012 - 8:01 AM No Comments

Adobe’s 4-Step Path Toward a Net Zero Energy Balance

By Leslie Guevarra-greenbiz.com
Adobe Systems, the maker of Photoshop and Acrobat software, didn’t set out to become a net zero company, one that generates or offsets as much energy as it uses.

To hear Michael Bangs tell it, the company happened upon a path of energy efficiency and grew increasingly more aggressive in the pursuit until achieving net zero became one of the firm’s central sustainability goals.

‘We’re trying to get to net zero — we’re not there yet, but we’re trying,” Bangs told the audience at the GreenBiz Forum today in San Francisco. “We realize that sustainability is more than just our product, it’s really how we operate our business.”

Bangs, Adobe’s director of global facilities operations, described the company’s net zero strategy during a “One Great Idea” presentation at the forum. He also announced the firm’s latest move toward that goal: the installation of two 200-kilowatt Bloom Energy fuel cells at the Adobe’s San Francisco offices.

The fuel cells, which can run independently from the grid and produce no carbon emissions, are expected to provide 35 percent of the power used at the site, he said. Adobe has a dozen other Bloom boxes — each of them 100-KW fuel cells — at its headquarters in San Jose, where the technology supplies about 30 percent of the energy for the site.

They are just a few of the sustainable design features at the property, whose three office towers were certified and then re-certified at LEED-Platinum level, the highest certification possible from the U.S. Green Building Council. The headquarters complex also has 20 vertical wind turbines, whirling spires that are so eye-catching that they have been mistaken for art sculptures. Bangs ran down a list of the green building elements in San Jose and at other Adobe properties when we chatted last spring about the company’s facility initiatives.

He recapped those features and more in his talk today. Adobe’s property portfolio covers roughly 3 million square feet of space worldwide. The headquarters in San Jose account for about 1 million square feet; that site and the San Francisco property make up 37 percent of the total square footage. By the close of fiscal year 2010, about 45 percent of the company’s square footage was certified as green building space under the LEED standard. And as of today, 10 company facilities are certified as LEED-platinum green buildings.

The company’s work toward net zero started more than a decade ago during the energy crisis of 1999-2000, Bangs said. In California, then-Governor Gray Davis called utility customers to cut their usage by 2 to 3 percent. At the time, Adobe found it could achieve that savings by switching off lights when they weren’t needed, said Bangs. Soon after, the company decided to place lights on a single switch to yield further savings, and from there the efforts snowballed as the firm devised increasingly more ambitious energy efficiency goals.

In setting its sights on net zero, the company identified four major steps to achieve its goal:

1. Measuring and Managing — “You can’t manage what you can’t measure,” said Bangs, pointing out that Adobe facilities have measurement systems that keep tabs on thousands of data points. In San Jose, alone, information is collected from 30,000 data points.

2. Reducing Demand — Companies can reap huge savings by turning off lights, switching to higher efficiency lights, and changing the way heating ventilation and air conditioning systems work, Bangs said.

For example, the company had been running the ventilation system in its million-square-foot parking garage in San Jose 24/7. But after monitoring air quality in the facility, the firm decided to run its ventilation fans for an hour in the morning and an hour in the evening, and installed a timer that cost about $250.

“Right off the bat, we saved $50,000 a year,” Bangs said.

3. Generating Energy on Site — The wind spires in San Jose and the company’s investment in Bloom boxes are some of the more visible renewable energy projects at company facilities, Bangs said. The company is looking to build on those efforts, he said.

4. Investing in Offsets — “I know this is a matter of great debate in this community — is this really helping to achieve carbon neutrality? We’re not going to enter in that debate, but we feel it’s the right thing to do, so we’re purchasing renewable energy credits and verifiable emission reduction credits, for our operations in San Jose,” he said.

Bangs also praised Adobe employees for their ideas and efforts to make company operations more environmentally responsible. In responding calls to eliminate plastic water bottles on company premises, Bangs said he initially feared an onslaught of criticism. The day after sending notice of the bottled water ban to 8,000 employees in North America, Bangs braced for a flood of email. He received just 25 and all of them praised or thanked the company for its decision.

“Employees have made sustainability work at Adobe,” he said. “They make net zero possible.”

January 31, 2012 - 6:47 AM No Comments

California Hydrogen Business Council Comments on Clean Fuels Outlet Amendments

California Hydrogen Business Council Comments on Clean Fuels Outlet Amendments

CHBC President voiced support for amendments, calls for voluntary mechanisms


Los Angeles, CA–Yesterday, the California Hydrogen Business Council (CHBC) provided comments to the California Air Resources Board in support of the proposed 2012 Amendments to the Clean Fuels Outlet.

Mark Abramowitz, CHBC President, addressed the Board stating that “the CHBC is not in favor of mandates as the optimal public policy tool to achieve social goals. However, since a mandate on vehicle manufacturers to introduce Zero Emission Vehicles into the marketplace already exists, appropriate policies are necessary to assure the availability of adequate hydrogen infrastructure.”

Mark added, “Therefore, the California Hydrogen Business Council supports the amendments to the CFO as proposed by staff. In addition, we support voluntary mechanisms that may be acceptable to CARB and industry that may achieve substantially similar results without actually implementing the CFO.”

Read the comments here >>

###

About the California Hydrogen Business Council


The California Hydrogen Business Council is comprised of organizations and individuals involved in the business of hydrogen. Its mission is to advance the commercialization of hydrogen in transportation and stationary sources to reduce emissions and dependence on foreign oil. More information at www.californiahydrogen.org

CONTACT:
Emanuel Wagner

Assistant Director
ewagner@ttcorp.com

January 30, 2012 - 7:46 AM No Comments

Ballard Signs MOU With Tata Motors To Power Clean Fuel Cell Bus Demonstrations In India

  • 12 fuel cell stacks to power buses in multiple cities

VANCOUVER, Jan. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – Ballard Power Systems (TSX: BLD) (NASDAQ: BLDP) has announced signing of a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Tata Motors (India) for 12 FCvelocityTM-1100 fuel cell stacks. These stacks are expected to power zero-emission buses planned for demonstration in various Indian cities. Delivery to Tata Motors is planned for 2012 and 2013, in-line with that Company’s plans.

Tata Motors, one of the world’s largest bus OEM’s, displayed the first fuel cell bus built in India at “Auto Expo 2012″ held in New Delhi January 6-11, 2012. The bus is powered with a Ballard FCvelocityTM-1100 fuel cell stack, previously delivered to Tata Motors in 2011.

Mr. P.M. Telang, Managing Director (India Operations) at Tata Motors said, “We strive to be leaders in the use of technology, while maintaining very high standards of product quality. Working with technology companies such as Ballard only strengthens our ability to design and market the wheels of a greener world here in India.”

Tata Motors is part of the Tata Group, a pioneer in India’s automotive industry, and has previous bus system integration experience working with Ballard fuel cell products. Tata Motors’ plan to supply fuel cell buses for testing and demonstration in revenue service is supported by the Government of India’s Department of Scientific and Industrial Research under the Technology Development & Demonstration Programme.

John Sheridan, Ballard’s President and CEO said, “We are very pleased to have signed this MOU with India’s premier bus manufacturer for Tata’s upcoming zero-emission bus testing program. This is additional validation of the mature state of our products and of the growing global market for clean energy transit buses.”

Ballard FCvelocityTM-1100 fuel cell stacks are based on a design that is ideal for use in heavy duty vehicles. FCvelocityTM-1100 fuel cell stack technology is at the heart of the Company’s FCvelocityTM-HD6 fuel cell module, a “plug and play” power solution used by bus OEM’s around the world.

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 are based on proprietary esencia™ technology, ensuring incomparable performance, durability and versatility. To learn more about Ballard, please visit www.ballard.com.

January 27, 2012 - 3:34 PM No Comments

Berkeley Lab to Develop Novel Materials for Hydrogen Storage

Berkeley Lab scientist Jeffrey Long co-leads a project to develop novel materials for hydrogen storage. (Credit: Roy Kaltschmidt/Berkeley Lab)

Berkeley Lab scientist Jeffrey Long co-leads a project to develop novel materials for hydrogen storage. (Credit: Roy Kaltschmidt/Berkeley Lab)

The biggest challenge with hydrogen-powered fuel cells lies in the storage of hydrogen: how to store enough of it, in a safe and cost-effective manner, to power a vehicle for 300 miles?  Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is aiming to solve this problem by synthesizing novel materials with high hydrogen adsorption capacities.

The U.S. Department of Energy recently awarded Berkeley Lab a three-year, $2.1 million grant for the project, which will also include contributions by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and General Motors (GM). The grant was part of more than $7 million awarded by DOE last month for hydrogen storage technologies in fuel cell electric vehicles.

“We’re working on materials called metal-organic frameworks to increase the capacity of hydrogen gas in a pressure cylinder, which would be the fuel tank,” said Jeffrey Long, a Berkeley Lab scientist who co-leads the project along with Berkeley Lab chemist Martin Head-Gordon. “With these materials, we’re working on storing the hydrogen without the use of very high pressures, which will be safer and also more efficient without the significant compression energy losses.”

Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are three-dimensional sponge-like framework structures that are composed primarily of carbon atoms and are extremely lightweight. “What’s very special about these materials is that you can use synthetic chemistry to modify the surfaces within the materials and make it attractive for hydrogen to stick on the surface,” Long explained.

Separately, Long is also using MOFs in a carbon capture project, in which the material would selectively absorb carbon dioxide over nitrogen. For the fuel cell project, the trick lies not in getting the MOF to select hydrogen out of a mixture but to store as much hydrogen as possible.

Currently, vehicles using hydrogen fuel cells can achieve a range of close to 300 miles—but only if the hydrogen is stored at extremely high pressures (600 to 700 bar), which is expensive and potentially unsafe. It is also energy intensive to pressurize the hydrogen.

So far Long has succeeded in more than doubling hydrogen capacity, but only at very low temperatures (around 77 Kelvin, or -321 Fahrenheit). “It’s still very much basic research on how to create revolutionary new materials that would boost the capacity by a factor of four or five at room temperature,” he said. “We have an idea of what kinds of frameworks we might make to do this.”

Long’s approach is to create frameworks with lightweight metal sites on the surface, making it attractive for hydrogen molecules to bind to the sites. “Our approach has been to make some of the first metal-organic frameworks that have exposed metal cations on the surface,” he said. “Now we need to figure out ways of synthesizing the materials so that instead of one hydrogen molecule we can get two or three or even four hydrogen molecules per metal site. Nobody’s done that.”

This is where Head-Gordon, a computational chemist, comes in. He will work on theoretical understanding of MOFs so that he can try to predict their hydrogen storage properties and then instruct Long’s team as to what kind of material to synthesize. “He can do calculations on a lot of different target structures and say, here’s the best one for you guys to spend time trying to make, because synthetic chemistry is very cost and labor intensive,” Long said.

The scientist at GM will aid in providing accurate high-pressure measurements. The NIST scientist is an expert in neutron diffraction and neutron spectroscopy, which will allow Long and his team to pinpoint where exactly the hydrogen is going and verify that it is binding to the metals.

# # #

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory addresses the world’s most urgent scientific challenges by advancing sustainable energy, protecting human health, creating new materials, and revealing the origin and fate of the universe. Founded in 1931, Berkeley Lab’s scientific expertise has been recognized with 13 Nobel prizes. The University of California manages Berkeley Lab for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.

January 27, 2012 - 8:09 AM No Comments

Hydrogenics Awarded Contract by US Hybrid Corporation to Deliver Five HyPM(TM)HD Series Power Modules for Heavy Duty Mobility

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario, Jan. 27, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Hydrogenics Corporation (Nasdaq:HYGS) (TSX:HYG), a leading developer and manufacturer of hydrogen generation and fuel cell products, today announced that the Company has received orders, for the delivery of five new generation HyPM™HD Series Fuel Cell Power Modules from US Hybrid of Torrance, California. US Hybrid specializes in the design and manufacture of power conversion systems for medium and heavy duty electric, hybrid and fuel cell commercial buses and trucks. The power modules will be used in a dump truck, a step van and several buses. The vehicles are part of a government funded program managed by the High Technology Development Corporation’s Hawaii Center for Advanced Transportation Technologies and will be deployed for a variety of end users in Hawaii.
This sale establishes the first order of the new generation of HyPM™ HD series product which was formally launched in November 2011 at the Fuel Cell Seminar in Orlando, Florida.
“We were delighted by the market response to the launch of our high power range of HD product last year and are very pleased to have received this order. High power density, minimal footprint and ease of integration make the HD series an excellent fit for bus and heavy mobility applications,” said Daryl Wilson, Hydrogenics President and Chief Executive Officer.
ABOUT HYDROGENICS
Hydrogenics Corporation (www.hydrogenics.com) is a globally recognized developer and provider of hydrogen generation and fuel cell products and services, serving the growing industrial and clean energy markets of today and tomorrow. Based in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, Hydrogenics has operations in North America and Europe.

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario– Hydrogenics Corporation (Nasdaq:HYGS) (TSX:HYG), a leading developer and manufacturer of hydrogen generation and fuel cell products, today announced that the Company has received orders, for the delivery of five new generation HyPM™HD Series Fuel Cell Power Modules from US Hybrid of Torrance, California. US Hybrid specializes in the design and manufacture of power conversion systems for medium and heavy duty electric, hybrid and fuel cell commercial buses and trucks. The power modules will be used in a dump truck, a step van and several buses. The vehicles are part of a government funded program managed by the High Technology Development Corporation’s Hawaii Center for Advanced Transportation Technologies and will be deployed for a variety of end users in Hawaii.

This sale establishes the first order of the new generation of HyPM™ HD series product which was formally launched in November 2011 at the Fuel Cell Seminar in Orlando, Florida.

“We were delighted by the market response to the launch of our high power range of HD product last year and are very pleased to have received this order. High power density, minimal footprint and ease of integration make the HD series an excellent fit for bus and heavy mobility applications,” said Daryl Wilson, Hydrogenics President and Chief Executive Officer.

ABOUT HYDROGENICS

Hydrogenics Corporation (www.hydrogenics.com) is a globally recognized developer and provider of hydrogen generation and fuel cell products and services, serving the growing industrial and clean energy markets of today and tomorrow. Based in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, Hydrogenics has operations in North America and Europe.

January 27, 2012 - 7:03 AM No Comments

UK Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association’s position on the role of hydrogen energy storage in managing renewable intermittency

On the 26thJanuary 2011, UK Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (UK HFCA) published its position on the role of hydrogen energy storage in managing renewable intermittency. The document is one of a series covering the various opportunities which hydrogen and fuel cells offer.

According to some predictions, the UK will face a 23% shortfall in energy supply at peak periods in 2015, and a 31.5% shortfall in 2020. By then, the costs of unplanned power cuts to the UK economy could reach £192bn. This would have a major impact on the UK’s economic recovery and competitiveness in global markets. Hydrogen represents an excellent storage option as it can act as both a short and long-term energy store to balance supply and demand at different scales, geographies and weather conditions.

Energy storage through hydrogen is:

  • A near term commercial opportunity for the UK that will assist in integrating greater amount of renewables within the UK electricity system therefore enabling the UK to meet its ambitious renewable targets and fill in the supply and demand gap
  • An optimal clean pathway to smart grid stabilization
  • Proven and has been utilised for a number of years in a number of locations, including: Shetland Islands, Utsira Island, Greenland, supplying a greater percentage of the community’s overall power requirements with improved stability and reliability.

To download the full document click here

January 27, 2012 - 6:00 AM No Comments

Aberdeen City Council backs major hydrogen transport project

Aberdeen city councillors have unanimously agreed to support a multi-million pound European project to introduce hydrogen buses in the North-east.

The expectation is that the Strategic European Hydrogen Transport Projects will stimulate further innovative hydrogen technology projects and high-level investment in the area, realising Aberdeen’s aspiration of becoming a world-leading hydrogen city.

The project will see the first hydrogen bus deployment in Scotland, with up to a dozen buses operating in the North-east. The fleet, which will operate on routes into central Aberdeen, will be the largest in any European city.

The buses will be refuelled at Scotland’s first large hydrogen refuelling station which will supply locally generated gas and be able to refuel hydrogen-powered cars as they become available.

The city council has secured £9.2million of EU funding towards the projects, has committed to contribute £2million over four years and will secure a further £9.3million of funding from project partners.

At a meeting of the Full Council, councillors approved the authority’s participation in the High V.Lo City, HyTransit, HyTrEc and LOWCAP cluster projects, subject to securing 90% of additional funding from external partners.

The projects will bring 12 hydrogen buses and a hydrogen filling station to the North-east, initially securing approximately £20.5million of investment to Aberdeen, with the potential for considerable investment and development opportunities in the field.

The strategic projects provide the opportunity to create new industry and greater choice in energy production and usage, as well as enabling the development of a hydrogen strategy for the Energetica Development Corridor.

The use of hydrogen as a transport fuel offers great promise as a key component of a low carbon energy system. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles emit no harmful emissions, are considerably more efficient than the fossil-fuelled equivalents and are virtually noise free.

As well as the benefits to the transport sector, hydrogen has a potentially vital role in the broader energy storage system – if it is generated from intermittent renewable electricity sources, such as wind turbines, it can be stored indefinitely and used for a variety of purposes including as a transport fuel, injection into the natural gas grid and used to generate electricity at times of peak demand.

The projects and the further opportunities they bring will widen Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire’s capabilities in the energy sector and contribute towards its evolution into a true all-energy centre of excellence.

Enterprise, Planning and Infrastructure vice-convener John Corall said: “This will act as a catalyst for major new technology.

“London and Copenhagen have hydrogen buses and taxis, but we have the skills expertise in Aberdeen that neither of these cities have. That makes Aberdeen ideally placed to really grasp this exciting, evolving new side to the energy industry and really cement our place as a world energy hub on the renewables front as well as in the more traditional oil and gas sector.”

January 26, 2012 - 9:00 AM No Comments

Automakers call for renewed US help on fuel-cell vehicles

Washington (Platts)–While the Obama administration has poured billions of dollars to help develop electric vehicles, some automakers on Tuesday said fuel-cell technology is continuing to show promise and is worthy of government support.

Mike Stanton, the president of GlobalAutomakers, an association of 15 major foreign automakers including Honda, Toyota Ferrari and Kia, said infrastructure and consumer acceptance are the biggest hurdles to making fuel-cell vehicles viable and that goverment could help overcoming them.

“The technology is coming along rapidly. Our members think [there is promise in] fuel cells, but you’ve got to have the hydrogen infrastructure, and that is where we have to work together,” Stanton said at a panel discussion on automotive policy, which was held as part of the Washington Auto Show.

“I am bullish on fuel cells,” he said. “We need to develop the infrastructure, and I think we are all responsible. We need government policies, we need companies to step up, and we need consumers to think a little bit differently.”

White House support for fuel-cell vehicles has fallen out of favor in recent years. In his first budget request to Congress for fiscal 2010, President Barack Obama moved to cut most funding for research into hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, a favorite of the previous administration of President George W. Bush. Congress, however, did not support the cut.

At the time, Energy Secretary Steven Chu argued that because infrastructure for supporting electric vehicles would be much easier to put in place more quickly, limited resources should be directed toward expanding charging stations and battery technology.

Under the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the government pumped more that $2 billion into developing and manufacturing batteries for transportation. Obama and DOE have said the programs would help get 1 million plug-in hybrid electric vehicles on the road by 2015.

Adopting hydrogen fuel-cell-powered vehicles would require new infrastructure to produce and transport hydrogen.

Challenges of storing the highly explosive hydrogen and economically producing fuel cells to convert hydrogen to power also need to be overcome.

Automakers, however, have continued to develop fuel-cell vehicles. James Wiseman, the chief communications officer for Toyota Motor North America, said during the forum that his company expects to have a fuel-cell vehicle ready by the middle of the decade.

“I think any automaker will tell you this: that customers haven’t really made up their mind yet on exactly what kind of new technology will work,” Wiseman said.

“Currently there is no infrastructure for fuel cells, but we are all working on it,” he said. “But that is the trick with the government. The difficult part is picking where you make your investment. We are all for it. Obviously, this infrastructure needs to be strengthened, but to actually pick where it is going is a little difficult.”

But according to Alan Krupnick, the director of the RFF Center for Energy Economics and Policy, the price premium consumers will be willing to pay for fuel-cell vehicles is low. In a study for the Japanese government, the RFF found that consumers in that country would only be willing to pay the equivalent of $300 more for a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle over a standard hybrid gasoline-electric vehicle.

“Not very much,” Krupnick said.

–Derek Sands-platts.com

January 26, 2012 - 7:58 AM No Comments

Ole Miss students aid in hydrogen car research

By Charles Robinson-DMOnline

The University of Mississippi campus is going green and new research has been made in the form of hydrogen-powered vehicles in another effort to improve the initiative.

Led by Jason Ritchie, an associate chemistry professor, graduate and undergraduate students have been researching the effectiveness of fuel cells, which convert hydrogen, the most abundant element on Earth, and oxygen into electricity. Some companies may be “green-washing,” Ritchie said, in order to portray themselves as more environmentally friendly in the eyes of consumers because, due to production costs, the vehicles themselves are not financially beneficial.

The most costly piece of production, Ritchie said, is the platinum needed to create a fuel cell, so most fuel cell research is dedicated to reducing costs by either eliminating platinum or finding a way to make it less expensive.

Junior chemistry major Darryl Hickman is optimistic about researching with Ritchie next semester.

“It’d be the future of all forms of travel,” he said.

Despite these new developments, Ritchie said hydrogen fuel cell research has been around since the gasoline crisis of the ‘70s.

Though there seems to be potential with research into hydrogen fuel cells, some are not as optimistic.

Sophomore political science major Joshua Broome said he believes it is unlikely hydrogen fuel cell technology will ever take off.

“It will never work,” he said. “They may find other ways to replace gasoline, but they’re just beating a dead horse with this hydrogen stuff. They need to stop wasting our tax dollars on this garbage, and put it where it counts.”

Ritchie has a different outlook on this technology.

“Hydrogen is the fuel of the future and always will be,” he said.

Honda has become one of the leaders in this movement with its creation and distribution of fuel cell-powered vehicles throughout Japan and parts of Southern California.

Drivers will refuel at designated hydrogen stations far from residential areas or road traffic, filling their hydrogen tanks up to 5,000 pounds per square inch or PSI.

The Honda Fuel Cell Experiment (FCX) Clarity features cars that do not use gasoline, according to Honda’s website.

“Hydrogen is stored in a tank onboard the vehicle,” according to Honda’s website. “Inside the groundbreaking new fuel cell stack developed by Honda, fuel cells convert hydrogen and oxygen into electricity. The vehicle is then propelled by a smooth and quiet electric motor. This remarkable system generates enough power to drive the car without emitting harmful pollutants, leaving only clean water vapor behind.”

The vehicle, which gets 60 miles per gallon, is not yet available for purchase. It currently costs millions of dollars, too expensive for most consumers, but Honda has been leasing them for $60 per month.

Unlike a gasoline engine, a hydrogen fuel cell has no firing pistons and cannot wear itself out. Other automotive companies have also begun producing hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, including GM and Mercedes.

Apple has even patented fuel cell technology in order to become more energy efficient and build smaller, lighter power sources for their portable devices.

January 26, 2012 - 6:54 AM No Comments

New York: New Wind Turbine Powers Hydrogen Car Fuel Station

As the song says, “the answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind.” The “question” in the case of Hempstead Town’s new 100-kilowatt wind turbine is, “how do you fuel-up pollution-free cars without creating any carbon footprint?” More specifically, Supervisor Kate Murray and Councilwoman Angie Cullin unveiled a state-of-the-art wind turbine that will provide the energy necessary to create hydrogen gas, which is being used to power the town’s fuel cell cars. This “closed loop” energy system is completely “green” in producing fuel for vehicles that emit no pollutants.

Also present at the high-energy event were Receiver of Taxes Don Clavin and Long Island energy partners, including the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College, New York Institute of Technology, Wilke Engineering, the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), the Point Lookout and Lido Beach Civic Associations and the Point Lookout-Lido Fire Department.

“I am ‘blown away’ by the potential of renewable energy,” stated Murray. “It’s awe inspiring that we are using renewable wind power to convert natural water into hydrogen gas in order to power pollution-free cars.”

The wind turbine, which is located the township’s Conservation and Waterways Department in Point Lookout, stands 121 feet tall. The “windmill” is capable of generating up to 180 megawatts of power per year. Powered by winds off the Atlantic coast, the turbine will provide an almost continuous source of energy that will facilitate a water-to-hydrogen process. The resulting hydrogen fuel is dispensed from Long Island’s only hydrogen fueling station, located adjacent to the turbine. Ultimately, the hydrogen fuel is utilized to power Toyota fuel-cell vehicles operated by the town, as well as a hydrogen/natural gas bus. The town is negotiating with another major fuel-cell vehicle manufacturer to secure additional cars.

“This wind turbine is a key element of the town’s clean, renewable energy agenda,” said Cullin. “We’re making the planet cleaner for our families and future generations.”

Funding for the wind turbine was drawn from a $4.6-million United States Department of Energy grant secured by the Town of Hempstead. The wind-powered device had a total cost of almost $615,000. Additionally, electrical and marine bulkheading work associated with the project was performed “in-house” by town personnel, and had an estimated private sector value of over $150,000.

The annual energy cost savings associated with the turbine if applied to local private LIPA customers is estimated at approximately $40,000. Actual cost savings to the town will vary from this estimate, based on the fact that the town’s utility rates are variable; the amount of hydrogen fuel used and generated will have to be quantified and gauged against hydrogen fuel prices on the open market. Finally, the “excess energy” generated by the turbine will be turned back to the LIPA grid, resulting in yet-to-be determined reductions in net electrical costs from the utility.

“Kate Murray and the Town of Hempstead are true Long Island leaders in advancing the use of solar and wind into Long Island’s energy portfolio,” said Long Island Power Authority Chief Operating Officer Michael D. Hervey. “LIPA was happy to provide technical assistance with this project, and remains committed to working with our residents, local governments, businesses, and community leaders to promote and invest in energy efficiency and renewable technologies through our nationally recognized solar, wind and Efficiency Long Island programs, which help to improve our environment and accelerate the clean energy economy.”

In addition to the wind turbine, U.S. Department of Energy grant funding is being used to finance the construction of a 60K solar field, two solar trackers (solar panels which follow the path of the sun), a solar-powered carport and a geothermal energy project that will address heating and cooling needs at the town’s Conservation and Waterways facility.

“By utilizing the great wind resource in Long Island, the Northern Power 100 wind turbine will help provide real cost savings, emissions reductions and energy security to the Town of Hempstead,” said Brett Pingree, VP of Sales & Marketing for Northern Power Systems. “It makes perfect sense that a forward-thinking municipality would be the one to lead by example as we all plan for our evolving energy future.”

The town has aggressively pursed grant funding for its renewable energy projects, helping to mitigate the impact on taxpayers. This type of proactive approach to funding helps the town to pursue innovative improvements while it has frozen taxes for 2012. Additionally, the town is advancing its goals of helping to demonstrate the benefits of green technologies, educating the public on those benefits, and to further the research and development of such initiatives in the future.

“We love it,” said Addy Quinn of the Lido Beach Civic Association. “It’s another positive step in reducing the carbon footprint and showing us new ways of getting energy.”

“Across the U.S., the Energy Department’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program partners like Hempstead are deploying innovative clean energy products and services and helping families, businesses and governments reduce energy waste,” said Ted Donat, Program Lead for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservative Block Grant Program. “This project can serve as a model for other local governments that want to use renewable energy sources to reduce the need to buy gas and diesel fuel and save money in the process.”

“The answer to clean and renewable energy is ‘blowin’ in the wind,’” concluded Murray. “This wind turbine is creating renewable energy, saving money, conserving natural resources and building an environmentally responsible legacy for our children and our children’s children.”

Source: Town of Hempstead, New York

January 25, 2012 - 8:22 AM No Comments

MTSU’s Hydrogen-Solar Car Gets Boost from Farm Credit Services of Mid-America

Louisville, KY (PRWEB) January 21, 2012
Since childhood, Cliff Ricketts has had a passion for finding a way to fuel engines with hydrogen derived from water. As a professor of agriscience at Middle Tennessee State University, he’s been working on various alternative fuels for the better part of 35 years, coming ever closer to his ultimate goal.
Now, thanks to a $15,000 grant from Farm Credit Services of Mid-America which triggered matching funds from the University, Ricketts and a group of student volunteers will be making a coast-to-coast trip during spring break in a car powered only by hydrogen, solar energy, and ten gallons of cellulosic ethanol.
“This research has some direct implications for American agriculture, and that’s why I appreciate Farm Credit’s donation,” said Ricketts. “We wouldn’t be able to make this trip without their assistance.”
Jack Swanson, Assistant Vice President for Farm Credit, presenting a $15,000 check to Dr. Cliff Ricketts, Professor of Agricultural Education, Middle Tennessee State University for the fuel research program.
The trip will begin in early March in Savannah, GA in a converted Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid. On each 750-mile leg of the trip, the first 100 miles will be powered by solar energy, followed by 200 miles of hydrogen gas power. The next 350 miles will be fueled by 85 percent cellulosic ethanol, with the last 100 miles coming from on-board regeneration of the solar-powered batteries. Then the car will be refilled with hydrogen and re-charged solar batteries from an accompanying mobile refueling station that is loaded on a truck and trailer manned by the students. Five days later the car and support crew will roll into Long Beach, CA. “I figure we’ll average about 60 miles per hour, “said Ricketts. “A car powered by hydrogen runs just as well as one powered by gasoline.”
Although Ricketts’ research has obvious broad implications, the original motivation for it began in 1978 during the Iranian hostage situation and resulting energy crisis, when it was feared that American farmers might not have fuel to harvest their crops. He originally started experimenting with ethanol, then moved on to methane that had been derived from cow manure, then to biodiesel. In 1987, he finally was able start a Briggs & Stratton engine with hydrogen that had been obtained from a process called electrolysis. Subsequent research led to the development of a car that set a land speed record for hydrogen-powered vehicles on Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats in 1992, a record that stood for 15 years. (Incidentally, this car was sponsored by the Murfreesboro PCA, a forerunner of Farm Credit Services).
Ricketts readily acknowledges that producing hydrogen from water is not yet price competitive with gasoline, but he feels that in times of national emergencies it could serve as a viable backup source of energy. Correspondingly, he feels that his research has important implications for international peace, the American economy, the environment, and national security.
One of Ricketts’ former student volunteers is Jack Swanson, now an assistant vice president for Farm Credit, based out of the ag lending cooperative’s Lebanon, TN field office. Swanson can still readily identify with his current-day counterparts.
“Those students aren’t receiving any money or grades for helping with this project,” said Swanson. “They do it because they like Doc and the research he does.”
In a twist of fate, Swanson later became the lending officer for Ricketts, who raises beef cattle on the side and whose family has received a Heritage Farm Award as 50-year, third-generation Farm Credit customers. In the course of doing business, Swanson would always ask his old prof about his family and his research, and learned of Ricketts’ need for funding for this phase of the project.
“When I heard about it, I couldn’t think of anything that would be a better use of our stewardship funds,” said Swanson. “I feel our stewardship program is one of the more important things we do as an agricultural lender, and the crux of Dr. Ricketts’ program is to help make the U.S. energy independent. It’s part of our mission to give back some of our earnings to those programs that fuel the future of agriculture.”
Although running coast to coast on nothing but hydrogen, sun and ethanol will be a real shining moment, Ricketts has plans to top that in the summer of 2013, making the same trip on hydrogen from water and solar power alone. “No goals, no glory,” he smiled.

Louisville, KY–Since childhood, Cliff Ricketts has had a passion for finding a way to fuel engines with hydrogen derived from water. As a professor of agriscience at Middle Tennessee State University, he’s been working on various alternative fuels for the better part of 35 years, coming ever closer to his ultimate goal.

Now, thanks to a $15,000 grant from Farm Credit Services of Mid-America which triggered matching funds from the University, Ricketts and a group of student volunteers will be making a coast-to-coast trip during spring break in a car powered only by hydrogen, solar energy, and ten gallons of cellulosic ethanol.

“This research has some direct implications for American agriculture, and that’s why I appreciate Farm Credit’s donation,” said Ricketts. “We wouldn’t be able to make this trip without their assistance.”

Jack Swanson, Assistant Vice President for Farm Credit, presenting a $15,000 check to Dr. Cliff Ricketts, Professor of Agricultural Education, Middle Tennessee State University for the fuel research program.

The trip will begin in early March in Savannah, GA in a converted Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid. On each 750-mile leg of the trip, the first 100 miles will be powered by solar energy, followed by 200 miles of hydrogen gas power. The next 350 miles will be fueled by 85 percent cellulosic ethanol, with the last 100 miles coming from on-board regeneration of the solar-powered batteries. Then the car will be refilled with hydrogen and re-charged solar batteries from an accompanying mobile refueling station that is loaded on a truck and trailer manned by the students. Five days later the car and support crew will roll into Long Beach, CA. “I figure we’ll average about 60 miles per hour, “said Ricketts. “A car powered by hydrogen runs just as well as one powered by gasoline.”

Although Ricketts’ research has obvious broad implications, the original motivation for it began in 1978 during the Iranian hostage situation and resulting energy crisis, when it was feared that American farmers might not have fuel to harvest their crops. He originally started experimenting with ethanol, then moved on to methane that had been derived from cow manure, then to biodiesel. In 1987, he finally was able start a Briggs & Stratton engine with hydrogen that had been obtained from a process called electrolysis. Subsequent research led to the development of a car that set a land speed record for hydrogen-powered vehicles on Utah’s Bonneville Salt Flats in 1992, a record that stood for 15 years. (Incidentally, this car was sponsored by the Murfreesboro PCA, a forerunner of Farm Credit Services).

Ricketts readily acknowledges that producing hydrogen from water is not yet price competitive with gasoline, but he feels that in times of national emergencies it could serve as a viable backup source of energy. Correspondingly, he feels that his research has important implications for international peace, the American economy, the environment, and national security.

One of Ricketts’ former student volunteers is Jack Swanson, now an assistant vice president for Farm Credit, based out of the ag lending cooperative’s Lebanon, TN field office. Swanson can still readily identify with his current-day counterparts.

“Those students aren’t receiving any money or grades for helping with this project,” said Swanson. “They do it because they like Doc and the research he does.”

In a twist of fate, Swanson later became the lending officer for Ricketts, who raises beef cattle on the side and whose family has received a Heritage Farm Award as 50-year, third-generation Farm Credit customers. In the course of doing business, Swanson would always ask his old prof about his family and his research, and learned of Ricketts’ need for funding for this phase of the project.

“When I heard about it, I couldn’t think of anything that would be a better use of our stewardship funds,” said Swanson. “I feel our stewardship program is one of the more important things we do as an agricultural lender, and the crux of Dr. Ricketts’ program is to help make the U.S. energy independent. It’s part of our mission to give back some of our earnings to those programs that fuel the future of agriculture.”

Although running coast to coast on nothing but hydrogen, sun and ethanol will be a real shining moment, Ricketts has plans to top that in the summer of 2013, making the same trip on hydrogen from water and solar power alone. “No goals, no glory,” he smiled.

January 25, 2012 - 7:20 AM No Comments

Toshiba Revamps ‘Ene Farm’ Residential Fuel Cell

The new product of the “Ene Farm” residential fuel cell. The fuel cell unit measures 780 x 300 x 1,000mm, and its output of power generation is 250 to 700W. The hot-water supply unit manufactured by Chofu Seisakusho Co Ltd measures 750 x 440 x 1,760mm. It can store 200L of hot water at a temperature of about 60 degrees C.

Hideyoshi Kume, Nikkei Electronics

Toshiba Corp and Toshiba Fuel Cell Power Systems Corp announced that it will release a new product of the “Ene Farm” residential fuel cell for gas companies in March 2012 in Japan.

The power generation efficiency of the new product is 38.5%, which is 3.5% higher than that of the former model released in 2009. And the efficiency of collecting heat generated by power generation was improved from 45 to 55.5%.

As a result, the total efficiency, which is calculated by combining the two kinds of efficiencies, reached 94%, which Toshiba and Toshiba Fuel Cell Power Systems claim is “one of the highest in the world” (based on the low heating value (LHV) standard of city gas). Also, the companies improved the durability of the fuel cell.

For general consumers, Osaka Gas Co Ltd will start selling the new Ene Farm April 2, 2012, for a price of ¥2,604,000 (approx US$33,363), which is about ¥650,000 lower than the price of the former model. Osaka Gas will use Toshiba’s fuel cell unit but employ a 200L waste heat-powered hot-water supply/air heating unit manufactured by Chofu Seisakusho Co Ltd.

The Ene Farm has been attracting an increasing amount of attention since the Tohoku Earthquake, which hit Japan March 11, 2011.

“In fiscal 2009 and fiscal 2010, slightly more than 4,000 units of the Ene Farm were sold,” said Osamu Maekawa, chief technology executive, Power Systems Company, Toshiba. “But in 2011, we installed about 6,500 units by the end of November. So, we saw a remarkable increase in sales volume, compared with sales volumes in past years.”

Toshiba aimed to sell 5,000 units of the Ene Farm in fiscal 2011. And it is now planning to sell 15,000 units in fiscal 2012. In fiscal 2015, the company aims to sell 50,000 units by improving the competitiveness of the product and reducing its costs.

Durability of 80,000 hours

Costs
For the new fuel cell unit, Toshiba and Toshiba Fuel Cell Power Systems reduced costs by 30%, said Yuji Nagata, chief engineer, Toshiba Fuel Cell Power Systems. For example, they realized an output power equivalent to that of the former product while reducing the number of cells used for the main body of the unit by about 15%. Also, they reduced the amount of platinum (Pt) used as a catalyst material for the unit by about 20%.

Inverter
The two companies separated an inverter and a control board in the former product. This time, however, they were integrated by, for example, redesigning the component layout and employing a multilayer printed circuit board.

In regard to the system package, the number of components was reduced by about 40% by, for example, simplifying the system and employing integrated pipes. As for the reformer, the two companies used the same product as employed for the former model. It is based on hydrodesulfurization, in which Osaka Gas has know-how.

Durability
In regard to durability, the companies realized 80,000 hours of operation, which was increased from 40,000 hours of the product commercialized in 2009. The warranty period of the Ene Farm is 10 years. And the fuel cell of the former product has to be replaced five years after purchase. The new product does not require such replacement.

Moreover, the frequency of required periodical maintenance was reduced from once in two years to once in three and a half years. And, for the new product, maintenance (such as replacing filters and resin films) takes only about 30 minutes. The checkup can be done even when the product is generating electricity.

Fuel
As fuel, the new Ene Farm can use liquefied natural gas (LNG) and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) as well as natural gas (NG) used in part of Nagano Prefecture and Hokkaido in Japan and 12A gas used in Chiba Prefecture, etc in Japan. It can also use pure hydrogen as fuel in case that hydrogen will become a major fuel in the future.

Self-sustained operation

Toshiba and Toshiba Fuel Cell Power Systems are considering introducing a self-sustained operation system so that the new product can be used even in the case of power outage. In general, the Ene Farm cannot generate electricity in the case of power outage. But the self-sustained operation system automatically shuts connection to the power grid and supplies electricity to appliances connected to special power outlets.

“If an external battery for emergency is added to an expensive fuel cell system, the price will increase even more,” Nagata said. “Considering how frequently power outages occur, we do not want to spend much cost for it. Therefore, we developed a system that can realize a self-sustained operation by using only a fuel cell.”

The self-sustained operation system has already been developed and is currently being tested, he said. So, it has not been mounted in the new Ene Farm yet. After finishing the test, the company will equip the Ene Farm with the system as an option, etc. And it is scheduled to be released in fiscal 2012.

January 24, 2012 - 9:00 AM No Comments

HyperSolar to Make Zero Carbon Renewable Hydrogen Gas

Rather than using conventional fossil fuel as a feedstock, the company’s breakthrough technology uses the power of the Sun and wastewater to produce carbon-free, renewable hydrogen gas

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.–HyperSolar, Inc. (OTCBB: HYSR), the developer of a breakthrough technology to produce renewable hydrogen and natural gas using water and solar power, today announced that its proprietary process can make zero carbon, renewable hydrogen gas. Rather than using conventional fossil fuel, such as natural gas, as a feedstock, HyperSolar relies on the power of the Sun and wastewater to produce carbon free, renewable hydrogen gas.

Hydrogen is the most useful and abundant chemical element, constituting roughly 75% of the Universe’s chemical elemental mass. However, naturally occurring elemental hydrogen is relatively rare on Earth and hydrogen gas is most often produced using fossil fuels. Industrial production is mainly from the steam reforming of natural gas and is usually employed near its production site, with the two largest uses being crude oil processing (hydrocracking) and ammonia production, mostly for the fertilizer market.

Tim Young, HyperSolar CEO, commented, “The world is short on free hydrogen and unfortunately, to make up for this shortage, the world uses fossil fuels to produce hydrogen gas. We are developing a cleaner and greener way to produce this high value product. HyperSolar’s hydrogen is completely carbon free, made by using the power of the Sun and wastewater. Not only are we mitigating the high cost of wastewater treatment, but we are creating the ultimate clean fuel.”

In addition to the many industrial uses of hydrogen, one of the most intriguing uses is for fuel cells for transportation. A fuel cell is a device that converts the chemical energy from a fuel into electricity through a chemical reaction with oxygen or another oxidizing agent, using hydrogen as the most common fuel. Although there are currently no fuel cell vehicles available for commercial sale, carmakers are hopeful that hydrogen fuel cells and infrastructure technologies will be developed in the future.

Young concluded, “Our method of producing hydrogen could be the missing link for fuel cells of the future. If hydrogen is meant to be the ultimate fuel that will enable a clean energy future with zero carbon emissions, then its production must also be zero carbon. Powering cars with fossil fuel based hydrogen is not sustainable, not renewable and not much cleaner than today’s fuels. We believe our low cost zero carbon hydrogen is the right way to realize a true hydrogen economy.”

About HyperSolar, Inc.

HyperSolar is developing a breakthrough technology to produce renewable hydrogen and natural gas using sunlight, water and carbon dioxide. These renewable gases can be used as direct replacements for traditional hydrogen and natural gas to power the world, without drilling or fracking, while mitigating CO2 emissions. Inspired by photosynthesis that plants use to effortlessly harness the power of the Sun, we are developing a novel solar-powered nanoparticle system that mimics photosynthesis to produce renewable hydrogen from water. This hydrogen can then be reacted with carbon dioxide in a proprietary low cost reactor to produce methane, the primary component in pipeline natural gas. From sunrise to sunset, our proprietary nanoparticles will work in a water based solution to produce clean and environmentally friendly renewable hydrogen and natural gas that can be collected for use in power plants, industrial plants and vehicles – anywhere and anytime. To learn more about HyperSolar, please visit our website at http://www.HyperSolar.com.

January 24, 2012 - 7:00 AM No Comments

Tuned Synthesis of Novel Polymer Gives Alkaline Fuel Cells New Potential

A new electrolyte membrane and the technique used to synthesize it could substantially improve the performance and cost of low temperature fuel cells. The work, by Clark School Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (ChBE) graduate student Yanting Luo and former ChBE assistant research scientist Juchen Guo, was recently featured on the cover of Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics.
Luo, advised by ChBE assistant professor and University of Maryland Energy Research Center member Chunsheng Wang, synthesized a new polymer designed for use as the solid alkaline polymer electrolyte (APE) in alkaline fuel cells (AFC). AFCs are an alternative to the proton-exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). Like PEMFCs, AFCs can operate at relatively low temperatures, making them suitable for use in transportation and electronics.
AFCs have existed in various forms since the 1930s. While more efficient and lower in cost than PEMFCs, as well as capable of generating heat and drinking water as by-products, they require pure compressed oxygen and hydrogen to work and to prevent degradation if exposed to carbon dioxide. As a result, their use has often been restricted to sealed environments, including spacecraft. Luo says the development of a solid APE to replace the liquid electrolyte has inspired a “revived interest” in producing AFCs for the consumer market. Creating a more durable solid electrolyte with a high power output for AFCs is a key step in their commercialization process.
Using a technique called “miniemulsion copolymerization,” Luo and her colleagues created an APE that could be tuned (adjusted and controlled) for ideal mechanical properties and conductivity during the manufacturing process.
The polymer, QPMBV, was formulated from a group of basic monomer building blocks, selected for their individual superior functions, instead of using the more common approach of modifying an existing polymer. When the materials did not produce a consistent and durable product after reacting in a typical oil and water emulsion, Luo used a miniemulsion, in which the oil monomer particles were only 50-500 nanometers in diameter, instead of the typical 1-10 microns. The result was a more consistent and fine dispersion of the monomers in the water phase, which in turn created a higher surface area for bulk copolymerization reactions. A higher percentage of the monomers successfully completed their reactions, resulting in a product with both a high molecular weight and the qualities Luo was looking for.
“APEs still remain in their infancy compared to the commercialized proton exchange membranes,” she says. “This work is a significant advancement in the APE that will push AFC technology forward.”
Despite the challenges of developing the new material and striving for “a new ideal” over the past three years, Luo has found the experience rewarding as she has moved from a proof-of-concept to a promising material to optimizing production and now testing in an alkaline fuel cell system.
“After [working on] this project, I could be a polymerist, experimenter or fuel cell technician,” she says. “I feel happy with what we have done and hope this promising work could really make a difference in our daily lives.”
In the next stage of her research, Luo plans to further improve the mechanical properties and durability of the APE membrane, and to explore its potential use in other products such as flow and alkaline batteries.
Luo and Guo’s co-authors on the paper are Chunsheng Wang and Deryn Chu (Sensors and Electron Device Directorate, U.S. Army Research Laboratory). The work was supported by the Office of Naval Research and the Army Research Laboratory.
For More Information:
Yanting Luo, Juchen Guo, Chunsheng Wang, and Deryn Chu. “Tunable High-Molecular-Weight Anion-Exchange Membranes for Alkaline Fuel Cells.” Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics, 212(19), 2094-2102 (2011)

A new electrolyte membrane and the technique used to synthesize it could substantially improve the performance and cost of low temperature fuel cells. The work, by Clark School Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (ChBE) graduate student Yanting Luo and former ChBE assistant research scientist Juchen Guo, was recently featured on the cover of Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics.

Luo, advised by ChBE assistant professor and University of Maryland Energy Research Center member Chunsheng Wang, synthesized a new polymer designed for use as the solid alkaline polymer electrolyte (APE) in alkaline fuel cells (AFC). AFCs are an alternative to the proton-exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). Like PEMFCs, AFCs can operate at relatively low temperatures, making them suitable for use in transportation and electronics.

AFCs have existed in various forms since the 1930s. While more efficient and lower in cost than PEMFCs, as well as capable of generating heat and drinking water as by-products, they require pure compressed oxygen and hydrogen to work and to prevent degradation if exposed to carbon dioxide. As a result, their use has often been restricted to sealed environments, including spacecraft. Luo says the development of a solid APE to replace the liquid electrolyte has inspired a “revived interest” in producing AFCs for the consumer market. Creating a more durable solid electrolyte with a high power output for AFCs is a key step in their commercialization process.

Using a technique called “miniemulsion copolymerization,” Luo and her colleagues created an APE that could be tuned (adjusted and controlled) for ideal mechanical properties and conductivity during the manufacturing process.

The polymer, QPMBV, was formulated from a group of basic monomer building blocks, selected for their individual superior functions, instead of using the more common approach of modifying an existing polymer. When the materials did not produce a consistent and durable product after reacting in a typical oil and water emulsion, Luo used a miniemulsion, in which the oil monomer particles were only 50-500 nanometers in diameter, instead of the typical 1-10 microns. The result was a more consistent and fine dispersion of the monomers in the water phase, which in turn created a higher surface area for bulk copolymerization reactions. A higher percentage of the monomers successfully completed their reactions, resulting in a product with both a high molecular weight and the qualities Luo was looking for.

“APEs still remain in their infancy compared to the commercialized proton exchange membranes,” she says. “This work is a significant advancement in the APE that will push AFC technology forward.”

Despite the challenges of developing the new material and striving for “a new ideal” over the past three years, Luo has found the experience rewarding as she has moved from a proof-of-concept to a promising material to optimizing production and now testing in an alkaline fuel cell system.

“After [working on] this project, I could be a polymerist, experimenter or fuel cell technician,” she says. “I feel happy with what we have done and hope this promising work could really make a difference in our daily lives.”

In the next stage of her research, Luo plans to further improve the mechanical properties and durability of the APE membrane, and to explore its potential use in other products such as flow and alkaline batteries.

Luo and Guo’s co-authors on the paper are Chunsheng Wang and Deryn Chu (Sensors and Electron Device Directorate, U.S. Army Research Laboratory). The work was supported by the Office of Naval Research and the Army Research Laboratory.

For More Information:

Yanting Luo, Juchen Guo, Chunsheng Wang, and Deryn Chu. “Tunable High-Molecular-Weight Anion-Exchange Membranes for Alkaline Fuel Cells.” Macromolecular Chemistry and Physics, 212(19), 2094-2102 (2011)

January 24, 2012 - 6:44 AM No Comments

Air Liquide partner of UK H2Mobility

New Government and cross industry partnership to make hydrogen powered travel in the UK a reality.

A ground breaking project to ensure the UK is well positioned for the commercial roll-out of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles has been launched, Business Minister Mark Prisk announced today.

The new initiative – UKH2Mobility – brings together three Government Departments and industrial partners from the utility, gas, infrastructure and global car manufacturing sectors.

The group will evaluate the potential for hydrogen as a fuel for Ultra Low Carbon Vehicles in the UK before developing an action plan for an anticipated roll-out to consumers in 2014/15.

All of the partners have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to agree to share their knowledge and expertise.

Industry partners to the Memorandum of Understanding are:

  • Air Liquide
  • Air Products PLC
  • Daimler AG
  • Hyundai Motor Company
  • Intelligent Energy Limited
  • ITM Power PLC
  • Johnson Matthey PLC
  • Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK) Limited
  • Scottish and Southern Energy plc
  • Tata Motors European Technical Centre plc
  • The BOC Group Limited
  • Toyota Motor Corporation
  • Vauxhall Motors
January 24, 2012 - 6:00 AM No Comments

Ceres Power provides an update to shareholders on the significant technology progress

Ceres Power today provides an update to shareholders on the significant technology progress made since the Preliminary Results announcement in October 2011 together with changes to the organisation that strengthens and repositions the business to deliver the Company’s commercialisation plan. In addition, the Company announces changes to the Board.
Key Points
 Significant improvements demonstrated in durability of core fuel cell module technology
 Successful testing of CHP product engineering improvements
 CHP programme on schedule to commence in-home field trials later this year
 New appointments to senior management team
 Retirements of two non-executive directors
 £18.6m in net cash at 31 December 2011
David Pummell, Chief Executive, commented: “I am delighted with the excellent progress that we have made both in core fuel cell module technology and CHP product engineering improvements. The new appointments that I have made to my senior management team and the other organisational changes underway will help us deliver on our commitment to commence the next phase of in-home field trials later this year and underpin the launch of our CHP product in the UK with British Gas.”
For further

Ceres Power today provides an update to shareholders on the significant technology progress made since the Preliminary Results announcement in October 2011 together with changes to the organisation that strengthens and repositions the business to deliver the Company’s commercialisation plan. In addition, the Company announces changes to the Board.

Key Points

  • Significant improvements demonstrated in durability of core fuel cell module technology
  • Successful testing of CHP product engineering improvements
  • CHP programme on schedule to commence in-home field trials later this year
  • New appointments to senior management team
  • Retirements of two non-executive directors
  • £18.6m in net cash at 31 December 2011

David Pummell, Chief Executive, commented: “I am delighted with the excellent progress that we have made both in core fuel cell module technology and CHP product engineering improvements. The new appointments that I have made to my senior management team and the other organisational changes underway will help us deliver on our commitment to commence the next phase of in-home field trials later this year and underpin the launch of our CHP product in the UK with British Gas.”

Chief Executive Update

Following my appointment as Chief Executive in September 2011, I set out the plan to launch our first generation CHP product with British Gas in the UK market in H1 2014. To achieve this objective and to make Ceres a high performing company focused on commercial delivery, I have restructured the business operations, refocusing all of our resources on delivering the core CHP programme and meeting the key business milestones.

The Company’s current operational focus is to complete a programme of rigorous internal testing to assure complete validation of the CHP product’s reliability and durability prior to commencing the next phase of in-home field trials later this year. In parallel, we are continuing to improve the durability of the technology to meet the requirements of our go-to-market CHP product.

CHP Programme

Core Technology Progress

Since October 2011, the Company has delivered impressive advancements in the Ceres core fuel cell and stack technology. The enhanced cell interconnect coatings and processing of the cell interconnect component for current collection have resulted in substantial reductions in contact resistance and corrosion degradation. Cell degradation performance of less than 1% per 1000hrs has been delivered in stacks running for more than 4500hrs, and reductions in cell contact resistance of up to 50% have been achieved, leading to further improvements in the overall power of the fuel cell module. The baseline core cell technology is capable of achieving degradation rates in line with the requirements for our CHP product.

The improved cell design has been subjected to a number of accelerated stress tests designed to simulate in-field lifetime degradation mechanisms. Fuel cell stacks, operating under nominal power conditions, were subjected to more than 100 thermal cycles and 2,000 fuel interruption (redox) events, and have shown no signs of accelerated degradation. We believe that the results of these accelerated stress tests are indicative of operating start-stop regimes in excess of a 5 year period. This represents a substantial improvement in cell durability and resolves the power degradation issues witnessed in the in-home trials last year.

Taken together, these improvements in performance and durability of the core fuel cell technology underpin our confidence in the successful completion of the next phase of in-home field trials to be commenced later this year.

CHP System Engineering

We continue our long term test programme and this has demonstrated successful validation of the engineering solutions implemented to resolve the issues identified in the in-home field trials last year. These solutions are being tested over an extended period of time and under a variety of operating conditions to ensure that the field trials will commence on time and will be successfully completed, demonstrating reliability and durability in occupied homes in the field.

We are now finalising design modifications to the balance of plant components that improve thermal management of the fuel cell module and further optimise the flow control of fuel and water into the fuel cell stack. These engineering enhancements are required to incorporate the improved fuel cells we have installed within the CHP product.

Further refinements to the CHP product software and control strategies have been developed and we continue validation testing in CHP products in preparation for in-home field trials.

The CHP programme remains on schedule to commence the planned in-home field trials in H2 2012, underpinning a final set of field trials in 2013 ahead of the CHP product launch in H1 2014.

Changes to the Ceres Power Organisation

I have restructured the business operations to ensure that we have the right internal capabilities and processes to deliver the CHP programme and leverage the product engineering competencies of our supply chain partners in order to de-risk the CHP programme.

In implementing these changes my focus has been to achieve a step change in the effectiveness of the organisation, increasing our development productivity and pace, to deliver the key business milestones that will underpin a successful launch of our CHP product in the UK, namely; demonstrate we have a reliable and durable product that will enable us to deliver our commitment to commence successful field trials later this year.

I am pleased to announce the following new appointments to my senior management team:

  • David Jackson joined Ceres in November 2011 as Product Director to manage the CHP product delivery programme. David reports to me and is responsible for delivering the CHP product into production. He previously held senior positions at BAE Systems, where he managed multi-year product programmes and successfully launched a number of technically complex leading-edge products.
  • Ricardo Espinosa will join as Engineering Director with effect from 20 February 2012. Ricardo will report to me and will lead the engineering team responsible for product design, development and prototype testing. He brings exceptional engineering management experience and a track record of delivering new technologies to manufacturing. He joins from Azure Dynamics where he led the development and launch of hybrid drive systems with major partners such as Ford.

David and Ricardo both fill newly created posts within the organisation but will not involve an increase in headcount. Their proven experience in delivering new technologies will considerably strengthen our management focus in the areas of programme delivery and product design and development engineering.

Phil Whalen as Technology Director retains full accountability to develop the core technology for the CHP product and other applications in the future.

Summary

The Company has risen to the challenges of the past year and has in place the senior management team, organisational structure and necessary experience to provide the operational focus and rigour that will deliver the CHP programme, including in-home field trials later this year.

I look forward to updating investors on our progress over the next few months.

Changes to the Ceres Power Board

The Company has commenced a search to appoint one new non-executive director with relevant experience of developing and commercialising new technology consumer products, preferably gained within an advanced engineering company.

The Company announces that Sir David Brown, senior independent non-executive director, and Alan Wood, non-executive director, will retire on 29 February 2012. Following the appointment of the new non-executive director, the Board will consist of the non-executive chairman, three executive directors and two non-executive directors.

Brian Count, Chairman, commented: “The Board would like to thank Sir David and Alan for their valuable support and contributions to the Company since their appointments in February 2008.”

January 23, 2012 - 8:00 AM No Comments

Ceramic Fuel Cells and sanevo blue energy announce they have successfully introduced BlueGen to the German market.

German Distributor secures customers for first 100 BlueGens

First German utility marketing BlueGen to customers

Ceramic Fuel Cells (AIM / ASX: CFU) a leading developer of high efficiency and low emission power products for homes and other buildings, and its sales partner sanevo blue energy have successfully introduced BlueGen to the German market.

After only six weeks into sanevo’s marketing campaign, sanevo has received customer commitments for its first order of 100 BlueGen units. Sanevo has received commitments from public energy utilities in six German states as well as from residential and commercial customers. The BlueGen units are expected to be delivered and installed over the next six months.

Sanevo’s largest customer for BlueGen is Stadtwerke Aalen, the local electricity and gas utility in the region of Aalen in Southern Germany. Working with sanevo, Stadtwerke Aalen is now the first German utility to actively promote and support sales of BlueGen to its customers, including by providing an incentive payment to early BlueGen customers.

Ceramic Fuel Cells’ Managing Director Brendan Dow said: “This is a great start to our partnership with sanevo. There is huge interest in BlueGen from customers and utilities in Germany, plus supportive policy settings. We look forward to delivering on these first orders and securing larger follow on orders.”

BlueGen converts natural gas into electricity and heat for hot water for homes and other buildings. BlueGen delivers an electrical efficiency of up to 60 percent – the highest in the world. When the heat from BlueGen is used to produce hot water, total efficiency increases to up to 85 percent.

The launch offer by sanevo includes the supply and installation of the BlueGen, plus complete integration with hot water systems, as well as a three or ten-year full-service contract, including maintenance, warranty and support services.

Ceramic Fuel Cells appointed sanevo as a BlueGen distributor in July last year, with an initial order for 100 BlueGen units. sanevo has a target minimum of 500 units for delivery in its second year and a target of 2,000 BlueGens over years three and four.

In Germany a number of federal states are contemplating market introduction programs for fuel-cell based micro CHP systems. The federal state of Saxony has announced a ‘1,000 Basement Programme’ to provide financial incentives for installing fuel cell based micro CHP units. In late 2011 the state of North Rhine Westphalia also announced plans to increase the share of CHP electricity production to 25 percent, by providing funding of EUR 250 million over several years to support the deployment of local CHP systems.

January 23, 2012 - 7:37 AM No Comments

ITM Power announces that it has achieved CE compliance for a standardised HFuel product

ITM Power the energy storage and clean fuel company, is pleased to announce that it has achieved CE compliance for a standardised HFuel product; the Company’s transportable hydrogen refueling system. This represents important progress, enabling commercial sales of such systems to commence in the EU. ITM Power has added a stationary electrolyser product to its portfolio (HPac40) which has also achieved CE compliance.

Following a competitive tender process, ITM Power won a contract to design and supply a refueling product to The University of Nottingham. This provided the opportunity to CE mark an HFuel generation, storage and dispensing product. A CE mark is one of the key measures for product readiness; signifying compliance with EU Directives and therefore enabling free movement within the European Market. It is notable that few sector peer group companies have achieved CE compliance for their products.

HFuel offers a flexible specification though modular design; each electrolyser generation module having the capacity to produce up to 5kg of hydrogen per 24 hours. This generation module has been developed as a standalone product called HPac40 to enable exposure to additional industrial hydrogen markets. This platform has also achieved CE compliance and will be launched at the next Hannover Messe in April 2012. This brings the portfolio of CE marked products to five; HFuel and HPac40 joining HPac10, HBox and HFlame all of which achieved CE compliance in 2011.

ITM Power continues to work closely with TUV SUD (the leading German test and certification body) to satisfy any additional local requirements for HFuel in Germany. Although much of the compliance work is common, some specific areas of difference exist between the UK and Germany, which are being addressed.

Graham Cooley, CEO of ITM Power commented: “I am delighted to be able to announce that we now have a CE compliant hydrogen refueling platform. Compliance has been a significant part of our product development process and its execution represents a huge achievement. At a time when the UK Government has demonstrated commitment to hydrogen as a transport fuel through the UKH2Mobility programme, we are delighted to be able to show how our technology has transitioned to product.

January 23, 2012 - 7:00 AM No Comments

AkzoNobel plant begins Generating Renewable Power with AFC Cells

Bloomberg— AkzoNobel NV, the biggest paintmaker, and AFC Energy Plc began generating power using waste hydrogen from a chlorine plant as the fuel-cell company seeks to produce clean energy at factories, supermarkets and department stores.

AFC installed two of its so-called Beta fuel-cell systems at the AkzoNobel plant in Bitterfeld, Germany, in October and they are now generating power, AFC said today in a statement.

That marks a step toward the “Holy Grail” of commercial operation, Howard White, founder of AFC, said by phone. “This will be the starting point for a pilot manufacturing facility, which in turn will be the template for our manufacturing as we go through into 2013, 2014 and then forward into large-scale manufacture for the multi-megawatt” technology, he said.

AFC in April signed an accord with John Lewis Partnership Plc to study the possibility of installing its fuel-cell system for electricity generation in Waitrose and John Lewis stores.

AFC may seek some of the 1 billion-pound ($1.6 billion) funds earmarked for the Iberdrola SA carbon-capture project that was scrapped in October. Its fuel cells can generate power from the hydrogen gas produced at carbon-capture and storage sites.

“We don’t compete with other fuel cells; we are aiming to compete with engines and gas turbines,” White said. “With what we’ve achieved so far, within a couple of years we could have a product competitive with conventional generating technologies.”

January 23, 2012 - 6:39 AM No Comments

ACAL Energy Shows a Step Change in Fuel Cell Durability is Achievable

engine

A Route to Affordable Fuel Cell Vehicles

ACAL Energy has completed an important step in a rigorous testing programme designed to evaluate the durability of its FlowCath® fuel cell platform. The results confirm that the platinum-free liquid cathode system, FlowCath® inherently eliminates many of the causes of lost performance in both continuous operation and in auto cycling. It has the potential greatly to assist the cost-down strategies of vehicle OEMs looking to deploy fuel cells.

The announcement comes a day after the launch of a new Government-backed initiative called UKH2Mobility that will evaluate the potential for hydrogen as a fuel for Ultra Low Carbon Vehicles in the UK, and develop an action plan for an anticipated roll-out to consumers in 2014/15.

ACAL Energy has been carrying out representative drive cycle tests in response to requests from automotive manufacturers. Drive cycle issues are known to cause deterioration of conventional PEM fuel cells. To date, ACAL Energy has reached close to 2,000 hours of cumulative testing. Reducing the cost of achieving durability is key to successful deployment of fuel cells in mass market automotive applications, and by avoiding expensive engineering designs, the Pt-free FlowCath® system will allow vehicle manufacturers to accelerate progress to supplying affordable fuel cell vehicles.

In one set of tests, a full-scale stack was subjected to extreme load and rapid thermal cycling, from zero to 1A/cm2 load cycles and from 20 to 80 degC. No measurable change in performance was seen in over 400 load cycles and 100 thermal cycles.

ACAL Energy’s technology is based on thermodynamically stable homogeneous catalysts. These catalysts have been in regular use for over three years in multiple test cells and systems, and the Company has seen no instance of catalyst deterioration throughout a battery of single cell, stack and system testing programmes. “This is probably the most significant and valuable feature of our technology”, says Amanda Lyne, VP Strategic Business Development at ACAL Energy. “Early volume sales of fuel cell vehicles will mean that great pressure will be put on OEMs to reduce manufacturing costs. By inherently avoiding many of the durability issues seen in conventional technology, using our FlowCath® system we can improve the economic picture significantly, and speed up the mass deployment of H2FC vehicles”. The response from one auto maker was: “This result is much better than the conventional result”.

The Company continues to accumulate data on its systems, including the fully integrated stationary back up power system located at the Solvay Interox site at Warrington.

January 20, 2012 - 1:00 PM No Comments

Mr. Justin Ward Named 2012 Steering Team Chair of the California Fuel Cell Partnership

Sacramento, Calif. — The California Fuel Cell Partnership announced that Justin Ward, Advanced Powertrain Program Manager with Toyota’s Advanced Powertrain (APT),  has been appointed 2012 Steering Team Chair.

The CaFCP Steering Team chair position changes every year, rotating through the four categories of partners: auto manufacturers, energy providers, fuel cell technology companies and government agencies. The vice chair becomes the chair the following year.

Justin Ward is the Advanced Powertrain Program manager with Toyota’s Advanced Powertrain (APT) department at Toyota Technical Center (TTC), located in Gardena, California. TTC, Toyota’s North America R&D center, has been a division of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing, North America, Inc. (TEMA) since 2006. Mr. Ward’s responsibilities include suitability testing of advanced powertrain configurations in North America, coordinating development of new or improved software logic for Fuel Cell and Hybrid Vehicle (FC&HV) controls systems, managing Toyota’s contributions to North American FC&HV Codes & Standards activities, and supporting technical outreach related to advanced powertrains.

Mr. Ward began his career at TTC in 2001, when he joined the company to support the opening of Toyota’s first facility in North America dedicated to fuel cell vehicle development, located at the California Fuel Cell Partnership (CaFCP) in West Sacramento, California. In this role, he supported CaFCP PR outreach efforts and technical workgroups. He was promoted to his current position in 2008.

Mr. Ward earned a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering from the University of California Davis in 1999. He has been a member of SAE since 2000.

January 20, 2012 - 12:05 PM No Comments

ITM Power unveils hydrogen fuel cell trial with Marks and Spencer

ITM

ITM Power (AIM: ITM),the energy storage and clean fuel company, is pleased to announce that it has signed a pilot agreement with M&S (LSE:MKS) to deliver the UK’s first hydrogen fuel cell, materials handling trial using on site hydrogen generation.

Using the ITM Power HFuel platform to generate hydrogen, the six week trial involves M&S using several fuel cell vehicles as a direct substitute for part of the existing battery powered fleet. The vehicles will be deployed at M&S’s 1.1million sq. ft. Prologis Park Distribution Centre.

The trial forms part of the M&S Plan A initiative, and aims to deliver zero emission vehicles with superior performance and a two minute refuel time. The trial is the first of its kind in the UK and demonstrates the cutting edge vision of M&S and ITM Power.

The global materials handling market, valued at $20B, is seen as a key early adoption market for hydrogen with fuel cells already being able to offer superior performance to battery powered systems.

Graham Cooley, CEO of ITM Power commented: “The involvement of companies such as M&S is essential to developing commercially viable hydrogen solutions for the materials handling industry. We are extremely pleased to be conducting this trial with M&S who continue to lead the way for sustainable technology deployment.”

Darrell Stein, Director of IT and Logistics for M&S commented: “We are excited to be trialing this solution with a company like ITM Power, and with a technology which has the potential to drive significant carbon reductions from our warehouse operations. If we’re to achieve our ambitious goal of becoming the world’s most sustainable major retailer then we must continue to innovate and push the boundaries in every part of our business”.

January 20, 2012 - 7:30 AM No Comments

Intelligent Energy announces its support for UKH2Mobility

Intelligent Energy today became a founding member of UK H2 Mobility, a government and industry group aiming to accelerate the commercial roll out of hydrogen vehicles in 2014/15.

Dr. Henri Winand, Chief Executive at Intelligent Energy said:

“The UK H2 Mobility is a ground-breaking industry led task force. Its job is to roll its sleeves up and ensure that the UK is well positioned for the commercial roll-out of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles from 2014/15 as part of a balanced portfolio of drivetrains. Fuel cell vehicles, storage and refuelling technology are here today, they work! We now need to look at how we can make these elements, together with the hydrogen refuelling infrastructure, work most effectively to enable the UK to take full advantage of hydrogen as a transport fuel; stimulating inward investment, GDP growth and securing and creating new jobs”.

The new initiative – UKH2 Mobility – brings together three Government Departments and industrial partners from the utility, gas, infrastructure and global car manufacturing sectors.

The group will evaluate the potential for hydrogen as a fuel for Ultra Low Carbon Vehicles in the UK before developing an action plan for an anticipated roll-out to consumers in 2014/15. It aims to:

• Analyse in detail the specific UK case for the introduction of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles as one of a number of solutions to decarbonise road transport and quantify the potential emissions benefits;

• Review the investments required to commercialise the technology, including refuelling infrastructure; and

• Identify what is required to make the UK a leading global player in hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle manufacturing thereby paving the way for economic opportunities to the UK, through the creation of new jobs and boosting of local economies.

January 20, 2012 - 6:53 AM No Comments

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