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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 - 8:34 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