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


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 - 6:00 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 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