January 2011

1.03.2011 Hyundai Fuel Cell Vehicle Now Complete
(view article)

1.05.2011 Fuel Cells Breathe Life Into Ambulance Service's Green Plans
(view article)

1.05.2011 Japan Plans 'Silicon Valley of Fuel Cells'
(view article)

1.11.2011 IdaTech continues to improve margins with new generation fuel cells
(view article)

1.13.2011 World’s First Community-level Demonstration of Pipelines Installed in an Urban District
(view article)

1.13.2011 Toyota Advances Hydrogen Fuel Cell Plans Amid Industry's Battery-Car Push Plans 'Silicon Valley of Fuel Cells'
(view article)

1.13.2011 Coca-Cola Refreshments to use Plug Power Gendrive Fuel Cells at California Bottling Center
(view article)

1.14.2011 Multiquip Introduces Industry's First Hydrogen Fuel Cell Powered Light Tower
(view article)

1.18.2011 2011 Detroit Auto Show: Mercedes-Benz 20,000-mile F-Cell World Drive to prove viability of hydrogen fuel
(view article)

1.20.2011 Bloom Energy's Fuel Cell Breakthrough
(view article)

1.22.2011 Hawaii expands push to fuel hydrogen cars
(view article)

1.24.2011 UK's first hydrogen ferry project given go ahead
(view article)


January 03, 2011
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Hyundai Fuel Cell Vehicle Now Complete

by Susan DeFreitas

Forget all the buzz about electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids–Hyundai recently announced that it has completed the development phase of its third-generation hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, the Tucson ix, and will begin testing in the New Year with an eye toward a large-scale roll-out in 2015.

The Tucson ix Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV) will come equipped with a 100-kilowatt fuel cell system and two hydrogen storage tanks, giving it the power to travel 403 miles (650 kilometers) on a single charge–a range roughly equivalent to that of gas-powered car. This represents a 76 percent improvement over the second-generation Tucson FCEV, which was limited to a range almost half that (370 kilometers).

Hyundai Tucson ix FCEV image via Hyundai Motors

Other key issues that have been addressed by this new and improved model include bulk (overall volume of the fuel cell system has been reduced by 20-percent over the previous Tucson ix system) and tolerance to cold, a key issue for fuel cell vehicles. According to Hyundai, the vehicle–which will be part of a `Domestic Fleet Program’ supported by the Korean government next year–can start in temperatures as low as minus 25 degrees Celsius.

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January 05, 2011
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Fuel Cells Breathe Life Into Ambulance Service's Green Plans

Yorkshire Ambulance Service kicks off fuel cell trial to cut fleet fuel consumption

Ambulances in Yorkshire could soon be fitted with methanol fuel cells capable of charging batteries for life-saving equipment while the vehicle's engine is switched off, as part of the NHS trust's latest effort to cut fuel consumption.

Alexis Keech, environmental and sustainability manager for Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, told BusinessGreen that the trust has kicked off a trial of Antares fuel cells that will allow ambulances to keep onboard equipment fully charged while vehicles wait at accident hotspots.

"We have rapid-response vehicles situated in strategic places around the region at certain times, which help us respond to Category A or life-threatening incidents within eight minutes," she explained. "But these vehicles have to sit there for long periods of time with their engines running to keep the batteries charged up."

Direct methanol fuel cells are traditionally installed in caravans as methanol is considered to be cheaper and safer than its hydrogen alternative and Keech hopes the technology can be successfully transferred to emergency vehicles.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service estimates it could save about a gallon of fuel for every five hours engines are not on "tick-over", saving just over 12kg of carbon dioxide (CO2).

If the six-month trial proves successful when it is completed in June, more of the service's 100 rapid-response vehicles could be fitted with the fuel cells.

The trial is part of the NHS trust's latest efforts to cut CO2 emissions from its ambulance fleet 30 per cent by 2015 against 2007 levels. It is also implementing other initiatives, including teaching eco-driving and using alternative fuels such as electric vehicles and compressed natural gas.

The programme is also motivated by rising fuel prices which have contributed to the ambulance service's budget overspend. Keech said the service will spend £5.5m in the financial year 2010/2011, £500,000 over its £5m budget. Last year it spent £4.6m, £400,000 over its £4.2m budget.

By 2015, Yorkshire Ambulance Service predicts transport alone will account for more than half of its CO2 emissions and more than three quarters of its costs as a result of rising fuel prices.

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January 05, 2011
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Japan Plans 'Silicon Valley of Fuel Cells'

A prefectural government in Japan is seeking to become the special fuel-cell district of the country.

Yamanashi prefecture, within the main island of Japan, wants to become the ‘Silicon Valley of fuel-cell technology’ as it seeks to ease restrictions on the use of hydrogen fuel for vehicles as part of the central government’s special economic zones scheme to be launched next year.

A concept fuel cell car from Toyota
The prefecture intends to work with Yamanashi University and specialist firms to promote the use of fuel cell vehicles within the area according to Japanese news website, Yomiuri.co.jp.

According to the plan, the prefecture would allow fuel-cell vehicles to be charged on public highways and expressway services, which is currently banned under the High Pressure Gas Safety Law and the Road Traffic Law. It would install further hydrogen filling stations and conduct long-distance tests of fuel-cell vehicles on highways.

The prefecture also wants to utilise central government subsidies to fund  companies involved in fuel-cell development projects.

Yamanashi University opened a fuel-cell research centre in 2009, which the prefectural government provided government employees to assist in research projects. Fuel cell vehicles have been widely mooted as the ultimate green vehicles, but the expense of establishing refuelling infrastructure and the cost of ongoing vehicle development has so far largely kept them off the roads.


January 11, 2011
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IdaTech continues to improve margins with new generation fuel cells

Tuesday, January 11, 2011 by Jamie Ashcroft

AIM-listed clean fuel specialist IdaTech (LON:IDA) has successfully launched a new generation of products, the methanol-water fuelled ElectraGen ME.

The ElectraGen ME system is an extended run backup power cell. Crucially the system has a fuel reformer that creates its own hydrogen gas by converting methanol and water, and the gas is subsequently used to generate power. ElectraGen ME was initially launched in December.

“This is an exciting and important development for IdaTech as it provides a key foundation in its Path to Profitability Strategy,” the company said. 

“This family of products incorporates substantial cost and performance improvements which can be sold profitably in significantly higher volumes than previous generation products.” 

These improvements offer customers a compelling value proposition, compared to diesel generators, whilst yielding positive margins for the company. 

Idatech also updated investors on its trading performance in 2010, down from the previous year, in which it sold 445, however margins are vastly improved. Around 300 units were sold at a loss in 2009 and just 9 units gave a positive gross contribution, whereas in 280 contributed in 2010. 

The firm’s newer products, ElectraGen H2 and ElectraGen ME, accounted for 280 sales and the rest were from discounted earlier generation units.

IdaTech’s sales pipeline looks strong with orders for US$1.6 million, or 84 units. Almost all the order book is for the higher value products.

Sales revenue reached US$4.1 million (US$4.5 million) and importantly margins improved.

IdaTech added: “2010 was, as expected, the transition year from previous generation, loss making systems to new generation, profitable products.

Additionally the group has also improved the cost side of things, with overheads are expected to be lower than last year  and cash usage down to US22 million (FY09: 24.8 million).

Looking to future IdaTech believes that its recent acquisition, of LPG Off Grid in October, can help the group propel itself to access a US$1 billion market to provide telecommunications related power generation in areas where there is no electric grid service.  
It also highlighted: “With the launch of the ElectraGenTM ME, the Company believes demand will increase over the next year.  The rate of this increase will be dictated by the speed with which customers certify the new products, but initial signs remain encouraging. 

“Additionally, with the transition from previous generation products to new, profitable ones, the company expects gross margin to continue to improve.”


January 13, 2011
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World’s First Community-level Demonstration of Pipelines Installed in an Urban District

Launch of “Hydrogen Town Project” under the “Hydrogen Energy Social Infrastructure Development Demonstration Project”

The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) in Japan will launch on January 15 the operation of the “Hydrogen Town Project” as a part of the “Hydrogen Energy Social Infrastructure Development Demonstration Project”, which aims at creation of a hydrogen society in the future.

In the project, hydrogen will be supplied via pipelines installed in urban districts and pure-hydrogen-type fuel cells will be operated for a full scale of a community as demonstration.

Hydrogen Energy Social Infrastructure Development Demonstration Project
Under the “Hydrogen Energy Social Infrastructure Development Demonstration Project”, society-wide demonstration efforts are being conducted in order to study safe and easy ways to produce, transport, store and use hydrogen in the form of two projects. One is the “Hydrogen Highway Project”, that aims at the provision of regular expressway services using fuel cell buses/vehicles; the other is the “Hydrogen Town Project”, in which hydrogen is supplied via pipelines for use in general consumer households. It is now decided to launch the demonstration of the “Hydrogen Town Project” on January 15.

Summary of “Hydrogen Town Project” Demonstration
The Research Association of Hydrogen Supply/Utilization Technology will install pipelines from Kitakyushu Hydrogen Station (Higashida, Yahata-higashi-ku, Kitakyushu-shi, Fukuoka), that uses hydrogen manufactured by Nippon Steel Corporation, to complex houses, individual houses and both commercial and public facilities in the vicinity so as to demonstrate operation of pure-hydrogen-type fuel cells for both home and business use.
This project is intended to test the viability of the systems from the points of view of “stable supply”, “safety assurance” and “appropriate charging procedures” which will be required for the hydrogen supply businesses using pipelines. Specifically, technology to add or remove smells to or from hydrogen for its safe use, a hydrogen gas metering system required for charging of hydrogen in the future, the operational performance of pure-hydrogen-type fuel cells and other various factors will be verified through demonstration.

Demonstration on community level such as general households and both commercial and public facilities will be conducted for the first time in the world.

Future Development
Through this demonstration project, METI aims at verifying the viability of certain business models for a future hydrogen society so as to offer them as social infrastructure models. In pursuing this goal, METI seeks to push forward with the measures needed to establish a low-carbon society.

Release Date:  January 13, 2011
Division in Charge: Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Promotion Office, New and Renewable Energy Division, Energy Conservation and Renewable Energy Department, Agency for Natural Resources and Energy


January 13, 2011
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Toyota Advances Hydrogen Fuel Cell Plans Amid Industry's Battery-Car Push

By Alan Ohnsman - Jan 13, 2011 1:30 AM ET

Takeshi, executive vice president for research and product development of Toyota Motor Corp. Photographer: Kimimasa Mayama/Bloomberg

A concept fuel cell car from Toyota

Takeshi Uchiyamada, executive vice president of Toyota Motor Corp., demonstrates charging the battery of the company's iQ-based prototype electric vehicle (EV) during a news conference in Tokyo, Japan. Photographer: Kimimasa Mayama/Bloomberg

Toyota Motor Corp., the world’s largest seller of hybrid vehicles, said it’s on schedule to sell hydrogen cars by 2015 or sooner in California, Japan and Germany as an alternative to battery-powered models coming to market.

Toyota, which also aims to sell plug-in hybrid and battery- only autos in 2012, is overcoming the cost and technical hurdles that have kept hydrogen fuel-cell cars from being sold to retail customers, said Takeshi Uchiyamada, Toyota’s executive vice president for research and product development. The carmaker has cut the cost to make hydrogen models to less than $100,000 and aims to halve that price by the time sales begin, he said.
“I have high expectations for fuel-cell vehicles as a candidate for next-generation cars,” Uchiyamada said this week in an interview at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. “Over the past several years, we’ve seen many of the outstanding technical issues solved.”

Enthusiasm a decade ago for hydrogen cars faded because of costs estimated by some manufacturers at about $1 million a vehicle, as well as a lack of fueling stations. While Nissan Motor Co.’s battery-powered Leaf and General Motors Co.’s plug- in Volt target drivers who want to use little or no gasoline, Toyota, Honda Motor Co., Daimler AG, Hyundai Motor Co., GM and Nissan continue developing hydrogen cars, which offer greater range and faster refueling.

Comparable Cruising Distance
“When it comes to fuel-cell cars, the cruising distance is almost comparable to conventional gasoline-engine cars,” Uchiyamada said. Toyota’s cost reductions for the models come from improvements in making high-pressure hydrogen tanks and fuel-cell stacks, he said.

Separately, Toyota and 12 other Japanese companies including Honda, Nissan and JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp. plan to build 100 hydrogen fueling stations in the Asian nation by 2015, according to a statement on Toyota’s website.

Toyota rose 1 percent to close at 3,535 yen in Tokyo trading today. The stock declined 17 percent in 2010.

Fuel cells, layers of plastic film coated with platinum sandwiched between metal plates, make electricity in a chemical process combining hydrogen and oxygen. Fuel-cell vehicles share components such as electric motors and power controls with battery-only models, Uchiyamada said.

FCX Clarity
Honda has leased FCX Clarity hydrogen sedans to Los Angeles area drivers since 2008, and Daimler began a similar California program for its Mercedes-Benz F-Cell hatchback last year.
Toyota will initially focus on selling hydrogen models in California, Japan and Germany, which have the most developed fueling infrastructure.

“We’d like to gradually expand regionally to a global basis,” Uchiyamada said.

Since the program initially will focus on large urban markets, “all we need is a small number of stations,” he said.

Toyota’s first hydrogen cars for retail buyers “will arrive in 2015 or sooner,” Akio Toyoda, the company’s president, said Jan. 10 in Detroit. “Over the years customers will choose which technology is best for their needs.”

Toyota is still working on details of how it will market hydrogen vehicles and hasn’t decided whether the initial model will be sold under the Toyota brand or as luxury Lexus vehicle, considering a likely retail price of about $50,000, he said.

“We’ll be able to talk about performance specifications and other details reasonably soon,” Uchiyamada said without elaborating.

The Toyota City, Japan-based automaker’s U.S. sales unit is in Torrance, California.

To contact the reporter on this story: Alan Ohnsman in Los Angeles aohnsman@bloomberg.net


January 13, 2011
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Coca-Cola Refreshments to use Plug Power Gendrive Fuel Cells at California Bottling Center

January 13, 2011

By eliminating battery infrastructure, Coca-Cola will improve energy efficiency and recover more than 2,000 sq ft of facility space
 

Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG) and Coca-Cola Refreshments USA (NYSE: KO) announced plans for a new fleet of GenDrive™-powered Caterpillar lift trucks at Coca-Cola’s 250,000 sq. ft. bottling and distribution center in San Leandro, CA.

The GenDrive fleet at Coca-Cola’s facility will include 37 Class-1 sit down counterbalanced trucks.   Previously using lead-acid batteries as a power solution, Coca-Cola is making the transition to GenDrive to take advantage of the increased productivity and improved space utilization offered by the technology.

By removing the infrastructure associated with the lead-acid battery charging, changing and maintenance, Coca-Cola will recover more than 2,000 square feet of facility space to use for other business operations. At the same time, electrical consumption will be reduced by an estimated 1.6 million kwh/year. These benefits will help Coca-Cola realize a return on investment and a 15% carbon reduction goal across the business.

“At Coca-Cola, we consider sustainability a core component to everything we do.  Our goal is to be the beverage industry leader in energy con­servation and climate protection,” said Brian P. Kelly, Product Supply Leader, Coca-Cola Refreshments. “Using Plug Power Fuel Cells for our fleet in the San Leandro facility is an example of this commitment. This innovative use of technology will help us reduce our carbon emissions, streamline our operations and work towards our aggressive environmental goals.”

“This is the second site in the Coca-Cola system to convert an existing lift truck fleet to GenDrive fuel cells,” said Andy Marsh, CEO at Plug Power. “It’s evidenced through these repeat customers the real value of the GenDrive solution. Hydrogen fuel cells are competing with the incumbent power sources and winning because they provide the most benefit for the organization. It’s a simple business decision.”

Plug Power received a purchase order from Coca-Cola in November, 2010 and shipped all 37 units to the customer in December, 2010. 

About The Coca-Cola Company
The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) is the world's largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands. Along with Coca-Cola, recognized as the world's most valuable brand, the Company's portfolio includes 12 other billion dollar brands, including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade, Minute Maid, Simply and Georgia. Globally, we are the No. 1 provider of sparkling beverages, juices and juice drinks and ready-to-drink teas and coffees. Through the world's largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy the Company's beverages at a rate of 1.6 billion servings a day. With an enduring commitment to building sustainable communities, our Company is focused on initiatives that protect the environment, conserve resources and enhance the economic development of the communities where we operate. For more information about our Company, please visit our website at www.thecoca-colacompany.com.

About Plug Power Inc.
The architects of modern fuel cell technology, Plug Power revolutionized the industry with cost-effective power solutions that increase productivity, lower operating costs and reduce carbon footprints.  Long-standing relationships with industry leaders forged the path for our key accounts, including Wegmans, Whole Foods, and FedEx Freight.  With more than 1,000 units in the field and over 1.5 million hours of runtime, Plug Power manufactures tomorrow’s incumbent power solutions today. Visit us at www.plugpower.com

Alan Ohnsman - Jan 13, 2011

 


January 14, 2011
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Multiquip Introduces Industry's First Hydrogen Fuel Cell Powered Light Tower

Innovative Design Brings Environmentally friendly, Quiet, Safer and Brighter Product to Market

LAS VEGAS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Multiquip, a diverse manufacturer and supplier of world class quality products and solutions, introduces to the industry the first hydrogen fuel cell powered light tower, part of a planned series of hydrogen fuel cell powered products. Innovative by design, the light tower is environmentally friendly, fuel efficient, virtually pollution-free, allowing it to be operated indoors and can be operated for up to 50 hours at a noise level of 43 decibels at 23 feet.

“The implications of the product’s technology beyond lighting are tremendous. It’s reliable due to the lack of moving parts; durable; does not contaminate due to fuel spills; there is very low maintenance; and it is user-friendly, using an automotive-style fuel nozzle.”

The light tower uses innovative plasma light technology, which is filament-free, producing a clean, natural light. The plasma light bulb produces 22,000 lumens with extremely high efficiency, consuming only 255 watts with a life expectancy of up to 50,000 hours.

“We are very excited to be introducing the hydrogen powered light tower,” said Torsten Erbel, vice president product management, engineering and customer support for Multiquip.
“The implications of the product’s technology beyond lighting are tremendous. It’s reliable due to the lack of moving parts; durable; does not contaminate due to fuel spills; there is very low maintenance; and it is user-friendly, using an automotive-style fuel nozzle.”

Using a process discovered more than 150 years ago, fuel cells began supplying electric power for spacecrafts in the 1960s and were pursued for commercial use in the 1970s. Fuel cells are an alternative to the internal combustion engine with an energy efficiency of 50+%, while on average, internal combustion engines convert only 20%.

Prototypes of the light tower have been and will be used by the California Department of Transportation, film and entertainment companies at high profile media events and by NASA during the upcoming shuttle launch.

The Multiquip hydrogen fuel cell powered light tower will be on display at World of Concrete in Las Vegas, January 18-21 in booth # C4813.

Products will be available in Q2 2011. Pricing for the units will be provided by quote only, due to the availability of energy and tax credits, which vary from state-to-state as well as multiple configuration options.

About Multiquip
Founded in 1973, Multiquip is one of the largest, most diversified manufacturers and suppliers of world class quality products and solutions for the construction, telecom, government, non-commercial, entertainment, and oil and gas exploration markets. Multiquip’s comprehensive product portfolio encompasses light to medium construction equipment, power generators and lighting. Servicing customers worldwide, Multiquip distributes its products in more than 70 countries through thousands of authorized distribution partners. For more information, visit www.multiquip.com.


January 18, 2011
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2011 Detroit Auto Show: Mercedes-Benz 20,000-mile F-Cell World Drive to prove viability of hydrogen fuel

A concept fuel cell car from Toyota

In Detroit, Mercedes-Benz said their hydrogen fuel-cell technology is ready for the big leagues and not just the stuff of car shows. To prove their point, the automaker is planning what they say will be the first around the world trip with electric fuel-cell vehicles.

The trip kicks off in Stuttgart on January 29, which Mercedes-Benz marks as the official 125th birthday of the automobile. The plan calls for three B-Class models equipped with Mercedes-Benz F-Cell technology to embark on a journey covering four continents, 14 countries, and some 20,000 miles--including a significant chunk of the United States--before returning to Stuttgart 125 days later.

The trip may include a B-Class reunion in California, where the carmaker has recently delivered the first of 70 fuel-cell vehicles planned to go to selected customers. A subcompact model, the conventionally powered B-Class is not sold in the United States.
While part of the goal is to prove the reliability of the hydrogen-electric drivetrain, Mercedes-Benz is hoping to draw attention to the need for infrastructure to support hydrogen powered vehicles--something they say is the responsibility of governments and the energy sector.

To ensure a sufficient fuel supply for the vehicles en route, a specially prepared fuel tanker from energy provider Linde AG will accompany the convoy. Mercedes-Benz says the cars can be recharged with hydrogen in three minutes per stop.

In addition to Europe and the United States, the convoy will travel through Canada, Australia, China, and Russia before ending up back in Stuttgart in June. —Jim Travers


January 20, 2011
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Bloom Energy's Fuel Cell Breakthrough

The Silicon Valley green startup is selling power by the watt, with no up-front cost

With its compact fuel cells that can generate electricity with low carbon emissions, Bloom Energy is one of the most hyped companies among Silicon Valley's growing roster of green startups. Bloom unveiled its generator on 60 Minutes last February and boasts A-list investors (John Doerr of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers), board members (Colin Powell), and customers (Google, Coca-Cola).

Yet it has long been unclear whether Bloom could generate power at competitive prices on a large scale. On Jan. 20, Bloom announced a new payment option that it says moves it closer to that goal. A program called Bloom Electrons offers 10-year contracts for metered electricity at 5 percent to 20 percent below the grid rate in California. Before Bloom's new payment method, customers had to pay $700,000-plus for a unit that provides 100 kilowatts of electricity (about what 100 U.S. homes might use).

Paying off that investment typically takes at least three years, says KR Sridhar, Bloom's chief executive officer and creator of its fuel-cell technology. Now, "we give them instantaneous payback," Sridhar says, "without them having to put any capital up front." Wal-Mart Stores, Coca-Cola, and Caltech, among others, have signed up for the program. "The economics were an obvious win," says Dean Currie, vice-president for business and finance at Caltech. Bloom's plants already supply half the power needs at two Walmart stores in California, and the retailer plans to add them elsewhere under the new payment plan.

For now, Bloom's technology is available only in California, where state subsidies of up to $2.50 per watt for fuel-cell installations help the company undercut grid prices. Bloom Electrons operates as an independent company, buying fuel cells from Bloom and selling electricity to customers. The new company, with more than $100 million in funding from Credit Suisse Group and Silicon Valley Bank, receives federal grants for up to 30 percent of what it spends on the fuel cells.

Research from Bloomberg New Energy Finance estimates Bloom can produce power at 14c per kilowatt-hour over 10 years vs. the average U.S. commercial rate of about 10c per kWh. However, with long-term natural gas contracts and state and federal incentives, Bloom can get its price below 7c. Sridhar promises even lower rates soon. "In three to five years we will have a product that requires no subsidy," he says.

The heart of Bloom's technology is a fuel cell a bit bigger than a playing card that generates enough power to run a light bulb. These are stacked and bundled into modules, then arranged in a box about the size of a shipping container that can produce 100 kW. Each cell consists of a ceramic electrolyte coated on both sides by proprietary inks. Unlike most hydrogen fuel cells, they require no precious metals; Bloom uses zirconium oxide powder, which is readily found in beach sand. The cells are fueled by natural gas or biogas captured from landfills. The gas passes over one side of the cell while air heated to more than 800 degrees Celsius passes over the other. This triggers a chemical reaction that releases electricity, steam, and carbon dioxide. The air is initially heated by burning gas, but after the first few hours the cell recycles heat.

With their compact size and clean, quiet operation, Bloom's fuel cells can be installed almost anywhere, eliminating the need for transmission across a grid, where roughly 10 percent of power is lost. And the conversion from fuel to electricity happens in a single step. A typical power plant, by contrast, burns fuel to produce heat, which spins a turbine that creates a charge in copper coils—losing energy at each conversion. Bloom says its cells using natural gas emit 30 percent to 60 percent less carbon than a gas-fired power plant does.

The challenge for Bloom is scaling up production to meet growing demand. "The manufacturing of a fuel cell is a really complicated process," says Bloomberg New Energy Finance analyst Shu Sun. "It's not a hard science. It's more trial and error." Bloom currently makes one 100 kW box per day at its pilot plant in Sunnyvale, Calif. Sridhar acknowledges that the output is tiny but says it's growing fast. "Two years ago, we used to build one box a month," he says. "We are honing this here in the U.S. with the hope we will be able to deploy this model across the world."

The bottom line: The Valley's Bloom Energy believes a new payment model, with no initial investment from customers, will boost the market for fuel cells.


January 22, 2011
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Hawaii expands push to fuel hydrogen cars

By Susan Carpenter, Los Angeles Times
Posted: 01/22/2011 12:00:00 AM PST

Hawaii may be the first state in the nation to build a fueling infrastructure that will support thousands of hydrogen fuel cell cars.

General Motors, in partnership with the Honolulu-based utility the Gas Co., is partnering with 10 additional companies, government agencies and universities to implement a plan to tap into Oahu's 1,000-mile utility pipeline and supply hydrogen to the many fuel-cell vehicles expected to come on the market in 2015.

"We have 12 organizations all combining resources to work on a plan that will lay out a hydrogen infrastructure in Hawaii and make hydrogen a reality," says Charlie Freese, executive director of global fuel cell activities for General Motors.

"We're setting up Hawaii to be the first hydrogen state in the country," Freese says. "It's not enough for a company like us to pledge to make fuel-cell vehicles. We need to have the vehicles and infrastructure come together at the same time in a coordinated way."

General Motors is providing 20 Equinox fuel-cell vehicles to the project known as H2I, or the Hawaii Hydrogen Initiative.
The Gas Co., which makes hydrogen as a byproduct of the synthetic natural gas production, is providing the hydrogen. The two entities formed a partnership last summer to help further Hawaii's Clean Energy Initiative, a 2008 plan for the state to generate at least 70 percent of Hawaii's energy needs through clean, renewable sources.

Joining the GM-Gas Co. partnership is UC Irvine, which has been involved in the siting of hydrogen stations in Southern California; the university will help determine the best locations of hydrogen fueling stations on Oahu. The University of Hawaii will provide simulations to help make the rollout of the island's hydrogen infrastructure as efficient as possible.

The National Renewable Energy Lab will determine the cost of possible different infrastructure configurations.
Aloha Petroleum, one of the largest fuel station operators in the state of Hawaii, may be involved in the operation of hydrogen fueling stations. Louis Berger Group will do the actual construction.

Also involved are Fuel Cell Energy, maker of stationary fuel-cell systems; the County of Hawaii, which may expand the Oahu initiative to Hawaii's big island; the U.S. Pacific Command, supported by the Air Force, Army and Marine Corps in the Pacific, all of which may be using fuel-cell vehicles on the island; and the U.S. Department of Energy.


January 24, 2011
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UK's first hydrogen ferry project given go ahead

24th January 2011 18:22 GMT

Britain's first hydrogen ferry will service Bristol harbour for six months in 2011

Bristol Hydrogen Boats, a consortium formed between No 7 Boat Trips, the Bristol Packet, and Auriga Energy Ltd, is set to demonstrate the hydrogen-fuelled ferry for six months in Bristol Harbour from June 2011.A local boat builder will be contracted to build a ferry to the consortium's design.

A concept fuel cell car from Toyota

Auriga Energy, an energy solutions firm, has developed the fuel cell system that will be integrated into the vessel.  
Another company, Air Products, is set to supply the hydrogen fuel and dockside refuelling rig.

In early 2010, the harbour authority invited companies to design and develop a hydrogen-fuelled boat, in partnership with a local ferry operator.

According to reports by the BBC, the project was initiated in order to "kick-start a hydrogen economy in Bristol" and attract new environmentally-friendly innovators.

The consortium stated that the hydrogen powered transport will have a significant environmental impact and will produce zero direct emissions, with the only waste product being water.
Jas Singh, Managing Director of Auriga Energy Ltd and spokesperson for the consortium, said: "This is an exciting opportunity for Bristol Hydrogen Boats to demonstrate the viability of the new zero-emission fuel cell technologies in marine transport operations."

He added: "The project will introduce hydrogen technologies to the public and provide a stimulus to the wider adoption of this technology throughout the city, putting Bristol at the forefront of the emerging hydrogen economy and help maintain its position as the UK's green capital."

Adam Currie, Vancouver News Desk, 24th January 2011 18:22 GMT


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