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GM and U.S. Army to Expand Fuel Cell Testing

The U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development & Engineering Center engineer Thiago Olson integrates a fuel cell onto a robot at TARDEC’s new Fuel Cell Research Laboratory in its recently opened Ground System Power and Energy Laboratory building in Warren, Mich. GM and TARDEC engineers plan to jointly test fuel cell-related materials and designs at their respective fuel cell laboratories.

The U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development & Engineering Center engineer Thiago Olson integrates a fuel cell onto a robot at TARDEC’s new Fuel Cell Research Laboratory in its recently opened Ground System Power and Energy Laboratory building in Warren, Mich. GM and TARDEC engineers plan to jointly test fuel cell-related materials and designs at their respective fuel cell laboratories.

New agreement enables continued development of technology

WARREN, Mich. – General Motors and the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development & Engineering Center are expanding their collaboration in the development of hydrogen fuel cell technology.

Through a new Cooperative Research and Development Agreement, GM and TARDEC will jointly test new hydrogen fuel cell-related materials and designs to evaluate their performance and durability before assembling them into full scale fuel cell propulsion systems.

This collaborative effort will enable GM and TARDEC to jointly develop technology that meets both of their requirements, accomplishing more tangible results than either entity could achieve on its own. The project is expected to continue for up to five years.

“GM welcomes the opportunity to further expand our work with TARDEC developing fuel cell technology,” said Charlie Freese, executive director of GM’s global fuel cell engineering activities. “We believe hydrogen fuel cell technology holds tremendous potential to one day help reduce our dependence on petroleum and we are committed to building on our leadership through the continued development.”

This is the second fuel cell-related announcement GM has made this year. In July, GM and Honda announced a long-term, definitive master agreement to co-develop a next-generation fuel cell system and hydrogen storage technologies, aiming for the 2020 time frame.

GM is an acknowledged leader in fuel cell technology. According to Clean Energy Patent Growth Index, GM ranked No. 1 in total fuel cell patents filed between 2002 and 2012. GM’s Project Driveway program, launched in 2007, has accumulated nearly 3 million miles of real-world driving in a fleet of 119 hydrogen-powered vehicles, more than any other automaker.

GM is currently building a new Fuel Cell Development Laboratory in Pontiac, Mich., where the majority of the company’s fuel cell development work will take place.

TARDEC and GM’s respective fuel cell laboratories are about 20 miles apart, which greatly promotes daily collaboration, and GM and TARDEC engineers are developing extensive plans to share physical material and data between the locations.

TARDEC opened a new Fuel Cell Research Laboratory located in the recently opened Ground System Power and Energy Laboratory building in Warren, Mich. The state-of-the-art facility enables TARDEC to test and integrate the fuel cell systems it has been developing for military applications for more than a decade.

“The Army continues to investigate technologies and partnerships that give the United States a decisive advantage,” said TARDEC Director Paul Rogers. “Our relationships – like this one with GM – are maturing and accelerating technologies critical to the transportation and energy capabilities of the future.”

Additionally, TARDEC is evaluating GM fuel cell vehicles in a comprehensive demonstration in Hawaii. The technology has possible military applications ranging from ground vehicles to mobile generators.

Fuel cell technology helps address the two major challenges with automobiles today – petroleum use and carbon dioxide emissions. Fuel cell vehicles can operate on renewable hydrogen that can be made from sources like wind and biomass. The only emission from fuel cell vehicles is water vapor.

About General Motors Co.
General Motors Co.
(NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world’s largest and fastest-growing automotive markets.  GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac,  Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Isuzu, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com.

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About TARDEC

Headquartered at the U.S. Army Detroit Arsenal in Warren, Mich., TARDEC is a major research, development and engineering center for the Army Materiel Command’s Research, Development and Engineering Command and an enterprise partner in the TACOM Life Cycle Management Command. TARDEC is the Nation’s laboratory for advanced military automotive technology and serves as the Ground Systems Integrator for all Defense Department manned and unmanned ground vehicle systems. With roots dating back to the World War II era, TARDEC develops and integrates the right technology solutions to improve current force effectiveness and provides superior capabilities for future force integration. More information can be found at http://tardec.army.mil

September 30, 2013 - 5:06 PM No Comments

Linde AG: Leading industrial companies agree on an action plan for the construction of a hydrogen refuelling network in Germany

Initiative ‘H2 Mobility’

- Hydrogen refuelling network to grow to about 400 filling stations by 2023

- Precondition for the market success of fuel cell-powered electric vehicles initiated

- Overall investment of around EUR 350 m planned

- Development plan represents the benchmark at international level

MUNICH & STUTTGART, Germany–The six partners in the ‘H2 Mobility’ initiative – Air Liquide, Daimler, Linde, OMV, Shell and Total – have set up upon a specific action plan for the construction of a nationwide hydrogen refuelling network for fuel cell-powered electric vehicles. By the year 2023 the current network of 15 filling stations in Germany’s public hydrogen infrastructure shall be expanded to about 400 H2 filling stations. As a first step the deployment of 100 hydrogen stations in Germany over the next four years is intended. This would ensure a need-related supply for fuel cell-powered electric vehicles to be introduced into the market in the next years. An agreement in principle has been signed by representatives of all the partners involved.

In addition to plans for a nationwide filling station network, the agreement includes the principles for the procurement and distribution of the necessary hydrogen and a request for support to the German Federal Government. Following the foundation of a joint venture (subject to necessary regulatory approvals), gradual expansion of the national filling station network will commence next year. This means that an H2 supply suitable for everyday use shall be created not only for densely populated areas and main traffic arteries, but also for rural areas. The objective is to offer an H2 station at least every 90 kilometres of motorway between densely populated areas. According to this plan, there will be at least 10 hydrogen refuelling stations available in each metropolitan area from 2023. Thus zero tailpipe-emission H2 mobility is becoming increasingly attractive for customers. The ‘H2 Mobility’ initiative expects that a total investment of around EUR 350 m will be required for this future-oriented infrastructure project.

The launch of fuel cell-powered production vehicles on the German market has been announced by first manufacturers for 2015. In addition to attractive procurement and operating costs for the vehicles, a need-related number of H2 filling stations is one of the major preconditions for market success. Accordingly, the planned ‘H2 Mobility’ joint venture will work closely with the automobile industry.

Particularly in view of the high costs of such innovative technology, advances in hydrogen and fuel cell technology are at least as important. Continuation of the innovation and research activities in this field which are envisaged in the mobility and fuel strategy of the German Federal Government plays a decisive role in this respect. In particular the continuation of the ‘National Innovation Programme for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology’ (NIP) represents the necessary support for the market establishment.

Fuel cell-powered electric vehicles can make a considerable contribution to establishing Germany as the lead market for sustainable mobility solutions and efficient technologies. This is because the great advantage of this drive technology lies in the significant reduction of CO2 emissions. This innovative technology also offers great potential for strengthening Germany as an industrial location. The challenges associated with such a system change aimed at a zero-emission transport sector were already addressed at a very early stage with the formation of the inter-industry ‘H2 Mobility’ initiative in Berlin in 2009.

The Clean Energy Partnership (CEP) with its members* and others** welcome the infrastructure development. With the support of the Federal Government the CEP tests fuel cell electric vehicles and their refuelling. The interface to the Federal Government in both cases is the National Organization for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NOW).

* Members of the CEP are Air Liquide, BMW, Daimler, EnBW, Ford, GM/Opel, Hamburger Hochbahn, Honda, Hyundai, Linde, Shell, Siemens, Total, Toyota, Vattenfall Europe and Volkswagen.

** Nissan and Intelligent Energy

Statements of the partners involved:

Professor Dr Wolfgang Reitzle, Chief Executive Officer of Linde AG: ‘Linde has been a pioneer in the further development of hydrogen technology for many years. Especially with respect to the series production of hydrogen refuelling stations, we have achieved major advances over the last few years. The time is now right to roll out this environmentally friendly technology on a nationwide basis.’

Professor Dr Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG, Group Research & Mercedes-Benz Cars Development: ‘Hydrogen is the most common element in the Universe. However, filling stations for this environmentally friendly alternative fuel are still scarce. The ‘H2 Mobility’ initiative wants to change this. By 2023 there should be more hydrogen filling stations in Germany, than there are conventional petrol stations along the Autobahns today. With this, we create step by step a comprehensive infrastructure for the everyday use of fuel cell technology.’

Thomas Pfützenreuter, Managing Director of AIR LIQUIDE Deutschland GmbH: ‘The signature of this agreement is a decisive step towards the construction of a network of hydrogen stations in Germany. Air Liquide is proud to take an active part in the German ‘H2 Mobility’ initiative which aims to substantially contribute to the national ambitious objectives for electro-mobility. As an expert of the entire hydrogen energy chain including production and hydrogen filling stations, Air Liquide is actively involved in allowing the widespread use of hydrogen as a clean energy source. Hydrogen energy is an innovative solution that offers a response in the short-term to the challenges of sustainable mobility thus contributing to the preservation of the environment.’

Dr Gerhard Roiss, Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of OMV AG: ‘Achieving the EU’s Energy Roadmap goals will only be possible with innovative new technologies. Hydrogen is set to also play a key role in the way we get around in the future. Setting up the infrastructure for hydrogen filling stations is our contribution to a future of emission-free motoring.’

Peter Blauwhoff, Chief Executive Officer, German Shell Holding: ‘Shell already operates a network of hydrogen filling stations based on the very latest technology in Germany and California – including the world’s largest H2 filling station in Berlin. Following the foundation of the joint venture, Shell will play a significant role in the development of the future H2 retail station network in Germany. Hydrogen is an important component for the mobility of the future.’

Hans-Christian Gützkow, Chairman of TOTAL Germany: ‘Out of the 15 hydrogen refuelling stations existing in Germany today, we already run five – another TOTAL multi-energy-station will start running nearby Berlin’s future airport until the end of the year. We will continue contributing to the infrastructure’s expansion! TOTAL reinforces its pioneering role whilst building up the hydrogen network in Germany and in terms of research when it comes to produce green hydrogen from renewable sources!’

The Linde Group is a world-leading gases and engineering company with around 62,000 employees in more than 100 countries worldwide. In the 2012 financial year, Linde generated revenue of EUR 15.280 bn. The strategy of the Group is geared towards long-term profitable growth and focuses on the expansion of its international business with forward-looking products and services. Linde acts responsibly towards its shareholders, business partners, employees, society and the environment – in every one of its business areas, regions and locations across the globe. The company is committed to technologies and products that unite the goals of customer value and sustainable development.

Under the ‘Clean Technology by Linde’ label, the company offers a wide range of products and technologies that help to render renewable energy sources financially viable, and significantly slow down the depletion of fossil resources or reduce the level of CO2 emitted. This ranges from specialty gases for solar module manufacturing, industrial-scale CO2 separation and application technologies to alternative fuels and energy carriers such as liquefied natural gas (LNG) and hydrogen.

September 30, 2013 - 8:13 AM No Comments

ITM Power announces that it has delivered its first Power-to-Gas plant to the Thüga Group in Frankfurt on time and on budget

Thüga plant delivered on schedule

ITM Power (AIM: ITM), the energy storage and clean fuel company, is pleased to announce that it has delivered its first Power-to-Gas plant to the Thüga Group in Frankfurt on time and to budget.

The plant is now deployed at the Mainova Aktiengesellschaftsite in Schielestrasse, Frankfurt am Main where the compliant gas mixing and grid injection infrastructure, is already in place. The plant will now undergo an extensive acceptance, compliance and commissioning phase before going live in December. The install also includes a monitoring facility and visitor’s reception so that members of the Thüga group can examine the performance of the plant.

The Company will update the market when commissioning is completed and the plant first injects hydrogen into the German Gas Grid. The operational data will be shared by the whole Thüga group – the largest network of energy companies in Germany with around 100 municipal utility members.

The Thüga plant is the first to be delivered of £4.5m of equipment being manufactured at ITM Power funded by commercial sales and grant funded collaborative projects. With an order book of £1.7m and a rapidly developing pipeline of revenue the Thüga delivery marks a significant juncture for ITM Power.

Commenting on the announcement, ITM Power GmbH Managing Director, Phil Doran, said
: “It is marvellous to see the plant on site here in Frankfurt.  Power-to-Gas technology is key to the success of the Energiewende (energy turnaround) and the Thüga Group have a clear understanding of this technology and where it fits for the energy network of the future.”

September 30, 2013 - 7:27 AM No Comments

Kawasaki Heavy assists the spread of fuel-cell vehicles

Kawasaki Heavy decided to build ships exclusively for the import of liquefied hydrogen and start to import liquefied hydrogen from Australia starting in 2017. The government will formulate safety standards to support the Kawasaki’s decision. With the launch of the ships, import hydrogen will be 50% cheaper than domestic hydrogen. The company will start the substantiative experiment to import liquefied hydrogen from the State of Victoria starting in 2017 with an investment of 60 billion yen.

It will build two ships, each of which can transport 2,500 m cubic meters per voyage. They will be able to import 2,700 tons of liquefied hydrogen per year that is equivalent to the consumption by 35,000 fuel-cell vehicles. It also plans to construct equipment to liquefy hydrogen in Australia. After establishing the safety system and sales networks, Kawasaki will build two large ships capable of transporting 160,000 cubic meters of liquefied hydrogen by 2030. That is, it will have a capacity to supply hydrogen equal to the annual consumption of three million fuel-cell vehicles in 2030.

Australian hydrogen is relatively cheap because hydrogen is extracted from brown coal that is watery in Australia. The price of liquefied hydrogen to be imported from Australia is estimated at 29.8 yen per one cubic meter. The distribution cost in Japan is estimated at about 60.0 yen that is about half the price of liquefied hydrogen extracted from liquefied natural gas in Japan. Kawasaki already started negotiations on the import of liquefied hydrogen with Russia. Toyota and Honda are scheduled to launch a fuel-cell vehicle for about five million yen toward 2015. Domestic energy companies will build 100 hydrogen stations by 2015.

September 30, 2013 - 7:21 AM No Comments

Proton Power announces world’s first battery and fuel cell operated electric commercial vehicle in the 7.5 to 12 tonne weight class

Proton Power

The world’s first electrically operated commercial vehicle in the 7.5 to 12 tonne class with a battery and HyRange fuel cell system from Proton Power

Proton Power is pleased to announce the introduction, by its subsidiary Motor Fuel Cell GmbH (”Proton Motor”) based in Puchheim near Munich, of the world’s first battery and fuel cell operated electric commercial vehicle in the 7.5 to 12 tonne weight class. The vehicle is based on the battery-powered Newton vehicle built by Smith Electric Vehicles.


Proton Motor has integrated a HyRange hydrogen fuel cell system with an output of 8kW into the vehicle which supplies the battery with electrical energy. This significantly improves the vehicle’s range and enables power to be supplied to the driver cabin air conditioning unit or additional equipment such as electrically powered refrigeration units.

The vehicle is available immediately for field testing by interested customers in the box van and tail lift configuration. The project was supported by funding from the NIP (National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Innovation programme).

Dr. Francoise Faiz Nahab, Managing Director of Proton Motor Fuel Cell GmbH, said:

“We developed our HyRange system for buses and commercial vehicles for inner-city use. The vehicles are extremely quiet and emissions free. This is an optimal solution for every city that needs to meet the planned environmental targets. We are very proud of the results of our work over the last 3 years and hope that we will see considerable interest. Field testing the vehicles should give users from the logistics and service sectors an impression of the performance and reliability of our technology.”

The Proton HyRange system is available for commercial vehicles up to 12 tonnes and for buses for local public transport. The modular design of the fuel cell system enables the electric output to be scaled accordingly.

The vehicle will be presented at the World of Energy Solutions trade fair next week in Stuttgart and will be available for test drives there.

September 27, 2013 - 8:28 AM No Comments

McPhy to continue ENERTRAG’s HyTec Electrolyzer Activities

McPhy-Enertrag.jpg

Both partners to work jointly on development of economic wind-hydrogen concepts in future

Dauerthal, Germany and La Motte Fanjas, France-ENERTRAG AG, project developer and supplier of sustainable energy from renewable sources and McPhy Energy, a leading developer and manufacturer of solid state hydrogen storage and hydrogen generators, today announced that as of October 1st , 2013, McPhy Energy Deutschland GmbH will take over the development and manufacturing of electrolyzers as well as the employees of ENERTRAG HyTec GmbH. McPhy and ENERTRAG will work jointly to develop economic wind-hydrogen solutions.

The large-scale electrolyzers from HyTec, which will be known as McPhy Deutschland, range in power from 500 kW to multiple MW. They are successfully used for example in the much-heralded Prenzlau Hybrid Power Plant built by ENERTRAG, showing that a demand-driven energy supply from renewable resources is possible. The interest for this electrolysis technology, however, is global. McPhy intends to expand the activities in the state of Brandenburg, Germany.

The HyTec large-scale electrolysis systems address a key challenge of renewable electric energy, production of which at times can be in excess of immediate demand or for one reason or another cannot be integrated into the electricity grid. The solution is to convert the electrical energy through electrolysis of water into hydrogen, a chemical energy carrier (in a process referred to as power-to-gas) and oxygen. Hydrogen, now generated carbon-free, can either be: injected into the natural gas-grid; used as valuable raw material in industry; or drive future zero-emission mobility in fuel cell technology.

McPhy Energy’s core expertise is its innovative technology for storing hydrogen in a solid state, based on magnesium hydrides. In January 2013, McPhy also acquired another electrolysis specialist, PIEL of Italy, which specializes in smaller electrolyzer systems ranging up to 500 kW.

„Utilizing all our sales and technology synergies we will be able to grow and strengthen the HyTec activities and accelerate continued innovation and deployment of the company’s alcaline electrolyzer technology. This will enable McPhy to supply not only the traditional global industrial markets, but also the future Energy and Mobility markets with the necessary key technologies“, said Roland Käppner, Board Member McPhy Energy Group and CEO of McPhy Germany.

Jörg Müller, President & CEO of ENERTRAG: „ENERTRAG has demonstrated, that large scale electrolyzer plants for energy storage applications can be built in short time and at reasonable cost levels. Electrolyzers of that size will be a central building block for our energy system transition. The core business of ENERTRAG will remain the development of renewable power projects and the generation of renewable  energy – not industrial manufacturing“

„In order to transform the Power-to-Gas approach for integration of renewable energies into an economic business model, both regulatory frameworks as well as strong alliances between industrial equipment manufacturers and power utilities need to be forged. With McPhy, we are confident to have found the right partner to foster the development of our electrolyzer technology and turn it from a pre-production stage into fully industrialized products for the global market“, says Werner Diwald, Board Member of ENERTRAG.

Pascal Mauberger, President & CEO of McPhy Energy Group: „The takeover of ENERTRAG HyTec activities is a logical milestone for further developping our portfolio of technologies for building a future safe and CO2-free hydrogen infrastructure. We are convinced, that with ENERTRAG, we have won a strong partner with which to drive the energy transition not only in Germany, but across Europe.“

ENERTRAG AG

ENERTRAG generates electrical energy from wind and other renewable resources. The group, founded 1998 and now employing more than 440 people at locations in 5 countries, is developping, planning, building and operating plants, develops both technologies and financial products. ENERTRAG operates a comprehensive service network for wind power plants in Germany and France. Until today, more than 520 wind energy plants have been commissioned. For more Information: www.enertrag.com.

McPhy Energy

McPhy Energy Deutschland GmbH is a 100% subsidy of McPhy Energy S.A with its headquarter in La Motte Fanjas, France. McPhy is focussing on the development and manufacturing of innovative and safe hydrogen technologies. Besides solid-state storage of hydrogen based on metal hydrides, McPhy is consistently expanding their activities on on-site generation of hydrogen by means of water electrolysis. With the acquisition of PIEL (Italy) in early 2013, McPhy now has a global  installed base of over 3.000 systems. For three consecutive years, McPhy has been listed in the “Global CleanTech 100″ group of companies and is one of the “Top 5 CleanTech France” enterprises. The Group has manufacturing sites in France and Italy. For more Information: www.mcphy.com

September 27, 2013 - 7:01 AM No Comments

eBay’s New Utah Facility Powered by Bloom Energy Fuel Cells

img Bloom Energy Server fuel cells at the new eBay data center in Utah. (Photo: eBay)

By Dean Nelson and Lori Duvall-ebay blog

What do fuel cells, eBay Inc., and the Silicon Slopes of Utah have in common? They’re all a part of today’s exciting launch of our new state-of-the-art, environmentally minded facility! Later this morning, we’re unveiling our newest data center, located in Salt Lake City, Utah and adjacent to our existing LEED® Gold-certified data center that opened in 2010. The new facility is home to leading edge technology and we’ll be announcing our next big, cleaner energy project. Through these investments, we’re fundamentally rethinking the way data centers are designed, operated and powered – and we’re continuing to gain momentum in our efforts to enable a greener commerce future.

Our newest data center is the first in the world to use Bloom Energy Servers as the primary, on-site power source, instead of the traditional electric utility grid. This not only makes the commerce activity powered by this facility cleaner, but according to a new white paper released today by the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign, it’s also expected to increase the availability and reliability of our infrastructure. In other words, the Bloom fuel cells are expected to not only increase our efficiency and lessen our environmental impact (approximately 49 percent less CO2 emissions than our first-phase data center), but also boost the performance of our commerce platforms by reducing the risk of outages. In this way, we’re seeing proof that environmental considerations go hand-in-hand with good business strategy.

eBay data center in Utah. The unit houses 1 megawatt of IT gear in 24 racks. (Photo: Dell)

The Dell EPIC modular data center has gone live at the eBay data center in Utah. The unit houses 1 megawatt of IT gear in 24 racks. (Photo: eBay)

In addition, our new facility is now home to best-in-class, next-generation technology innovations that take efficiency to the next level, improve performance and reduce environmental impact. Through our partnership with Dell, today we’re deploying the world’s densest modular data center (called EPIC); and, at 1.4MW, we’re also deploying the world’s largest modular data center (the HP EcoPOD) through our work with HP. These are just the latest in our long-standing collaborative relationships with both companies, and together they’ll help us enable more commerce globally. And while both companies collaborated with us to design modular data center solutions for our unique business needs, these innovations don’t just benefit us – any company can now deploy them and potentially realize similar gains in their operations. In this way, we hope to help propel the entire industry forward.

The HP EcoPod module at the eBay data center near Salt Lake City. (Photo: eBay)

The HP EcoPod module at the eBay data center near Salt Lake City. (Photo: eBay)

But we aren’t stopping there. To underscore our continuing commitment to greener commerce, today we’re announcing an investment with Ormat — an alternative and renewable energy technology company — to develop an off-site waste heat recovery solution that will provide cleaner energy to our data centers and the rest of our facilities in Utah. Once construction is complete, approximately 18 months from now, we’ll be able to capture and convert enough heat from the natural gas pipeline (the same one feeding into our Bloom fuel cells) to provide up to 5 MW of electricity supply. With this investment, we anticipate that we’ll be able to reach, and possibly surpass, our goal of sourcing at least 8 percent of eBay Inc.’s energy from cleaner sources by 2015.

Our collaboration with Ormat was made possible through our work with Utah State Senator Mark Madsen and other stakeholders to pass SB12 last year. The legislation enables energy users in Utah, for the first time, to buy and transmit power directly from cleaner energy developers. After its passage we began a structured procurement process. Out of 32 project proposals from 20 firms, Ormat was selected as the winner. We’re excited to be working together on this project, and hope it serves as a model for how companies and policymakers can work together to achieve meaningful impact.

To celebrate all of this, we’re hosting an opening event at the data center today, which will include a ribbon cutting ceremony, site tours and panel discussions (which will be webcast live), as well as feature representatives from academia, state government and our technology partner companies. Our official content partner is Business Forward, and to watch the conversations and learn more about all this news, please visit tech.ebay.com at 10:30 a.m. Mountain Time.

September 27, 2013 - 6:31 AM No Comments

UltraCell Reveals Redesigned XX55 Military Fuel Cell system

Ultracell xx55

XX55 fuel cell with micro-manager in backpack operating a 117G radio, charging a BB2590/U battery and operating a rugged laptop: also shown are various fuel cartridges compatible with the fuel cell

Livermore, CA. UltraCell announces the release of the GENiii XX55 portable reformed methanol fuel cell (RMFC)
system. Since joining Bren-Tronics Inc. in 2011, UltraCell developed an improved RMFC core technology and
military grade electronics controls for improved manufacturability and ruggedization. In addition to the fuel cell,
the complete system includes modular packaging for man portable “on-the-go” operation and a micro manager that
can operate multiple devices concurrently

Livermore, CA.– UltraCell announces the release of the GENiii XX55 portable reformed methanol fuel cell (RMFC) system. Since joining Bren-Tronics Inc. in 2011, UltraCell developed an improved RMFC core technology and military grade electronics controls for improved manufacturability and ruggedization.

In addition to the fuel cell,the complete system includes modular packaging for man portable “on-the-go” operation and a micro manager that can operate multiple devices concurrently forward deployed operators.

It can operate with a range of field refillable fuel cartridges ranging from 480Whr up to 12,500Whr thereby offering extreme mission flexibility and comes with a targeted lifetime for 2,500hours.

UltraCell’s, Chief Technical Officer, Ian Kaye, adds “Keeping the dismounted warfighter in mind, we  developed RMFC technology which operates in real world conditions without the need for complex hardware and multiple methanol/water blends.”

UltraCell Corporation was initially founded in 2002. Certain IP and assets of the company were acquired by Bren- Tronics Inc in 2011. As partners, we have continued to commercialize Fuel Cell technology with the success of our industry leading XX55™ micro fuel cell system.

September 26, 2013 - 11:11 AM No Comments

Ballard Announces Definitive Agreements With Azure Hydrogen For China Fuel Cell Bus Program:

(i) License for Bus Module Assembly as well as
(ii) Supply of Fuel Cell Stacks

Shanghai, China – Further to the MOU announced on May 28, Ballard Power Systems (NASDAQ: BLDP)(TSX: BLD) today announced the signing of multi-year definitive agreements to support Azure Hydrogen’s (Azure’s) zero emission fuel cell bus program for the China market. Azure plans to partner with Chinese bus manufacturers in a phased development program for deployment of zero emission fuel cell buses in China, utilizing Ballard’s world leading fuel cell technology.

For the first phase of the program, Ballard has agreed to provide a license, associated equipment and Engineering Services to enable assembly of FCvelocity®-HD7 bus power modules by Azure in China. As per the agreements, once this assembly capability is established, Azure will assemble modules with fuel cell stacks to be supplied exclusively by Ballard.

The expected value of the contract to Ballard over the initial 12-months of the first phase will be approximately $11 million, related to the license for module assembly together with associated equipment and services. If Azure’s China bus program progresses as planned, the contract will generate value beyond the $11 million license revenue, commensurate with the volume of fuel cell stacks to be ordered.

The signing of the agreements took place at the World Hydrogen Technologies Convention in Shanghai (WHTC2013). Several senior Chinese officials participated in the signing ceremony, including Mr. Shi Dinghuan, Counselor to the State Council and former Secretary General of China’s Ministry of Science and Technology, Mr. Ma Jinhua, Secretary of Party Committee of Rugao Economic Development Zone, and Professor Zhang Xinyi, President of Shandong Institute of Technology. The definitive agreements require approval of the Chinese Government.

John Sheridan, Ballard President and CEO said, “We are very pleased to take this step forward in our partnership with Azure, with these agreements representing significant value in the short term and much greater potential in the medium term, in what could become the leading market in the world for zero emission fuel cell buses. As well, this is a key step for Ballard to establish an important licensing revenue stream, expanding the Company’s business model for value creation.”

Ronald Lee, CEO of Azure Hydrogen added, “We see significant market opportunity for the deployment of clean energy fuel cell bus fleets in China, where they will have a direct positive impact on the severe air quality problem in our major cities.”

Azure plans to secure funding from Chinese sources, including both private investors and Governments, to enable the development of fuel cell bus fleets in China for initial public transit service by 2015.

FCvelocity®-HD7 will be the next-generation of Ballard’s fuel cell power module, designed specifically for integration into bus applications. The product reflects improved durability and reliability as well as a significant reduction in cost. This key product development initiative has been supported by Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC), an arm of the
Government of Canada which helps commercialize Canadian clean technologies, readying them for growth and export markets.

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

September 26, 2013 - 8:11 AM No Comments

Linde raises the bar for hydrogen transport efficiency

Munich– Technology company The Linde Group has developed a new storage technology that will enable a much more efficient transport of larger amounts of hydrogen. The new solution works at a higher pressure of 500 bar (7,250 psi) and uses new, lighter storage materials to more than double the amount of compressed gaseous hydrogen (CGH2) that can be transported in a single truck load. Successful field tests with the first reference customer have confirmed the clear benefits of the 500-bar technology over conventional 200-bar systems.

“Our 500-bar technology is another important milestone for hydrogen mobility,” explains Dr Andreas Opfermann, Head of Clean Energy and Innovation Management at Linde. “It cuts the cost of transporting hydrogen to fuelling stations and reduces the amount of space required on site to store the gas.”

Linde has opened a 500-bar fuelling station at its gases centre in Leuna, in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt. Linde developed the new 500-bar trailers in collaboration with compressed gas storage specialist Wystrach GmbH. Each trailer features 100 lightweight composite storage elements developed in collaboration with xperion Energy & Environment GmbH. A single trailer can transport over 1,100 kilograms, or 13,000 normal cubic metres, of hydrogen gas. In addition, the trailers can now be filled and emptied in less than 60 minutes.

This innovative technology reflects Linde’s commitment to continually optimising the hydrogen value chain. It gives bulk customers a cost-effective alternative to existing cryogenic transport solutions for liquid hydrogen (LH2).

From now on, Linde also plans to incorporate the new technology into its hydrogen fuelling station concepts.

This project is supported by the Federal Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development. NOW GmbH National Organisation Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology is in charge of the programme coordination.

September 25, 2013 - 8:06 AM No Comments

Toyota City-Verification experiment into ideal societies that use hydrogen to attain the wide-spread distribution of FCVs

The construction of new hydrogen stations that can also fill fuel cell buses

Toyota Motor Corporation and other major automobile manufacturers from both Japan and overseas are moving ahead with plans to mass-produce fuel cell vehicles (FCV) by 2015. A joint business project between the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) and the Research Association of Hydrogen Supply/Utilization Technology being carried out in Toyota Ecoful Town, located in Toyota City, which has its sights firmly set on the FCV era, that exhibits the environmental technology, etc., that will bring about a low-carbon society succeeded in attracting the construction and implementation of verification experiments into hydrogen stations by Toho Gas Co., Ltd. and Iwatani Corporation. This tie-up between NEDO and Smart Melit (Smart Mobility & Energy Life in Toyota City) project, an experimental project into low-carbon society systems being implemented by Toyota City, will operate FCVs and fuel cell buses, and will represent one of the first attempts to establishment a next-generation energy system incorporating electricity and hydrogen.

“The mass production of FCVs will be started in 2015, and approximately 100 hydrogen stations will be set up centered around four major city areas in Tokyo, Aichi, Osaka and Fukuoka.” This was the joint announcement given in January 2011 by domestic automobile manufacturers and 13 energy suppliers involved in the supply of hydrogen aiming at the wide-spread distribution of FCVs. Two of the companies involved in this joint announcement were Toho Gas Co., Ltd. and Toyota Motor Corporation, both of which have their headquarters in Aichi Prefecture.

Fuel cells are electricity generating systems that convert the chemical energy generated when hydrogen and oxygen react together to produce water directly into electricity. The main feature of fuel cells is that they have higher levels of electricity generation efficiency in comparison to normal generators, which generate electricity by converting the heat energy obtained through burning fuel into rotary motion. FCVs, which are currently mainstream technology, simply require high-pressure tanks to be filled with hydrogen in order to operate electric motors with the power generated by the fuel cells.

The fact that they emit no carbon dioxide when running and the fact that the motor operates silently and provides high acceleration performance at low speeds are shared with electric vehicles (EVs). However, whereas mass-produced EVs are able to travel approximately 100 km to 200 km per charge, FCVs can continue driving for 500 or more kilometers on a single tank. In addition to this, FCVs can be filled up with hydrogen in around three minutes, whereas even the quick rechargers require between twenty and thirty minutes to fully recharge an EV.

A fusion of hybrid technology to improve the traveling distances of FCVs

Toyota Motor has sold 100 FCVs or more in Japan, America and Europe to date, and results indicate that they have traveled a total distance exceeding two million km.

The first FCV marketed by Toyota Motor was the limited-edition FCHV in 2002. Being the nation��s first to acquire official approval for this type of vehicle in 2005, it sold a total of 20 units in Japan and America on a lease basis. The improved FCHV-adv model was marketed in 2008, and 100 units or more were sold on a lease basis. Increasing the highest-pressure hydrogen storage tank from 35MPa to 70MPa and improving the efficiency of the fuel cells themselves enabled Toyota to increase the distance traveled on a full tank to more than 800 km.

The Toyota FCV represents a fusion of fuel cell technology and hybrid technology using storage batteries. In further detail, the vehicles are mounted with storage batteries to provide support for power output during rapid acceleration, and to collect the renewable energy produced at low speeds. The energy control technology accumulated in hybrid vehicles is used for this.

Photo #1.An external view and view of the instrument panel of the FCV-R revealed<br>at the Tokyo Motor Show 2011 by Toyota Motor

Toyota Motor’s first ever sedan model, the FCV-R, was exhibited at the Tokyo Motor Show 2011 (Photo #1). A mass-produced model thought to be based on the FCV-R is scheduled for sale in 2015, and a spokesman for Toyota Motor announced that “The sales price will be less than 10 million yen.”

FCVs have to be mounted with fuel cell stacks (main unit) and hydrogen storage tanks. The size of the vehicles therefore tends to be rather large. Recently, however, work is moving ahead to make the fuel cell stacks more compact and with increased performance, and even small vehicles are now able to provide greater comfort and engine performance.

In further detail, Toyota Motor is now using metal separators in the polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFC) mounted on FCVs instead of the conventional carbon separators. Modifying the structure to pass as much hydrogen over the electrode plane as possible improves efficiency and enables the stack to be smaller. Advances in technology to reduce the amount of platinum catalyst, which is required to ionize the hydrogen, and in technology to mass produce high-pressure hydrogen tanks using carbon fiber are also increasing the margin for cost-cutting.

A total of four hydrogen stations in Aichi Prefecture moving toward operation

Amid an environment of improved FCV perfection levels, the main topic of conversation is the wide-spread distribution of a hydrogen supply infrastructure to cater to wide-spread distribution. The joint announcement made in January 2011 stated that “100 hydrogen stations will be set up mainly in four major city areas .” Work on this was started in FY2012 through a joint research project between the Research Association of Hydrogen Supply/Utilization Technology (HySUT) and the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), involving a verification experiment into hydrogen stations built to commercial specifications in three locations throughout the nation. The construction of these stations is currently moving ahead in Ebina City in Kanagawa Prefecture and in City of Nagoya and Toyota City in Aichi Prefecture.

One of these is being installed in Toyota City at the Toyota Ecoful Town (hereinafter the Ecoful Town), which exhibits the environmental technology, etc. that will help realize a low-carbon society. It is being installed by Toho Gas Co., Ltd. and Iwatani Corporation (Photo #2). Two other hydrogen stations have been installed so far within Aichi Prefecture; one at Tokai City and the other at the Chubu Centrair International Airport. A total of four hydrogen stations are scheduled to cut over to operations in Aichi Prefecture from April 2013 onwards.

Photo #2.Image of the hydrogen station being constructed in Ecoful Town

Photo #2.Image of the hydrogen station being constructed in Ecoful Town This is being constructed by Toho Gas Co., Ltd. and Iwatani Corporation. In addition to refilling passenger-type fuel cell vehicles (FCV), it is also expected to refill fuel cell buses. (Source: Toyota City)

The main feature of the hydrogen station newly-built in Ecoful Town is its high-performance refilling capabilities. It is capable of pumping 2,000Nm3 per hour. The reason for this is that it is expected to be used for filling the fuel cell buses operated within the city in addition to the fuel cell vehicles (FCV) equipped with a limited-sale hydrogen storage tanks with a maximum pressure of 70MPa.

Photo #3.A fuel cell bus used as the Toyota Oiden Bus fixed-route bus in Toyota City

Photo #3.A fuel cell bus used as the Toyota Oiden Bus fixed-route bus in Toyota City This bus was developed in a joint project between Toyota Motor Corporation and Hino Motors, Ltd., for Expo 2005 in Aichi, and was diverted here for general use after transporting people between pavilions. (Source: Toyota City)

The bus that will actually use the hydrogen station is mainly a fuel cell bus operated as a Toyota City community bus under the title of Toyota Oiden Bus (Photo #3). This bus is a FCHV-BUS model developed in a joint project between Toyota Motor Corporation and Hino Motors, Ltd., for the international Expo 2005 exposition held in Aichi in 2005. Eight fuel cell buses were used to transport people between pavilions at Expo 2005, and one of these has been operating as the Toyota Oiden Bus since October 2010.

Up until now, the fuel cell bus operating in the city had no choice other than to use the hydrogen station located within Toyota Motor’s research facility for filling up with hydrogen. Refilling will soon be possible within the city center. The station located in Ecoful Town, which attracts many local visitors, is expected to enhance a social understanding of the use of hydrogen.

Assumption of a hybrid society using electricity and hydrogen

An important element in achieving the wide-spread distribution of FCVs is not only adding electrical systems to the secondary energy systems, but also adding more hydrogen systems. Hydrogen can be obtained from a wide range of primary energy, and it can be used for the diversification of fuel. In other words, it is necessary to use it not only for automobiles, but for social systems as well.

Toyota Motor established the HyGrid Study Group together with Kyushu University and other organizations in August 2012 and began research into ideal social systems and the effects they have when hydrogen is used as a secondary energy. HyGrid stands for Hybrid Grid System, and it aims at formulating an environment consisting of a combination of two energy supply grids using electricity and hydrogen.

In addition to the manufacture of hydrogen from natural gas and biomass, the concept of HyGrid also involves the idea of using the surplus electricity generated from wind power, solar power and other renewable energies to electrolyze water and store it as hydrogen so that it can be used to generate electricity in fuel cells when additional power is needed. Kazuhisa Mitani, executive in charge of Toyota Motor’s Technical Affairs Department, says, “According to our estimations, there is a good chance that converting electricity into hydrogen and storing it will be cheaper than storing it as it is in storage batteries.”

Toyota City Low-carbon Society Verification Project (Smart Melit) consists of a societal vision involving mobility in addition to next-generation energy. Commencing a tie-up between FCVs and a hydrogen infrastructure verification in addition to EVs and PHVs as we move toward the full adoption of this project in 2015 that is two years from now will help us understand the future of societal systems from many different angles, and it is sure to become a subject of deep interest.

September 25, 2013 - 7:45 AM No Comments

GE to Muscle into Fuel Cells with Hybrid System

By Martin LaMonica-IEEE Spectrum

General Electric is working on an efficient distributed power system that combines proprietary fuel cell technology with its existing gas engines.

The company’s research organization is developing a novel fuel cell that operates on natural gas, according to Mark Little, the director of GE Global Research and chief technology officer. When combined with an engine generator, the system can convert 70 percent of the fuel to electricity, which is more efficient than the combined cycle natural gas power plants powering the grid.

The fuel cell will generate electricity from reformed natural gas, or gas that’s treated with steam and heat to make hydrogen and oxygen, he says. Residual gases from the fuel cell process—a “synthesis gas” that contains carbon monoxide and hydrogen—would then be burned in a piston engine to generate more electricity. The waste gas that comes from the fuel cell needs to be specially treated but “we know we can burn these things. They’re well within the fuel specs of our current engine,” Little says.

This distributed power system could provide electricity to a small industrial site or a data center, for example. It would replace diesel generators that are often used to power remote locations or bring electricity to places without a central grid.

GE sells engines from two companies it acquired, Austria-based Jenbacher and Wisconsin-based Waukesha. It has done its own research on solid oxide fuel cells, and in 2011, it invested in Plug Power, which makes fuel cells for homes and small businesses. But Little indicated that this distributed power system will use new fuel cell technology invented by GE and configured to work in tandem with GE’s engines. “We have a real breakthrough in fuel cell technology that we think can enable the system to be distributed and yet work at a very high efficiency level,” he says.

Commercial customers are showing more interest in stationary fuel cells and natural gas generators because they can provide back-up power and potentially lower energy costs. GE’s system, which is still a few years a way from commercial availability, will be aimed at customers outside of the United States, Little says. Because the United States has relatively cheap natural gas, the combined power generation unit is unlikely to be cost competitive with grid power there. However, the price for natural gas in many other countries is more than double that in the United States and the hybrid power generation unit will “compete beautifully,” Little says.

GE’s hybrid fuel system is just one of many research efforts the conglomerate has underway to take advantage of unconventional oil and natural gas drilling. Among the projects now being considered at a planned research center in Oklahoma is a way to use liquid carbon dioxide as the fluid to fracture, or frack, wells, rather than a mixture of water and chemicals. The company is developing a hybrid locomotive engine that can run on both diesel and natural gas. And it is working on small-scale liquid natural gas fueling stations that could be placed along railroad lines.

In another effort, GE is developing sensors and software to make oil and gas wells smarter. Researchers are working on different types of photonic sensors that are able to withstand very high heat and pressure. These  would be better  than electronic sensors for gathering flow and fluid composition data within wells, according to GE researchers.

September 25, 2013 - 7:30 AM No Comments

Wormlike hematite photoanode breaks the world-record for solar hydrogen production efficiency

Wormlike hematite photoanode breaks the world-record for solar hydrogen production efficiency[0] Wormlike hematite photoanode breaks the world-record for solar hydrogen production efficiency[1]

A research team of Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), South Korea, developed a “wormlike” hematite photoanode that can convert sunlight and water to clean hydrogen energy with a record-breaking high efficiency of 5.3%.

This research was published in Scientific Reports, a science journal published by the Nature Publishing Group. (Title: “Single-crystalline, wormlike hematite photoanodes for efficient solar water splitting”) on 17 September 2013).

The previous record of solar hydrogen efficiency among stable oxide semiconductor photoanodes was 4.2% owned by the research group of Prof. Michael Graetzel at the Ecole Polytechnique de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland.

Solar water splitting is a renewable and sustainable energy production method because it can utilize sunlight, the most abundant energy source on earth, and water, the most abundant natural resource on earth. At the moment, low solar-to-hydrogen conversion efficiency is the most serious hurdle to overcome in the commercialization of this technology.

The key to the solar water splitting technology is the semiconductor photocatalysts that absorb sunlight and split water to hydrogen and oxygen using the absorbed solar energy. Hematite, an iron oxide (the rust of iron, Fe2O3) absorbs an ample amount of sunlight. It has also excellent stability in water, a low price, and environmentally benign characteristics.

Thus it has been a most popular and promising candidate of photoanode material for solar water splitting over the last two decades. However, hematite has a major and critical drawback of an extremely poor electrical conducting property. Thus most of the hematite anodes have exhibited very low performance.

Prof. Jae Sung Lee of UNIST led the joint research with Prof. Kazunari Domen’s group at the  University of Tokyo, Japan, developing new anode material which has outstanding hydrogen production efficiency.

Prof. Lee and coworkers employed a series of modifications to improve the property of hematite. First, a unique single-crystalline “wormlike” morphology was produced by using a nanomaterial synthesis technique. Second, a small amount of platinum was introduced into the hematite lattice as doping. Finally, a cobalt catalyst was employed to help oxygen evolution reaction. These modifications reduced energy loss due to charge recombination and brought the record-breaking solar-to-hydrogen conversion efficiency.

“The efficiency of 10% is needed for practical application of solar water splitting technology. There is still long way to reach that level. Yet, our work has made an important milestone by exceeding 5% level, which has been a psychological barrier in this field,” said Prof. Lee. “It has also demonstrated that the carefully designed fabrication and modification strategies are effective to obtain highly efficient photocatalysts and hopefully could lead to our final goal of 10% solar-to-hydrogen efficiency in a near future.”

The fellow researchers include Jae Young Kim from UNIST who performed most of the experiments oscillating between two laboratories in Ulsan and Tokyo, and researchers from POSTECH and the University of Tokyo.

This research was sponsored by the A3 Foresight Program of the Korean National Research Foundation which supports international collaboration projects between three Asian countries of Korea, China and Japan.

Homepage of Jae Sung Lee http://ecocat.unist.ac.kr

September 25, 2013 - 6:54 AM No Comments

Acta S.p.A. Announce First Repeat Order for the Sale of an Acta Power Back-Up Power System

Acta S.p.A. (AIM: ACTA), the clean energy products company, is pleased to announce that it has received its first repeat order for the sale of an Acta Power back-up power system.  The system is to be installed in Africa at a base station of a major international mobile telecoms company, following their initial order which was announced on 22 May 2013.

The Acta Power is a self-recharging back-up power system incorporating a fuel cell and low cost on-board hydrogen generation.  It has been developed to meet the back-up power requirements of telecom base stations in off-grid or bad grid locations by utilising rainwater for water supply and avoiding the cost and logistical barriers of hydrogen delivery to base stations in remote or inaccessible sites.

The new order is for the sale of a system incorporating a 2kW fuel cell and 500L/h electrolyser.  This configuration has been specified by the customer to match the back-up power and duration requirements of the mobile operators typical base station, while offering a lower cost than a 4kW fuel cell system.

Having analysed the capabilities of the Acta Power system together with Acta, the customer believes that the remote data monitoring and power management module of the Acta Power system allows a more energy efficient and cost effective solution to be specified than is the case with diesel generators and battery systems, which are typically over-specified for the power requirements of base station back-up power applications.

The new unit is due to be shipped in November 2013 and will be delivered directly to a base station for an operational evaluation of one month to confirm that the system size is correct for the base stations power requirements, prior to discussing a larger scale deployment for installation during 2014.

Paolo Bert, Chief Executive of Acta, commented:

This important customer gave us our first Acta Power order in May of this year which has now led to an operational sale for the system only four months later.  We are delighted to see the Acta Power moving into the next stage of evaluation so soon after launch.

September 24, 2013 - 8:37 AM No Comments

China to Subsidize Electric and Fuel Cell Vehicles

China has unveiled a new round of subsidies for fuel-efficient vehicles in a bid to combat rising air pollution in its major cities.

The government will provide up to 60,000 yuan (£6,160; $9,800) to buyers of all-electric, “near all-electric” and hydrogen vehicles until 2015.

The policy is expected to boost Chinese automakers such as as BYD, which makes electric cars and batteries.

However, the programme does not include gasoline-electric hybrid cars.

In a statement, the government said the policy was aimed at “accelerating the development of new-energy vehicles, promoting energy saving and reducing air pollution”.
Electric strategy

China aims to put five million “new-energy” vehicles on the road by 2020.

According to the state-owned Xinhua news agency, there were about 27,800 new-energy vehicles being used last year, mostly buses.

China’s last electric vehicle subsidy programme expired at the end of 2012, but failed to provide a large boost to electric car sales.

Analysts say the government needs to include conventional hybrid vehicles, such as Toyota’s Prius model, in the subsidy programme for it to gain traction.

September 24, 2013 - 7:16 AM No Comments

Non-Precious Metal catalysts outperforming Pt-based one by UNIST Research Team

Non-Precious Metal catalysts outperforming Pt-based one by UNIST Research Team[0]

Researchers from Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER), and Brookhaven National Laboratory, have discovered a new family of non-precious metal catalysts. These catalysts exhibit better performance than platinum in oxygen-reduction reaction (ORR) only with 10 % of the production cost of a platinum catalyst.

The finding, described in Nature’s Scientific Reports (published online on Step. 23, 2013), provides an important step towards circumventing the biggest obstacle to widespread-  commercialization of fuel cell technology.

Fuel cells have various advantages compared to internal combustion engines or batteries, due to their high energy conversion efficiency and environmentally benign and quiet operation conditions. However, the high cost and instability of platinum catalysts for oxygen reduction reaction at the cathode have critically impeded the extensive application of polymer electrolyte fuel cells.

The UNIST research team reported on a new family of non-precious metal catalysts based on ordered mesoporous *porphyrinic carbons (M-OMPC) with high surface areas and tunable pore structures.

*porphyrin:  Any of a class of heterocyclic compounds containing four pyrrole rings arranged in a square

“Our synthetic strategy for the non-precious metal catalysts included a multitude of advantages that would be favorable to PEFC applications” said Prof. Joo. “First, our synthetic method is amenable to simple and mild experimental conditions. Second, the synthesis of the M-OMPC catalysts could be readily scaled up to a few tens of grams in a single batch. Third, well-developed, hierarchical micro-mesoporosity would be advantageous for efficient transport of fuels and by-products. Finally, the M-OMPC catalysts showed very high surface areas, which could significantly increase the density of the catalytically active sites accessible to reactants.”

The research was led by Sang Hoon Joo, professor of the School of Nano-Bioscience and Chemical Engineering at South Korea’s UNIST. Fellow authors include: Jae Yeong Cheon from UNIST; Gu-Gon Park from the Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER); Radoslav R. Adzic from the Chemistry Department of the Brookheaven National Laboratory.

The materials developed by the UNIST research team were prepared by nanocasting ordered mesoporous silica (OMS) templates with metalloporphyrin precursors. In addition  they were constructed with three dimensional networks of porphyrinic carbon frameworks.

The best M-OMPC catalyst showed an extremely high electrocatalytic activity for ORR in an acidic media. Its ORR activity is one of the best among the non-precious metal catalysts ever, and even higher than the state-of-the-art Pt catalyst. In addition, the FeCo-OMPC showed superior long-term durability and methanol-tolerance in ORR, compared to the Pt catalyst.

The research team attributed the high ORR activity of the FeCo-OMPC to its relatively weak interaction with oxygen as well as the high surface area design of the catalyst.

“Currently the world is striving to look for another energy source for increased energy demand and environmental issue,” said Prof. Joo. “The novel material developed by the UNIST research team would be a solution to commercialize the eco-friendly and cost-effective fuel cells.”

This research was supported by the Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea funded by the Ministry of Education, the support from Korea Institute of Energy Research, National Junior Research Fellowship, and Global Ph.D. Fellowship.

Homepage of Sang Hoo Joo http://shjoo.unist.ac.kr

September 24, 2013 - 6:01 AM No Comments

The Ohio Fuel Cell Coalition will Host a Supply Chain Exchange Event at the 2013 Fuel Cell Seminar & Energy Exposition

2013 Fuel Cell Seminar & Energy Exposition this October 21st – 24th in Columbus, Ohio

Columbia, SC –– The Ohio Fuel Cell Coalition (OFCC) will host a Supply Chain Exchange event on Wednesday, October 23, 2013 from 3:30pm – 6:00pm ET in-conjunction with the 2013 Fuel Cell Seminar & Energy Exposition this October 21st – 24th in Columbus, Ohio at the Greater Columbus Convention Center.

This Supply Chain Exchange event will offer a unique opportunity for suppliers from Ohio and the Midwest to connect with national and international fuel cell integrators. “The Supply Chain Exchange event will allow for business opportunities covering a wide range of component, product and service suppliers,” said Pat Valente, Executive Director of the OFCC.
The Supply Chain Exchange event is a participatory exercise linking fuel cell integrators with supply chain companies in one-on-one meetings. Comments received from past attendees by the OFCC pointed to the value of the event from the integrators and suppliers. “I met 16 suppliers!” exclaimed Pat Hearn, Ballard. “Do you know how many trips I would have to make to make that many connections?”
Space is very limited, so if you are interested in participating in the Supply Chain Exchange event at the 2013 FCS&EE, please contact Pat Valente at Pat.Valente@fuelcellcorridor.com or (614)-542-7308. The selection process is based on the needs of the integrators and capabilities of the supply chain. Don’t miss your opportunity to network with senior decision makers from across the US, Europe and beyond!

The annual Fuel Cell Seminar & Energy Exposition (FCS&EE) is the premier international gathering of the Fuel Cell & Hydrogen Energy industries and their customers and stakeholders. Over a four day span, the conference hosts 1,000+ attendees and features more than 200 presentations from around the world.

The 2013 FCS&EE theme, “Fuel Cells and Natural Gas: Securing America’s Energy Future,” expands on the mission to advance global energy, environmental, and economic benefits offered by fuel cells, hydrogen, and natural gas technologies.

Featured activities will include world class Plenary Sessions and Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Presentation Tracks, Educational Short Courses, an Ohio “Industry and Research Facilities Tour” and Supply Chain Exchange event, a public Ride & Drive event featuring Toyota and Honda, and two networking receptions!

Online registration is open through October 18, 2013. The FCS&EE has secured discounted hotel blocks at four hotels surrounding the Convention Center. Reservations are available until September 18, 2013.

Visit http://www.fuelcellseminar.com for further information

September 24, 2013 - 5:42 AM No Comments

GEI Global Energy Corp Enters LOI to Build the Worlds Largest Fuel Cell Power Plant

With an Estimated Gross Dollar Value Estimated at $470 Million in Revenue and $94 Million in Profit

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA– GEI GLOBAL ENERGY CORP (OTCQB:GEIG) September 23, 2013 announced today that the Company has entered into a Letter Of Intent (LOI) with Owl Eco Group, “the developer” to build a 100 Megawatt Power Plant located in Western Pennsylvania, within the massive Marcellus shale natural gas fields. Owl Eco Group would like to generate electrical power using GLOBAL ENERGY CORP’S innovative technology and will include a dedicated natural gas well drilled specifically for GEI.

The project will be comprised of 1,000 individual 100 kW natural gas fueled HTPEM fuel cell power systems with a project budget of approximately $470 million dollars with an estimated $94 million in profit to GEI GLOBAL ENERGY CORP.

Ron Monat, Director Of Renewable Energy Group for COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE SERVICES (CBRE) (NYSE:CBG) has expressed his Company’s interest for the project in the form of a Letter Of Intent to Owl Eco Group. The Letter Of Intent to Owl Eco Group states CBRE is interested in providing all of the necessary funding for the project. CBRE is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm. (In terms of 2012 revenue)

CBRE offers project financing via privately-placed bonds with institutional investors to provide a loan or lease structure offering financing at “below market”.

Dr. K. Joel Berry, CEO and Chairman of GEI GLOBAL ENERGY CORP stated: “Since our fuel cell technology is scalable and stackable by design it enables us to provide Fuel Cell technology for very large size power plants. We are very enthusiastic about providing our Fuel Cell technology to Owl Eco Group. 100 Mega Watts will certainly mark us as the dominant player in the world to provide Fuel Cell System technology for large scale power plants. A 100 MW power plant would currently be the largest fuel cell power plant in the World.”

Dr. K. Joel Berry continued to say: “A power plant of this size will take some time to ramp up and organize. We are optimistic that GEI will start construction for this project by the end of 2014.”

GEI can build fuel cells ranging from 2kW-100kW and since the Company has the ability of stacking the fuel cells like building blocks it can build fuel cell power plants that are multi-megawatts in size. The GEI commercial potential is unlimited and will focus much of their attention on the large scale power utilities worldwide as it has the ability to become both a technology game changer and a market leader.

The GEI fuel cell system can operate on a number of fuel sources such as natural gas, methane, propane and bio fuels. Since GEI’s fuel cells can leverage the existing logistic fuel infrastructure, the Company is very unique within the Industry. Fuel sources such as natural gas are cheap and abundant worldwide; this will enable GEI to be very competitive. Since the GEI X5 ‘brand’ fuel cell system is scalable and stackable, it enables the Company to become a market leader in every category of the fuel cell industry and has the potential to create entirely new markets and categories.

The GEI fuel cell system provides 24-7 primary power for homes and buildings and is paramount due to very restrictive offerings from other companies with only back-up power (due to fuel restrictions) or power to one singular application (due to technology restrictions). The GEI X5 core strategy is to avoid providing a “niche” technology for a “niche” application, but rather provide a robust and scalable systems technology applicable across multiple platforms that allow high volume cost reductions and savings in design and manufacturing cost. There are currently 3 patents that protect this technology and the Company plans with several more to be filed before the end of 2013.

ABOUT CBRE: CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBG) is a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company headquartered in Los Angeles, USA. CBRE is the world’s largest commercial real estate services and investment firm (in terms of 2012 revenue). The Company has approximately 37,000 employees (excluding affiliates), and serves real estate owners, investors and occupiers through more than 300 offices (excluding affiliates) worldwide. (www.cbre.com)

ABOUT OWL ECO GROUP: Owl Eco Group led by Ronnie Garcia is a private USA based project developer. Owl Eco Group has organized a consortium of companies that are involved in the manufacturing, research & development, and construction of water and alternative energy plants.

ABOUT: GEI GLOBAL ENERGY CORP. and our brand, the GEI X5 Fuel Cell System is a revolutionary and smart, multi-fuel, clean, silent, and affordable fuel cell auxiliary electric power generation system for residential, commercial, military, and industrial electric applications. Our unique scalable modular technology allows power systems from 2 kW to several hundred Megawatts. Our power systems employ a superior technology that conserve earth’s natural resources, improve people’s quality of life, and assures energy security.

September 23, 2013 - 7:49 AM No Comments

MHI Achieves World’s First 4,000-Hour Continuous Operation Of Pressurized SOFC-MGT Hybrid Power Generation System

Tokyo – - Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) has achieved 4,000 hours of uninterrupted operation – unprecedented in the world – of a 200 kilowatt (kW) class pressurized hybrid (combined-cycle) power generation system incorporating solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) and a micro gas turbine (MGT). The company has been operating the hybrid system since March at Senju Techno Station, a facility in Tokyo operated by Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd., and it has now confirmed its stable power generation performance: generating-end output of 206 kW AC (alternating current) and 50.2 percent thermal efficiency (LHV*).

MHI began developing the pressurized hybrid power generation system in 2008 at its Nagasaki Shipyard & Machinery Works, working in collaboration with the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO). The first stage of power generation takes place in the SOFC module by injecting city gas as fuel to produce electricity through chemical reaction. The unreacted portion of the gas and hot air discharged from the SOFC module are then used to drive an MGT. This two-stage system achieves significantly higher power generation efficiency and, as a result, saves substantial energy. In addition, as the high-temperature exhaust gas from the MGT can be used to generate hot water and steam, the hybrid system is capable of performing combined heat and power (CHP) supply functions.

In the pressurized hybrid system, air pressurized by the MGT’s compressor is supplied to SOFCs and used as oxidant; then the thermal energy and pressure of the high-temperature exhaust gas from the SOFC module are transferred to the MGT to be used, together with the unreacted portion of the gas, to produce electricity. In this system, the inherent ability of pressurized SOFCs to increase voltage significantly is effectively utilized to enhance power generation efficiency. The system has also reduced installation space requirements by half, by boosting power density through enhanced SOFC module performance and a simplified system configuration.

Tokyo Gas’ Senju Techno Station, where the pressurized hybrid system was installed, also contains a facility where the utility introduces its advanced energy-related technologies to its stakeholders. The station agreed to cooperate with MHI in its continuous operating test in consideration of its function as a supplier of city gas -the fuel used in the hybrid system. The testing demonstrated stable operation even in the heavy-load summer season.

SOFCs are ceramic-based fuel cells that operate at a high temperature above 900 degrees Celsius (1,650 degrees Fahrenheit) and produce electricity directly by chemical reaction between hydrogen and carbon oxide removed from city gas and oxygen in the air. MHI has been vigorously pursuing power generation methods to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, including high-efficiency thermal power generation systems, nuclear power systems, and renewable energies such as wind power, and it sees SOFC technology as a promising method.

MHI has been conducting joint development of the hybrid system with Toyota Motor Corporation since 2008. Toyota Turbine and Systems Inc., which markets MGTs, is a Toyota affiliate.

Based on the successful operation of the pressurized SOFC-MGT hybrid power generation system, going forward MHI now plans to conduct safety verification tests and explore the market for the system’s business and industrial applications.

Note
* Lower heating value: the heat value of a combustion process excluding latent heat from vaporization of water. Higher heating value (HHV) is the gross value including such latent heat.

About Mitsubishi Heavy Industries

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI), headquartered in Tokyo, Japan, is one of the world’s leading heavy machinery manufacturers, with consolidated sales of 2,820.9 billion for the year ended March 31, 2012. MHI’s diverse lineup of products and services encompasses shipbuilding, power plants, chemical plants, environmental equipment, steel structures, industrial and general machinery, aircraft, space rocketry and air-conditioning systems. For more information, please visit the MHI website at www.mhi.co.jp.

September 23, 2013 - 7:12 AM No Comments

Stark State gets $5 million grant for fuel cell lab

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, announced Friday that Stark State College’s LG Fuel Cell Systems Inc. (LGFCS) has been awarded a $5.1 million grant through the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to advance its fuel cell technology, which is used to make vehicles cleaner and more energy efficient. Specifically, the grant will be used to further develop the LGFCS laboratory and to improve the affordability and reliability of its solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) technology, which produces electricity directly from oxidizing fuel cells.

“This is excellent news for both Stark County and LG Fuel Cell Systems Inc.,” Brown said. “We need to continue to invest in clean energy technology so that we’re creating local jobs and improving our economy in a responsible and sustainable way. These federal funds will go a long way towards achieving that goal while maintaining LGFCS’s place as a leading innovator not just in Ohio, but across the country and world.”

In January, Brown toured the LGFCS at Stark State College and called for continued investment in Ohio’s emerging clean energy sector. Brown secured critical funds to advance fuel cell technology at Stark State — which is helping Ohio businesses create and retain jobs — and has authored legislation which would expand the critical research and development (R&D) tax credit and support nearly 1 million good-paying American jobs.

In October, Brown wrote a letter to DOE Secretary Steven Chu urging the DOE to continue the solid oxide fuel cell program. In 2009, Brown helped secure $1 million for Stark State to upgrade the clean room at Stark State’s Fuel Cell Prototyping Center. That project brought critical fuel cell technology to Ohio, providing students with firsthand training opportunities to advance and commercialize a 1 megawatt solid oxide fuel cell, which when used in stationary power generation will aid in developing smart-grid electric power.

September 23, 2013 - 5:43 AM No Comments

Protonex Technology Recognized in the 2013 Inc. 5000 List

The Inc. 500/5000 magazine ranked Protonex Technology NO. 62 in the Top 100 Engineering Companies and 4299 overall with a 57% sales growth rate over the last 3 years on its seventh annual Inc. 5000.

The list is an exclusive ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies and represents the most comprehensive look at the most important segment of the economy-America’s independent entrepreneurs.

Paul Osenar, the CEO of Protonex “is proud that all of our hard work is recognized by the inclusion in the Inc 5000, and gratified by the continued trust placed in us by the US Army, Navy, Marines, and Air Force, as well as our allied partners, which have made this possible. Protonex takes great pride in creating innovative alternative energy products that decrease weight and cost to our troops and commercial customers, and this award shows that we are doing just that.”

Complete results of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region, and other criteria, can be found at www.inc.com/5000.

Protonex Technology Corporation is a privately held corporation that develops and manufactures industry-leading intelligent power management and portable fuel cell products for military and commercial markets. Protonex products are characterized by low carry weight, ruggedness and reliability, and low heat, noise, and electromagnetic signatures. The company is based in Southborough, Massachusetts.

September 23, 2013 - 4:05 AM No Comments

The Need For Clean Energy Fuel Cell Buses In China

China’s rapid economic expansion over the past decade has resulted in a public concern regarding deteriorating levels of air quality

VANCOUVER, CANADA – China’s rapid economic expansion over the past decade has resulted in a public concern regarding deteriorating levels of air quality. The China State Council is investing 1.8T Yuan (US$288 billion) in the renewable energy industry over the period 2010-15, along with 2.3T Yuan (US$368 billion) on actions designed to save energy and reduce emissions.

Background
Given the size and rapid growth of China’s economy, the country has considerably larger carbon dioxide emissions than other nations, including the U.S. For example, China’s carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels accounted for 28% of the global total in 2011 versus 16% in the United States. And, the International Energy Agency estimated 3.8% further growth in China’s emissions last year.

As a result, last month China’s State Council announced that the energy saving sector will be a key pillar of the economy by 2015. The majority of environmental protection industries are expected to receive government funding in an effort to stimulate innovation in a wide range of technologies addressing air, water and soil pollution. A recent joint statement of the National Development and Reform Commission and the Finance, Science and Industry Ministries announced that fuel cell buses will now qualify for rebates up to 500,000 Yuan (US$81,000).

Bus Transportation in China
China’s growth has spawned the largest commercial vehicle segment in the world, in terms of production and domestic sales – including 7% year-over-year growth in the manufacture of city buses, to almost 74,000, in 2011. Naturally, this growth has resulted in high levels of automotive emissions, with the International Council on Clean Transportation reporting that auto emissions contribute more than 33% of the air pollution in Beijing, Shanghai and Pearl River Delta Region.

Beijing’s city government wants to expand public transit while also reducing the number of vehicles in the city. As a result, it unveiled new measures this month that place tougher restrictions on the number of new vehicles allowed on the roads each year going forward. By the end of 2017 the government will cap the number of cars on the road at 6 million. Beijing also aims to reduce total vehicle fuel consumption by promoting the sale of new energy vehicles – including the use of subsidies – while also encouraging people to drive less frequently.

Ballard Fuel Cell Power Modules
Earlier this year, Ballard signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with our partner, Azure Hydrogen Corporation of Beijing, extending our partnership to include fuel cell buses in order to help address the air quality issue in China.

Azure plans to develop fuel cell bus capabilities in China with Ballard’s technical support and funding from Chinese sources, including both private investors and various levels of Government. Ballard fuel cell power modules are currently powering zero emission fuel cell buses in public transit service across a number of sites in North America and Europe.

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


September 20, 2013 - 7:17 AM No Comments

Michigan State University Receives NSF Award for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells Research

Jason D. Nicholas is the 13th faculty member in Engineering to receive a CAREER Award from NSF in the past four years.

Jason Nicholas wins NSF CAREER Award

Jason D. Nicholas, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, has received a National Science Foundation CAREER award.

Funding from this five-year, $400,000 grant, which began Aug. 1, 2013, will support Nicholas’s research to reduce operating temperatures, improve performance, lower costs and extend the operational lifetime of Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs).

Fuels cells are electrochemical devices used to convert the energy stored within the chemical bonds of the fuel into electrical energy and/or heat. “SOFCs have demonstrated electrical and cogeneration (combined heat and power) efficiencies of 50-60 percent and 70-90 percent, respectively, making them more efficient than any other energy conversion technology,” Nicholas said. “They achieve this by allowing oxygen ions to pass through an electronically insulating solid membrane, in the process producing electricity by forcing electrons to circumvent the membrane via an external circuit.”

By electrochemically oxidizing fuel, instead of combusting it, SOFCs can more than double the combined heat and power efficiencies of central fossil-fuel powered plants and on-site electricity and heat generating systems. And unlike other types of fuel cells that can only run on hydrogen, SOFCs can operate on fuels that vary from hydrogen, biogas, gasoline, natural gas and jet fuel to methane. These characteristics allow them to simultaneously reduce the environmental impact of today’s hydrocarbon based economy while providing a path toward a CO2-neutral economy running on biofuels, hydrogen or solar fuels.

Nicholas said one of the most daunting obstacles to commercialization is the lack of SOFC anode catalysts that perform well at temperatures below 600degrees Celsius. He thinks the materials are already available and will explore mixed ionic electronic-conducting lanthanum strontium chromium magnesium oxides.

“I’ll evaluate whether the catalytic activity and selectivity of these mixed ionic oxides can be enhanced through the application of an external biaxial stress. I hope to advance the field of catalysis by systematically elucidating, for the first time, the full relationship between stress, structure, electrochemical properties, temperature and oxygen partial pressure in a SOFC anode electrocatalyst.”

His future research interests include looking at stress to address performance of materials in more than just fuel cells.

Nicholas noted that educational outreach is also part of the grant, including the 2014 MSU Girl Scout STEM Demo Day on Feb. 1 in the MSU Engineering Building. The day is aimed at introducing K-12 girls to the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) disciplines.

Nicholas received a B.S. from Franklin and Marshall College in 2000, an M.S. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2003 and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2007. Following post-doctorate work at Northwestern University, he joined MSU in 2010.

The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award is among the NSF’s most prestigious honors, recognizing young faculty members who are effectively integrating research and teaching.

Nicholas becomes the 13th member of the MSU College of Engineering faculty to receive an NSF CAREER Award in the past four years.

September 20, 2013 - 7:09 AM No Comments

Taiy Nippon Sanso Corp Announces Development of Hydro Shuttle, a Low-Cost, Compact Packaged-type Hydrogen Station

Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation (TNSC) announced today that it has developed a low-cost,compact packaged-type hydrogen station to supply 70MPa hydrogen gas to fuel cell vehicles

Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation (TNSC) announced today that it has developed a low-cost,compact packaged-type hydrogen station to supply 70MPa hydrogen gas to fuel cell vehicles

Background

Electric vehicles (EVs) and fuel-cell vehicles (FCVs) are attracting attention as next-generation vehicles that emit no CO2  when running. Hydrogen stations are theequipment that supplies hydrogen gas, the fuel used to power FCVs. Automakers are planning general sales of FCVs starting in 2015, so the building of hydrogen station infrastructure is urgently needed. In Japan, a project is underway to install hydrogen stations at approximately 100 locations in the nation’s four major urban areas over a three-year period beginning in April 2013. Reducing the cost of hydrogen stations has become a major challenge in accelerating their spread.

Outline of packaged-type hydrogen station

TNSC has integrated the dispenser, pre-cooling device, compressor, and storage vessel — the four major devices that comprise hydrogen stations — into a single unit, thereby significantly reducing fabrication and installation costs. TNSC has also managed to lower the cost and reduce the size of the dispenser and pre-cooling device (able to cool hydrogen up to the temperature of -40ºC). The compressor uses an air-driven booster system while a Type IV CFRP vessel (the entire circumference of the plastic-lined vessel is wrapped in carbon fiber and  possesses  great  strength)  was chosen  for  the  storage  vessel  (255  liters,  93MPa).  By lowering the cost of each device, we were able to reduce the cost to half that of our previous model.

The packaged-type hydrogen station is 7.0 meters long, 2.0 meters deep, and 2.6 meters high and has a maximum hydrogen supply capacity of 300Nm3  per hour. The hydrogen filling speed  is  five  kilograms  per  three  minutes,  and  three  FCVs  designed  to  run  on  70MPa hydrogen gas can be filled consecutively. In addition, the hydrogen stations are of a common design and able to deal with all onsite, offsite,  and  mobile  types  as  stipulated  in  the  laws  and  regulations  of  Japan  related  to high-pressure    gas    safety.    Additional    cost    reductions    through    standardization    and mass-production are within sight. Further, airtight welding and sleeve nut-type joints were used to increase safety and, by adopting a maintenance-friendly design, we were able to substantially reduce the periodic voluntary inspection process.

Future plans

TNSC has delivered many hydrogen stations throughout Japan and it will continue to further improve this technology. At the same time, TNSC will contribute to the spread of FCVs and hydrogen  stations  with  the  goal  of expanding sales,  primarily  of packaged-type  hydrogen stations.

September 19, 2013 - 9:27 AM No Comments

A step towards large-scale high efficiency hydrogen production: NIMTE advances in high-temperature electrolysis (HTE) using solid oxide electrolyzer cells (SOECs)

Hydrogen may be fuel of 21st century provided we find large-scale and low-cost hydrogen source. Hydrogen is also preferred renewable energy storage for excessive solar and wind energy. Presently, over 90% of hydrogen is produced from natural gas, but the process is quite costly. High temperature electrolysis (HTE) uses the reversal reaction of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) to produce hydrogen at a rather high efficiency – the thermo-electric efficiency of HTE can reach more than 50% if HTE is combined with renewable or nuclear energy. Therefore, the HTE is an effective way for large-scale economic hydrogen production and has become one of hot topics in energy research field.

Recently, a group of researchers from the Fuel Cell and Energy Technology (FCET) Division at the Ningbo Institute of Material Technology and Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences (NIMTE, CAS), announced new progress in HTE process after two year research financially supported by Chinese Academy of Sciences and Ministry of Science and Technology of China.

The NIMTE researchers used a standard SOFC stack module produced by NIMTE in small series for HTE research (Fig. 1). The stack contained 30 unit cells having effective areas of 70cm2.

For HTE, the hydrogen electrode of the stack was fed with H2(0.5L/min)and steam(2.24L/min, 1atm, 298K) where H2 was used as protective gas medium. The stack was subjected to HTE at 800oC in the mode of solid oxide electrolyzer cell (SOEC) with a constant current of 4 A.

The stack exhibited a stable performance for more than 900h without any degradation (Fig. 2). The electrolysis conversion rate was calculated 73.5% by measuring the input and output steam mass of the stack, and the hydrogen production rate was over 98.7NL/h.

It is thus indicated the HTE using SOEC is effective to produce hydrogen at a high conversion efficiency and a reasonable production rate, and is of potential to scale up to a large-scale hydrogen production.

September 19, 2013 - 7:38 AM No Comments

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