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Intelligent Energy announces $35 million fuel cell funding round

Loughborough UK– Intelligent Energy, the clean power technology company, today announced the completion of its latest round of funding, raising in excess of $35 million (£22 million) from existing and new institutional shareholders. This investment, achieved through a placement at £2.30 per share, values the company (on a fully diluted basis) at approximately $0.5 billion and will enable Intelligent Energy to increase its pace of commercialisation within the consumer electronics and stationary power markets.

“Intelligent Energy’s growth continues to gather momentum as we see firm traction for our clean and efficient power technology in each of our key market sectors: motive, consumer electronic and stationary power,” said Dr. Henri Winand. “Hot on the heels of our landmark joint venture announcement with Suzuki, this latest round of funding is firmly aimed at reflecting this success within our consumer electronics and stationary power divisions. Partners and customers are ready to take advantage of our scalable power cores in these markets, worth around $410bn and $150bn respectively, so it’s an incredibly exciting time for us.”

Earlier this month, Intelligent Energy announced the creation of SMILE FC System Corporation, a Joint Venture company formed with the Suzuki Motor Corporation, to develop and manufacture air-cooled fuel cell technologies for various industry sectors. Both companies have taken a 50 percent stake in SMILE FC System Corporation, which is led by Mr. Osamu Honda, Executive Vice President and representative director for the Suzuki Motor Corporation.

Dr. Mark Lawson-Statham, Director of Corporate Finance, commented, “This funding round, and the recently announced Joint Venture with Suzuki, further underlines Intelligent Energy’s rapid transition from a world class developer of power technologies to a company that is, through its relationships with key global OEMs, taking products deep into high volume markets.”

About Intelligent Energy

Intelligent Energy is a leading clean power technology company with a globally scalable business, operating in the stationary power, motive and consumer electronics sectors. Our proprietary and highly efficient power cores are designed to be integrated into high volume, mass market products and have received commercial approval from significant global brands.

February 29, 2012 - 2:00 PM No Comments

ReliOn E-1100v Fuel Cell Product Offers Footprint Space Savings

ReliOn

Product has already found a market in Europe

Spokane, Wash.: ReliOn, the leading provider of high reliability fuel cell solutions for backup power applications, today announced its new E-1100v fuel cell system.  The E-1100v fuel cell is a fully integrated system producing up to 1,100 Watts of power in an industry first vertical-mount chassis.  The product was developed for use with customers for whom total footprint at small power levels is most important.  The E-1100v fuel cell system is available in both 24V or 48V DC and has a variety of indoor and outdoor mounting options including rack, wall and cabinet.

Like all of ReliOn’s fuel cell products, the E-1100v is a clean energy solution; emissions are limited to warm air and a small amount of water.  The E-1100v system is exempt from the most stringent air quality standards, such as those set by the California Air Resources Board, because it produces no harmful emissions.  The product is commercially available and began shipping at the end of 2011. First customer commitments have been received in Europe for the internal communications network of a premier electrical utility and an emergency backup power application for a Fortune 100 industrial customer.

Mark Cohen, ReliOn’s Vice President of Product Line Management commented, “The E-1100v fuel cell system continues ReliOn’s history of innovation and product improvement.  For customer applications where space is an issue, this addition to our product suite offers a flexible option, while continuing to provide the high reliability and ease of use our customers have come to expect from ReliOn.”

The E-1100v fuel cell system joins ReliOn’s E-series product line – the E-200, E-1100 and E-2500 – which provides backup power solutions between 50W and 20kW.  The company has delivered more than 4 megawatts of product at over 1,400 commercial customer sites in the United States and 34 additional countries.  While many of ReliOn’s customers are wireless telecommunication providers, the company also serves markets including wireline telecommunications, government, security, utility communications and transportation networks.

ReliOn products are used for backup power and site hardening in both traditional configurations and as part of a clean technology system integrated with solar and wind power.  ReliOn continues its commitment to certifications and standards with products being tested or certified to stringent standards from CSA, UL, CE, Telcordia NEBS and China TTL Labs.

About ReliOn:

ReliOn’s continuous innovation in core technology has made it a leader in the development and marketing of modular, fault-tolerant fuel cell products for customers seeking solutions to critical backup power applications.  With more than 1,400 sites serving customers in 42 U.S. states and 34 countries, ReliOn customers enjoy the benefits of high reliability, low operating costs and easy maintenance. ReliOn fuel cells…simply powerful.  www.relion-inc.com.

February 29, 2012 - 7:05 AM No Comments

Global Fuel Cell Supply Chain Will Require Major Capital Investment for Growth, According to Pike Research

BOULDER, Colo.–After a long gestation period, the fuel cell industry has reached a significant turning point. To date, the industry has been supported to a very large degree by government-funded R&D and subsidies. Now, however, an increasing number of industries are moving to adopt fuel cells in limited volumes based on economic and business factors. Leading developers are experiencing double- and even triple-digit growth rates (from an admittedly low base). For the industry to move into a period of sustained and healthy growth, the supply chain must become capable of providing high-quality, economically competitive critical components. At the same time, without a growing industry, the supply chain cannot benefit from component standardization, volume manufacturing, and cost reductions. According to a new report from Pike Research, continued growth in manufacturing capacity and further progress down the cost curve will require significant investments in capital equipment over the next several years to support advanced manufacturing processes. As a result, the cleantech market intelligence firm believes that significant attrition will occur in the supply base over the next few years.”

“With total 2011 revenue for the entire fuel cell supply base of only $295 million, the next few years will be a critical time for suppliers,” says research director Kerry-Ann Adamson. “Although we anticipate a certain amount of contraction along the supply chain in the short term, we believe that this will make the industry in general stronger and more resilient, by the 2015-2016 time frame.”

The proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell stack supply chain comprises a mix of privately-held companies with fuel cell-specific expertise developed to serve this market and divisions of large companies that have repurposed existing capabilities for the same reason. Pike Research has identified 70 companies active in the PEM fuel cell stack supply chain, spread relatively evenly across the various components (membranes, bipolar plates, gas diffusion layers, and so on). Overall, 55% of the companies are located in Asia Pacific and Europe, but a number are based in North America as well.

Pike Research’s report, “The Fuel Cell Stack Supply Chain”, focuses on suppliers of the components that make up the fuel cell stack including catalysts, membranes, membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs), gas diffusion layers (GDLs), and bipolar plates (BPPs) for proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells, high temperature PEM (HT-PEM) fuel cells, and direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC). The study includes an evaluation of the market opportunities and key constraints in the fuel cell supply chain, along with an assessment of the key commercial stage companies active in this market. Detailed market size figures and forecasts are included for each component category through 2017, segmented by world region. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm’s website.

Pike Research is a market research and consulting firm that provides in-depth analysis of global clean technology markets. The company’s research methodology combines supply-side industry analysis, end-user primary research and demand assessment, and deep examination of technology trends to provide a comprehensive view of the Smart Energy, Smart Grid, Smart Transportation, Smart Industry, and Smart Buildings sectors. For more information, visit www.pikeresearch.com or call +1-303-997-7609.

February 29, 2012 - 6:23 AM No Comments

CT TRANSIT sets Another Green Example: Installs PureCell® System from UTC Power and Expands Commitment to Reducing Environmental Impact

SOUTH WINDSOR, Conn.–UTC Power, a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX) company, today announced that CT TRANSIT, which currently operates five buses powered by UTC Power’s transportation fuel cells, will expand their commitment to reducing their environmental impact through the purchase of a PureCell® stationary fuel cell system for their headquarters on Leibert Road in Hartford, Conn. The fuel cell will provide 400 kilowatts (kW) of clean, reliable power to the 330,000 square-foot facility.  Thermal energy from the fuel cell will be used to pre-heat two boilers that support the building’s primary heating system.

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20120228/NE60332LOGO )

CT TRANSIT General Manager David Lee noted, “We are excited to add this cutting-edge fuel cell technology to provide onsite, local power generation in an extremely environmentally positive way. This will reduce our utility costs and improve the reliability of our electrical service.” Lee went on to say, “Our proven collaboration with UTC Power, demonstrated in the operation of five fuel cell transit buses, leaves us confident that this new investment in our fuel cell use will pay off, all the while supporting technology development and jobs in Connecticut.”

By generating power on-site with a fuel cell, CT TRANSIT will prevent the release of more than 827 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually – the equivalent of planting more than 191 acres of trees.  The reduction in nitrogen oxide emissions compared to a conventional power plant are equal to the environmental benefit of removing more than 102 cars from the road.  In addition to the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, the PureCell system will enable CT TRANSIT to save nearly 3.6 million gallons of water annually.

“CT TRANSIT will be the first UTC Power customer to use both our transportation and stationary products,” said Joe Triompo, VP and General Manager of UTC Power.  “They have been a strong partner in the deployment of the PureMotion® system for buses, and we are pleased that they will now be gaining the efficiency and environmental benefits of using our PureCell system at their Hartford headquarters.”

This project is supported by a grant from the Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction Program, also known as TIGGER. The program is run by the Federal Transit Administration. TIGGER is a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

UTC Power’s stationary fuel cell, the PureCell system, is a combined heat and power system that represents a game-changing technology. Compared to typical central generation and other fuel cell offerings, the PureCell system offers customers lower energy costs, reduced emissions, an industry-leading 90 percent system efficiency, 10-year cell stack durability and 20-year product life.

About UTC Power

UTC Power is part of United Technologies Corp. (UTC), which provides energy-efficient products and services to the aerospace and building industries.  UTC is a founding member of the U.S. Green Building Council and the Pew Center on Global Climate Change and has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index each year since it was launched in 1999.  Based in South Windsor, Conn., UTC Power is the world leader in developing and producing fuel cells that generate energy for buildings and for transportation, space and defense applications. UTC Power has designed, manufactured, and installed more than 300 stationary fuel cells in 19 countries on six continents. For more information, please visit www.utcpower.com.

About CT TRANSIT

CT TRANSIT is the state-owned bus transit system serving the greater Hartford, New Haven, Stamford, Waterbury, New Britain, Meriden, Bristol and Wallingford areas. For more information, please visit www.cttransit.com.

February 28, 2012 - 9:39 AM No Comments

FuelCell Energy Announces Signing of a Long Term Service Agreement with a California Utility for a Stationary Fuel Cell Power Plant

DANBURY, Conn. – FuelCell Energy, Inc. (Nasdaq:FCEL) a leading manufacturer of ultra-clean, efficient and reliable fuel cell power plants, today announced the signing of a multi-year service agreement with Southern California Edison (SCE) to operate and maintain the 1.4 megawatt Direct FuelCell® power plant previously purchased and located at California State University – San Bernardino. FuelCell Energy will operate and maintain the power plant.

SCE will sell the ultra-clean electricity produced by the fuel cell power plant to the University under a power purchase agreement and will also provide the high-grade heat generated by the fuel cell to the University. The utility benefits with ultra-clean power generation that supports clean air initiatives, highly efficient power generation that reduces fuel costs, and on-site power generation, representing incremental capacity that reduces the need to invest in transmission and distribution.

The ultra-clean power generation supports sustainability goals for the University as well as reducing fuel costs due to reduced usage of a boiler for heating. The fuel cell power plant releases virtually zero pollutants and the high efficiency of the power generation process reduces carbon emissions. The ability of the fuel cell to generate both power and heat from the same unit of fuel lessens the University’s usage of a combustion-based boiler for heat, further reducing emissions.

“The fuel cell power plant service agreements that we offer allows our customers to focus on what they do best while we concentrate on our core expertise of delivering ultra-clean power in an efficient and reliable manner,” said Chip Bottone, President and Chief Executive Officer, FuelCell Energy, Inc. ”Service is a key aspect of our business model as we operate and maintain virtually every Direct FuelCell power plant installation, around the clock.”

FuelCell Energy offers a comprehensive portfolio of services for fuel cell power plants with service agreements ranging from one to 20 years in duration.  Technicians and engineers remotely operate and maintain the Direct FuelCell power plants globally, 24 hours per day, 365 days per year from the state-of-the-art Global Technical Assistance Center, located at the Company’s Danbury, Connecticut headquarters. Field service technicians directly employed by FuelCell Energy service the power plants on-site.

About FuelCell Energy

Direct FuelCell® power plants are generating ultra-clean, efficient and reliable power at more than 50 locations worldwide.  With over 180 megawatts of power generation capacity installed or in backlog, FuelCell Energy is a global leader in providing ultra-clean baseload distributed generation to utilities, industrial operations, universities, municipal water treatment facilities, government installations and other customers around the world.  The Company’s power plants have generated more than one billion kilowatt hours of ultra-clean power using a variety of fuels including renewable biogas from wastewater treatment and food processing, as well as clean natural gas.  For more information please visit our website at www.fuelcellenergy.com

February 28, 2012 - 9:00 AM No Comments

Worldwide 12 new hydrogen refueling stations in 2011

LBST-HRS-map-Europe-2012

Munich–In 2011, worldwide, 12 new hydrogen fueling stations have been opened. This brought the total number of in-service gas stations on 215. This is the result of the fourth annual evaluation of H2stations.org, a website of the Ludwig-Bolkow-Systemtechnik (LBST), and by TÜV SÜD. An additional 122 stations are worldwide in planning.

Three new stations were put into operation in Germany last year, two of them in the Southwest. In addition to the focal points of Hamburg, Berlin and the Ruhr area the nationwide network of hydrogen refueling stations is taking more and more shape. Especially, the gas stations on the direct line from Berlin to Munich are missing. The corridor to the south is expected to be pushed further on for this year with the opening of a gas station in Bozen. The openings of the year 2011 in Switzerland and Mailand complement the corridor to the southwest.

In Germany, in 2011 a total of 29 operational hydrogen fueling stations were recorded, 12 stations are planned in detail. For a further 20 stations to be built by 2014, the site has not yet been determined. Overall in Europe nine stations opened last year. In Finland the first hydrogen filling station was put into production in January of 2012, and another is planned. In North America, two new stations were opened. At the same time, however, some stations were closed- albeit far less than expected because gas stations are often operated on after the end of publicly funded projects.

Thus, to the knowledge of the Ludwig-Bolkow-Systemtechnik a total of 85 petrol stations in Europe, 80 in North America and 47 are in operation in Asia. The remaining three stations are located in South America, where the fleet of fuel cell buses in Sao Paulo will be extended to 25 buses.

The page H2stations.org (www.H2stations.org) shows all the hydrogen-fueling stations that are in operation, planned and closed on interactive maps. The database is constantly updated and contains detailed information on the current existing 437 service stations and station plans. The database could be expanded for 2011 by 19 stations. To 145 gas stations there were new messages. “The database is avalaible free of charge for non-commercial use,” says CEO Dr. Uwe Albrecht LBST. “For commercial customers, we also offer further information and specific evaluations.”

Information and services on hydrogen and fuel cells

In their hydrogen and fuel cell portal (www.netinform.de/H2) TÜV SÜD and LBST have summarized extensive information and services for professionals and interested laymen. In addition, www.H2stations.org, also entails the website www.H2mobility.org with an overview of all hydrogen vehicles since 1807, as well as detailed technical information and service rules.

The Ludwig-Bolkow-Systemtechnik GmbH (LBST) is a consulting company for energy and the environment. The renowned experts support their international clients in industry, finance, politics and organizations on issues of technology, strategy and sustainability. Two decades of continuous experience of the interdisciplinary team form the basis of the comprehensive competence of the LBST. Since 2006 the international service corporation TÜV SÜD holds a minority stake in Ludwig-Bolkow-Systemtechnik. The common goal is the safe and economic use of alternative energy sources.

February 28, 2012 - 8:40 AM No Comments

Acta signs Strategic Commercial Partnership with Heliocentris including Licensing Agreement and Investment

Acta S.p.A. (AIM: ACTA), the clean energy products company, announces that it has entered into a ten year licensing agreement (the “Agreement”) with Heliocentris Energy Solutions AG (XETRA: H2FA) (”Heliocentris”), a company which specialises in autonomous energy supply and energy efficiency solutions with the aim of replacing diesel generators with “zero-emission” products.

Under the Agreement Heliocentris has committed to buying alkaline solid membrane electrolyser products exclusively from Acta, with a minimum purchase commitment of 500 units in the third year of the partnership and €1.5 million in year four. In exchange Heliocentris will have a non exclusive world-wide license to use Acta’s technology in all Heliocentris products, and subject to meeting the above minimum purchase commitments, will maintain exclusive licenses in Germany and for Middle East and Africa for certain stationary clean power applications such as telecom base stations or home power solutions, as well as the world-wide exclusive license for certain laboratory, educational and training applications. Acta will continue to establish commercial partnerships for its hydrogen generator products in other markets and applications world-wide.

The Agreement is conditional on an investment of €250,000 by Heliocentris in any equity fundraising by Acta of over GBP 1.8 million and Heliocentris have indicated an investment price of up to 6 pence per share. As announced on 14 February 2012 Acta has decided to seek additional funds to finance the working capital requirements of the Company’s current commercial expansion and subject to receiving the required shareholder authority at the EGM to be held on 1 March 2012, it is expected that this will be by way of an equity fundraising.

Paolo Bert, Chief Executive of Acta commented

“Heliocentris is a world leader in the field of energy efficiency and clean power solutions and as such, this Agreement represents not only a fantastic endorsement of Acta’s technology, but also the culmination of many months of successful product validation. It will enable Acta to address significant markets for its products through the established sales channels which Heliocentris already has in place.

In particular we expect to gain rapid market traction in the Middle East, where Heliocentris has the benefit of established local operations, the presence of NTEC, the technology arm of the Kuwait Investment Authority and a close connection to Alcazar Capital, a Dubai-based corporate finance advisory and private equity firm with a strong focus on the telecoms industry. In addition, the investment by Heliocentris in Acta demonstrates the confidence in the collaboration and the progress the two companies have made to date.”

Ayad Abul-Ella, Chief Executive of Heliocentris commented

“We are excited to have entered into this strategic partnership with Acta. Cost efficient and scalable hydrogen generation is an important element of Heliocentris’ roadmap towards autonomous power and zero emission solutions. The combination of Acta’s innovative alkaline solid membrane technology and Heliocentris’ leading system engineering know-how will enable Heliocentris to expand its successful current rollout of GenSet efficiency and energy management solutions to the next level: commercially viable and industrial grade autonomous power as well as zero emission solutions.”

February 28, 2012 - 8:00 AM No Comments

Fuji’s First Fuel Cell Exports Go to Daimler

BERLIN and TOKYO–Germany’s fuel cell market has gained a new player. Fuji Electric Co. will be delivering its first industrial fuel cells outside Japan to Daimler in Hamburg. Investments in the industry are on the rise as well. Canadian fuel cell giant Ballard Power Systems recently opened its European headquarters in Germany, supported by Germany Trade & Invest.  Representatives from Germany Trade & Invest will be at this year’s 8th International Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Expo from February 29 to March 3 in Tokyo to share the latest trends and business opportunities in Germany’s fuel cell industry.

“The internationalization of the fuel cell market is an important step. Germany’s large share of renewable energy and its decision to abandon nuclear power has accelerated development and commercialization in the field. Companies can gain a clear first-mover advantage here,” said Raphael Goldstein, hydrogen and fuel cell expert at Germany Trade & Invest in Berlin.

With 19.9 percent of electricity in Germany coming from renewable sources in 2011 – a figure climbing steadily – the need for energy storage and smart grid solutions is becoming more acute. Fluctuating supply sources such as wind and solar must be stored or intelligently managed in order to meet peak demand. Both stationary and mobile solutions are being implemented, including electric and fuel cell vehicles. Fuji’s first deliveries to Europe will go to Daimler, however they will power an innovative Mercedes dealership in Hamburg, demonstrating that both types of fuel cells are gaining traction in Germany.

Germany Trade & Invest is the foreign trade and inward investment promotion agency of the Federal Republic of Germany. The organization advises foreign companies looking to expand their business activities in the German market. It provides information on foreign trade to German companies that seek to enter foreign markets

February 28, 2012 - 7:24 AM No Comments

ITM Power Signs Equipment Development and Lease Agreement with Boeing

ITM Power (AIM: ITM), the energy storage and clean fuel company, announces that it has signed an Equipment Development and Lease Agreement with Boeing Research & Technology Europe S.L.U. “Boeing” for the development, assembly and field trials of a 1Nm3/hr (2.1kg/day) PEM electrolyser. The containerised electrolysis equipment will form part of Boeing’s current off-grid refuelling station for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (“UAS”).

During the last few years the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) industry/sector has seen sustained growth, mainly through the development and maturing of military applications and followed by wide recognition of their possibilities in civilian applications which include: border control, coastguard, law enforcement, pipeline and powerline monitoring, earth and environmental observations, communications and many more. These systems can potentially offer lower cost and investment risk as well as low infrastructure requirements for tactical intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISAR).

ITM Power CEO, Dr. Graham Cooley, commented: “ITM Power has had a dialogue with Boeing Research & Technology –Europe for several years and actually completed some of the early ground work that led to the inception of the off-grid solar-based refuelling station for UAS that Boeing Research & Technology Europe is developing in Spain. I am delighted that Boeing Research & Technology Europe has now returned to ITM Power to complete the project with our PEM electrolyser technology and I look forward to taking our relationship further”.

Francisco Escartí, Managing Director, of Boeing Research & Technology Europe, commented: “We are very excited to test ITM Power´s PEM electrolyzer technology in our off-grid solar-based refueling station for UAS”.

February 27, 2012 - 8:05 AM No Comments

The Carbon Trust has invested in a novel, low-cost fuel cell architecture which is being commercialised by UCLB and Imperial Innovations

The Carbon Trust is injecting over half a million pounds into a collaboration between UCL and Imperial College to accelerate the commercialisation of an innovative fuel cell.

The new technology could help the UK gain a significant share of a fuel cell market estimated by the Carbon Trust to be worth up to $26bn in 2020.

Fuel cells efficiently convert the chemical energy contained in a fuel directly into electricity – they produce electricity like a battery but are fuelled like an engine or a boiler. Although fuel cells are already emerging in specific markets, they are currently too expensive for widespread commercial applications, such as road vehicles and co-generating heat and power. A reduction of a third in the cost of mass-producing a fuel cell system could unlock a global fuel cell market worth billions of pounds annually.

The Carbon Trust is running the Polymer Fuel Cell Challenge (PFCC) to develop, prove and commercialise novel fuel cell technologies which have the potential to deliver a step-change in overall system cost.

The UCL and Imperial College collaboration led by Dr Dan Brett (UCL Department of Chemical Engineering) and Professor Anthony Kucernak (Imperial College Department of Chemistry) is developing a fuel cell stack that could offer significant cost savings by using existing high-volume manufacturing techniques employed in the production of circuit boards.

Dr Tim Fishlock, Senior Business Manager at UCLB, said: ‘This novel fuel cell stack has huge commercial potential and the funding from the Carbon Trust comes at a critical point in its development.
UCLB has also invested its own proof-of-concept funds into the project and we continue to work with our colleagues at Imperial Innovations to help bring this exciting technology to market’.

About the Carbon Trust

The Carbon Trust is a not-for-profit company with the mission to accelerate the move to a low carbon economy, providing specialist support to business and the public sector to help cut carbon emissions, save energy and commercialise low carbon technologies. By stimulating low carbon action we contribute to key UK goals of lower carbon emissions, the development of low carbon businesses, increased energy security and associated jobs.

For further information, please visit www.carbontrust.co.uk

About UCLB

UCLB is a leading technology transfer company that supports and commercialises research and innovations arising from UCL, one of the UK’s top research-led universities. UCLB has a successful track record and a strong reputation for identifying and protecting promising new technologies and innovations from UCL academics. It invests directly in development projects to maximise the potential of the research and manages the commercialisation process of technologies from the laboratory to market. UCLB supports UCL’s Grand Challenges of increasing UCL’s positive impact on and contribution to Global Health, Sustainable Cities, Intercultural Interaction and Human Wellbeing.

For further information, please visit www.uclb.com

February 27, 2012 - 7:14 AM No Comments

Leaders of the Fuel Cell Pack

Fuel cell forklifts like the one shown here are used by leading companies across the U.S. as part of their daily business operations. | Energy Department file photo.Fuel cell forklifts like the one shown here are used by leading companies across the U.S. as part of their daily business operations. | Energy Department file photo.
Written by Sunita Satyapal:Program Manager, Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Technology Program

What does the report show?

  • The 34 companies profiled used more than 250 fuel cells totaling 30+ MW of stationary power — enough to supply electricity for over 21,000 households.

What do WalMart, Coca-Cola, Sysco, and Whole Foods have in common?

They’re leading the pack when it comes to hydrogen and fuel cells.

The Energy Department’s “Business Case for Fuel Cells 2011″ report illustrates how top American companies are using fuel cells in their business operations to advance their sustainability goals, save millions of dollars in electricity costs, and reduce carbon emissions by hundreds of thousands of metric tons per year.

The report profiles 34 companies and highlights how they incorporate fuel cell technologies into their business models. According to the report, in the last year, profiled companies used more than 250 fuel cells totaling 30+ MW of stationary power — enough to supply electricity for over 21,000 households. In addition, companies in the report purchased or deployed more than 240 fuel cells at telecommunication sites and more than 1,030 fuel cell-powered lift trucks.

Walmart, Coca-Cola, Sysco, and Whole Foods are leading the pack:

·      Walmart — 6.8 MW for CHP (17 stores) and 70+ forklifts
·      Coca-Cola — 2.1 MW (4 locations) and 70+ forklifts
·      Sysco Corporation — 600+ forklifts at several locations, one hundred more on order
·      Whole Foods Market — 1.2 MW (4 stores) and 60+ forklifts

So how do these companies deploy fuel cell technologies in their daily operations? Many use fuel cells as a cost-saving alternative to power lift trucks in their warehouses and distribution centers. The Department’s analysis of fuel cell-powered lift trucks deployed via the Recovery Act concludes that fuel cells provide eight times lower refueling/recharging labor cost and two times lower net present value of total system cost compared to batteries.

In addition, Combined Heat and Power systems are another attractive application of fuel cell technologies. When fuel cells generate electricity they give off waste heat. In a combined heat and power system, the waste heat is captured for a wide variety of applications, including space heating and hot water.

You can read more about how fuel cells are beneficially impacting these companies’ bottom line while further promoting the use of clean energy technologies by checking out the report.

February 27, 2012 - 5:11 AM No Comments

Workshop on materials issues for fuel cells and hydrogen technologies

Date:
26 Mar 2012
Location:
Grenoble, France

The two-day Workshop will take place from Monday 26th March afternoon to Tuesday 27th March afternoon.

It intends to:

- give a complete overview of the entire portfolio of projects on Fuel Cells Hydrogen (FCH) in the JTI, NMP, Energy programmes end of the EU Seventh Framework Programme (FP7)

- bring forward the global picture of FCH research and innovation in Europe; highlight the impact of material in this area and future related policy needs

- enable the materials and FCH communities in Europe to identify joint collaboration and application areas, and gain new contacts and new ideas for strategic industrial partnerships

- make key recommendations on future research needs in the FCH domain to set up a material roadmap to foster the development of FCH in Europe.

An Opening Session will be followed by five technical sessions addressing the different hydrogen and fuel cells technologies. 30 projects will be represented from various programmes.

In each topical session, projects will be presented. Each project will highlight its objectives and approach, focus on the benefits and barriers of the material-based research method, where applicable, on the (expected) results and any further research need. Each session will be followed by a discussion to help consolidating the information to highlight future materials research needs.

The Workshop can be attended upon invitation only and will not have any attendance fee.

It is addressed  to:

- partners of the EU-funded projects of FP7 active in hydrogen fuel cells

- FCH national representatives from the Member States

- FCH technical experts

- EC Project Officers from the Programmes concerned

- FCH JTI representatives

- any other FCH stakeholder

Please reply to the invitation and register here:

February 27, 2012 - 4:00 AM No Comments

Official Handover to Solvay Interox is a huge sucess-Acal starts fuel cell field trials

Acal-FlowCath-integrated-fuel-cell-stack

ACAL Energy’s fuel cell technology was centre-stage for a meeting of the great and the good in UK technology. With our partners, we hosted a meeting for around 60 people at the Solvay Interox site in Warrington. The principal purpose of the event was to mark the handover of the first FlowCath® fuel cell system to be installed in a working application. This 3kW unit is providing round-the-clock back-up power for an effluent clean-up plant.

We were delighted to welcome our guests including representatives from government, industry, the finance community and the media, who were able to visit the installation and to see for themselves the progress which has been made by the engineering team. The audience also heard inspiring presentations from ACAL Energy and our partners, Solvay and UPS Systems, who set out clearly the impressive results and future visions we share for deployment of fuel cells in an increasing number of applications. Léopold Demiddeleer, Senior Executive VP Future Businesses at Solvay SA travelled over from Belgium to share his views and to network with the group.

We would like to thank Len Sharpe (Solvay Interox MD) and his team for their hospitality, and all those who spent time with us yesterday to mark this important milestone in FlowCath®’s development.

February 24, 2012 - 3:30 PM No Comments

Army unveils world’s first military fleet of fuel cell vehicles

Photo Credit: U.S. Army Pacific U.S. Army Pacific held a commissioning ceremony Feb. 22, 2012, of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles on Palm Circle at Fort Shafter, Hawaii. Guest speakers took time to pose in front of the vehicle. From left to right: George Ka'iliwai, director of resources and assessment, U.S. Pacific Command; Maj. Gen. Roger F. Mathews, deputy commander, U.S. Army Pacific; Peter Carlisle, Mayor of the city and county of Honolulu; Grace Bochenek, director of the tank and automotive research development engineering center; Charles Freese, executive director of global fuel cell activities for General Motors; Daniel Inouye, U.S. Senator; Brian Schatz, lieutenant governor of the State of Hawaii.

Photo Credit: U.S. Army Pacific U.S. Army Pacific held a commissioning ceremony Feb. 22, 2012, of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles on Palm Circle at Fort Shafter, Hawaii. Guest speakers took time to pose in front of the vehicle. From left to right: George Ka'iliwai, director of resources and assessment, U.S. Pacific Command; Maj. Gen. Roger F. Mathews, deputy commander, U.S. Army Pacific; Peter Carlisle, Mayor of the city and county of Honolulu; Grace Bochenek, director of the tank and automotive research development engineering center; Charles Freese, executive director of global fuel cell activities for General Motors; Daniel Inouye, U.S. Senator; Brian Schatz, lieutenant governor of the State of Hawaii.

HONOLULU  – U.S. Army, Pacific, today unveiled a fleet of 16 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles that the military services in Hawaii are testing in an effort to research efficient, clean and renewable energy sources, and reduce the U.S. military’s dependence on petroleum.

“The Army continues to investigate technologies and partnerships that give the United States a decisive advantage,” said Lt. Gen. Francis J. Wiercinski, commanding general of U.S. Army, Pacific. “These fuel cell vehicles will help move the U.S. Army in the Pacific toward a sustainable path that reduces energy security challenges and strengthens our energy independence.”

During a Feb. 22 ceremony at historic Palm Circle at Fort Shafter, Hawaii, officials from the services — U.S. Army, Pacific, U.S. Pacific Fleet, U.S. Pacific Air Forces and U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Pacific — government leaders, including U.S. Senator Daniel Inouye, Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz and Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle, and industry partners demonstrated the use of the 16 General Motors hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. The zero-emission vehicles, funded by the Army Tank Automotive Research Development Engineering Center, or TARDEC, Office of Naval Research and Air Force Research Laboratories, are being tested in Hawaii’s ideal climate for real-world conditions reflecting each service’s needs.

“Our pursuit of alternative energy is closely tied to our commitment to continually adapt to an ever-changing security environment,” said George Ka’iliwai, director of Resources and Assessment for U.S. Pacific Command. “Defense relationships and military approaches alone can’t solve all of our energy challenges, but they underpin the initiatives we’re taking within the Department of Defense to reduce the dependence on foreign sources of energy.”

The military fleet of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles serves as the test platform powered by renewable hydrogen, travels up to 200 miles on a single charge, refuels in five minutes and produces zero emissions.

“The test data collected will be analyzed to make fuel cell technology practical in future operational platforms,” said James Muldoon, science officer, U.S. Army, Pacific.

“The development of fuel cell vehicles and an associated transportation infrastructure on which new military and civilian fleets can be tested and employed will reduce our dependence on foreign oil and help move our state and country forward,” said Inouye. “Hawaii is uniquely situated to benefit from the shift toward electric and fuel cell vehicles.”

The Army actively seeks and supports industry partnerships to increase compatible renewable energy development. Fielding of military fuel cell vehicles with the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines is the latest effort of the Hawaii Hydrogen Initiative, a partnership among 13 agencies, companies and universities. More information on the initiative can be found online at www.hydrogen2hawaii.com.

“Once the key hydrogen infrastructure elements are proven in Hawaii, other states can adopt a similar approach,” said Charles Freese, executive director of global fuel cell activities for General Motors, a founding partner of the Hawaii Hydrogen Initiative. “The military is paving the way, demonstrating the practicality and applicability of this technology.”

February 24, 2012 - 8:08 AM No Comments

Media Invited to NASA Glenn to See New Fuel Cell Demonstration on Mobile Rover

CLEVELAND – A demonstration of a fuel cell that will allow rovers on extraterrestrial surfaces to go farther and last longer will be conducted at NASA’s Glenn Research Center on Feb. 29 at 11 a.m.

The new type of fuel cell will extend the range of surface operations for rovers that will explore new worlds as part of future NASA missions. Unlike a conventional fuel cell that needs a pump to remove the water produced inside the device, this non-flow-through fuel cell uses capillary action to wick away the water. By eliminating the pump, a non-flow-through fuel cell is simpler, lighter, and more reliable.

The rover that will demonstrate the fuel cell in Glenn’s Simulated Lunar Operations (SLOPE) facility is called SCARAB. It was developed by Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute, Pittsburgh, under a grant from Glenn, and is regularly used for Human Robotic systems project mobility research in SLOPE.

SCARAB

“The demonstration will mark the first time this novel fuel cell technology is tested outside the laboratory setting,” said David Irimies, project manager for the demonstration. “It will provide space exploration vehicles with a unique power generation capability and give researchers a better idea for how new fuel cell technologies such as this one perform in realistic operations.”

Ken Burke, lead engineer at Glenn for the demonstration, said, “This technology was selected by R&D Magazine for a 2011 R&D 100 Award, which recognizes this technology as one of the 100 most technologically significant new products of the year.”

During the event, reporters will have the opportunity to see the rover respond autonomously to commands given to it. They will also be able to talk with researchers involved in the demonstration.

The demonstration is supported by NASA’s Modular Power Systems project under the Advanced Exploration Systems Program and NASA’s Space Power Systems project under the Office of Chief Technologist.

For more information about non-flow-through fuel cells, visit:

https://electrochemistry.grc.nasa.gov/main/current-projects/etdd/space-power-systems-project-regenerative-fuel-cell-technology-development/

February 24, 2012 - 7:23 AM No Comments

To make better fuel cells, study the defects

Schematic and microphoto of a nanorod

Provided/Chen Lab

When Amplex Red connects with a gold catalyst the structure is changed to make a fluorescent molecule that immediately emits a flash of light, showing where the catalytic event took place. Right, electron microphoto of a single gold nanorod, encased in a poirus silica shell. The shell keeps rods from clumping together and allows experimenters to use heat to clean away a coating that forms when the rods are created.

Engineers trying to improve fuel-cell catalysts may be looking in the wrong place, according to new research at Cornell.

By Bill Steele

Engineers trying to improve fuel-cell catalysts may be looking in the wrong place, according to new research at Cornell.

There is growing interest in forming the catalysts that break down fuel to generate electricity into nanoparticles. Nanoparticles provide a larger surface area to speed reactions, and in some cases, materials that are not catalytic in bulk become so at the nanoscale.

These nanoparticles, typically just a few tens of nanometers (nm) wide, are not neat little spheres, but rather jagged chunks, like microscale gravel, and researchers have found that they can correlate catalytic activity with information about the number and type of their surface facets. But they may be looking at the forest and ignoring the trees.

“People measure the activity of a sample and then try to understand by using facet information,” said Peng Chen, associate professor of chemistry and chemical biology. “The message we want to deliver is that surface defects [on the facets] dominate the catalysis.”

Chen’s research is reported Feb. 19 in the online edition of the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

Instead of particles, Chen’s research group studied catalytic events on gold “nanorods” up to 700 nm long, effectively letting them see how activity varies over a single facet. Gold acts as a catalyst to convert a chemical called Amplex Red into resorufin, which is fluorescent.

Each time a catalytic event occurs, the newly created molecule of resorufin emits a flash of light that is detected by a digital camera looking through a microscope. A flash typically appears as several pixels, and additional computer processing averages their brightness to pinpoint the actual event to within a few nanometers. The researchers call the technique “super-resolution microscopy.” After flooding a field of nanorods with a solution of Amplex Red, they made a “movie” with one frame every 25 milliseconds.

The researchers found more catalytic events near the middle of a rod, tapering off toward the ends and a jump back up at the ends. They also found variation in the amount of activity from one rod to another, even though all the rods have the same types of facets.

To explain the results, they proposed that activity is higher in areas where there are more surface defects. The nanorods are made by growing gold crystals from a small “seed” crystal, growing outward from the center to the ends, Chen explained, and more defects form at the beginning of the process.

“Knowledge of the surface facets … is insufficient to predict reactivity,” the researchers said in their paper. “Surface defects … can also play a dominant role.”

The findings with a gold catalyst and fluorescent molecules should be equally applicable to other catalysts, including those used in fuel cells and for pollution remediation, Chen said.

The research was supported in part by the Army Research Office, the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Department of Energy and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Part of the work was carried out at the Cornell Center for Materials Research and the Cornell Nanoscale Science and Technology Facility, both supported by NSF.

February 24, 2012 - 6:30 AM No Comments

Appalachian Energy Center to co-host hydrogen railway conference in United Kingdom

BOONE – The increasing price of diesel fuel, the need to reduce carbon emissions, and the high cost for railway electrification require alternatives to diesel and electric trains. The long-term solution to these challenges is the development of hydrogen-based propulsion system for railways.

In partnership with Appalachian State University’s Energy Center, the University of Birmingham’s Centre for Railway Research and Education will host the 7th International Hydrail Conference July 3-4 in Birmingham, U.K. The event is dedicated to facilitating the transition to hydrogen-powered railways.

The Birmingham, U.K., conference will focus on the current status of projects around the world; technology innovations; and environmental, climate, and economic drivers of the transition to a hydrogen-powered railway. More information about hydrail technology and the upcoming conference is available at www.hydrail.org.

The International Hydrail Conference is a global effort to expedite development and deployment of the next generation of hydrogen-fueled train propulsion technology.

“Hydrail” is the generic term of art coined in 2004 for reference to all hydrogen-based rail propulsion technology. Hydrail technology eliminates transportation emissions created by burning fossil fuels offering significantly reducing climate change risks associated with greenhouse gas emissions. This hydrogen transportation technology also allows the benefits of electrified trains to be realized without the high infrastructure costs or visual impacts commonly associated with this modern form of mass transit.

Two centuries after the locomotive was introduced, the first hydrogen-powered locomotive was built for use at an underground mine in Canada in 2002. Since then, the first full-size hydrogen-powered shunting locomotive, also called a switch engine, has been tested by one of the largest American railroads, BNSF Railway Co., in Los Angeles. Hydrail passenger transportation application have been developed and operated in Taiwan, Japan and Spain. Planning, development and other studies related to hydrail have also been undertaken in China, Denmark, Europe and Asia.

Conference organizers intend for this year’s event to feature the brightest star on the passenger hydrail horizon – Ferrocarriles de Vía Estrecha, or FEVE. This state-owned Spanish railway company named after the narrow-gauge tracks on which it operates, demonstrated a hydrail tram or “hydrolley” in the Principality of Asturias last year and has announced that it will place Europe’s first hydrail train in revenue service this year.

The International Hydrail Conferences series is the world’s only conference focused on the use of hydrogen fuel in railway applications.

“We have taken perhaps the most traditional of mechanical transportation technologies and facilitated a truly global effort to make railways the most advanced of transportation technologies,” said Jason Hoyle, a research analyst with Appalachian’s Energy Center and one of the co-founders of the International Hydrail Conference.

“Since our first event was held in Charlotte, N.C. in 2005, the conference has been held in Europe and Asia, and most recently was co-hosted by the International Centre for Hydrogen Energy Technology, a United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, in Istanbul, Turkey,” he said.

Researchers, businesses, regulators and train enthusiasts typically come from around the globe to attend and present at the conference, including representatives from Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands, Russia, Sweden, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States.

February 24, 2012 - 5:37 AM No Comments

Delta Announces the Launch of First Fuel Cell Powered Telecom Tower for Idea Cellular in Madhya Pradesh

Delta Power Solutions announces the launch of first fuel cell powered telecom tower for Idea Cellular in Madhya Pradesh, India

Gurgaon, Haryana, India–Delta Power Solutions announces the launch of first fuel cell powered telecom tower for Idea Cellular in Madhya Pradesh, India. It is arguably the first ever project of its kind in India which is based on sustainable business model for mass deployment. In the first phase of the project, 30 telecom towers will be powered with this green technology. This initiative will help Idea cellular to reduce carbon foot print & provide an option to expand its green footprint across the country.

Delta and Dantherm Power (a Subsidiary of ‘Ballard Power Systems’) are jointly working to deploy the fuel cell power solution in Idea Cellular Network. The fuel cell system will be integrated and deployed by Delta, along with Delta’s Site Management and Control System (SMCS). These sites will be remotely monitored by Delta’s Network Operation Centre (NOC) in Gurgaon, Haryana. Delta will provide all product and operational support to Idea Cellular under the managed service contract.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has issued a directive in January, 2012 requiring 50% of all rural telecom base station towers and 33% of all urban towers in the country to be powered by hybrid solutions within 5-years. Hybrid solutions involve a combination of renewable energy sources, such as hydrogen fuel cells, and grid electricity.

Anil Tandon, Chief Technology Officer of Idea Cellular said, “We intend to move quickly in complying with TRAI’s directive. Fuel cell-based power will be a focus for us because of its reliability, efficiency and green attributes.”

Idea Cellular is part of the US $35 billion Multinational, Aditya Birla Group and is India’s third-largest mobile services operator. The Company has more than 100 million subscribers.

Fuel cell systems will be deployed at cell tower locations in close proximity to an Aditya Birla Group chemical plant in the region of Nadga, Madhya Pradesh, which produces hydrogen as a by-product of the chemical production process. The hybrid green energy solution being provided by Delta will displace diesel generators that are currently required to operate on a near-daily basis, due to frequent grid power outages.

Dalip Sharma, MD of Delta Power Solutions and John Sheridan, Ballard President and CEO in a joint comment stated, “There is a tremendous opportunity for clean energy solutions in the fast-growing India market. This initial deployment with Idea Cellular is an exciting step in validating the financial and environmental benefits of our fuel cell products to Idea Cellular and to prospects in India.”

About Delta Group

Delta Group is the world’s leading provider of power management and thermal management solutions, as well as a major source for components, visual displays, industrial automation, networking products and renewable energy solutions. Delta Group has sales offices worldwide and manufacturing plants in Taiwan, China, Thailand, Japan, Mexico, India, Brazil and Europe. As a global leader in power electronics, Delta’s mission is “To provide innovative, clean and efficient energy solutions for a better tomorrow.” Delta is committed to environmental protection and has implemented green, lead-free production and recycling and waste management programs for many years. More information about Delta Group can be found at www.deltaww.com.

About Delta Power Solutions (India)

Delta Power Solutions (India), is a 100% subsidiary of Delta Electronics (Thailand) PLC, part of the Delta Group, a leading multinational with headquarters in Taiwan with 6.6 billion USD revenue for 2010. Delta Power Solutions (India) is a world-class provider of power management solutions in the areas of Telecom Power Supplies, Uninterrupted power supply, Industrial Automation, Components, Renewable Energy and Display Solutions. The group has been operating in India since 1992. The company is responsible for developing business in the SAARC region and is also recognized as the “Centre for Technical Excellence” for the SAARC region. The company has an impressive installation base with regional support centers all over India and the SAARC region. Delta has been awarded ISO 9001:2000, ISO 14001:2004 and OHSAS 18001:1999 certifications by Underwriters’ Laboratories, USA, for Quality, Procedures, and Environment management.

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.

February 23, 2012 - 9:00 AM No Comments

U.S. Army Unveils World’s First Military Fleet of Fuel Cell Vehicles

US Army GM FC Vehicles

The U.S. Army today unveiled a fleet of 16 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles that the military services in Hawaii are testing in an effort to research efficient, clean and renewable energy sources and reduce the U.S. military’s dependence on petroleum.

“The Army continues to investigate technologies and partnerships that give the United States a decisive advantage,” said Lt. Gen. Francis J. Wiercinski, commanding general of U.S. Army, Pacific. “These fuel cell vehicles will move the U.S. Army in the Pacific toward a sustainable path that reduces energy security challenges and strengthens our energy independence.”

During a Feb. 22 ceremony at historic Palm Circle at Fort Shafter, Hawaii, officials from the services comprising U.S. Army, Pacific, U.S. Pacific Fleet, U.S. Pacific Air Forces and U.S. Marine Corps. forces, Pacific – government leaders including U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, Lt. Gov. Brian Schatz and Honolulu Mayor Peter Carlisle, and industry partners demonstrated the use of the 16 General Motors hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

The zero-emission vehicles, funded by the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC), Office of Naval Research and Air Force Research Laboratories, are being tested in Hawaii’s ideal climate for real-world conditions reflecting each service’s needs.

The military fleet of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles serves as the test platform powered by renewable hydrogen. Each vehicle travels up to 200 miles on a single tank, refuels in five minutes and produces only water as emissions.

“The development of fuel cell vehicles and an associated transportation infrastructure on which new military and civilian fleets can be tested and employed will reduce dependence on foreign oil and help move our state and country forward,” said Sen. Daniel Inouye. “Hawaii is uniquely situated to benefit from the shift toward electric and fuel cell vehicles.”

The Army actively seeks and supports industry partnerships to increase compatible renewable energy development. Fielding of military fuel cell vehicles with the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines is the latest effort of the Hawaii Hydrogen Initiative, a partnership among 13 agencies, companies and universities. More information on the initiative can be found at http://www.Hydrogen2hawaii.com.

“This large scale experiment will last more than two years and, during it, we will mature and accelerate these technologies in support of our Nation’s energy efficiency goals,” said Dr. Grace M. Bochenek, TARDEC director. “The combined efforts of these defense laboratories are delivering the transportation and energy capabilities for the future.”

“Once the key hydrogen infrastructure elements are proven in Hawaii, other states can adopt a similar approach,” said Charles Freese, executive director of global fuel cell activities for GM. “The military is paving the way, demonstrating the practicality and applicability of this technology.”

ABOUT TARDEC
Headquartered at the U.S. Army Detroit Arsenal in Warren, MI, TARDEC is the Nation’s laboratory for advanced military automotive technology and serves as the Ground Systems Integrator for all Department of Defense (DOD) manned and unmanned ground vehicle systems. With roots dating back to the World War II era, TARDEC is a full life-cycle, systems engineering support provider-of-first-choice for all DOD ground combat and combat support weapons, equipment and vehicle systems. TARDEC develops and integrates the right technology solutions to improve Current Force effectiveness and provides superior capabilities for Future Force integration. TARDEC’s technical, scientific and engineering staff lead cutting-edge research and development in Ground Systems Survivability; Power and Mobility; Ground Vehicle Robotics; Force Projection; and Vehicle Electronics and Architecture. TARDEC is a major research, development and engineering center for Research, Development and Engineering Command and an enterprise partner in the TACOM Life Cycle Management Command. http://tardec.army.mil/

February 23, 2012 - 8:00 AM No Comments

The Gas Co. and GM open center for hydrogen-powered cars

Pacific Business News

The Gas Co. and General Motors plan to open a service center in Honolulu for hydrogen fuel cell vehicles this week.

The two companies will dedicate the facility at The Gas Co.’s property at 515 Kamakee St. in Kakaako on Thursday, along with members of the Hawaii Hydrogen Initiative.

GM plans to use the facility to maintain its fleet of fuel cell vehicles in Hawaii.

“We have been working with GM on providing them the space so that they can develop a service center to maintain their fuel cell cars and that’s what this is, the center’s now been set up,” Stephanie Ackerman, a spokeswoman for The Gas Co., told PBN.

The automaker and the utility first announced a partnership two years ago to use The Gas Co.’s pre-existing pipeline infrastructure to support the cars.

Article source: http://feeds.bizjournals.com/~r/industry_5/~3/twpkiNEuAa4/the-gas-co-and-gm-open-center-for.html

February 23, 2012 - 6:17 AM No Comments

Scientists develop enhanced container for hydrogen fuel

Korean scientists have developed an enhanced material to contain hydrogen fuel that could significantly reduce the size of containers while holding more fuel, the government said Thursday.

The new material could help speed up the development of hydrogen-fuel cars while improving the efficiency and overall competitiveness of such vehicles, as it will help reduce the size of fuel tanks, according to the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology. The ministry partly funded the research by a team from Insilicotech, a local materials development company.

Existing hydrogen containers use microporous materials, which have small pores that hold hydrogen and are about 0.321 nanometer in diameter.

The team successfully expanded the size of pores in the material to 0.8 nanometer by injecting pyridine molecules that work as pillars between layers of the porous material.

As a result, the density of hydrogen in the new pillared material rose to 61.7 grams per liter (g/L) from only 40 g/L in conventional materials, according to the ministry.

This nearly meets the performance standard for hydrogen fuel tanks in cars suggested by the U.S. Department of Energy, which is 70 g/L, it said.

“The outcome of this research greatly enhanced the study on hydrogen containers that can also be used as materials for fuel cell batteries,” Choi Seung-hoon, a lead researcher from Insilicotech, was quoted as saying.

A paper containing the result of the research, titled “Pillared Covalent Organic Frameworks with Balanced Volumetric and Gravimetric Hydrogen Uptake,” was published Jan. 12 by an international journal, the Journal of Physical Chemistry C. (Yonhap)

February 23, 2012 - 5:27 AM No Comments

FuelCell Energy Announces Cooperation With Fraunhofer IKTS to Develop the European Market for Stationary Fuel Cell Power Plants

The Cooperation Will Target Opportunities in Europe for Ultra-Clean Baseload Power From Stationary Fuel Cell Power Plants Using Clean Natural Gas and Renewable Biogas

DANBURY, Conn.– FuelCell Energy, Inc. FCEL, a leading manufacturer of ultra-clean, efficient and reliable fuel cell power plants, today announced a memorandum of understanding to form a German-based joint venture with Fraunhofer IKTS (Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems) to develop the market in Europe for Direct FuelCell(R) (DFC(R)) stationary power plants. Additionally, Fraunhofer IKTS will contribute certain assets and their expertise in fuel cells and materials science to the joint venture.

“Germany needs clean baseload distributed power generation and FuelCell Energy has market leading solutions so it is a very good fit for Fraunhofer to work with FuelCell Energy,” said Prof. Dr. Alexander Michaelis, director, Fraunhofer IKTS. “The Fraunhofer IKTS team looks forward to applying our materials science and fuel cell expertise to help develop a broader range of applications and markets for FuelCell Energy products and technology.”

The joint venture will target the European market for baseload distributed generation from a location in Germany to address the trend towards clean and renewable decentralized power generation. The attributes of stationary fuel cell power plants can help European countries diversify their power generation portfolio and reach sustainability goals as they provide continuous ultra-clean power in a highly efficient process at the point of use. The power generation portfolio of many European countries includes intermittent renewable power generation. Continuous baseload power from stationary fuel cell plants will help balance this intermittency.

“Fraunhofer IKTS brings world-renowned applied research expertise and a vast network of relationships that will help to develop and grow a stationary fuel cell market in Germany, which will then provide a platform for expansion throughout Europe,” said Chip Bottone, President and Chief Executive Officer for FuelCell Energy, Inc. “We expect that the combination of complementary knowledge and skill sets of fuel cell technology between our respective organizations is going to be very powerful for further enhancing the performance of Direct FuelCell power plants.”

“Strong partners like German-based Fraunhofer IKTS and our recent partnership announcement with Spanish-based Abengoa are helping us execute our European strategy to penetrate and rapidly grow stationary fuel cell installations in Europe,” continued Mr. Bottone. “We have an active pipeline of approximately 45 megawatts in Europe developed in just the past year with limited local presence to date, illustrating the strong market potential.”

FuelCell Energy will lead market development and servicing efforts for Direct FuelCell power plants as well as support for existing carbonate fuel cell power plants already operating in Europe. Fraunhofer IKTS will contribute research & development resources for enhancing DFC technology and use local knowledge and relationships to assist in market development. FuelCell Energy has established a legal entity in Germany for the joint venture and will retain majority ownership.

There are a number of existing incentives in Europe for stationary fuel cell power plants operating on either clean natural gas or renewable biogas. In Germany for example, a feed-in tariff is promoting adoption of combined heat and power (CHP) power generation as the German government is targeting 25 percent of electricity generation to include CHP by 2020, up from the current level of 15 percent. Additional incentives are available that are specific to fuel cell power generation.

DFC power plants generate electricity and usable high quality heat with an electrochemical reaction that emits virtually no pollutants. Avoiding the emission of NOx, SOx and particulate matter supports clean air regulations and benefits public health. The high efficiency of the fuel cell power generation process reduces fuel costs and carbon emissions, and producing both electricity and heat from the same unit of fuel drives economics while simultaneously promoting sustainability. Fuel cells can achieve up to 90 percent efficiency when configured to use the high quality heat generated by the power plant in a combined heat & power (CHP) mode.

Ultra-clean, efficient and reliable DFC plants can help solve the power generation challenges facing European countries. For example, Germany is targeting a 40 percent reduction in carbon emissions, doubling power generation from renewable sources to 35 percent, and aiming to eliminate nuclear power generation by 2022, which accounts for approximately one quarter of existing power generation. DFC power plants are fuel flexible, capable of operating on clean natural gas or renewable biogas. Germany, for example, has an extensive natural gas distribution network, supporting on-site power markets as well as utility grid support.

Founded in 1949, Fraunhofer is Europe’s largest application-oriented research organization with an annual research budget of EURO1.8 billion (approximately $2.3 billion) and more than 18,000 staff, primarily scientists and engineers. Fraunhofer has research centers and representative offices in Europe, USA, Asia and the Middle East, and more than 80 research units, including 60 Fraunhofer Institutes, at different locations in Germany. The Fraunhofer IKTS with its staff of 400 highly educated engineers, scientists and technicians is a world leading institute in the field of advanced ceramics for high tech applications. The primary markets for IKTS include energy and environmental technology with a focus on fuel cell development and commercialization.

Website: www.ikts.fraunhofer.de/en

About FuelCell Energy

Direct FuelCell(R) power plants are generating ultra-clean, efficient and reliable power at more than 50 locations worldwide. With over 180 megawatts of power generation capacity installed or in backlog, FuelCell Energy is a global leader in providing ultra-clean baseload distributed generation to utilities, industrial operations, universities, municipal water treatment facilities, government installations and other customers around the world. The Company’s power plants have generated more than one billion kilowatt hours of ultra-clean power using a variety of fuels including renewable biogas from wastewater treatment and food processing, as well as clean natural gas. For more information, please visit our website at www.fuelcellenergy.com

February 22, 2012 - 9:00 AM No Comments

Hydrogen station in Hamburg Vattenfalls latest endeavour in sustainable mobility

Hydrogen Station

Last Friday, February 17, Vattenfall opened Europe’s most modern hydrogen station for fuel cell buses and cars in the heart of HafenCity, Hamburg. In parallel with working on charging solutions and development of electric cars, Vattenfall also works with other alternative fuels. The hydrogen station in Hamburg is the largest in Europe and a step forward for hydrogen as fuel for transport.

The location of the station is in the middle of an urban environment and it caters to both busses and cars. Growing road traffic and related greenhouse gas emissions demand major efforts by researchers, oil and energy companies and others. Hydrogen is a very effective fuel to reduce emissions of CO2, something that is key to curbing climate change. In the HafenCity station, about fifty per cent of the daily capacity will be produced on site by two electrolysers powered by renewable electricity.

Vattenfall has invested EUR 5,1 million in the station in HafenCity, Hamburg. Shell is a partner and the German government has invested another EUR 5,1 million in the project.

Vattenfall is in a city partnership with Hamburg and has cooperated with Hochbahn Hamburg since 2003 regarding hydrogen stations for buses. This is an important next step for the cooperation. Vattenfall is an important player in the German organisation “Clean Energy Partnership” where several companies participate to introduce hydrogen into motoring in order to lower emissions of CO2 from traffic.

Using fuel cell based cars and buses is an alternative way of mobility. Vattenfall is also cooperating with other industry players in order to push development of sustainable mobility and add alternatives within the transport sector. Some examples are electric charging stations in Berlin, cooperation with BMW for Battery electric vehicles and with Volvo Cars for Plug-In Hybrid electric vehicles.

February 22, 2012 - 7:20 AM No Comments

Metal catalyst drives hydrogen fuel reaction forwards and backwards

When it comes to driving hydrogen production, a new catalyst built at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) can do what was previously shown to happen only in nature: Store energy in hydrogen and release that energy on demand. This nickel-based complex drives the reaction, but is not consumed by it. While slow, the catalyst wastes little energy. It turns electrons and protons into hydrogen. The hydrogen molecule holds the energy in a very small space until it is needed. The same catalyst then breaks the single bond in the hydrogen molecule, releasing electrons to do work.

Reducing our reliance on fossil fuels benefits the economy, national security, and the environment. However, solar and wind power cannot be major players on the energy stage until the intermittent power they generate can be stored and used when needed. One option is to transform the electrical energy from solar and wind into hydrogen, which can be used in fuel cells. To create the hydrogen, scientists want a single, efficient catalyst, which had eluded them. This research proves that such a catalyst can be synthesized.

“We are trying to build metal catalysts that will convert between electrical and chemical energy to make it possible to use renewable sources,” said Morris Bullock, PhD, who worked on the research at PNNL and is the Director of the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis.

Often learned in high school chemistry classes, the reaction for working with hydrogen looks pretty simple.

“However, the mechanism is remarkably complicated,” said Bullock. “There is a lot of detail in this process: taking the hydrogen apart, moving protons and electrons, and putting it back together.”

The team began with the type of catalyst they’ve worked with for more than two years at the Center for Molecular Electrocatalysis. The catalyst relies on a nickel center or active site to do the work. This metal was chosen for its low cost and abundance.

“Replacing fossil fuels with devices that require precious metals is simply not reasonable,” said Bullock.

Wrapped around and attached to the nickel active site are several molecular strands or ligands. These ligands function as arms, transporting molecules, protons, and electrons to and from the active site. The team systematically explored how changing the size, structure, and behavior of the ligands affected the reaction. They characterized each version of the catalyst using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and electrochemical measurements.

With the catalyst characterized, they tested its ability to drive the reaction forward and back. The tests involved measuring the electric current produced by adding hydrogen to the catalyst. Using complex mathematical formulas, they determined the speed and efficacy of the reactions.

The catalyst proved very efficient, wasting little energy. Energy waste is measured by determining the overpotential, a ratio of energy used under real world conditions versus the energy needed under perfect conditions. “This [catalyst] has a lower overpotential than we usually find,” said Bullock. “Sadly, it is also slow.”

Speed. The team is working to speed up the catalyst by tweaking the molecular structure of the ligands to transport protons to and from the active site more quickly.

“We’ll figure out what the slow step is and then figure out how to speed it up. Then, we’ll take on the next slowest step, and so on, until we get the speed we need,” said Bullock.

Study Abstract

SOURCE – Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

February 22, 2012 - 6:26 AM No Comments

Ballard Announces Deployment of Fuel Cell Power Systems In Idea Cellular India Network

Clean power to be generated using by-product hydrogen

VANCOUVER– Ballard Power Systems (TSX: BLD) (NASDAQ: BLDP) has announced that fuel cell systems manufactured by Dantherm Power, its backup power company, are being deployed in the Idea Cellular wireless telecommunications network in India. Commissioning of thirty (30) 2-kilowatt DBX2000 systems, the sale of which was announced in a Ballard press release on November 1, 2011, will be completed in March.

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) issued a directive in January, 2012 requiring 50% of all rural telecom base station towers and 33% of all urban towers in the country to be powered by hybrid solutions within 5-years. Hybrid solutions involve a combination of renewable energy sources, such as hydrogen fuel cells, and grid electricity.

Anil Tandon, Chief Technology Officer at Idea Cellular said, “We intend to move quickly in complying with TRAI’s directive. Fuel cell-based power is a focus for us because of its reliability, efficiency, green attributes and our commitment to environmentally friendly technologies. We have completed our evaluation of alternative solutions and are happy to work with Dantherm Power’s product.”

Idea Cellular is part of the $35 billion multinational Aditya Birla Group and is India’s third-largest mobile services operator. The Company has more than 100 million subscribers generating in excess of one-billion minutes of communications traffic each day across its network of 70,000 cell sites.

Fuel cell systems will be deployed at cell tower locations in close proximity to an Aditya Birla Group chemical plant in the region of Nadga, Madhya Pradesh. During the production of caustic soda at the plant, hydrogen is also produced as a by-product. This hydrogen, and hydrogen produced at other Aditya Birla Group chemical plants in India, has traditionally been used in boilers or has been sold to third party vendors. However, Dantherm Power’s DBX2000 systems – which are powered by Ballard fuel cell stacks – will use this hydrogen as fuel. This will displace diesel generators that are currently required to operate on a near-daily basis, due to frequent grid power outages.

John Sheridan, Ballard President and CEO said, “There is a tremendous opportunity for clean energy solutions in the fast-growing India market. This initial deployment with Idea Cellular is an exciting step in validating the financial and environmental benefits of our fuel cell products to Idea Cellular and to prospects in India.”

Dantherm Power and Delta Power Solutions (India) [Delta] operate jointly under a 2011 collaboration agreement. Delta will integrate and install Dantherm Power’s DBX2000 systems into a hybrid power solution at Idea Cellular sites and will then provide operational support for these systems under a 10-year service agreement with Idea Cellular.

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.

February 21, 2012 - 9:00 AM No Comments

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