January 2012

1.3.2012 Mercedes E Superlight: Carbon Fiber, Fuel Cell Exec For 2015
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1.3.2012 A Look At 2012s Big Hopes – Fuel Cells
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1.4.2012 Turkey Unveils Fuel Cell Boat
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1.4.2012 Energy Storage - Vattenfall converts wind energy to hydrogen gas
(view article)

1.4.2012 Denmark : Development of a wind-wave power open-sea platform equipped for hydrogen generation with support for multiple users of energy Project
(view article)

1.5.2012 Acta signs letter of intent with fuel cell firm
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1.9.2012 AFC Energy's 'Beta' fuel cell generates first industrial power
(view article)

1.9.2012 SRNL research paves way for portable power systems
(view article)

1.9.2012 Port of Long Beach to Deploy World’s First Plug-in Electric, Hydrogen Fuel Cell Class “8” Truck into Service
(view article)

1.10.2012 Fuel cell microgrids to get spark from renewable biogas
(view article)

1.10.2012 Platinum-Free PEM Fuel Cells to Stimulate Market Growth
(view article)

1.10.2012 ClearEdge Power Signs Market-Defining $500 Million Multi-Phase Agreement to Deliver 50 Megawatts of Clean Energy to Güssing Renewable Energy
(view article)

1.10.2012 EFOY Comfort fuel cell wins iF product design award
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1.10.2012 Fuel Cell Buses Becoming One Popular Ride
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1.11.2012 FuelCell Energy Delivers One Billion Kilowatt Hours of Ultra-Clean Power Generation
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1.11.2012 Hydrogenics Wins Electrolyzer Contract for Netherlands Hydrogen Fueling Station
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1.11.2012 Wind Power Closes NY Hydrogen Fuel Loop
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1.12.2012 Ballard Ships Clean Energy Fuel Cell Modules For Use In Brazil UNDP-EMTU Bus Program
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1.13.2012 AlumiFuel Power, Inc. and Ingenium Technologies Provide Update on Portable Power Market Initiatives
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1.13.2012 Walmart Saves Through Fuel Cells
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1.14.2012 Osaka students build eco-friendly hydrogen fuel cell car
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1.14.2012 Mercedes E Superlight to be a fuel cell car, coming in 2015
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1.15.2012 Power system by Sirius Integrator can run security devices for long periods
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1.16.2012 Industry’s New Target: Wealthy, Tree-Hugging Drivers
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1.16.2012 H2 Logic provides hydrogen refueling inside the Arctic Circle
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1.16.2012 AngloPlat to test fuel-cell powered mine loco March/April
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1.16.2012 Intuit gearing up for Bloom Energy fuel-cell installation
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1.17.2012 Fuel cell to power City Hall
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1.17.2012 HyperSolar Technology Turns Wastewater Into Renewable Hydrogen And Natural Gas
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1.17.2012 British firm boosts hydrogen compression and storage
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1.18.2012 Fuel cell cars get UK govt backing
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1.18.2012 Toyota's hydrogen concept gets low-key Detroit reception
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1.18.2012 UK to study hydrogen fuel infrastructure
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1.20.2012 ITM Power unveils hydrogen fuel cell trial with Marks and Spencer
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1.20.2012 ACAL Energy Shows Step Change In Fuel Cell Durability Achievable
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1.23.2012 The Coming Vehicle Fuel Cell Revolution
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1.23.2012 CFCL Secures First 100 German Customers for BlueGen
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1.23.2012 Air Liquide Installs Hydrogen Forklifts at its Supply Chain Platform in Vatry, France
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1.23.2012 HyperSolar to Make Zero Carbon Renewable Hydrogen Gas
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1.24.2012 Auto show focuses on fuel efficiency
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1.25.2012 Council backs major hydrogen transport project
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1.26.2012 Innovative fuel cell system developed by Runcorn firm ACAl Energy passes testing
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1.26.2012 Want better EV range? Hitch it to a fuel cell
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1.26.2012 GreenGT's electric/hydrogen prototype ready for La Sarthe test
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1.26.2012 Berkeley Lab to develop novel materials for hydrogen storage
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1.27.2012 Hydrogenics Awarded Contract by US Hybrid Corporation to Deliver Five HyPM(TM)HD Series Power Modules for Heavy Duty Mobility
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1.27.2012 Fuel Cells on the LEEDing Edge
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1.27.2012 California Orders Automakers To Sell More Plug-In and Fuel-Cell Cars
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1.27.2012 Ballard Signs MOU With Tata Motors To Power Clean Fuel Cell Bus Demonstrations In India
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1.29.2012 Long Island Town Pioneers Closed-Loop, Pollution-Free Wind Power-Hydrogen Fuel System
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1.29.2012 Fuel economy, alternative fuel cars dominate auto show talks
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1.29.2012 Where’s the Hydrogen Economy? (Find It In Distributed Power.)
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1.30.2012 Swisscom Installs Fuel Cell Back-Up Power from FutureE
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1.31.2012 Adobe Installs Two 200 kW Bloom Energy Server Fuel Cells at its San Francisco Offices
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1.31.2012 New Report on Fuel Cells and Hydrogen in China
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January 3, 2012
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Mercedes E Superlight: Carbon Fiber, Fuel Cell Exec For 2015

It's difficult to discuss the weight of modern cars without referring to the old Colin Chapman adage, "add lightness".

Still, the old Lotus chap had a point--by making a car lightweight, you improve it in every dynamic area, and efficiency increases too.

Automakers are once more starting to take heed, and CAR has revealed further details on Mercedes-Benz' take on a lightweight, carbon fiber, fuel-cell version of the next-generation E-Class sedan.

Provisionally titled the E Superlight, rumors of the car started back in October. According to the latest details Mercedes intends to reduce the weight of the E-Class by as much as 770 pounds, ensuring it tips the scales at around 2,860 pounds.

The car is now looking like a rival for Audi's e-tron and BMW i ranges, with the news that the high-tech, four door notchback could feature a 150 horsepower hydrogen fuel-cell powertrain, as previewed in cars like the F125! concept shown at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show. Like that gullwing concept, the E Superlight could feature some unusual doors--in this case rear-hinged, suicide-style rear doors.

The car certainly won't be any ordinary E-Class, and is tipped for much lower production figures--around 20,000 per annum, by 2017.

Production would begin in small numbers in 2015, however, and the fuel-cell aspect of the car is very much dependent on a hydrogen infrastructure springing up in the meantime. Unlike BMW's i models, the E Superlight's chassis would be entirely carbon, rather than using an aluminum chassis and carbon cell.

The E Superlight would be sold alongside more conventional E-Class models, though these too could benefit from some of the lightweight technology.

Mercedes sources have also hinted that once the E Superlight has hit the market, similar technology could be applied to the successor of the SLS AMG supercar.


January 3, 2012
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A Look At 2012s Big Hopes – Fuel Cells

The New Year may well be the breakthrough year for fuel cells.  The astonishing innovation and marketing locomotive of Apple Computers with the i- you name it – product list leading us into new uses for electronic devices, has let slip they will preview a fuel cell idea at this month’s Consumer Electronics Show.

Apple has gone so far as to file patent applications named “Fuel Cell System to Power a Portable Computing Device” and “Fuel Cell System Coupled to a Portable Computing Device” – ideas not to be taken lightly.

It not a great surprise to close Apple watchers, Apple has filed other patent applications for light weight hydrogen fuel cells. Those patents, which were brought to light this past October, described a building process where multiple fuel cells are connected by a power bus in a parallel pattern, and a voltage-multiplying circuit is added for additional voltage from the stack.

Apple hopes to utilize these lighter, more efficient fuel cells in its mobile products in an effort to promote renewable energy sources and offer devices with the ability to run for days or even weeks without refueling, according to the patent applications. The devices will also be lighter and less bulky due to the lack of traditional batteries.

The interesting thing and idea to watch is Apple wants to integrate fuel cells right into their electronics.  No fuel cartridge needed.  But Apple allows creating a hydrogen fuel cell system that is cost-effective is a challenge.

The puzzle remains how hydrogen gas storage costs are going to make fuel cells economically viable, hydrogen is very difficult to store.  The smallest atom making the smallest molecule in H2 form needs compressed or exotic materials to keep it in one place.

The more interesting fuel cells rely on low cost stores of hydrogen in methanol or ethanol, liquids that have very high hydrogen density and only need plastic tanks at atmospheric pressure.

Apple’s patent application isn’t clear on their choice of fuels, either hydrogen or a hydrocarbon.  Apple states that alternative fuel cells may correspond to solid oxide fuel cells, molten carbonate fuel cells, direct methanol fuel cells, alkaline fuel cells, and/or other types of fuel cells.

Another part of the appeal is regulating a fuel cell’s operating parameter by directly charging an external battery with the fuel cell allowing the control process to be highly reliable.


Direct Methanol Fuel Cell by NASA

Meanwhile the U.S. Department of Defense, with the world’s largest fuel bill and likely the largest buyer of batteries is hard at the Direct Methanol Fuel Cell.  The U.S. Army is especially interested in hydrogen based fuel cell technology, says Maj. Mark Owens, which drastically reduces the amount of batteries that soldiers carry on dismounted missions. Owens’ shop, the PM Soldier Warrior, studied one three-day mission with a company-sized element and found that the fuel cell reduced the amount of batteries they carried by 600 pounds.  The test was the 1st Battalion of the 1st Infantry Division deployed to Afghanistan in 2011 with their rucksacks full of experimental renewable energy equipment.

The fuels cells are powered by reformed methanol – meaning it’s slightly watered-down – and “get lighter as time goes on,” as the fuel is used Owens says, “and the case weighs almost nothing.” Still, the rucksack-packable fuel-cell generator weighs 36 lb., according to Army documents. “Obviously, we want to get the weight down as much as possible,” Owens says. Also under evaluation is a 4.6-lb. wearable fuel cell that generates 50 watts of continuous power for 10 hours.

The problem is the money – all the fuel cells from simple hydrogen to those reacting heavy petrochemicals like kerosene all rely in expensive and rare elements like platinum, palladium and even rhodium.  And they run hot, 100s of degrees centigrade.  While the Finns have come up with a much less costly way to use the metals platinum and palladium, the investment will still be very substantial and the growth of the industry will simply push the metal prices higher.

Still, there are glimmers of research looking for ways to build fuel cells without the precious metal component.  One small break, in an industry building and selling fuel cells in specialized uses with great regularity, offers hope that mass markets can be addressed.

Bloom Energy can build fuel cells reacting with natural gas, or methane fuel for sensible prices.  Bloom and many others can be expected to be looking for ways to downsize and use liquid fuels. There is intense interest and cash on the line for the market right now.

2012 might be the year a fuel cell comes out that runs under the temperature of boiling water, and runs on cheap, energy dense and abundant, natural gas, ethanol or methanol.

So far details are rare, but you can be sure there will news coming soon.


January 4, 2012
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Turkey Unveils Fuel Cell Boat

Turkey’s Istanbul Technical University (ITU) unveiled a hydrogen fuel cell boat last month. The Marti (which means seagull) is the second boat of its kind in Turkey: four years ago a fuel cell boat was produced with funding from various organisations, including Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).

The Marti can operate for 10 hours on 5 kg of hydrogen with a maximum speed of 13 km/h. The boat will be put into use on the Golden Horn estuary in Istanbul, shuttling between various wharfs and the Rahmi M. Koç Museum – which, fittingly, is a museum dedicated to the history of transport, industry and communications.


January 4, 2012
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Energy Storage - Vattenfall converts wind energy to hydrogen gas

Vattenfall is now participating in a project that allows wind energy to be stored and converted to hydrogen gas. The hydrogen can subsequently be used to generate electricity and heat in power plants or as fuel for cars. The hybrid power plant is located 75 miles north of Berlin and is thought to be the first its type in Europe.

"This is a unique project both for Germany and Europe as a whole. It combines the generation of renewable electricity, heat and hydrogen," says Oliver Weinmann, Head of Vattenfall Innovation in Germany.

Located in Prenzlau, 75 miles north of Berlin, the project consists of a biogas unit, three wind turbines of 2 MW each, two combined heat and power plants and an electrolysis unit that generates the hydrogen.

Together with its partners, Vattenfall is now planning to expand its pilot activities for generating hydrogen to store wind energy in several major projects, including one in the state of Brandenburg.

The Prenzlau project brings together energy supplier Enertrag, French oil and gas company Total and Siemens, as well as research institutions and environmental organisations. The initiative is supported by several German states and the German Ministry of Transport.

Vattenfall says its extensive wind energy investment fits well with efforts to store energy in various ways.


January 4, 2012
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Denmark : Development of a wind-wave power open-sea platform equipped for hydrogen generation with support for multiple users of energy Project

Project cost: 6046626 EURO (7.88419564 million U.S. dollars)
Project Funding: 4525934 EURO (5.90136534 million U.S. dollars)
Duration: 36 months
Start date: 2012-01-01
End date: 2014-12-31

The rational exploitation of oceans space and resources is increasingly seen as crucial to enhance European competitiveness in key areas such as Renewable Energy and Aquaculture. The H2OCEAN consortium aims at developing an innovative design for an economically and environmentally sustainable multi-use open-sea platform. The H2OCEAN platform will harvest wind and wave power, using part of the energy on-site for multiple applications including a multi-trophic aquaculture farm, and convert on-site the excess energy into hydrogen that can be stored and shipped to shore as green energy carrier. The project builds on already on-going R&D and commercial activities of a partnership involving European leading industrial and academic partners from 5 countries within the fields of renewable energy, fish farming, hydrogen generation, maritime transports and related research disciplines.

The unique feature of the H2OCEAN concept, besides the integration of different activities into a shared multi-use platform, lies in the novel approach for the transmission of offshore-generated renewable electrical energy through hydrogen. This concept allows effective transport and storage the energy decoupling energy production and consumption, thus avoiding the grid imbalance problem inherent to current offshore renewable energy systems. Additionally, this concept also circumvents the need for a cable transmission system which takes up a significant investment share for offshore energy generation infrastructures, increasing the price of energy. The envisaged integrated concept will permit to take advantage of several synergies between the activities within the platform significantly boosting the Environmental, Social and Economic potential impact of new maritime activities, increasing employment and strengthening European competitiveness in key economic areas.


January 5, 2012
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Acta signs letter of intent with fuel cell firm

LONDON - Acta, the clean energy products company, has signed a letter of intent with Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies for the evaluation, development and production of electrolyser systems incorporating Acta's hydrogen generating technology.

Under the terms of the commercial agreement, covered by the letter, Acta has sold an EL100 electrolyser to Horizon for evaluation purposes and will support Horizon's evaluation procedures through the sale of additional AES100 electrolyser stacks and other components.

These include the development of a smaller, low pressure, low cost hydrogen generator for portable fuel cell applications, which was recently completed by Acta.

If the evaluation stage is successfully completed, Horizon intends to incorporate Acta's hydrogen generator stacks into its own electrolyser equipment for sale to its commercial fuel cell markets.

Paolo Bert, Chief Executive Officer of Acta, said: "This exciting opportunity represents the perfect channel for Acta to address the high volume market for small hydrogen generators for consumer fuel cell products.

"No other system on the market offers pure, pressurised hydrogen at a cost that is comparable with ours. Horizon is a world leader in the fuel cell market and as a result, the partnership will also increase Acta's reach into the back-up power systems market, where we see significant growth opportunities in the coming years."


January 9, 2012
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AFC Energy's 'Beta' fuel cell generates first industrial power

AFC Energy - a leading developer of alkaline fuel cells - has started electrical power generation at AkzoNobel's Bitterfield plant in Germany.

AFC Energy's Beta fuel cell systems have been generating electrical power at the AkzoNobel site since late last year.

The two Beta commercial-design fuel cell systems, installed since October, have since been equipped with electrodes for trials, and are fuelled using AkzoNobel's industrially produced hydrogen.

This work follows a series of trials that the company has been carrying out using a Beta system installed at its UK facilities.

AFC Energy uses its own in-house pilot manufacturing to fabricate electrodes required for testing.

This is the first commercial reference site for the generation of data and demonstration of the whole Beta system.

The company expects to be able to publish results from the trials after their completion.

Chief executive Ian Williamson said: "This development is significant because it confirms our route forwards and paves the way for the commercialisation of the technology for industrial power generation in our primary target markets.

"We are collecting data to demonstrate the successful operation of the fuel cell in this industrial application."


January 9, 2012
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SRNL research paves way for portable power systems


Dr. Kit Heung of Savannah River National Laboratory demonstrates a system incorporating a fuel cell and light-weight hydrogen storage material. SRNL's advances in the use of alane, a lightweight material for storing hydrogen, are paving the way for the successful development of portable power systems with capacities that far exceed the best batteries available today. Credit: Savannah River National Laboratory


Developments by hydrogen researchers at the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) are paving the way for the successful development of portable power systems with capacities that far exceed the best batteries available today. SRNL's advances in the use of alane, a lightweight material for storing hydrogen, may be the key that unlocks the development of portable fuel cell systems that meet the needs for both military and commercial portable power applications.

SRNL has demonstrated a practical path to portable power systems based on alane and similar high capacity hydrogen storage materials that provide the sought-after high specific energy, which means the amount of energy per weight. Their accomplishments to date include developing a lower-cost method of producing alane, developing a method to dramatically increase the amount of hydrogen it releases, and demonstrating a working system powering a 150 W fuel cell. Portable power equipment manufacturers are looking for systems that can provide specific energies greater than 1000 watt-hours per kilogram (Wh/kg); that's more than 2 to 3 times the capacity of the best primary lithium batteries today. "Higher specific energy means more energy per weight," said SRNL's Dr. Ted Motyka. "The goal is to provide sufficient energy to a system that is light enough to be carried by a soldier or used in unmanned aircraft and other applications where weight is a factor."

Hydrogen, at 33,000 Wh/kg, has the highest specific energy of any fuel, so it is a natural candidate to fuel such high-capacity systems. The challenge, however, has been developing a material for storing hydrogen with both the high capacity and the low weight needed for portable systems.

SRNL has been working for years on developing several light-weight, high capacity solid-state hydrogen storage materials for automotive applications. While most of these materials do not meet all the various requirements needed for automotive applications, many may be viable for small portable power systems.

One of the most promising materials is aluminum hydride, (AlH3) or alane. Alane, while not a new material, has only in the last few years been considered as a hydrogen storage material for fuel cell applications. SRNL researchers are among only a handful of researchers, worldwide, currently working with alane and beginning to unwrap its material and engineering properties.

Dr. Motyka, Dr. Ragaiy Zidan and Dr. Kit Heung, all of SRNL, led a team to characterize and optimize alane as a hydrogen storage material, develop a small hydrogen storage vessel containing alane, and demonstrate hydrogen release at delivery rates suitable for powering small commercial fuel cells. The results of that work are attracting interest from several commercial companies working in the area of portable power systems.

Alane is one of the classes of materials known as chemical hydrogen storage materials. Like metal hydrides, chemical hydrogen storage materials provide a solid-state storage medium for hydrogen. Unlike metal hydrides, however, chemical hydrogen storage materials, like alane, do not readily reabsorb hydrogen, so once their hydrogen is released the material must be chemically reprocessed to restore its hydrogen. An advantage of alane is its very high hydrogen capacities; it can store twice as much hydrogen, in the same volume, as liquid hydrogen, and can do so at the very high gravimetric capacity of 10 wt%. Alane also exhibits very favorable discharge conditions, making it one of the ideal chemical hydrogen storage materials.

Among the biggest challenges the team addressed were the limited amount of readily available commercial alane, and its high cost to produce – which could be significant impediments to widespread use. As part of this project, they initially developed a bench-scale system to produce the quantities of alane needed for experimental and optimization studies. This work led to the development of a new and potentially lower cost process for producing alane. "Our process overcomes some of the handicaps of traditional methods for producing alane," says Dr. Zidan. "This novel method minimizes the use of solvents, and is able to produce pure, halide-free alane."

Work led by Dr. Zidan also resulted in a process to increase the amount of hydrogen that can be extracted from alane. This two-step process was found to double the amount of hydrogen that can be liberated from alane using a traditional one-step process.

A major part of this project was to evaluate alane systems for compatibility with small fuel cell applications. Preliminary results on a proof-of-concept vessel containing approximately 22 grams of alane showed that the system could scale nicely to meet the required hydrogen release rate for a small 100-watt fuel cell system. Based on those results a larger system containing 240 grams of alane was designed, fabricated and tested with a 150 watt commercial fuel cell. The results show that the system was able to operate the fuel cell at near full power for over three hours and at reduced power for several more hours.


January 9, 2012
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Port of Long Beach to Deploy World’s First Plug-in Electric, Hydrogen Fuel Cell Class “8” Truck into Service

Total Transportation Services, Inc. (“TTSI”), in conjunction with Vision Motor Corp., has announced the official deployment of the “Tyrano”, the world’s first plug-in electric / hydrogen fuel cell Class “8” truck into drayage service at the Port of Long Beach, effective January 11, 2012.
 
“We are proud to have invested in this cutting-edge technology which results in zero-emissions at the tail pipe”, notes Vic LaRosa, President of TTSI.  “We appreciate the role that Mayor Foster, the City and the Port have played in championing these technologies which will benefit the residents of Long Beach and the surrounding areas in terms of better air quality”.

TTSI took possession of the “Tyrano” last July for testing.  January 11th will mark the first date that the “Tyrano” will be deployed at the Port for routine drayage operations.  TTSI has committed to purchasing up to 400 of the “Tyrano” trucks to integrate into its fleet over the next few years.  Vision Motors, the manufacturer of the “Tyrano”, is also in the process of securing new manufacturing space in the Long Beach area.
 
Please see www.tts-i.com and www.visionmotorcorp.com for more information.


January 10, 2012
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Fuel cell microgrids to get spark from renewable biogas


Each fuel cell generates 5 kilowatts of electric power and heat

An energy project in Austria will use biogas-powered fuel cells at homes and businesses to pump power into the grid.

ClearEdge Power today announced a deal with Austrian energy company Gussing Renewable Energy to supply 50 megawatts worth of fuel cells over the next five years for installation in Austria. The deal will be worth $500 million over that time, making it one of the biggest contracts for stationary fuel cells.

In the first phase, ClearEdge Power's large refrigerator-size fuel cells, which each can generate five kilowatts of electric power and heat from gas, will be installed to power groups of residences and commercial buildings. Some will be designed as microgrids, where the fuel cells will be a distributed energy source for a network of buildings, according to the representative.

Most fuel cells convert natural gas to electricity and heat. At the Gussing project, about 25 percent of its fuel cells will initially run on biogas, or methane derived from biomass such as trash, yard clippings, or food. Gussing Renewable Energy's, which develops low-carbon energy projects, plans to use biogas entirely by 2020, according to ClearEdge Power.

This is the third contract for large fuel cell projects in the past few months, a sign that natural gas and biogas-powered generation could be getting more attention from utilities.

Bloom Energy has proposed a project to manufacture its fuel cells in Delaware and supply 30 megawatts of power at two Delmarva Power substations. In November last year, FuelCell Energy said that an 11.2 megawatt fuel cell park is now operating in Daegu City, South Korea.

Those systems are very small compared to a full-size power plant, but comparable in the output capacity of small to medium-size wind and solar farms.

ClearEdge Power said that 8.5 megawatts of the planned 50 megawatts will be installed over the next three years. Gussing Renewable Energy invested in the company last year.

The company makes a relatively small stationary fuel cell that generates both electricity and heat, making them 90 percent efficient at converting gas into usable energy. Its fuel cells don't emit any air pollutants and they reduce carbon emissions by 35 percent to 40 percent compared to natural gas power plants, according to the company.


January 10, 2012
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Platinum-Free PEM Fuel Cells to Stimulate Market Growth

The global fuel cell shipments will grow at an exceptional rate over the next few years, with platinum-free proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells emerging as the latest phenomenon.

Market potential, environment-friendly operations and rising demand in automobile and telecom sectors will help the global fuel cell industry sustain its growth pace in near future. According to "Fuel Cell Industry Analysis", new research report by RNCOS, recent research and development activities relating to fuel cells have led to the development of platinum-free proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells which are expected to significantly reduce costs in the coming years. The scientists have been experimenting with various metals for decades to replace the expensive platinum catalysts, which make fuel cells costlier.

The global fuel cell industry is gaining momentum with the efforts and supports of governments across the globe. Due to the government assistance, there has been impressive funding for the research and development of fuel cells in the last few years. With this, the global fuel cell shipments are anticipated to grow at a CAGR of around 71% during 2010-2013.
The information regarding the global fuel cell market, recent developments, and their impact on the industry are part of the RNCOS study, which also highlights R&D activities and latest patents filed in the fuel cell technology (FCT).

It covers the detailed analysis of major segments of fuel cells by applications like transport, portable and stationary. The shipment data for portable, large and stationary fuel cells till 2013 has also been included in the report, along with break-up for portable, small & stationary shipments based on technology. Profiles of developed and rapidly developing fuel cell markets in the world, such as the US, Canada, Germany, India, China, Japan, Sweden, Korea, and South Africa have also been elaborated in the research. The report also talks in detail about emerging trends, such as fuel cells finding application in maritime operations, focus shifting towards enhancing cost-effectiveness of FCT, out-of-the-box FCT innovations driving automobiles, and researchers utilizing nanotech to enhance FCT safety.


January 10, 2012
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ClearEdge Power Signs Market-Defining $500 Million Multi-Phase Agreement to Deliver 50 Megawatts of Clean Energy to Güssing Renewable Energy

When Completed, Agreement Will Be One of the Largest Ever in the Stationary Fuel Cell Industry

HILLSBORO, Ore. – ClearEdge Power, a manufacturer of scalable, continuous onsite power systems, today announced that Güssing Renewable Energy GmbH, a provider of carbon-neutral energy solutions, has selected ClearEdge systems to achieve its goal of producing 50 megawatts (MW) of clean distributed energy generation from fuel cells in the Republic of Austria by 2020. In the first phase of a multi-phase $500 million agreement, one of the largest ever signed in the stationary fuel cell industry, ClearEdge Power will deliver 8.5 MW of clean energy over the next 36 months.

“This is a very significant milestone for both ClearEdge Power and the stationary fuel cell market,” said ClearEdge Power President and CEO, Russell Ford. “Güssing Renewable Energy is at the cutting-edge of environmental sustainability and an agreement of this magnitude further validates the role that scalable, continuous onsite power systems will play in the transition to a carbon-neutral society. This contract also adds on to our strong growth in North America and provides the perfect platform for us to continue to expand our international operations.”

Headquartered in the Austrian town of Güssing, the first community in the European Union to produce 100 percent of its energy from renewable resources, Güssing Renewable Energy offers customizable and instantly usable carbon-neutral solutions that help communities produce clean, reliable energy. These solutions include proven anaerobic technology that can convert organic mass into high-purity biogas that can be used to cleanly and cost-effectively generate electric power and heat in fuel cells like the ClearEdge systems. Under the agreement with ClearEdge Power, Güssing Renewable Energy has agreed to sell, install and service ClearEdge systems in Austria and also has the opportunity to foster adoption within Western European markets. The agreement builds on Güssing Renewable Energy’s participation in the recent ClearEdge Power Series E financing round and is designed to support the installation of 8.5 MW of fuel cell systems in Austria over the next 36 months, which will then rise to 50 MW by 2020.

"With its flexible and modular power systems, ClearEdge Power has developed a distributed energy solution that will fundamentally change the way people receive power,” said Michael Dichand, Chairman, Güssing Renewable Energy. “We see these fuel cell systems as the perfect complement to our sustainably cultivated biomass facilities and are pleased to be able to partner with a forward-thinking company like ClearEdge Power as we aggressively move to achieve our clean energy goals.” 

The record-setting agreement with Güssing Renewable Energy builds on ClearEdge Power’s forward momentum in 2011. Recent highlights include the expansion of its portfolio of continuous onsite power systems, including industry-first innovations in areas such as reliability, scalability and flexibility. The company also successfully completed a $73.5 million Series E financing round and secured a DOE grant to support the adoption of fuel cell technologies in different vertical markets. In addition, ClearEdge Power has seen strong customer adoption in a variety of industries, including multi-tenant housing, hospitality, education, utility, public sector and residential.

About ClearEdge Power

ClearEdge Power provides distributed energy generation solutions to commercial, institutional and residential customers. The company designs, manufactures and sells a family of continuous onsite power systems that uses fuel cell technology to efficiently deliver predictable, clean and cost-effective power and heat. This enables customers to increase independence from the electricity grid, save money and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For more information, please visit http://www.clearedgepower.com

About Güssing Renewable Energy

Güssing Renewable Energy is a cosmopolitical managed enterprise aiming at the global market, offering customized instantly usable CO2-neutral solutions all over the world to usher the way from the present-day CO2 society to a post-CO2 society.

With equity only, Güssing Renewable Energy GmbH (GREG) was established in 2009 by experienced eco-visionaries and international entrepreneurs. GREG has its head office at the Technologiezentrum Güssing (Güssing Technology Center), Burgenland, Austria.

There exist subsidiary companies in Bangkok, Thailand (GRETHA), Laguna Beach, USA, and Victoria, Canada (GREA), as well as Belgrade, Serbia (PAN NON OIL). The integration of all corporations into the GRE.AT Holding AG is about to take place.


January 10, 2012
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EFOY Comfort fuel cell wins iF product design award

The EFOY Comfort fuel cell has won the iF product design award 2012 in the leisure/lifestyle category.

Manufactured by SFC Energy AG, the fuel cell was praised for its design, workmanship, materials, innovation, functionality, ergonomics, intuitive use, safety, brand value and branding.

Launched in the early summer of 2011, the EFOY Comfort fuel cell is an autonomous power source for mobile homes, cabins and sailboats.

"We are excited about winning the iF product design award," said Dr Peter Podesser, chief executive officer of SFC Energy.

"We wanted the EFOY Comfort to feature not only even more functionality and enable even more independence for our customers, we also concentrated on an attractive design and on an appealing touch."

The iF product design prize has been running for 58 years and this year 2,923 companies entered the competition.


January 10, 2012
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Fuel Cell Buses Becoming One Popular Ride

(Washington, DC – January 10, 2012) For years, fuel cell buses have been silently running in transit fleets of more than 20 cities around the world, reducing emissions while providing reliable service to passengers. In the U.S. alone, there are more than 25 fuel cell buses in service or on order in 11 different states. In recent months, major purchases and significant milestones are helping to speed fuel cell buses into the spotlight and onto the roadway.

In addition to being super quiet, fuel cell buses offer greater fuel efficiency and zero emissions. Recent developments include:

• UTC Power's latest generation PureMotion® System Model 120 fuel cell powerplant for hybrid-electric transit buses surpassed 10,000 operating hours in real-world service with its original cell stacks and no cell replacements. The fuel cell system is aboard an Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit) bus operating in the Greater Oakland, California, area.

• In Canada, the 20-bus fleet operated by BC Transit powered by Ballard Power Systems' fuel cell modules recently surpassed 1 million miles (1.6-million kilometers) in two years.

• Ballard Power Systems also received several major orders to supply its FCvelocity™ HD6 fuel cell power modules to fleets, including 25 buses for Sao Paulo, Brazil and 21 buses in various European cities. Both orders are planned to be delivered in 2012. Ballard also received an order for three fuel cell modules to power hybrid fuel cell buses in London, England. The three buses will join five existing fuel cell buses for revenue service in Transport for London's (TfL) fleet.

• Hamburger Hochbahn AG has acquired four Mercedes-Benz Citaro FuelCELL Hybrid buses through the German "NaBuZ demo" project that promotes sustainable bus systems. Three more buses will be delivered next year.

• A "Buy America"-compliant fuel cell bus was delivered by Ballard and partners to SunLine Transit Agency. SunLine will also receive two new fuel cell hybrid buses, funded under the Federal Transit Administration's (FTA) "Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction (TIGGER)" program.

• The FTA National Fuel Cell Bus Program awarded the Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE) $6.42 million for six projects and CALSTART $10.17 for two projects, including fuel cell buses for California, Chicago, Austin, Texas, and Birmingham, Alabama.

• Connecticut Transit (CTTransit) was awarded $5,702,298 to install a stationary fuel cell at its New Haven Division Bus Maintenance Facility. The grant was awarded through the FTA's TIGGER program. CTTransit now has five fuel cell buses in its fleet, with one in operation since 2007.

• Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) and Hino Motors, Ltd. provided a FCHV-BUS, a fuel cell hybrid bus for a commercial bus route between central Tokyo and Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) run by Airport Transport Service Co., Ltd.

For a complete listing of fuel cell buses around the world, Fuel Cells 2000 offers both the U.S. and International Fuel Cell Bus Charts. For more information on the projects listed above or fuel cells in general, please visit www.fuelcells.org.


January 11, 2012
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FuelCell Energy Delivers One Billion Kilowatt Hours of Ultra-Clean Power Generation

Significant Milestone for Environmentally Friendly and Efficient Power Generation

DANBURY, Conn. -- FuelCell Energy, Inc. a leading manufacturer of ultra-clean, efficient and reliable power plants, today announced a significant milestone with one billion kilowatt hours (kWh) of ultra-clean and renewable electricity produced by Direct FuelCell® (DFC)® power plants since 2003. One billion kWh of electricity can power more than 90,000 average size U.S. homes for one year. With more than 80 DFC plants producing environmentally friendly power and usable high quality heat at more than 50 locations globally, DFC plants are eliminating the emission of a significant level of pollutants and substantially reducing carbon emissions compared to the average U.S. fossil-fuel power plant.

When compared to the average U.S. fossil fuel power plant, one billion kWh of ultra-clean fuel cell power production configured in a combined heat & power mode (CHP):

  • Eliminated the emission of approximately 8,600 tons of criteria pollutants, which is equivalent to removing more than 137,000 passenger vehicles from the road 
  • Prevented the emission of approximately 644,600 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), a greenhouse gas, which is equivalent to removing more than 114,000 passenger vehicles from the road
  • Benefits public health and helps customers achieve sustainability goals by virtually eliminating pollutants including nitrogen oxide (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SOx) and particulate matter

"Our power plants are solving power generation challenges every day for our global customer base," said Chip Bottone, President & Chief Executive Officer, FuelCell Energy, Inc. "Our plants provide environmentally friendly power production where the power is used in an economically attractive manner."

"One billion kilowatt hours of power production supports our position as a global leader in ultra-clean baseload distributed power generation with a growing installed base," continued Mr. Bottone.

Fuel cells electrochemically convert a fuel source into electricity and heat in a highly efficient process that emits virtually no pollutants due to the absence of combustion. DFC power plants are fuel flexible, capable of operating on natural gas or renewable biogas. Efficiency of up to 90 percent can be achieved when the DFC plant is configured for combined heat and power (CHP) and the heat used by the customer. High efficiency reduces fuel costs and carbon emissions and producing both electricity and heat from the same unit of fuel can reduce the use of combustion based boilers used for heating, further reducing costs and pollutants.  

The distributed generation attribute of fuel cells provides continuous power at the point of use, easing congestion of the transmission grid and enhancing power reliability. Customers include utilities that incrementally add power generation throughout their service network as well as municipal, industrial and government power users that value virtually emission-free on-site power generation.

About FuelCell Energy

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


January 11, 2012
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Hydrogenics Wins Electrolyzer Contract for Netherlands Hydrogen Fueling Station

Hydrogen Vehicle Fueling Station the Fourth Station Order of 2011

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario -- Hydrogenics Corporation, a leading developer and manufacturer of hydrogen generation and fuel cell products, has announced a contract with Ballast Nedam IPM, awarded at the end of December 2011, to supply a HySTAT(R)30 electrolyzer for integration into a Netherlands' based hydrogen fueling station. The owner of the fueling station will be Waterstofnet, which is a non-profit organization financed by the Flemish and Dutch governments.

Hydrogen infrastructure and fuel cell vehicles have been embraced as a significant part of Europe's transportation solution towards the achievement of 2050 carbon-emission targets. Multiple regional initiatives are concurrently underway throughout Europe to this end.

With over 35 hydrogen fueling installations world-wide, Hydrogenics' HySTAT(R) electrolyzer products continue to demonstrate their role in the future energy mix for transportation, with fully scalable capabilities to produce hydrogen on demand. This is the fourth hydrogen fueling station contract awarded to Hydrogenics in 2011.

"Our success in supplying electrolyser-based hydrogen fueling stations is directly linked to our vast experience in industrial hydrogen markets. Over the past 10 years, Hydrogenics has added over 200 HySTAT(TM)industrial installations worldwide to its 1800 install-base. Our full range of electrolyzer products has made the name "HySTAT(TM)" synonymous with safety, quality and dependability making it the number 1 choice for customers considering a hydrogen fueling station. We are pleased to have been selected by Ballast Nedam to provide our electrolysis product which will be our second fueling station delivered into the Netherlands," said Daryl Wilson, Hydrogenics President and Chief Executive Officer. "This award, achieved through a competitive bid based on tight selection criteria, demonstrates our ability to provide the highest quality equipment and engineering services to support the deployment of hydrogen fueling stations, not only in the Netherlands, but throughout Europe. We also acknowledge the critical support that Waterstofnet continues to play in the Dutch/Flemish region. Over the years this organization continues to demonstrate strong leadership in promoting Hydrogen technology development and deploying Hydrogen solutions throughout the region."

The HySTAT 30 electrolyzers, capable of producing up to 65 kilograms per day of pure hydrogen, is anticipated to be delivered in mid 2012 and operational by the end of the year.

ABOUT HYDROGENICS

Hydrogenics Corporation ( www.hydrogenics.com ) is a globally recognized developer and provider of hydrogen generation and fuel cell products and services, serving the growing industrial and clean energy markets of today and tomorrow. Based in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, Hydrogenics has operations in North America and Europe.


January 11, 2012
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Wind Power Closes NY Hydrogen Fuel Loop

Hempstead, N.Y., launched the first hydrogen fueling station on Long Island more than two years ago, but it turns out that was just an initial step toward sustainably powering fuel cell vehicles in its fleet. Now Hempstead has added a 100-kilowatt (kW) capacity wind turbine to the mix, giving it the ability to create hydrogen fuel without sucking power from the grid.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) – which funded the $615,000, 121-foot-tall turbine through a Recovery Act grant – Hempstead had been using about 200,000 kilowatt-hours of grid electricity, most of which comes from fossil-fuel sources, to run an electrolyzer to generate hydrogen for the fuel station. In its assessment of the project, the DOE said the turbine should be able to generate enough electricity to replace that grid-purchased power. And that possibility had the town’s political leadership waxing poetic.

“The answer to clean and renewable energy is ‘blowin’ in the wind,’” town Supervisor Kate Murray said in a statement. “This wind turbine is creating renewable energy, saving money, conserving natural resources and building an environmentally responsible legacy for our children and our children’s children.”

Hempstead calls itself a town, but it’s no small burg; it has a population around 750,000. And it has green ambitions that are every bit as large. The wind-to-hydrogen system is just one part of a larger Clean Energy Project at Point Lookout, 35 miles southeast of Midtown Manhattan. There’s also a shellfish nursery powered by a 2.4-kW wind turbine and two 5- kW solar arrays; a 10-kW solar array on the roof of the Administration Building; and a zero-energy solar home built by the New York Institute of Technology.

The fuel station itself has several elements, as well, providing pure hydrogen, compressed natural gas (CNG) or a blend of hydrogen and compressed natural gas (HCNG). Toyota has provided two fuel cell hybrid vehicles valued at around $100,000 for use by the town. The blended hydrogen/compressed natural gas fuels a new shuttle bus that’s used for a senior program, and a Ford E450 shuttle bus, supplied by CNG company Clean Vehicle Solutions, has been “upfitted to run on natural gas and calibrated to run on the HCNG fuel,” according to the town.

All that, and Hempstead isn’t done: The town received a total of $4.6 million in grants from the DOE, and has further renewable energy plans unfolding, with the money financing the construction of a “60K (we assume they mean kW) solar field, two solar trackers, a solar-powered carport and a geothermal energy project that will address heating and cooling needs at the town’s Conservation and Waterways facility.”

And while Hempstead seems to be doing just fine on the clean energy front already, it could be in for more support from the state. According to the state’s League of Conservation Voters, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s recent State of the State speech put new emphasis on clean energy and the environment.

“For too long, New York has sat idly by as its sustainability challenges mounted,” Marcia Bystryn, president of the New York League of Conservation Voters, said in a statement. “Governor Cuomo made a serious commitment to caring for our natural resources, rebuilding vital infrastructure and transitioning to a clean-energy future.”

The league said it was particularly heartened by the governor’s vow to facilitate the growth of wind energy through a new “Energy Highway” that will connect wind farms with population centers, and his commitment to double the amount of solar energy capacity in New York by the end of the year and quadrupling it by 2013 through the NY-Sun Program.


January 12, 2012
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Ballard Ships Clean Energy Fuel Cell Modules For Use In Brazil UNDP-EMTU Bus Program

VANCOUVER, CANADA– Ballard Power Systems confirmed that, as per its press release of November 2, 2011, the Company successfully shipped 3 of its 150-kilowatt FCvelocityTM-HD6 fuel cell power modules to TuttoTrasporti (TUTTO) of Brazil in December 2011.

TUTTO, the largest Brazilian integrator of hybrid transit buses, will be deploying the modules in buses as part of a UNDP-EMTU (United Nations Development Programme - Empresa Metropolitana de Transportes Urbanos) bus program. Under the program, United Nations funding is being provided to EMTU, which services the transportation needs of Sao Paulo, a city with a population of 11-million people. The new fuel cell-powered buses are expected to go into service in 2012.

In Sao Paulo, Brazil’s largest city, 3-million tons of greenhouse gases are emitted annually, 85% coming from vehicles. As a result, clean energy transportation is a high priority under the country’s National Plan on Climate Change.

Under Brazil’s National Plan on Climate Change – a set of inter-ministerial programs designed to cut emissions in the transportation, forestry, industrial and energy sectors – the government has committed to significant use of zero-emission transit technology. Initiatives will be implemented during the lead-up to the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympic Games being held in that country, and beyond.  

Larry Stapleton, Ballard’s Vice President of Sales said, “The UNDP-EMTU program is another important step toward a tipping point in the global volume of fuel cell bus orders. In combination with other recent announcements regarding growing fuel cell bus activities in North America, Europe as well as Brazil, 2012 will be a key year as we move toward fuel cell bus commercialization.”
 
About Ballard Power Systems

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


January 13, 2012
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AlumiFuel Power, Inc. and Ingenium Technologies Provide Update on Portable Power Market Initiatives

Advanced Hybrid Technologies Aimed at Billion Dollar Portable Power Markets

PHILADELPHIA, PA -- Early production stage hydrogen generation company AlumiFuel Power, Inc. ("API"), the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based wholly owned operating subsidiary of AlumiFuel Power Corporation (the "Company"), announced today that API and its portable power partner, Ingenium Technologies of Rockford, Illinois, have identified an increasing number of applications and program opportunities for their combined technologies, aimed at portable and back-up power.

The overall global market for portable power (generator and battery replacement) is $8 billion annually, including $4.75 billion for portable systems and $3.13 billion for mobile systems. The bulk of this market is in the U.S. and Europe, encompassing military applications powering battlefield electronics and munitions, first responder/emergency preparedness applications powering radios and other electronic and medical devices for Homeland Security& Disaster Relief, and commercial applications such as shoulder-mounted video cameras. Larger back-up power applications represent another multi-billion dollar market.

During 2011, Ingenium Technologies has been evaluating specific technical areas for application of the AlumiFuel hydrogen generation technology. Emphasis has been on applications for the DOD and DOE where the benefits of a hybrid approach -- which includes use of both hydrogen and thermal energy generation -- could be applied as inputs to energy conversion devices. Promising targets include: (1) DOD and DOE power applications, up to 10 kW, where a hybrid approach would provide lower levels of power from the thermal energy generated, and the excess hydrogen generated could be stored for peak demands. A good example is a DOD forward operating base power generation application where the excess thermal energy provides for the heating of water for onsite use, all packaged in a container that could be transported world-wide. Benefits from this type of power system include low noise levels during operation, a green fuel source, recycling of the water used, quick start-up with minimal installation requirements and rapid redeployment; and (2) DOE applications which are focused on fuel cell conversion technology with hydrogen as the energy source for automotive, forklift trucks, and remote power applications. Hydrogen storage technologies have been under development for over 15 years by the DOE for these applications, but AlumiFuel technology has advantages when onsite hydrogen generation is required. In addition, there is interest in generation of hydrogen which is initiated remotely to power an off-grid application.

API and Ingenium have already built a hydrogen generator capable of powering a 200W fuel cell. The system uses a modified PBIS-1000 canister with a different powder chemistry allowing for a very long continuous reaction with yields above 90%. The generator has demonstrated eight hours of continuous operation, a very rapid start up time, and is able to generate hydrogen flow rates suitable for fuel cells ranging from fractional kW to over 10kW.

API's Director of Engineering, Mr. Sean McIntosh, said, "We are confident that the API-Ingenium team is on the right track to educate and capture new customers on the benefits of our advanced innovative technologies for portable power."

About Ingenium Technologies, Inc.

Ingenium Technologies ( www.ingeniumtech.com ) provides world-class, cost-effective product development services and operations consulting services to a diverse client base. Ingenium's engineering staff of over 100 full-time seasoned professionals comes from a vast array of technical disciplines, with broad experience. Ingenium provides turnkey solutions for complex systems, from concept development to design, analysis, prototyping, and certification for both military and commercial customers. Ingenium's clients range in size from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies.

About AlumiFuel Power, Inc.

API ( www.alumifuelpowerinc.com ), the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based wholly owned operating subsidiary of AlumiFuel Power Corporation, is an early production stage alternative energy company that generates hydrogen gas and heat through the chemical reaction of aluminum, water, and proprietary additives. This technology is ideally suited for multiple applications requiring on-site, on-demand fuel sources, serving National Security and commercial customers. API's hydrogen feeds fuel cells for portable and back-up power; fills inflatable devices such as weather balloons; can replace costly, hard-to-handle and high pressure K-Cylinders. Its hydrogen/heat output is also being designed and developed to drive fuel cell-based and turbine-based undersea propulsion systems and auxiliary power systems. API has significant differentiators in performance, adaptability, safety and cost-effectiveness in its target market applications, with no external power required and no toxic chemicals or by-products.


January 13, 2012
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Walmart Saves Through Fuel Cells

Walmart Canada Corp projects major productivity savings offsetting its investment in a fleet of Crown Equipment Corp PC4500 pallet trucks utilising Plug Power Inc GenDrive-brand hydrogen fuel cells.

Andrew Ellis, Walmart Canada senior vice president of supply chain and logistics, addressed the subject in his 6 December remarks during the World Trade Group Ltd’s three-day ninth annual Supply Chain and Logistics Summit North America in Dallas, Texas, United States.

Ellis says the materials handling equipment for a new distribution centre in Balzac cost USD693,000 more than pallet trucks with battery power systems, but that annual operational savings of USD269,000 are anticipated.

Ellis says total savings in energy costs for Balzac operations may reach USD4.8 million by 2015.

Walmart Canada operates 325 retail outlets, has about 85,000 associates and invested CAD220 million (USD219 million) during 2009/10 to update and expand its distribution network, now with eight facilities in the provinces of Alberta and Ontario.

In the hamlet of Balzac near Calgary, Walmart Canada opened its first sustainable fresh and refrigerated food distribution centre in November 2010 using hydrogen fuel cells, solar thermal, wind power and other sustainability features and products. The major project cost about CAD115 million (USD107 million).


January 14, 2012
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Osaka students build eco-friendly hydrogen fuel cell car

A group of students at Osaka Sangyo University have built a hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle, and unveiled it to the public in Tokyo on Jan. 13.

This is the first successful fuel cell electric vehicle project in Japan not backed by a major car company.

The vehicle was built as part of Osaka Sangyo University's ongoing research on fuel cells and hydrogen fuel as a potential power source for future generations of automobiles. The students assembled the car in their spare time using parts they bought on the open market.

The vehicle is a sporty two-person car with a battery output of only 7.5 kilowatts -- about one-tenth that of commercial electric vehicles. However, it has a top speed of 80 kilometers per hour. The car has also been designed to generate electricity at the same time the power is being used.

"We have worked on this project even during school breaks, so I was thrilled when it moved," says one of the students.

The vehicle, which has already obtained a license plate to run on public roads, was unveiled to the public in Tokyo's Chiyoda Ward on Jan. 13. Former Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Minister Masaharu Nakagawa also attended the event.


January 14, 2012
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Mercedes E Superlight to be a fuel cell car, coming in 2015

For months now, rumors have been circulating that Mercedes-Benz was working on a carbon-fiber-bodied sedan based on the E-class that would reduce weight radically while improving performance and fuel efficiency. Enter the Mercedes E Superlight, which will first release as a production hydrogen fuel cell vehicle (HFCV) in 2015.

The small amount of information that Mercedes-Benz has released so far on this car is noteworthy for two reasons: the radical new structural design and materials it will have and the fact that Mercedes is nonchalant about the information that they will be releasing it as a fuel cell vehicle first, rather than as a limited production afterthought.

The Carbon-Fiber Car

The E Superlight will be made almost entirely of carbon-fiber materials. The body and frame is based loosely on the next-generation E-class design as a 4-door saloon. Rather than the aluminum architecture envisioned for the other E-class models expected in that year, Mercedes is instead going entirely with a carbon-fiber monocoque that fully integrates suspension and drive train with its mold.

The car will have noteworthy design elements such as suicide doors with no center B-posts. The strength of carbon means that those posts aren't needed to maintain the integrity of the roll cage. In fact, a lot of elements normally present in a steel or aluminum car's framing and underlayment are not needed when designing from the ground up with carbon fibers.

Hydrogen Fuel Cell Propulsion

The Superlight will also begin life as a low-level production model hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. The HFCV will utilize a 500hp electric motor, a small battery pack, and cells taken from Mercedes-Benz' continuing fuel cell development project.

This is literally all that Mercedes has said about the car's propulsion system. Their ongoing work on fuel cells, however, shows that they are well on their way towards production-ready cells.

More Production Plans

Mercedes also says that after the initial year of E Superlight production, they will increase production numbers to match the market at large and by 2017 will likely be at 20,000 vehicles annually. By that point, other power trains may also come to market, such as diesel, plug-in hybrid (no specification gasoline or diesel), etc.

This carbon framework is expected to extend to other models, including the SLS sport coupe.

2015 Is the Magic Year for Fuel Cells

This tells us which vehicle Mercedes-Benz will be marketing as an HCFV in 2015. Most other major manufacturers, including Honda, General Motors, Toyota, etc, have also announced that they will be releasing production model fuel cell vehicles in 2015. Some, like Honda, are going for the smaller car market with FCX Clarity while others, like Toyota, are going for the larger vehicle market with their SUV HFC tests.

Hyundai has promised to beat the other companies to market by two years, slating next year (2013) as their release year for a limited-production fuel cell vehicle, in an SUV, and ramping up to full production within 2 years.


January 15, 2012
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Power system by Sirius Integrator can run security devices for long periods

Sirius Integrator announced on Dec. 20 an exclusive new off-grid remote power configuration that utilizes fuel cell, solar and micro wind turbine hybrid-battery charging components to keep devices such as surveillance cameras, sensors and detectors running for long periods of time, even in harsh outdoor environments.

The SiriusTri-Power Stand can optimally mount up to two Forgen 30w Micro Wind Turbines, two 80w hard solar panels, EFOY Pro SiriusPro Enclosure (with two 90w fuel cells), and up to 120w of solar semi-flexible plastic mounted on the enclosure.

“When the ‘sun doesn’t shine’ and the ‘wind doesn’t blow’ the EFOY Pro fuel cell automatically and reliably charges the 12v or 24v battery system and keeps the device running unattended and without interruption,” said John Merlino, CEO of Sirius Integrator.

SiriusTri-Power off-grid configurations bring high availability to the edge device, reduce costly site visit logistics and fuel use, enable stronger security systems, minimize lost field data and reduce lead acid pollution and battery management logistics.


January 16, 2012
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Industry’s New Target: Wealthy, Tree-Hugging Drivers

I put the key in the ignition, but there's just silence — not a sputter of an engine turning over. Instead, a sign on the dashboard that says "ready" indicates the car is set to drive. This is a zero-emitting fuel cell car powered by hydrogen, and goes nearly 250 miles on a charge and takes just three minutes to refuel — far better than any electric car. This environmentally-friendly package is housed in a top-of-the-line vehicle: a Mercedes-Benz. And it carries many of the luxury badges of the auto maker -- plush, heated leather seats, automatic climate control, a built-in navigation system, iPod connection, and a diagram showing where the car is currently drawing its power. Called the F-cell, it's being road tested among 20 drivers in Southern California.

It used to be that the most environmentally-friendly vehicles were found in the small and mid-sized segment, vehicles costing around $18,000 to $20,000. But no more. Luxury carmakers have gone green, recognizing that even high-end consumers value fuel economy. This trend is expected to further fuel what many see as the beginning of a comeback for the long beleaguered auto industry. The Center for Automotive Research predicts 170,000 new jobs in the auto industry by 2014.

In addition to young, environmentally conscious drivers, The luxury car consumer is an important target for car companies, says Michael Robinet, managing director at IHS Automotive Consulting. According to Moody’s Analytics, 5 percent of the richest households account for 37 percent of consumer spending, and a recent study by American Express Platinum found that wealthy Gen Xers spent 18 percent more than baby boomers on luxury goods annually. "Why wait until one is 45-years-old to buy a luxury product?" says Robinet.

Michelle Krebs, a senior analyst at Edmunds.com, says the high-end car consumer is important to car companies because, as the economy emerges from the recession, the luxury segment will grow. They are one of the first demographics to start spending again. The luxury market is also important for image; it has a halo effect over the rest of the automaker’s range, she says. And in a sluggish economy, people don’t necessarily want to flaunt a luxury car in front of their unemployed executive neighbor, she says. "So to be able to brag that your luxury car is environmentally friendly may be a good excuse."

With the exception of hybrids from Lexus and Infiniti, luxury cars have hardly been known for their high mileage. Many super high-end vehicles costing $150,000 or more, including the Bentley Continental GTC and the Mercedes-Benz S600, both of which have a combined 14 miles per gallon fuel economy, top the Energy Department's list of least efficient vehicles.

Luxury makers are now on board in delivering environmentally friendly vehicles because they don't have to compromise the horsepower most coveted by a luxury car buyer. This theme was apparent at the 2012 North American International Auto Show during the press preview last week, where virtually every car maker — luxury makers included — touted the environmental perks of their vehicles.

"People who have money tend to like to hold onto it," so they appreciate the value that an environmentally-friendly vehicle provides, says David A. Champion, senior director of auto testing for Consumer Reports. He says that all buyers — luxury purchasers included — are concerned about fuel costs. A November 2011 survey by Consumer reports shows that nearly two-thirds of consumers who have at least one car expect their next vehicle purchase to have better fuel economy. Another factor fueling the trend is federal requirements which require all car makers achieve an average of 35 miles per gallon by 2016 and 54 miles per gallon by 2025, standards that can't be met without increasing fuel efficiency across the board.

So even the uber-luxe carmakers are getting into the act. In unveiling the 2013 Bentley Continental GT V8, Bentley Motors chairman and chief executive Wolfgang Durheimer touted his best fuel economy offering yet, with a 40 percent fuel economy improvement over its 12 miles per gallon city, 19 miles per gallon highway numbers in previous models. Yet it still gets 500 horsepower and goes from zero to 60 miles per hour in 4.6 seconds, packing plenty of punch for car enthusiasts. Paying a premium for a hybrid isn't as big a deal when you're shelling out an initial price of $180,000 for a Bentley. Fisher unveiled its Karma, an extended range electric vehicle due out this year that will retail between $90,000 and $100,000 and will be the first super luxury EV.

Mercedes unveiled the E400, a hybrid, due in the second half of this year, while Acura debuted its ILX luxury concept sedan, which will be offered in both a gasoline and hybrid version in the spring of this year. It also unveiled the NSX Supercar concept, a hybrid sports car that is due within three years. It will be "a supercar that is also mindful of the environment," said Sara Pines, an Acura spokesperson. She said that because of its Honda affiliation, Acura tends to attract younger luxury buyers. "These consumers tell us they're interested in fuel economy," she said.

BMW showcased is ActiveHybrid 5 and ActiveHybrid 3. The ActiveHybrid 3 is the first-ever hybrid among the compact sports sedans of the premium segment. With combined city/highway fuel economy of 36.7 miles per gallon, it's 12.5 percent more fuel efficient than the comparable gasoline-powered vehicle. In a January 10th panel discussion at the auto show in Detroit entitled, "ECOnomics," Tom Baloga, vice president of engineering for BMW North America, said the company's goal is to develop products that get improved fuel economy, reduce greenhouse gases, and yet are still fun to drive. BMW customers expect advanced fuel economy "just like they expect a high level of safety" in their car, he said.

As of now, these latest new luxury offerings still fall short of the cleanest cars, and have a ways to go before they make a significant dent environmentally, says Dan Becker, director of the Safe Climate Campaign for the Center for Auto Safety. Still, "there is a benefit to having people recognize that hybrids and electric vehicles can be cool and sexy and elegant," he says. "It adds potential luster to a hybrid market even though it doesn't cut emissions much."


January 16, 2012
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H2 Logic provides hydrogen refueling inside the Arctic Circle

The Danish company H2 Logic recently opened a hydrogen refueling station just inside the Arctic Circle, to serve fuel cell vehicles being tested by car manufacturers under extreme cold climate conditions at the Arctic Driving Centre in Finland.

The H2 Logic hydrogen refueling station – located 150 metres inside the Arctic Circle – is based on H2Station® technology, and provides fast fill (within 3 minutes) refueling of hydrogen at 700 bar (10 000 psi).

The station at the Arctic Driving Centre is operated by the leading Finnish gas company Oy Woikoski Ab, which also handles the supply of hydrogen.

Despite an average temperature as low as –15°C (and sometimes as low as –45°C), the fuel cell vehicles should be able to refuel for long range operation in a few minutes, just as with refueling of gasoline vehicles.

Fast filling of hydrogen for any fuel cell vehicle at any refueling station worldwide, irrespective of local climate, is possible thanks to various industrial and globally agreed hydrogen refueling standards, such as the SAE J2601 refueling process, and because there is a single, globally agreed nozzle design.

The H2Station from H2 Logic provides full compliance with all applicable international standards, including refueling in accordance with the specifications in SAE J2601, thus offering 3 minutes fast-fill operation.

During 2011 H2 Logic opened similar fast-fill stations based on the H2Station technology in Norway and Denmark, with several more stations being manufactured and in planning during 2012.


January 16, 2012
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AngloPlat to test fuel-cell powered mine loco March/April

JOHANNESBURG – Platinum miner Anglo American Platinum (AngloPlat) expects to put a fuel-cell powered mine locomotive through its paces in the first half of this year.

The locomotive will initially be tested on surface at AngloPlat’s Dishaba mine, which is situated in the Limpopo province.

“Hopefully by March/April, we’ll have a loco on surface that will be fuel-cell based,” Anglo Platinum market development and research head Anthea Bath tells Mining Weekly Online in a video interview.

The point of the demonstration will be to show that fuel-cell powered locomotives can provide superior productivity and zero-emission underground transport.

The locomotives currently run off battery power. Fuel-cell powered forklift trucks have already gone commercial in the US, replacing battery-powered units.

JSE-listed Amplats is the world’s largest producer of platinum, which is used as a catalyst in fuel cells.

Last year AngloPlat unveiled a pioneering clean-energy fuel-cell power plant that uses coal-bed methane gas from group company Anglo Coal.

The coal-bed methane is reformed into hydrogen, producing both electricity and heat. Efficiencies of up to 83% can be achieved when use is made of both the electricity and the output heat.

Fuel cells are poised to play a role in vehicle and stationary applications worldwide, providing a significant platinum extraction opportunity for the mining industry and a potential manufacturing, installation and maintenance opportunity for South African industry in general.

Bath says that a relatively moderate niche penetration of the fuel cells into the huge global energy market is able to drive substantial platinum demand.

Fuel-cell back-up of Amplats’ own intermine communication systems is also being studied, along with fuel-cell powered miners' caplamps.

AngloPlat is working closely with the South African government to develop the business of fuel cells, which convert the chemical energy from a fuel cell, generally hydrogen, into electricity through a chemical reaction that has water as its byproduct.

A R100-million fund has made its first allocation to a US company manufacturing and marketing fuel-cell systems in South Africa and sub-Saharan Africa.


January 16, 2012
(view original article)

Intuit gearing up for Bloom Energy fuel-cell installation

Financial software developer Intuit has published what is billed as its first corporate sustainability report, a missive that shows the company has a way to go in just collecting the data it needs to reduce its electricity consumption, water usage and overall impact on the planet.

But one plan for later on this year will see Intuit become one of the latest corporate proponents of fuel cell technology from Bloom Energy.

In its 2011 Sustainability Report, Intuit said it picked the site for its Bloom Energy installation in Woodland Hills, Calif., because the office is located in an area where energy is still regulated and therefore more expensive. The technology, which is supposed to be operational in October 2012, will supply about 67 percent of the electricity needed to power the building. There are several hundred employees in this building who are part of the company’s Payment Service unit, so this isn’t some teeny little adjunct office.

In its report, Intuit says that approximately 75 percent of the fuel used to run the Bloom Box technology over the first five years of the installation will be biogas.

The technology will save the company about 4 cents per kilowatt-hour, according to the report. Intuit also is installing solar panels on buildings in its Mountain View, Calif., headquarters complex in a bid to earn LEED Silver Certification for the site.

“This project, along with the Bloom Boxes, sends a powerful message to our employees, customers, and shareholders that we are committed to becoming a more sustainable company,” the company notes in its report.

The process that inspired Intuit to select an alternative energy source for Woodland Hills, though, is just as much about saving money as it is about reducing greenhouse gas emissions — which makes it a great test case as Intuit begins the tough process of figuring out how to deliver on corporate social responsibility expectations.


January 17, 2012
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Fuel cell to power City Hall

A 66,000-pound fuel cell arrived at Millennium Plaza behind City Hall Sunday morning, bringing the city’s total fuel cell count to five.

The fuel cell will provide the majority of electricity to City Hall and the Hall of Records at 200 Orange St., as well as 60 percent of the heat and 30 percent of cooling for the buildings, said Christine Eppstein Tang, director of the New Haven Office of Sustainability. The fuel cell is expected to save between $500,000 and $1,000,000 throughout its 10-year lease period and reduce the pollution generated by both buildings, said Giovanni Zinn ’05, a consultant employed by the city’s Office of Sustainability.

“We’re really excited to finally have it here,” Eppstein Tang said. “It’s a great achievement for the city.”

Eppstein Tang said the Sustainability Office and engineering department worked with Connecticut-based company UTC Power — the company that manufactured the fuel cell — for the past year to bring the fuel cell to New Haven. She added that the city benefits not only from having the cell but also from the included maintenance contract that states that UTC must fix the cell if it is damaged.

Eppstein Tang said the decision to get a fuel cell was not motivated by government regulation, but made “perfect sense,” as it demonstrates the city’s commitment to renewable energy while reducing costs. Since pollution-reducing technology is likely to change in the future, she added that the sustainability office and the city’s Department of Engineering decided that leasing the fuel cell would be the best course of action.

Initially, officials considered other environmentally friendly and money-saving options such as building a high-efficiency boiler and chiller plant, said Zinn. But, he said, the fuel cell “leapt out immediately” because it saves money, helps the environment and is less disruptive to install. Other advantages of a fuel cell, he added, are its compactness and low emissions and noise levels.

The fuel cell is a combined heat and power fuel cell system generating heat that can be used for space or water heating as well as for driving an absorption chiller to provide cooling, said Jennifer Sager, spokeswoman for UTC Power.

She added that the fuel cell’s ability to utilize the heat byproduct increases its efficiency, and that the PureCell Model 400 system used in City Hall has industry-best system efficiencies of up to 90 percent.

The PureCell Model 400 system also functions without consuming or discharging water in normal operations, she said, resulting in approximately 1.6 million gallons of saved water per year compared to the U.S. electric grid.

Though there are currently no estimates as to how much pollution the fuel cell will reduce, “every little bit helps,” said Zinn. The fuel cell will result in a net reduction of carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide emissions, said Rich Shaw, UTC Power’s regional sales director.

Due to its downtown location near City Hall, the fuel cell can also serve an educational purpose, Eppstein Tang said. Once the fuel cell is in operation, she added, signs explaining the cell’s purpose to the public will be put up nearby.

Zinn said he sees the addition of the latest fuel cell as part of a citywide shift towards sustainability.

“New Haven is a leader in renewable technology, and this is continuing the trend,“ he said.

The fuel cell will be operational within the next two months, according to Eppstein Tang.


January 17, 2012
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HyperSolar Technology Turns Wastewater Into Renewable Hydrogen And Natural Gas

HyperSolar, Inc., the developer of a breakthrough technology to produce renewable hydrogen and natural gas using water and solar power, today commented that its technology can help mitigate the high costs of wastewater treatment, while turning a liability into an opportunity.

Effective treatment of wastewater is of particular importance in maintaining public health and protecting the environment. According to the EPA, drinking water and wastewater systems account for approximately 3-4 percent of energy use in the United States, emitting over 45 million tons of greenhouse gases annually. Further, drinking water and wastewater plants are typically the largest energy consumers of municipal governments, accounting for 30-40 percent of total energy consumed.

“Instead of using pure water to produce renewable hydrogen, a very expensive starting point, we are optimizing our technology to work with municipal and industrial wastewater, which contains organic molecules of all kinds,” said Tim Young, HyperSolar CEO. “Billions of dollars are spent on energy to clean wastewater for reuse. Our process uses free sunlight to photo-oxidize (detoxify) wastewater to simultaneously produce molecular hydrogen and clean water. This zero-carbon hydrogen can then be used to power the wastewater treatment plant or turned into natural gas by combining it with CO2 for distribution using the existing natural gas infrastructure.”

Lux Research estimates that the capital cost for new or replacement wastewater treatment infrastructure is currently at $27 billion a year, and projected to grow at 1.5% annually. Dr. Vikram Pattarkine, HyperSolar’s Senior Advisor for Water Treatment, added, “Wastewater treatment no longer needs to be a liability. We can recover energy inherent in organic matter in wastewater and turn treatment into an opportunity.”

About HyperSolar, Inc.

HyperSolar is developing a breakthrough technology to produce renewable hydrogen and natural gas using sunlight, water and carbon dioxide. These renewable gases can be used as direct replacements for traditional hydrogen and natural gas to power the world, without drilling or fracking, while mitigating CO2 emissions. Inspired by photosynthesis that plants use to effortlessly harness the power of the Sun, we are developing a novel solar-powered nanoparticle system that mimics photosynthesis to produce renewable hydrogen from water. This hydrogen can then be reacted with carbon dioxide in a proprietary low cost reactor to produce methane, the primary component in pipeline natural gas. From sunrise to sunset, our proprietary nanoparticles will work in a water based solution to produce clean and environmentally friendly renewable hydrogen and natural gas that can be collected for use in power plants, industrial plants and vehicles - anywhere and anytime. To learn more about HyperSolar, please visit our website at http://www.HyperSolar.com.


January 17, 2012
(view original article)

British firm boosts hydrogen compression and storage

A British firm is hoping to spur small-scale hydrogen production by making it easier and cheaper to compress and store the gas.

RE Hydrogen has developed a device that it claims can compress hydrogen to the high pressures needed for storage at just 30 per cent of the cost of existing equipment.

The company believes the compressor will make it easier to produce hydrogen from water and electricity using small electrolysers because, unlike most conventional equipment, it can raise the pressure of gas with a small flow rate to 350 bar in a single step.

‘There are very few manufacturers in the world for hydrogen compressors and the cost is often almost higher than an electrolyser,’ RE Hydrogen’s chief executive officer Dr Amitava Roy told The Engineer.

‘You can get large compressors that run at atmospheric pressure, but then you need to have a large electrolyser to work with it. Apart from the high capital costs and low efficiency there is also a high maintenance requirement.

‘We’re focusing on the conventional gas compressing market not just hydrogen, but it will help the hydrogen economy significantly having a low-cost hydrogen compressing device.’

Small-scale hydrogen production is a potential way to capture and store energy from renewable sources and provide fuel for hydrogen-powered vehicles in place of large-scale infrastructure, as well as for industrial usage.

RE Hydrogen has already developed an electrolyser that operates at up to 5KW at atmospheric pressure and is more than 90 per cent cheaper than most conventional models. Its latest compressor is designed to increase pressure from 1 to 350 bar in a single step.

Most conventional devices would either require around five stages of compression with cooling in between to get up to the levels needed for storage or need the hydrogen to be produced at a higher pressure increasing the cost of the electrolyser.

Roy said RE Hydrogen’s technology uses a non-mechanical-based method of compression with few moving parts. It avoids the need for cooling by utilising the heat naturally produced by the compression process and containing it within the system.

The firm has produced a working model of the technology and is now looking for private investment to commercialise it. ‘Most of the parts we buy from the market so the scalability is very straightforward,’ said Roy.


January 18, 2012
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Fuel cell cars get UK govt backing

The UK government has unveiled a new scheme today (January 18th), backed by the auto industry and Johnson Matthey, that will drive forward the development of fuel cell cars.

UK H2 Mobility, which is being supported by Toyota, General Motors, Daimler and Hyundai, will produce a plan of action to make fuel cell vehicles commercially available on a large scale by 2015.

It will look at the case for low carbon transport, the specific investments required and identify what is needed to make the UK a world leader in fuel cell developments.

"Hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles are increasingly being recognised as one of the viable options as we move to a lower carbon motoring future," said business minister Mark Prisk.

"They are highly efficient, can be fuelled in minutes, travel an equivalent range to a conventional combustion engine, and have zero tail-pipe emissions."

He explained that the UK is both an early market for low-emission vehicles and has a number of "world-class" companies developing new engines using hydrogen fuel cell technology.

"UKH2Mobility will bring together industry expertise to establish the UK as a serious global player in the manufacture and use of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles and the supporting infrastructure," the minister added.

Germany launched a similar scheme in 2009, while both Japan and California have initiatives in place to support fuel cell technology.

The UK project's supporters include Johnson Matthey, one the world's leading manufacturers of catalytic convertors for cars and components for fuel cells.

Other backers include gas company Air Liquide, Scottish and Southern Energy, Air Products, BOC, ITM Power, Tata and Nissan.

Jerry Hardcastle, vice-president for vehicle design and development at Nissan, belives the scheme will "lay many of the foundations for the commercial deployment of hydrogen-powered fuel cell electric vehicles which could represent a large segment of the UK market in the coming years".

The government is committing £400 million to support low-emission vehicles, including fuel cell cars.

Schemes include the £5,000 plug-in car grant, which the government says is also applicable to fuel cell vehicles.

Car makers have been investing heavily in fuel cells recently with several firms unveiling models.

General Motors, for example, has put $2 billion into research and development and will introduce fuel cell vehicles in Europe and the US by 2016.

The participating companies and government departments will meet over the coming months and draw up an action plan to develop hydrogen fuel cell cars by the end of the year.


January 18, 2012
(view original article)

Toyota's hydrogen concept gets low-key Detroit reception

Toyota, the automaker most closely associated with hybrids still isn't giving up on hydrogen fuel cells. Here's the FCV-R, a concept which sort of snuck into the North American International Auto Show in Detroit last week without much notice.

Part of the reason was there were far more important vehicles from Toyota there to upstage it. But the FCV-R (FCV for Fuel Cell Vehicle and the R is for "Reality and Revolution") is significant because it reminds us that Toyota is still planning to field a hydrogen-powered car by 2015. In auto-show years, that's only a couple years from now. Gulp.

Honda and General Motors have made the most noise about the benefits of hydrogen. Toyota, because of its strength in gas-saving hybrids, hasn't said much. But that could change as this car's production version is readied for marketing.


January 18, 2012
(view original article)

UK to study hydrogen fuel infrastructure

Despite years of being heralded as the 'next big thing' there's still a healthy scepticism about battery-powered cars and bikes ever becoming truly viable as mainstream transport.

That's largely down to their limited range, a result of heavy batteries that can't hold a candle to the power density of good old fashioned petrol, and the lengthy charging times that make refuelling stops into overnight stays.

Hydrogen fuel cells, while still a long way from mass-production reality, arguably offer something of a solution. Using chemical reactions to turn hydrogen straight into water and electricity, they offer better power-to-weight performance than batteries and can be refuelled simply by adding more hydrogen. And now the Government has announced a project to investigate the nitty-gritty realities of turning the potential of hydrogen as a mainstream fuel into a reality.

Its newly-announced UK H2Mobility project will investigate hydrogen's potential as a fuel, including the problems of a refuelling infrastructure (as a gas, hydrogen can't be lugged about in tankers or stored in underground reservoirs as easily as petrol, and might instead need a nationwide network of pipes, just like the gas that powers your central heating).

Several pioneering companies have signed up to share their knowledge and expertise, including Intelligent Energy, which has been pioneering hydrogen fuel cell motorcycles and is tied up with Suzuki to develop the technology further, notably being behind the firm's Crosscage concept bike and its Burgman fuel cell scooter.

Business minister Mark Prisk said: “Hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles are increasingly being recognised as one of the viable options as we move to a lower carbon motoring future. They are highly efficient, can be fuelled in minutes, travel an equivalent range to a conventional combustion engine, and have zero tail-pipe emissions.

“UKH2Mobility will bring together industry expertise to establish the UK as a serious global player in the manufacture and use of hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles and the supporting infrastructure.”

Dr Henri Winand, Chief Executive of Intelligent Energy said: “The UK H2Mobility is a ground breaking industry led task force. Its job is to roll its sleeves up and ensure that the UK is well positioned for the commercial roll-out of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles from 2014/15 as part of a balanced portfolio of drivetrains. Fuel cell vehicles, storage and refuelling technology are here today, they work! We now need to look at how we can make these elements, together with the hydrogen refuelling infrastructure, work most effectively to enable the UK to take full advantage of hydrogen as a transport fuel; stimulating inward investment, GDP growth and securing and creating new jobs.”


January 20, 2012
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ITM Power unveils hydrogen fuel cell trial with Marks and Spencer

ICleantech firm ITM Power today announced a new trial programme for its hydrogen fuel cell at a distribution centre for retail group Marks and Spencer.

The trial will see ITM’s HFuel technology being used to generate hydrogen on site, for use in hydrogen powered vehicles. These vehicles will replace part of the battery-powered fleet at the distribution centre.

The trial will last for six weeks. And it is part of a Marks and Spencer initiative to deliver zero emission vehicles with superior performance and a two minute refuel time, ITM explained. 

According to ITM this is the first trial of its kind in the UK.

"The involvement of companies such as M&S is essential to developing commercially viable hydrogen solutions for the materials handling industry,” said chief executive Graham Cooley.

“We are extremely pleased to be conducting this trial with M&S who continue to lead the way for sustainable technology deployment."

ITM says that this application in the global materials handling market is a key early adoption market for hydrogen with fuel cells, and the technology is already able to offer superior performance to battery powered systems.


January 20, 2012
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ACAL Energy Shows Step Change In Fuel Cell Durability Achievable

ACAL Energy has completed an important step in a rigorous testing programme designed to evaluate the durability of its FlowCath® fuel cell platform. The results confirm that the platinum-free liquid cathode system, FlowCath® inherently eliminates many of the causes of lost performance in both continuous operation and in auto cycling. It has the potential greatly to assist the cost-down strategies of vehicle OEMs looking to deploy fuel cells.

The announcement comes a day after the launch of a new Government-backed initiative called UKH2Mobility that will evaluate the potential for hydrogen as a fuel for Ultra Low Carbon Vehicles in the UK, and develop an action plan for an anticipated roll-out to consumers in 2014/15.
ACAL Energy has been carrying out representative drive cycle tests in response to requests from automotive manufacturers. Drive cycle issues are known to cause deterioration of conventional PEM fuel cells. To date, ACAL Energy has reached close to 2,000 hours of cumulative testing.

Reducing the cost of achieving durability is key to successful deployment of fuel cells in mass market automotive applications, and by avoiding expensive engineering designs, the Pt-free FlowCath® system will allow vehicle manufacturers to accelerate progress to supplying affordable fuel cell vehicles.

In one set of tests, a full-scale stack was subjected to extreme load and rapid thermal cycling, from zero to 1A/cm2 load cycles and from 20 to 80 degC. No measurable change in performance was seen in over 400 load cycles and 100 thermal cycles.

ACAL Energy's technology is based on thermodynamically stable homogeneous catalysts. These catalysts have been in regular use for over three years in multiple test cells and systems, and the Company has seen no instance of catalyst deterioration throughout a battery of single cell, stack and system testing programmes.

“This is probably the most significant and valuable feature of our technology”, says Amanda Lyne, VP Strategic Business Development at ACAL Energy. “Early volume sales of fuel cell vehicles will mean that great pressure will be put on OEMs to reduce manufacturing costs.

By inherently avoiding many of the durability issues seen in conventional technology, using our FlowCath® system we can improve the economic picture significantly, and speed up the mass deployment of H2FC vehicles”. The response from one auto maker was: "This result is much better than the conventional result”.

The Company continues to accumulate data on its systems, including the fully integrated stationary back up power system located at the Solvay Interox site at Warrington.


January 23, 2012
(view original article)

The Coming Vehicle Fuel Cell Revolution

Have you filled up your combustion-engine car with record-priced unleaded octane lately? We don't use this kind of jargon in describing our automobiles because, until recently, our options were limited. The US is lagging behind other markets in adapting alternative energy, but change is coming. Investors may very well benefit from taking a position in fuel cell-related stocks now ahead of the 2015 roll-out of many major auto industry automobiles using this technology.

In 2003, Toyota Motors (TM) introduced the first commercially available hybrid gasoline-electric car, the Prius. Toyota has gone a long way with this efficient, favorite among hybrid electric owners. What once was an eye-catching oddity, the Prius has become more of an economically attractive staple of the auto landscape. Toyota's 2012 projections include selling 220,000 Prius vehicles on US soil. Its sales of hybrid vehicles worldwide topped the 3 million mark in February 2011. Toyota pioneered the field in the US, but other companies have cashed in on the route it paved. Other top selling US hybrid companies include models from Hyundai (HYMTF.PK), Lexus, Honda (HMC), and Ford (F).

In 2010, Nissan (NSANY.PK) introduced the Leaf, the first commercially available battery-electric car. Since its launch in December, Nissan has sold over 20,000 Leafs. Most major automobile companies have entered this market. Competition is heating up to continue to develop this technology and answer critics of its mainstream capability in the market. Many electric vehicles are being paired with gas or diesel to extend range without the constraints of using batteries. For example, the Chevy Volt from General Motors (GM) can extend a 40 mile rage to 500 with a single gas fill up. While companies like Tesla Motor's (TSLA), have stuck to batteries alone and have improved technology such that some models can get up to a 300 mile range per charge.

It appears that first to market has been important in leadership with new automotive innovation. Toyota is currently number one in the hybrid market. Nissan is the leader within the pure electric category. Today most major automotive players are now in pursuit of bringing the fuel cell auto to market by 2015.

So how does the hydrogen fuel cell automotive fit in the mix? First of all, a fuel cell car is for all intents and purposes an electric car. What's good for an electric car is also good for fuel cell hybrids. Current innovations in drive train technology in electric vehicles will be passed on to this type of car as well. Cost has been an issue in adoption of new electric/electric-hybrid automotive technology. Long driving batteries weigh a lot, are expensive and hybrid gas vehicles need a separate generator or dual motors. As fuel cells get smaller and cheaper, hydrogen has the potential to overtake the solo electric vehicle.

Fuel cell vehicles have the ability to extend range without the need for as much weight in batteries. Without the need for combustion, a hydrogen fuel cell is a more efficient, cleaner choice when it comes to fuel. Some claim the hydrogen fuel cell has the ability to reduce fuel consumption by 50%. Interest in this technology is widespread. Even Apple (AAPL) has realized the value of hydrogen fuel cell efficiency and has filed patents which can be used in the future to circumvent the size constraints that batteries alone provide and run a computer for weeks without more hydrogen.

Investors have their eyes on 2015 as the big year for fuel cell actualization. This will be the year the technology will enter the mainstream auto industry both domestically and abroad. Daimler (DDAIF.PK), Ford, Nissan, Toyota, and others are committed to roll out cars using fuel cell technology that year in markets with the hydrogen infrastructure, which includes many states from California to Michigan.

Honda may be looking to become the long-term leader in the market. The company has pushed its date of release of its fuel cell vehicle to 2018 as it attempts to approach the market in a different way. The company is pairing a home energy station that domestically produces hydrogen with their FCX clarity automobile to circumvent a hydrogen infrastructure problem. The home fueling station was developed and miniaturized with the collaboration of Plug Power (PLUG). Honda claims that using its hydrogen fueling station can reduce domestic carbon dioxide emissions by 30% versus a home that uses gasoline power cars and commercial electricity.

Other ways to benefit from fuel cell auto adoption

You might say, if you build it, the infrastructure will come. The cars are on the way, the infrastructure is coming and more is likely to follow. Companies like Air Liquide (AIQUY.PK) and Hydrogenics (HYGS) are likely to see acceleration in contracts for fueling stations as 2015 and beyond approaches. Announcements from major auto players and successful infrastructure abroad will generate more interest in development.

All electric and hybrid-electric including fuel cell cars need efficient batteries. Any battery maker that survives between now when this technology becomes more wide spread will have one additional use for their batteries. A123 Systems (AONE) could benefit from the fuel cell vehicle adoption. Hydrogen fuel cell companies like United Technologies (UTX), Ballard Power (BLDP) and Plug Power will benefit from cheaper mass produced hydrogen for use with their bus, forklift, and other stationary fuel cells.

As we gear up for summer and rumors of $5-per-gallon gasoline abound, technologies like fuel cells don't perhaps seem as much an expensive science experiment as it does a viable option for change. Diversifying a portfolio to include hydrogen based technologies now may power gains for the investor in the future.


January 23, 2012
(view original article)

CFCL Secures First 100 German Customers for BlueGen

Australian solid oxide fuel cell manufacturer Ceramic Fuel Cells Limited (CFCL) has announced that its German distributor sanevo blue energy has received customer commitments for its first order of 100 BlueGen micro-CHP units within six weeks of launching its marketing campaign.

The commitments come from a mix of public energy utilities, residential and commercial customers. The largest of these customers is Stadtwerke Aalen, the local electricity and gas utility in the Aalen region of Southern Germany; the company is the first German utility to actively promote sales of BlueGen to its customers and offers an incentive payment to early customers.

The units from the order are expected to be delivered and installed in the next six months. BlueGen has seen commercial success in several early markets and is the first fuel cell product eligible for the UK Feed-In Tariff, with UK customer trials from energy utility E.ON starting later this year.


January 23, 2012
(view original article)

Air Liquide Installs Hydrogen Forklifts at its Supply Chain Platform in Vatry, France

Air Liquide has announced the deployment of France’s first hydrogen fuel cell powered lift trucks at its Vatry Air Liquide Welding supply chain platform. Two hydrogen-powered Crown lift trucks have been operating at the site since 5th January. A full complement of ten trucks will service the site in the coming weeks.

The trucks are part of a larger upgrade of the Vatry platform and come shortly after an announcement that Air Liquide subsidiary Axane would be working with Plug Power to bring its successful GenDrive technology to European forklifts.


January 23, 2012
(view original article)

HyperSolar to Make Zero Carbon Renewable Hydrogen Gas

Rather than using conventional fossil fuel as a feedstock, the company's breakthrough technology uses the power of the Sun and wastewater to produce carbon-free, renewable hydrogen gas

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. -- HyperSolar, Inc., the developer of a breakthrough technology to produce renewable hydrogen and natural gas using water and solar power, today announced that its proprietary process can make zero carbon, renewable hydrogen gas. Rather than using conventional fossil fuel, such as natural gas, as a feedstock, HyperSolar relies on the power of the Sun and wastewater to produce carbon free, renewable hydrogen gas.

Hydrogen is the most useful and abundant chemical element, constituting roughly 75% of the Universe's chemical elemental mass. However, naturally occurring elemental hydrogen is relatively rare on Earth and hydrogen gas is most often produced using fossil fuels. Industrial production is mainly from the steam reforming of natural gas and is usually employed near its production site, with the two largest uses being crude oil processing (hydrocracking) and ammonia production, mostly for the fertilizer market.

Tim Young, HyperSolar CEO, commented, "The world is short on free hydrogen and unfortunately, to make up for this shortage, the world uses fossil fuels to produce hydrogen gas. We are developing a cleaner and greener way to produce this high value product. HyperSolar's hydrogen is completely carbon free, made by using the power of the Sun and wastewater. Not only are we mitigating the high cost of wastewater treatment, but we are creating the ultimate clean fuel."

In addition to the many industrial uses of hydrogen, one of the most intriguing uses is for fuel cells for transportation. A fuel cell is a device that converts the chemical energy from a fuel into electricity through a chemical reaction with oxygen or another oxidizing agent, using hydrogen as the most common fuel. Although there are currently no fuel cell vehicles available for commercial sale, carmakers are hopeful that hydrogen fuel cells and infrastructure technologies will be developed in the future.

Young concluded, "Our method of producing hydrogen could be the missing link for fuel cells of the future. If hydrogen is meant to be the ultimate fuel that will enable a clean energy future with zero carbon emissions, then its production must also be zero carbon. Powering cars with fossil fuel based hydrogen is not sustainable, not renewable and not much cleaner than today's fuels. We believe our low cost zero carbon hydrogen is the right way to realize a true hydrogen economy."

About HyperSolar, Inc.

HyperSolar is developing a breakthrough technology to produce renewable hydrogen and natural gas using sunlight, water and carbon dioxide. These renewable gases can be used as direct replacements for traditional hydrogen and natural gas to power the world, without drilling or fracking, while mitigating CO2 emissions. Inspired by photosynthesis that plants use to effortlessly harness the power of the Sun, we are developing a novel solar-powered nanoparticle system that mimics photosynthesis to produce renewable hydrogen from water. This hydrogen can then be reacted with carbon dioxide in a proprietary low cost reactor to produce methane, the primary component in pipeline natural gas. From sunrise to sunset, our proprietary nanoparticles will work in a water based solution to produce clean and environmentally friendly renewable hydrogen and natural gas that can be collected for use in power plants, industrial plants and vehicles - anywhere and anytime. To learn more about HyperSolar, please visit our website at http://www.HyperSolar.com .


January 24, 2012
(view original article)

Auto show focuses on fuel efficiency

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The latest in advanced fuel technology is on display in Silicon Valley. Car manufacturers are making big investments to improve fuel efficiency and make the cars better for the environment.

 

The one-day event at Club Auto Sport is called "Future Cars, Future Technology." On Tuesday, there was a panel discussion going on, but the real stars of the show were on the lot.

The buzz at this auto show is not how fast a car can go, but how far, on a single charge or tank. Right now there is no one technology winning the race for fuel efficiency.

"Automobile manufactures like Toyota are exploring any number of alternative propulsion systems including hybrid fuel cell and electric cars," said Michael Dobrin from Toyota.

The advanced technologies are now becoming more familiar -- there's all electric, hybrid and even a natural gas vehicle by Honda. It uses a domestic fuel source and burns 25 percent cleaner than gas. Mercedes is offering up a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle. You can only get it in Los Angeles where there are fueling stations and it's only for lease, not sale.

"The price for this vehicle is $849 a month and that includes your maintenance, it includes unlimited fueling and it also includes insurance," said Diedra Wylie from Mercedes Benz.

Every manufacturer will tell you they are using cutting-edge ideas to improve gas efficiency, such as reducing the weight of a car, but many consumers doubt if the cars of the future will meet much talked about federal standards of 54.5 miles a gallon by 2025.

"I think they're dreaming... No, defiantly not realistic," said Armand Labrucherie of Morgan Hill.

Those inside the auto industry say the goal might be possible, but it will be a push.

"We have simulations going today that show we can get there, but it's really optimizing everything within a vehicle," said Chris Cowland from Chrysler.

Car makers say without a clear winner in fuel efficiency, the race now is to perfect a number of different technologies.

"In the end, the customers will win out because they will get a lot of choice, better fuel economy and in the end it will benefit the environment," said Jessica Fini from Honda.

The research of course does add to the cost of a vehicle, but whether it's lithium ion batteries, or hydrogen fuel cells, the more this technology is adopted, the less expensive it becomes.


January 25, 2012
(view original article)

Council backs major hydrogen transport project

Aberdeen city councillors have unanimously agreed to support a multi-million pound European project to introduce hydrogen buses in the North-east.

The expectation is that the Strategic European Hydrogen Transport Projects will stimulate further innovative hydrogen technology projects and high-level investment in the area, realising Aberdeen's aspiration of becoming a world-leading hydrogen city.

The project will see the first hydrogen bus deployment in Scotland, with up to a dozen buses operating in the North-east. The fleet, which will operate on routes into central Aberdeen, will be the largest in any European city.

The buses will be refuelled at Scotland's first large hydrogen refuelling station which will supply locally generated gas and be able to refuel hydrogen-powered cars as they become available.

The city council has secured £9.2million of EU funding towards the projects, has committed to contribute £2million over four years and will secure a further £9.3million of funding from project partners.

At a meeting of the Full Council, councillors approved the authority's participation in the High V.Lo City, HyTransit, HyTrEc and LOWCAP cluster projects, subject to securing 90% of additional funding from external partners.

The projects will bring 12 hydrogen buses and a hydrogen filling station to the North-east, initially securing approximately £20.5million of investment to Aberdeen, with the potential for considerable investment and development opportunities in the field.

The strategic projects provide the opportunity to create new industry and greater choice in energy production and usage, as well as enabling the development of a hydrogen strategy for the Energetica Development Corridor.

The use of hydrogen as a transport fuel offers great promise as a key component of a low carbon energy system. Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles emit no harmful emissions, are considerably more efficient than the fossil-fuelled equivalents and are virtually noise free.

As well as the benefits to the transport sector, hydrogen has a potentially vital role in the broader energy storage system – if it is generated from intermittent renewable electricity sources, such as wind turbines, it can be stored indefinitely and used for a variety of purposes including as a transport fuel, injection into the natural gas grid and used to generate electricity at times of peak demand.

The projects and the further opportunities they bring will widen Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire's capabilities in the energy sector and contribute towards its evolution into a true all-energy centre of excellence.

Enterprise, Planning and Infrastructure vice-convener John Corall said: "This will act as a catalyst for major new technology.

"London and Copenhagen have hydrogen buses and taxis, but we have the skills expertise in Aberdeen that neither of these cities have. That makes Aberdeen ideally placed to really grasp this exciting, evolving new side to the energy industry and really cement our place as a world energy hub on the renewables front as well as in the more traditional oil and gas sector."


January 26, 2012
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Innovative fuel cell system developed by Runcorn firm ACAl Energy passes testing

A RUNCORN fuel cell firm has completed a rigorous testing programme designed to evaluate the durability of its new FlowCath technology.

ACAL Energy, based at the Heath Business and Technical Park, has revealed its platinum-free liquid cathode system eliminates many of the causes of lost performance in both continuous operation and in auto-cycling.

The ACAL system replaces an expensive precious metal catalyst in conventional fuel cells with a low-cost liquid catalyst, which reduces operating cost and improves durability and reliability.

Fuel cells are clean energy electro-chemical systems that convert chemical energy into electrical power and are capable of replacing combustion engines in a range of applications, from automotive to mobile power systems.

According to the firm, the system is capable of producing 3kW of gross electrical power and will provide power to a remote environmental monitoring system located at the facility.

ACAL says that fuel cell systems utilising FlowCath offer a clean and economic alternative to traditional fossil fuel generators in stationary and transportation applications requiring between 1-200kW of electrical power.

The announcement follows the launch of a new Government-backed initiative called UKH2Mobility that will evaluate the potential for hydrogen as a fuel for ultra low carbon vehicles in the UK, and develop an action plan for an anticipated roll-out to consumers in 2014.

Amanda Lyne, vice president of strategic business development at ACAL, said: “This is probably the most significant and valuable feature of our technology.

“Early volume sales of fuel cell vehicles will mean that great pressure will be put on OEMs to reduce manufacturing costs.

“By inherently avoiding many of the durability issues seen in conventional technology, using our FlowCath system we can improve the economic picture significantly and speed up the mass deployment of H2FC vehicles.”


January 26, 2012
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Want better EV range? Hitch it to a fuel cell

Oorja Protonics' fuel cell power packs attach to a battery-powered forklift to provide energy to the batteries and extend their operating time.

Startup Oorja Protonics has dodged some of the traditional barriers to fuel cell vehicles, at least with forklifts. In the future, its hybrid approach could be used on cars and trucks, too.

The Fremont, Calif.-based company is in the process of raising funding from corporate partners to ramp up production of its product. The venture-backed company is also profitable, something that few other fuel cell companies can claim.

Rather than use hydrogen as a fuel, Oorja Protonics converts the liquid fuel methanol into electricity in fuel cells. And its onboard fuel cells are designed only to provide a trickle charge to forklifts' batteries, rather than power the vehicle on their own.

The company has sold about 500 power packs at 12 sites at a price that offers a payback between several months to under three years, said CEO Sanjiv Malhotra. Rather than forcing workers to recharge batteries a few times a day, the methanol fuel cells, which are about the size of two desktop computers, allow operators to go for 14 to 16 hours. The company also provides methanol refueling pumps to warehouses, which are similar to gasoline filling stations.

"Fuel cells are very good for steady power. We have a hybrid approach where the battery provides the peak power requirements and the fuel cell can be a steady energy supply on board," Malhotra said. The company was able to achieve a jump in efficiency compared to other methanol fuel cells by improving the catalyst and membrane technology, he said.

Using the OorjaPac fuel cell is less polluting than charging batteries from the grid and has operational benefits, such as longer battery life and less time spent recharging batteries, he said. More stringent laws are making propane-run forklifts less common indoors, he added.

The company is now in discussions to create a "range extender" for electric vehicles that will lower the unit costs of its fuel cells, Malhotra said. Using the same hybrid approach, the methanol fuel cell will provide energy to ensure that batteries have sufficient charge to run. The Chevy Volt and Fisker Karma are two electric vehicles that use a gasoline generator to sustain battery charge.

One of the perennial challenges of fuel cells is the lack of infrastructure for distributing fuels. For forklift applications, there are companies that can refill Oorja's fueling stations with methanol. In the auto market, Malhotra envisions that its fuel cell battery-powered vehicle would appeal to fleet operators, such as airport operators, willing to invest in on-site filling stations.

There are other technical approaches to using fuel cells as a generator or EV range extender. Researchers at the University of Maryland are developing vehicle fuel cells that can convert traditional fuels, such as gasoline or natural gas, into hydrogen to produce electricity for a battery.


January 26, 2012
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GreenGT's electric/hydrogen prototype ready for La Sarthe test

L’équipe de GreenGT prepares for June test of unique electric prototype

L’équipe de GreenGT is ready to show its new baby, the GreenGT H2, to the world when the first-ever electric/hydrogen sportscar prototype will take to the La Sarthe circuit on June 3rd for the 24 Hours of Le Mans 2012 test.

Last year at the crown jewel of sportscar endurance race, the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO) made the announcement that the “Le Mans vers le Futur” would be in place for the 2012 season. On hand for the “Le Mans Towards the Future” was a vehicle demonstration including GreenGT’s 300 kW racer.

After turning laps around the famous circuit in France, the Swiss manufacturer accepted the invitation for the 2012 24 Hours of Le Mans which will kick off with the test day. The new prototype will be classified by the ACO in the new LMP H2 class.

The innovative company, L’équipe de GreenGT, was founded in 2008. Former racer Jean-François Weber is the main leader of the team developed an electric propulsion system designed for competition cars in 2005. Per their press release, “The GreenGT LMP H2 will have 12 kg of hydrogen in 700 bar high-pressure tanks on board. Hydrogen can be produced by solar energy. When hydrogen is fed to a fuel cell, it combines with the ambient oxygen to produce electricity and only steam is released into the atmosphere. Racing with hydrogen is fully carbon neutral.”

Christian Pescatori, the 2000 FIA Sportscar champion, is the one who has been the development driver for the new prototype. The Italian has race at the famed La Sarthe circuit six times with a best finish twice of second place and he won the Twelve Hours of Sebring in 2002 with Rinaldo Capello and Johnny Herbert behind the wheel of the Audi R8.

The new car, known as the H2, is ready to contest as an experimental prototype (LMP H2) the historic event.


January 26, 2012
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Berkeley Lab to develop novel materials for hydrogen storage

The biggest challenge with hydrogen-powered fuel cells lies in the storage of hydrogen: how to store enough of it, in a safe and cost-effective manner, to power a vehicle for 300 miles? Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is aiming to solve this problem by synthesizing novel materials with high hydrogen adsorption capacities.

The U.S. Department of Energy recently awarded Berkeley Lab a three-year, $2.1 million grant for the project, which will also include contributions by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and General Motors (GM). The grant was part of more than $7 million awarded by DOE last month for hydrogen storage technologies in fuel cell electric vehicles.

"We're working on materials called metal-organic frameworks to increase the capacity of hydrogen gas in a pressure cylinder, which would be the fuel tank," said Jeffrey Long, a Berkeley Lab scientist who co-leads the project along with Berkeley Lab chemist Martin Head-Gordon. "With these materials, we're working on storing the hydrogen without the use of very high pressures, which will be safer and also more efficient without the significant compression energy losses."

Berkeley Lab scientist Jeffrey Long co-leads a project to develop novel materials for hydrogen storage.

Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) are three-dimensional sponge-like framework structures that are composed primarily of carbon atoms and are extremely lightweight. "What's very special about these materials is that you can use synthetic chemistry to modify the surfaces within the materials and make it attractive for hydrogen to stick on the surface," Long explained.

Separately, Long is also using MOFs in a carbon capture project, in which the material would selectively absorb carbon dioxide over nitrogen. For the fuel cell project, the trick lies not in getting the MOF to select hydrogen out of a mixture but to store as much hydrogen as possible.

Currently, vehicles using hydrogen fuel cells can achieve a range of close to 300 miles—but only if the hydrogen is stored at extremely high pressures (600 to 700 bar), which is expensive and potentially unsafe. It is also energy intensive to pressurize the hydrogen.

So far Long has succeeded in more than doubling hydrogen capacity, but only at very low temperatures (around 77 Kelvin, or -321 Fahrenheit). "It's still very much basic research on how to create revolutionary new materials that would boost the capacity by a factor of four or five at room temperature," he said. "We have an idea of what kinds of frameworks we might make to do this."

Long's approach is to create frameworks with lightweight metal sites on the surface, making it attractive for hydrogen molecules to bind to the sites. "Our approach has been to make some of the first metal-organic frameworks that have exposed metal cations on the surface," he said. "Now we need to figure out ways of synthesizing the materials so that instead of one hydrogen molecule we can get two or three or even four hydrogen molecules per metal site. Nobody's done that."

This is where Head-Gordon, a computational chemist, comes in. He will work on theoretical understanding of MOFs so that he can try to predict their hydrogen storage properties and then instruct Long's team as to what kind of material to synthesize. "He can do calculations on a lot of different target structures and say, here's the best one for you guys to spend time trying to make, because synthetic chemistry is very cost and labor intensive," Long said.

The scientist at GM will aid in providing accurate high-pressure measurements. The NIST scientist is an expert in neutron diffraction and neutron spectroscopy, which will allow Long and his team to pinpoint where exactly the hydrogen is going and verify that it is binding to the metals.


January 27, 2012
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Hydrogenics Awarded Contract by US Hybrid Corporation to Deliver Five HyPM(TM)HD Series Power Modules for Heavy Duty Mobility

MISSISSAUGA, Ontario -- Hydrogenics Corporation, a leading developer and manufacturer of hydrogen generation and fuel cell products, today announced that the Company has received orders, for the delivery of five new generation HyPM(TM)HD Series Fuel Cell Power Modules from US Hybrid of Torrance, California. US Hybrid specializes in the design and manufacture of power conversion systems for medium and heavy duty electric, hybrid and fuel cell commercial buses and trucks. The power modules will be used in a dump truck, a step van and several buses. The vehicles are part of a government funded program managed by the High Technology Development Corporation's Hawaii Center for Advanced Transportation Technologies and will be deployed for a variety of end users in Hawaii.

This sale establishes the first order of the new generation of HyPM(TM) HD series product which was formally launched in November 2011 at the Fuel Cell Seminar in Orlando, Florida.

"We were delighted by the market response to the launch of our high power range of HD product last year and are very pleased to have received this order. High power density, minimal footprint and ease of integration make the HD series an excellent fit for bus and heavy mobility applications," said Daryl Wilson, Hydrogenics President and Chief Executive Officer.

ABOUT HYDROGENICS

Hydrogenics Corporation ( www.hydrogenics.com ) is a globally recognized developer and provider of hydrogen generation and fuel cell products and services, serving the growing industrial and clean energy markets of today and tomorrow. Based in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, Hydrogenics has operations in North America and Europe.


January 27, 2012
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Fuel Cells on the LEEDing Edge

Fuel cells have been around since the invention of the first bicycle. Now, the training wheels are off—and businesses are saving money and applying to earn LEED credits with fuel cells.

Getting credit for an amazing innovation isn’t always an easy task -- just ask the Winklevoss twins. But for organizations that have gone the extra mile to help the environment, the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Rating System is a great way to showcase their environmental credentials.
 
As a previous post pointed out, everything from low-flow faucets and bike racks to recycled carpeting and daylight harvesting can help organizations qualify for LEED credits under the U.S. Green Building rating scheme. Quite the list, but did you know that a system as small as your average refrigerator could also make a huge contribution?
 
The system I am talking about is a stationary fuel cell system. While fuel cells have been around since the invention of the modern bicycle, commercial adoption is rapidly increasing, with high-profile customers and use cases as broad as the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, Whole Foods, residences and high schools. In fact, with this momentum and some of the impressive technologies available today, many are betting on fuel cells, evidenced by U.S. Department of Energy grants and major new funding from U.S. and international utilities.

Experts such as Dr. Kerry-Ann Adamson, research director at Pike Research, agree. According to Dr. Adamson, “the stationary fuel cell prime power market is experiencing rapid growth.” More and more companies are offering commercial products, and “commercial adopters are demonstrating increased interest.”
 
The ABCs of Applying Fuel Cells for LEED Credits
 
Fuel cells require hydrogen to drive an electrochemical process. Many commercially available fuel cells use natural gas as their source of hydrogen, and there are a few different ways to leverage natural gas-powered fuel cells in an application for LEED credits.

The most common way to leverage natural gas is to connect fuel cells directly to the utility grid, just as you would plug in your conventional gas oven. Since natural gas prices are far lower than the commensurate cost of electricity, particularly when incorporating tariff contracts from local utilities, you can demonstrate significant energy cost savings to apply for LEED credit EA 1. Calculate these cost savings by using Appendix G of ANSI/ASHRAE/IESSNA Standard 90.1-2007 to generate a computer simulation of the hourly energy consumption in comparison to the aforementioned tariffs.

Biogas, natural gas derived from landfill gas or agricultural wastes, allows fuel cells to be counted as “renewable” for the purposes of LEED credits EA 1 and EA 2. In addition to generating power from methane gas, they also reduce harmful emissions in the process, accelerating the potential rate of LEED credits that can be earned.

Directed biogas, which is biogas cleaned and certified to acceptable levels, can also be fed into the natural gas pipelines to provide the “renewable energy” for these LEED credits. Given the high levels of power production from fuel cells, this option can also speed the potential attainment rate of LEED credits.

Just as “Made in the U.S.A.” appears on clothing labels, provenance is critical for biogas: to be considered as a building using renewable energy when biogas is the fuel source, there needs to be the ability to trace the gas directly to the building using it.

Match Your Energy Needs

Since fuel cells come in different sizes, there are many options to meet various business demands. On the high end, big businesses that require hundreds of kilowatts of power, like large factories, distribution centers and manufacturing plants, can leverage distributed power system from FuelCellEnergy, Bloom Energy and UTC Power. With each roughly the size of a car parking space, these fuel cells use natural gas and biofuel to distribute power, offering an eco-friendly and less costly alternative to the energy grid.

Smaller businesses, particularly those with needs for both heat and power, can also take advantage of continuous onsite power systems similar to those that we produce at ClearEdge Power. Businesses like schools, hotels, health clubs and restaurants can reduce energy costs significantly with distributed-generation power refrigerator-sized units, helping make the case for LEED credits.

Part of the Bigger Puzzle

Not only are fuel cells able to provide a continuous source of distributed energy, but when paired with solar and wind technologies, their value proposition really shines. For buildings with solar photovoltaic panels already installed, fuel cells can provide additional energy (and often heat) that is unrelated to the weather forecast.

If you are looking to increase your independence from the aging grid, lower energy costs and support your sustainable business practices, fuel cells are an attractive option to add to your green credit toolbox.


January 27, 2012
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California Orders Automakers To Sell More Plug-In and Fuel-Cell Cars

California regulators voted to mandate major automakers substantially increase the numbers of electric, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell-powered models in their fleets in the coming years, eventually accounting for 15.4 percent of all vehicles sold in the state by 2025.

The new standard is part of a broader package of regulations to cut vehicle tailpipe emissions and greenhouse cases and could mean 1.4 million electric, fuel cell and plug-in hybrid cars on California freeways by 2025. That will make for some congested carpool lanes. It’s said to reduce tailpipe emissions 75 percent by 2025 and greenhouse gases 34 percent between 2015 and 2025.

This would seem to be an optimistic goal, given the lukewarm sales of standard hybrids, even with gasoline at its current inflated per-gallon prices. Pure electric cars and plug-in hybrids are just now testing the waters in limited numbers and are yet to be ready for prime time. As it is we’d guess the daily commute of the average southern California car owner would sorely test an electric car’s range. And mainstream hydrogen cars are still the 20 years away they’ve been for, well, the last 20 years.

Still, Automotive News says the measure is supported by major automakers, and we wouldn’t be surprised if it includes some kind of financial incentives when implemented to ensure all those clean-buring cars don’t sit unsold on dealers’ lots. Automakers affected by the new rule would include BMW, Chrysler, General Motors, Daimler, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, Toyota and Volkswagen.

What’s more, ten other states that already follow California’s current auto-emissions regulations, including New York and New Jersey, could adopt similar mandates.

We’d like to think this is just the jump-start the industry needs to spark further development of electric and fuel cell-powered cars and build an infrastructure of quick-charging stations and hydrogen pumps across the U.S. Or it could be yet another speed bump in the road paved by well-intentioned legislators who some worry will only serve to mandate car buyers’ choices.


January 27, 2012
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Ballard Signs MOU With Tata Motors To Power Clean Fuel Cell Bus Demonstrations In India

VANCOUVER, CANADA – Ballard Power Systems has announced signing of a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Tata Motors (India) for 12 FCvelocityTM-1100 fuel cell stacks. These stacks are expected to power zero-emission buses planned for demonstration in various Indian cities. Delivery to Tata Motors is planned for 2012 and 2013, in-line with that Company’s plans.

Tata Motors, one of the world’s largest bus OEM’s, displayed the first fuel cell bus built in India at “Auto Expo 2012” held in New Delhi January 6-11, 2012. The bus is powered with a Ballard FCvelocityTM-1100 fuel cell stack, previously delivered to Tata Motors in 2011.

Mr. P.M. Telang, Managing Director (India Operations) at Tata Motors said, “We strive to be leaders in the use of technology, while maintaining very high standards of product quality. Working with technology companies such as Ballard only strengthens our ability to design and market the wheels of a greener world here in India.”

Tata Motors is part of the Tata Group, a pioneer in India’s automotive industry, and has previous bus system integration experience working with Ballard fuel cell products. Tata Motors’ plan to supply fuel cell buses for testing and demonstration in revenue service is supported by the Government of India’s Department of Scientific and Industrial Research under the Technology Development & Demonstration Programme.

John Sheridan, Ballard’s President and CEO said, “We are very pleased to have signed this MOU with India’s premier bus manufacturer for Tata’s upcoming zero-emission bus testing program. This is additional validation of the mature state of our products and of the growing global market for clean energy transit buses.”

Ballard FCvelocityTM-1100 fuel cell stacks are based on a design that is ideal for use in heavy duty vehicles. FCvelocityTM-1100 fuel cell stack technology is at the heart of the Company’s FCvelocityTM-HD6 fuel cell module, a “plug and play” power solution used by bus OEM’s around the world.

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

This release contains forward-looking statements concerning market adoption for our products.  These forward-looking statements reflect Ballard’s current expectations as contemplated under section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Any such forward-looking statements are based on Ballard’s assumptions relating to its financial forecasts and expectations regarding its product development efforts, manufacturing capacity, and market demand.

These statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause Ballard’s actual results to be materially different, including general economic and regulatory changes, detrimental reliance on third parties, successfully achieving our business plans and achieving and sustaining profitability. For a detailed discussion of these and other risk factors that could affect Ballard’s future performance, please refer to Ballard’s most recent Annual Information Form. Readers should not place undue reliance on Ballard’s forward-looking statements and Ballard assumes no obligation to update or release any revisions to these forward looking statements, other than as required under applicable legislation.

Further Information

Public Relations: Guy McAree, +1.604.412.7919, media@ballard.com

Investor Relations: Lori Rozali, +1.604.412.3195, investors@ballard.com


January 29, 2012
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Long Island Town Pioneers Closed-Loop, Pollution-Free Wind Power-Hydrogen Fuel System

Outside of New York City on Long Island, the town of Hempstead is the site for a small, though novel, experiment in closed-loop clean energy production, storage, and use. There, a 100-kilowatt (kW) “state-of-the-art” wind turbine is being used to generate electricity sufficient to produce hydrogen gas that’s being used to fuel the town’s fuel cell vehicles, the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) reports.

The entire closed-loop system is 100% pollution-free and could serve as a model for public-private partnerships in general, as well as for similar 100%-clean-energy installations to come. Working with Hempstead Town, the project is a joint effort by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the Sustainability Institute at Molloy College, the New York Institute of Technology, Wilke Engineering, the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), Northern Power Systems, National Grid, Proton Energy Systems, the Point Lookout and Lido Beach Civic Associations, and the Point Lookout-Lido Fire Dept.

Located near the coast, steady winds off the Atlantic provide the energy for a 121-foot Northern Power Systems’ wind turbine capable of operating almost continuously and generating up to 180-megawatts (MW) of electrical power a year. The electricity is used to split hydrogen from water as a gas, which is stored and then dispensed from Long Island’s only hydrogen refueling station at Hempstead’s Conservation and Waterways Dept. in Pt. Lookout.

DOE Grant Powers Public-Private Sector Initiatives

Air Products is providing the hydrogen production and storage technology. The hydrogen fuel will be used by the town’s Toyota fuel-cell vehicles and a fuel-cell bus, a fleet that the town’s leaders are now looking to expand.

The clean, renewable hydrogen fuel and electrical power the system produces is expected to save LIPA customers an estimated $40,000. Actual savings will vary based on the town utility’s variable rate structure. The electrical energy surplus to hydrogen production needs will be fed into LIPA’s grid, which is operated under contract by National Grid.

“By utilizing the great wind resource in Long Island, the Northern Power 100 wind turbine will help provide real cost savings, emissions reductions and energy security to the Town of Hempstead,” Brett Pingree, sales and marketing VP for Northern Power Systems, commented. “It makes perfect sense that a forward-thinking municipality would be the one to lead by example as we all plan for our evolving energy future.”

Hempstead applied for and received a $4.6-million grant from the Dept. of Energy (DOE) to fund the project. Installing the wind turbine cost $615,000, while Town personnel performed some $150,000 worth of electrical and marine bulkheading. according to IREC’s report.

Applauding the efforts of the local government leaders who spearheaded the project, LIPA COO Michael D. Hervey was quoted as saying, “Kate Murray and the Town of Hempstead are true Long Island leaders in advancing the use of solar and wind into Long Island’s energy portfolio.
“LIPA was happy to provide technical assistance with this project, and remains committed to working with our residents, local governments, businesses, and community leaders to promote and invest in energy efficiency and renewable technologies through our nationally recognized solar, wind and Efficiency Long Island programs, which help to improve our environment and accelerate the clean energy economy.”

Building a Clean Energy Community

Hempstead’s moving forward across multiple clean energy and energy conservation fronts, IREC notes. In addition to the wind-electricity-hydrogen system, the town’s investing the DOE grant money to construct a 60-kW solar field, two solar trackers, a solar PV carport and a geothermal energy project, all of which are located at its Conservation and Waterways facility. EmPower Solar is the private sector provider for the solar PV system.

The DOE grant flows through its Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant Program. Recipients of block grants, such as Hempstead, “are deploying innovative clean energy products and services and helping families, businesses and governments reduce energy waste,” the Program Lead for the U.S. DOE program was quoted as saying. “This project can serve as a model for other local governments that want to use renewable energy sources to reduce the need to buy gas and diesel fuel and save money in the process.”

The awarding of the grant has enabled Hempstead to fund clean-energy and energy-conservation projects while keeping a lid on local taxes. The town has put a freeze on tax increases for 2012, the IREC report notes.


January 29, 2012
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Fuel economy, alternative fuel cars dominate auto show talks

D.C. is no Detroit, meaning the nation’s capital is not typically the place where new car models are unveiled. But being near the seat of power helps frame the Washington Auto Show, which runs through Sunday, as the best place to hash out the fine points of government policy.

“We’ve had an unparalleled opportunity to construct a platform for the industry to get together and have critically important conversations about where we’re headed,” said Gerard Murphy, president of the Washington Area New Automobile Dealers Association, the auto show sponsor. “It’s an opportunity to vet a lot of what’s in the pipeline of lawmakers and regulators.”

Before kicking off the 10-day show, organizers held two days’ worth of meetings with auto and government officials to discuss some of the issues at hand.

Fuel economy standards

Dealers and manufacturers are uneasy about the Obama administration’s proposal to raise fuel efficiency standards for new cars and trucks to 54.5 miles per gallon from 35.4 by 2025. Critics say the effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions could limit growth of new sales by making vehicles too expensive.

“Automakers must continue to work with lawmakers to bring affordable advanced technology to the market,” said Michael Stanton, president and chief executive of Global Automakers, which represents 15 international auto manufacturers. “Our members are investing in the technologies to cut back on emissions, but the proposed standards don’t match the reality of the market.”

While Stanton favors the long lead time built into the proposal, he said the government must assess the pace of technology advances, fuel costs and consumer acceptance at the halfway point of the deadline.

The Environmental Protection Agency and the National Highway Traffic Administration are holding hearings on the proposal, with the final rules anticipated to take effect by the end of this summer.

Alternative fuel cars

“We have to wean ourselves off our dependence of foreign oil and look for legitimate alternative fuel sources, whether its electricity, hydrogen cells or some combination of gas and electric,” said Robert Fogarty, chairman of the Washington Auto Show.

Hybrids and electric cars continue to dominate the conversation around fuel efficiency, but panelists at the show’s policy summit, held last Wednesday at the Cannon Building on Capitol Hill, agreed that cars powered by hydrogen fuel cells deserved more government support.

Stanton said the technology for fuel cells is “coming along rapidly,” but a vast network of refueling stations is needed. Storing the highly explosive hydrogen is a challenge, but one Stanton said could be overcome with the government working with industry on a solution.

Toyota Motor North America’s Chief Communications Officer James Wiseman said the company expects to have a fuel-cell vehicle ready by 2015. “Currently there is no infrastructure for fuel cells, but we are all working on it,” he said. “But that is the trick with the government. The difficult part is picking where you make your investment.”


January 29, 2012
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Where’s the Hydrogen Economy? (Find It In Distributed Power.)

It wasn’t too many year’s ago that many thought the U.S., and perhaps the world, was on track to be fueled by hydrogen. Hydrogen and fuel cells seemed a suitable replacement for petroleum fuels and internal combustion engines. Hydrogen packs plenty of energy. Cars and trucks would have the same get-up and go as running on gasoline or diesel fuel. With big enough tanks, fuel cell powered vehicles would have the same range per fill-up as conventional vehicles, but could also have unlimited range with hydrogen dispensed from pumps in a network of filling stations. And, big oil would be more than happy to provide hydrogen keeping them in fueling business.

It all sounded pretty good until reality and other technologies struck.

--- A hydrogen economy would have needed its own expensive fueling infrastructure. Think hundreds of billions of dollars to build it. Who would pay? Big oil wouldn’t do it without government help but government wasn’t all that interested.

--- Hydrogen is everywhere but has to be extracted. The cheapest way to get hydrogen was (and still is today) from natural gas, so the notion that fuel cell vehicles produced only water, well, vaporized. Extracting hydrogen from natural gas takes energy, plus when hydrogen is removed from natural gas the remainder is carbon dioxide (and an few other things) exactly what was trying to be avoided.

--- Other clean vehicle technologies picked up steam. Gasoline and diesel-electric hybrids gained popular acceptance. Lithium-ion batteries suddenly got much better thanks to the computer industry. Nearly as quickly as batteries improved, battery-electric vehicles poised to stage a comeback. (Battery electric vehicles had gotten shoved aside by the flirtation with a hydrogen economy.)

--- The economic crash of 2007-2008 didn’t help hydrogen commercialization and research.

But all this doesn’t mean a hydrogen economy isn’t possible. Some automakers are still toying with hydrogen fuel cells feeling that research and development on all technologies is justified in case one fails to catch on. Even without autos, a hydrogen economy may begin along another route, not with transportation but with fuel cells for stationary distributed power applications, and even better, fuel cells that offer combined heat and power.

Stationary fuel cells have fewer of the hurdles to leap compared to mobile devices. Weight and size of the machines isn’t much of an issue. Unlike those in cars they can be big and hefty, after all they’re not going anywhere. And, a new refueling infrastructure isn’t needed. Stationary machines can run on piped-in natural gas reformed on the spot to extract hydrogen. In much of the developed world the natural gas network is already in place.

True, there are carbon emissions when natural gas is the hydrogen source, but because of the high efficiency of fuel cells carbon emissions are considerably reduced compared with conventional power: A reduction by one half is usually quoted. Combined heat and power fuel cells with really high operating efficiencies reduce carbon emissions even further, much further. One company, Ceramic Fuel Cells Limited of Australia says that its BlueGen fuel cells have an electrical efficiency of 60 percent, making hot water at the same time jumps total efficiency up to 85 percent.

The high efficiency of distributed power fuel cells operating on natural gas would further extend natural gas supplies while cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Further, since biogas is mostly methane, as is natural gas, it can also be used in fuel cells reducing or neutralizing carbon emissions.

What makes fuel cells better than other distributed generation sources, such as solar or conventional combustion-engine generators, diesel for example.

The solar answer is easy. Fuel cells could provide power 24/7, something solar can’t do for obvious reasons. (Darkness.) But fuel cells could also be reversed to make hydrogen using solar generated electricity thus storing the Sun’s energy for after hours.

Fuel cells are more efficient machines than combustion engines. So for those desiring to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions fuel cells are a good choice. Conventional diesel engines might convert fuel to mechanical energy energy at over 45 percent efficiency, which is pretty good, but 60 percent is better. In terms of exhaust even the best combustion still release noxious emissions like carbon monoxide. In terms of noise, nearly quiet fuel cells win hands down.

(A note here though: Combustion engines are improving too. There are new designs for engines in development that may rival fuel cells in efficiency, exhaust and noise.)

The ability of fuel cells to provide thermal energy, heat and hot water, should not be ignored. For many commercial, industrial and domestic applications, thermal energy is a big deal. Where would hotels, restaurants and food processing operations be without hot water? In a home or business in a cold climate, heat and hot water are as important as turning on the lights.

As with all distributed power there’s independence from grid. Independence means not just eliminating concerns about the fuel powering the grid, such as coal, but also about the reliability and quality of power. For highly computerized 24/7 operations, for example, a constant even flow of electricity is a must. The quality of power can be managed better when companies make it themselves. Added up, cutting emissions, supplying heat and power at the same time, and providing reliable quality power may offer a compelling reasons to invest in fuel cells.

And, of course, where cutting carbon emissions are under mandate, such as in the EU, fuel cells are on the list as options for their efficiency and low carbon footprint.

And it’s Europe where these two fuel cell deals were inked:

In Germany, sanevo blue energy has secured customers for its first order off 100 BlueGen fuel cell combined heat and power systems from Ceramic Fuel Cells, of Australia. After only six weeks of marketing sanevo (small “s” is correct) received commitments from public utilities in six German states as well as commercial and residential customers. To be delivered and installed over the next six months, sanevo will provide integration with hot water systems and include three or ten year full-service contract that include maintenance and support services. sanevo has a target minimum of delivery of 500 BlueGen units in its second year and 2000 units in years three and four.

As noted above the BlueGen units have an electrical efficiency of 60 percent, with hot water put to work overall efficiency goes up to 85 percent. Each unit is the size of a washing machine and can produce over 13000 kwh of electricity per year and up to 200 liters (52 gallons) of hot water per day. BlueGen units utilize solid oxide fuel cells and have a flexible electricity output from 0 to 2 kW.

In Austria, Gussing Renewable Energy, a provider of carbon-neutral energy solutions, has selected ClearEdge systems, of the US, to achieve its goal of producing 50 megawatts (MW) of clean distributed energy generation from fuel cells in the Republic of Austria by 2020. In the first phase of a multiphase $500 million agreement, one of the largest ever signed in the stationary fuel cell industry, ClearEdge Power will deliver 8.5 MW of clean energy over the next 36 months.

Headquartered in the Austrian town of Gussing, the first community in the European Union to produce 100 percent of its energy from renewable resources, Gussing Renewable Energy offers customizable and instantly usable carbon-neutral solutions that help communities produce clean, reliable energy. These solutions include proven anaerobic technology that can convert organic mass into high-purity biogas that can be used to cleanly and cost-effectively generate electric power and heat in fuel cells like the ClearEdge systems.

Under the agreement with ClearEdge Power, Gussing Renewable Energy has agreed to sell, install and service ClearEdge systems in Austria and also has the opportunity to foster adoption within Western European markets. The agreement builds on Gussing Renewable Energy’s participation in the recent ClearEdge Power Series E financing round and is designed to support the installation of 8.5 MW of fuel cell systems in Austria over the next 36 months, which will then rise to 50 MW by 2020.

ClearEdge units are about the size of a refrigerator, can provide as much as 5 kilowatts of power and hot water up to 150 degrees F.

Fuel cell generators from both companies could provide back-up and overnight energy for solar electric and solar hot water systems.

A hydrogen economy that started with stationary distributed power would be a good way to perfect fuel cell technology and bring costs down. If battery powered cars and trucks don’t make it, fuel cells could make a comeback for transporation.


January 30, 2012
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Swisscom Installs Fuel Cell Back-Up Power from FutureE

Leading Swiss telecommunications group Swisscom has employed two Jupiter fuel cell systems from FutureE as emergency back-up power for telecoms base stations. The PEMFC systems have been installed at stations in Lucerne and Davos; the latter was used to ensure reliable mobile/cellular phone service at the World Economic Forum in Davos from 25 to 29 January 2012.

Efficient back-up power for base stations is of fundamental importance to mobile phone service providers. For Swisscom, the attraction of fuel cell technology lies in its reliability, low maintenance requirement and reduced operating costs. The back-up power can also be used to reduce peak loads if required.

Many base stations are located in environmentally sensitive regions and are exposed to extreme conditions; the compatibility of fuel cells with these conditions counts heavily in their favour. Before being put into service, the systems were intensively tested to ensure proper functioning at altitudes over 2,200 m, temperatures as low as –25°C and with exposure to ice and snow. Having successfully passed these test runs, the two installed systems are now being used by Swisscom for a comprehensive evaluation of fuel cell technology under regular operating conditions with a view to implementing an efficient low-carbon power supply structure in the future.

FutureE Fuel Cell Solutions GmbH, based in Nürtingen, Germany, has developed advanced stationary fuel cell systems for the telecommunications sector. The Jupiter systems used by Swisscom are a new variant with super-condensers for energy storage. They each use three 2 kW plug-in fuel cell units and electrical efficiency exceeds 50%.

Swisscom and FutureE are participating in the EU FITUP project. This project will see nineteen fuel cell systems from FutureE and Electro Power Systems deployed at selected sites throughout Europe for evaluation by communication network operators. More information on this project can be found here.


January 31, 2012
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Adobe Installs Two 200 kW Bloom Energy Server Fuel Cells at its San Francisco Offices

Adobe announced at the San Francisco GreenBiz Forum 12 yesterday (30th January) that it has installed two 200 kW Bloom Energy Server solid oxide fuel cells at its San Francisco offices. Adobe expects the units will provide 35% of the offices’ on-site power needs – the equivalent of powering 320 average homes.

The installation is a part of Adobe’s ambition for all its premises to become ‘net zero’ – buildings that can be independent from the grid and annually produce no carbon emissions. This latest deployment follows the installation of twelve 100 kW Energy Servers at Adobe’s San Jose headquarters in the summer of 2010, which are providing 30% of the site’s power needs.


January 31, 2012
(view original article)

New Report on Fuel Cells and Hydrogen in China

Fuel cells are not a new technology to China. Its universities have been developing the technology for many years and the country hosts a number of well-established commercial fuel cell companies. The opportunities for fuel cells to contribute to a low carbon economy in the country are clear. China relies heavily upon coal-fired power for electricity generation; is the leading emitter of greenhouse gases (measured in absolute terms); has the largest domestic automobile manufacturing industry in the world; and is home to the largest and most rapidly expanding mobile telecommunications network on the planet. Financial support from the Chinese government is strong and fuel cells are identified as a key future technology and funded accordingly.

This report reviews the key demonstration programmes to date and identifies the opportunities for fuel cells and hydrogen to contribute to a low carbon future in China.

Chinese companies throughout the supply chain from catalysts to membranes and system integrators to end users are all driving fuel cell adoption leading China to become an international competitor.

Click here to download the full report.


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