July 2010

7.01.2010
Price Chopper Uses Fuel Cell Power
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7.06.2010
London theatre raises curtain on festival-ready fuel cell
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7.07.2010
SRNL’s Ragaiy Zidan Honored For Innovative Research
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7.21.2010
Singapore's first hydrogen-powered public bus hits streets in Aug
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7.30.2010
Two alternative energy classes added at Lorain High in Lorain,Ohio
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July 30, 2010
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Two alternative energy classes added at Lorain High in Lorain,Ohio

LORAIN — Lorain City Schools is stepping into the future by offering two new alternative energy courses starting this year.

Thanks to grant money from the Nord Family Foundation and the Martha Holden Jennings Foundation, Intro to Alternative Energy Sources and Intro to Fuel Cell Technology will be offered to Lorain High School students. The courses will be added to the district’s pre-engineering program and will introduce students to alternative energy sources including solar, wind, geothermal, bio-fuel, hydrogen and fuel cells.

Intro to Alternative Energy will be taught by Steve Dury and Bill Bogan will teach the Intro to Fuel Cell Technology.

When deciding to bring these two courses to Lorain High’s curriculum, Superintendent Cheryl Atkinson said she wanted to choose courses that lead to high-demand careers.

“I looked at where the job market is headed and where career development is headed,” Atkinson said. “The wind turbine and alternative fuel cell career pathway is one that is under-represented right now in the market place, and it’s in high demand.”

Stark State College of Technology and Lorain County Community College have recently started offering degrees and certificates in fuel cell technology and wind energy. Both campuses have partnered with Lorain to prepare to students for college-level course work. Students who successfully complete the classes will earn both high school and college credit.

Atkinson is anticipating anywhere from 75 to 100 students to take part in the courses. She added that Roy Church, president of LCCC, told her that two or three students just graduated with an associate degree in these fields and were hired immediately at $60,000 per year.

“We want our students to have the edge by having exposure in high school,” Atkinson said. “Now that President Obama has prioritized the development and use of sustainable, environmentally friendly energy sources, it is more critical than ever for our children to gain the knowledge and skills needed to seize emerging jobs in these fields.


July 21, 2010
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Singapore's first hydrogen-powered public bus hits streets in Aug

SINGAPORE: Singapore's first hydrogen-powered public bus will hit the streets next month. It'll be the first such bus in Southeast Asia and promises to help save the environment. Called GreenLite, it does not emit carbon and is "low" on noise.

It's powered by a battery system and fuel cell technology that "converts" hydrogen into electrical energy and creates pure water as a by-product.

The bus is jointly developed by researchers from Singapore's Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and China's Tsinghua University over seven months.

Professor and associate dean (research) at the College of Engineering in NTU, Soh Yeng Chai, says: "This is a new concept in the sense that the standard fuel cell bus uses about 80 to 100 kW (kilowatt), whereas ours is only 40 kW.

"The whole idea is that we want to use the concept of combining hydrogen and battery system to co-power the bus. So under normal conditions, the fuel cell stack is strong enough to power the bus, and at the same time charges the battery. But in high-load conditions, we need to use both the hydrogen and the battery to power the bus.

Such eco-friendly technologies don't come cheap. Hydrogen costs six times more than diesel.

Prof Soh says: "Currently to run 100 kilometres, we need about 10 kilograms of hydrogen; that translates to about $300."

Still, SBS Transit will be testing out this fuel cell bus, as well as a hybrid bus that runs on both diesel and electricity.

It has trained eight bus captains to operate these buses.

Gan Juay Kiat, CEO, SBS Transit, says: "We're in the early stages of this trial, and we have to consider the capital cost and the operation and maintenance costs of the bus. That's why we're embarking on this trial to understand it more before we make a decision, going forward as to having more hybrid buses in the fleet."

GreenLite will be used first as a shuttle bus for athletes and officials at the Youth Olympic Village next month.

After that, it'll be used for Service 179 and 199, while the hybrid bus will ply the route of Service 185 for a year. - CNA/jm


July 07, 2010
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SRNL’s Ragaiy Zidan Honored For Innovative Research

AIKEN, S.C. (June 30, 2010) – Research that is expected to accelerate the development of a whole class of hydrogen storage materials has earned the Savannah River National Laboratory’s Dr. Ragaiy Zidan a U.S. Department of Energy Hydrogen Program Team Award.

The award was presented at an audience of nearly 1,000, by the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy at its Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluation Meeting for hydrogen, fuel cells and advanced vehicle technologies including batteries and related research. Each year, this meeting showcases projects funded by DOE. As part of the annual meeting, DOE presents awards for outstanding contributions, technical accomplishments and innovative research and development.

Dr. Zidan was honored for his contributions in developing electrochemical methods for alane regeneration. He was lead researcher on an SRNL project team that developed a novel closed cycle for producing the high capacity hydrogen storage material.

For years, one of the major obstacles to widespread commercialization of hydrogen and fuel cell technologies has been hydrogen storage. Solid-state storage, using solid materials such as metals that absorb hydrogen and release it as needed, has many advantages over storing hydrogen as a liquid or gas, and many storage materials have been examined trying to meet DOE’s technical targets. A combination of aluminum and hydrogen called aluminum hydride, also known as alane, possesses desired qualities as a storage material, but has been considered impractical because of the high pressures required to combine hydrogen and aluminum to re-form the hydride material after the hydrogen has been released. Alternate methods of production using chemical synthesis have typically produced stable metal chloride byproducts that make it practically impossible to regenerate the alane. The electrochemical cycle demonstrated by Dr. Zidan and the SRNL team for production of alane avoids both of these issues and provides an innovative promising option for further research and development.

Dr. Zidan came to SRNL in 2000 from the University of Hawaii. Since that time, he has led both basic science and applied research projects to advance the practicality of hydrogen as an energy alternative.

SRNL is DOE’s applied research and development national laboratory at SRS. SRNL puts science to work to support DOE and the nation in the areas of environmental management, national and homeland security, and energy security. The management and operating contractor for SRS and SRNL is Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, LLC.


July 06, 2010
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London theatre raises curtain on festival-ready fuel cell

They may be a great forum for freewheeling and idealistic environmental thinking, but it turns out most festivals are anything but green. Leaving aside the litter and the carbon footprint associated with thousands of revellers traveling to one site, each of the summer's festivals will rely on hundreds of diesel generators to power the stages, tents and food stands.

But now London theatre company Arcola is looking to tackle the problem with the development of a zero-emission fuel cell-powered lighting rig that promises to provide the UK's first low-carbon theatre and concert experience.

The Dalston-based theatre has launched a spin-off firm, Arcola Energy, that has just completed its first fuel cell system with the aid of a £27,000 grant from the UK's Technology Strategy Board and it is now expected to be used at this summer's Latitude Festival in Suffolk.

Speaking to BusinessGreen.com, Arcola Energy executive director Dr Ben Todd said the company had integrated technology from fuel cell developer and hydrogen supplier BOC and theatrical lighting specialist White Light to deliver a portable system for lighting technicians working in theatres, concert venues and festivals.

"We've taken off-the-shelf fuel cell technology and low-energy LED lights, added industry-standard connectors, control panels and battery backup power, and packed it all up in a standard flight case," he explained, adding that the use of LED lights meant that a full lighting rig could be powered using one 150 watt fuel cell.

The company believes that even using hydrogen produced from natural gas the system will cut carbon emissions by between 60 and 80 per cent compared to diesel generators, while also cutting noise levels and onsite pollution.

"The smallest diesel generator you can get is usually much larger than what you need in a theatre or concert, so they end up proving very inefficient," Todd added. "It's almost like pouring diesel on the ground."

The company is now looking to commercialize the technology and expects to price the system at about £5,000-£6,000 per unit, although White Light will also offer its customers the chance to hire the system for events.

It is also working on new theatre and concert applications for the fuel cell and is looking at developing a larger lighting rig based BOC's larger 500 watt fuel cell. "The system can be easily adapted to run kiosks or other parts of the festival site and there is also potential for architectural lighting," said Todd. "It is a niche market, but it's a pretty big niche."

The Technology Strategy Board's David Bott praised the new system as a prime example of a company taking direct action to cut its own carbon emission and finding a way to commercialize its innovations. "This is a great story of a company taking ownership of its carbon emissions and applying its expertise to tackle the problem," he said.


July 01, 2010
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Price Chopper Uses Fuel Cell Power

pricechopper

A 400-kilowatt fuel cell is providing most of the electricity for a Price Chopper supermarket location in Albany, N.Y., reports the New York Times.

The fuel cell uses natural gas to produce hydrogen, which is combined with oxygen, to create electricity, water and heat. The fuel cell was made by UTC Power.

In the case of a blackout, the fuel cell would allow the supermarket to operate off the grid.

A spokesman for Price Chopper said it began investigating the use of fuel cells after electricity prices spiked in 2007.

The deal benefited from an $800,000 grant from New York, which was funneled to UTC, which is leasing the fuel cell to Price Chopper.

The chain plans to install another fuel cell at an undisclosed location.

Price Chopper is not the first supermarket to try out fuel cell power.

Whole Foods has one in Glastonbury, Conn.

Supervalu is testing one.

And Wegmans is putting one in at a distribution center.


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