July 2011

7.1.2011 Panasonic Opens its First European Residential Fuel Cell R&D Centre
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7.1.2011 Fuel-cell system produces electricity from wastewater
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7.4.2011 Method uses sun's energy to create clean hydrogen source
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7.5.2011 MyFC to Launch PowerTrekk Mobile Phone Fuel Cell Charger in Q4
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7.5.2011 Nanotech-Enhanced Fuel Cells to Provide Cleaner Coal
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7.6.2011 UK's first hydrogen filling station to open in Swindon
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7.6.2011 ACAL Energy and Gordon Murray Design team up to develop affordable fuel cell vehicle concept
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7.6.2011 Airbus and German Aerospace Centre (DLR) perform research tests for fuel cell powered autonomous taxiing
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7.6.2011 The New Hydrogen Fueling Infrastructure: Filling Stations At Quick Lube Shops
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7.7.2011 UPDATE: AFC Energy getting nearer to commercialising its fuel cells
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7.7.2011 Praxair to Supply Hydrogen to Hemlock Semiconductor, L.L.C.
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7.11.2011 FuelCell Energy and UTC Power Score Highest in New Pike Research Assessment of Prime Power Fuel Cell Vendors
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7.12.2011 Nedstack fuel cells pass 10,000 hours of industrial operation
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7.12.2011 AT&T to Power 11 California Sites with Bloom Energy Fuel Cells
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7.12.2011 Lifeloc Technologies unveils platinum fuel cell breathalyser
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7.14.2011 Topsoe Fuel Cell expanding production of solid oxide fuel cell stacks
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7.14.2011 Fuel Cell Mobile Lighting System Featured at Space Shuttle Atlantis Launch
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7.14.2011 BOC launches hydrogen cylinder to power Hymera fuel cell portable generator
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7.19.2011 A look at future of energy
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7.19.2011 U.S. government to install fuel cells at 8 military posts
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7.19.2011 Pike predicts 5,200 hydrogen fuel stations by 2020
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7.21.2011 Plug Power Commits to Purchase Fuel Cell Stacks from Ballard
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7.22.2011 Stone Edge Farm: Leading Organic Winery Increases Energy Efficiency and Supports Sustainability Goals with ClearEdge Power
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7.23.2011 Seaport complex takes delivery of zero-emission hauling truck
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7.25.2011 New Fuel Cell Company Brings Jobs and Investment to Midstate of South Carolina
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7.25.2011 BMW Manufacturing Announces Study to Convert Landfill Gas to Hydrogen
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7.26.2011 Globo Hydro Power Is Set to Officially Launch Its Fuel Enhancement Process
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7.26.2011 Schumer's Expansion of Tax Break to Benefit Plug Power Fuel Cell Customers
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7.27.2011 Ballard Announces Dantherm Power Agreement to Collaborate with Delta Power Solutions (India)
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7.27.2011 South Carolina Jobs Being Created In A Green Way
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7.27.2011 Understanding the SC Hydrogen Convergence Gold Rush
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7.28.2011 News 12 tours hydrogen lab at SRS
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7.29.2011 NTT America installs Bloom Energy fuel cells for data centers
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7.31.2011 Opel Plans to Build 20,000 Fuel-cell Luxury Sedans for 2016
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July 1, 2011
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Panasonic Opens its First European Residential Fuel Cell R&D Centre

The centre based in Langen, Germany will develop and test residential fuel cells for green energy generation in consumer households in Europe

WIESBADEN, Germany - Panasonic today launched the Panasonic Fuel Cell Development Office Europe (PFCOE) in Langen, Germany. The facility, situated in Panasonic’s European R&D centre in Germany (PRDCG), will focus on developing residential fuel cells for the European market in close collaboration with leading European utility companies.

Panasonic has been developing residential fuel cells (micro CHP1) since 1999 and launched the world’s first system, the ENE FARM, in May 2009 in Japan. Following on from the success that it has had in the Japanese market, it now plans to extend its operations into Europe and the R&D centre will be a key part of realising this aim.

The centre in Langen will focus on developing and adapting the fuel cells to reflect the different operational conditions between Europe and Japan. As the operation of fuel cells depends on the composition of natural gas, it is necessary for the fuel cell to be adapted to European gas conditions. The fuel cell micro CHP generates electricity through a chemical reaction between oxygen in the atmosphere and hydrogen extracted from natural gas (methane, CH4). The heat generated as a by-product of this process is also used for home heating and hot water supplies. In Japan, a house powered by an ENE FARM fuel cell can expect to save about 1.5 tons of CO2 emissions per year compared with a house powered by electricity from thermal power station and a gas heating system.

Laurent Abadie, Chairman and CEO, of Panasonic Europe said: “We have a global goal to become the ‘number one green innovation company in the consumer electronics industry’ by 2018. As part of this goal, we in Europe are committed to providing products to the market that enable our customers, around the world, to live in a more sustainable way.”

“Our fuel cell micro CHP are already used in our “eco ideas house” in Japan which is a concept house that shows how with the right technology we can all have homes that store, create and save energy with virtually zero CO2 emissions. We haven’t brought the fuel cells to the European market before but with our new R&D centre dedicated to the advancement of fuel cell technology in Europe, we are one step closer to realising our goal for 2018 and ensuring that our customers have access to green technologies globally while building on Panasonic’s green energy business and sales.”

1 CHP = Combined heat and power system

About Panasonic
Panasonic Corporation is a worldwide leader in the development and manufacture of electronic products for a wide range of consumer, business, and industrial needs. Based in Osaka, Japan, the company recorded consolidated net sales of 8.69 trillion yen (€79 billion) for the year ended March 31, 2011. The company's shares are listed on the Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and New York (NYSE:PC) stock exchanges. For more information on the company and the Panasonic brand, visit the company's website at http://panasonic.net/.

July 1, 2011
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Fuel-cell system produces electricity from wastewater

GE, NRG Energy and ConocoPhillips’ joint venture Energy Technology Ventures is providing capital to Emefcy, an Israeli company that has developed a microbial fuel cell-based system that can directly produce electricity from wastewater.

The process transforms wastewater treatment from an energy-intensive, cost-intensive and carbon-intensive process into an energy-generating, carbon-reducing process.

The primary initial applications for the system are for wastewater treatment in the food, beverage, pharmaceutical and chemical industries.

Energy Technology Ventures was joined in the funding round for Emefcy by Pond Venture Partners, Plan B Ventures and Israel Cleantech Ventures. Financial details were not disclosed.

’We will use Energy Technology Ventures’ investment to continue development of our technology into full-scale commercial implementation by the end of this year,’ said Eytan Levy, chief executive of Emefcy.

Click here to view the YouTube video.

July 4, 2011
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Method uses sun's energy to create clean hydrogen source

Australian researchers are developing a method to create a truly clean and portable source of hydrogen for cars and fuel cells using energy from the sun.

The technology will rely on nanoparticles that, under certain conditions, can use solar energy to catalyse the conversion of water to hydrogen — in a process known as photo-initiated catalysis.

While the technology for utilising hydrogen in cars and fuel cells is quite mature, a means of obtaining hydrogen cleanly and cheaply is still a major sticking point in terms of widespread adoption of a hydrogen economy.

‘Splitting water to make hydrogen and oxygen requires a lot of energy and is an expensive process,’ said project lead Prof Greg Metha of Adelaide University.

‘We will be using solar radiation as the energy source, so there will be no carbon emissions; because the clusters work so efficiently as a catalyst, it will be a much better process.’

A research group headed by Metha has been working for 14 years developing bi-metallic and metal-carbide clusters using a technique known as double-laser ablation. The result is tailored nanoparticles less than 10 atoms in size that act as ‘super-efficient catalysts’, according to the group.

Speaking to The Engineer, Metha said the group now had to demonstrate that these principles worked on the macroscopic scale.

’Initially we will be using light from a laser or a solar lamp, which will allow us to test efficiency as a function of light intensity and also temperature — this will determine how much focusing is optimal.’

He added: ’Work on high-intensity solar simulators is being done by my engineering colleagues so we will integrate our ideas when the time is right; however, at present we just don’t know what the best conditions are.’

The project ’Solar Hydrogen: photocatalytic generation of hydrogen from water’, has been funded under the three-year clean energy partnership between Adelaide Airport and the university’s Centre for Energy Technology.

July 5, 2011
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MyFC to Launch PowerTrekk Mobile Phone Fuel Cell Charger in Q4

There’s a new mobile phone 2-in-1 fuel cell charger and battery pack heading for the mobile space in Q4 in Europe and Q1 2012 in the United States and is called the PowerTrekk from myFC, which uses a safe and eco-friendly technology with the only by-product from the fuel cell being a small amount of water vapour.

Technology investment bank GP Bullhound has now completed the second tranches of the expansion funding round for myFC based in Stockholm. MyFC is a fuel cell tech firm that develops solutions for powering portable devices such as mobile phones, GPS devices and cameras.

Investors in this round of funding are the Sixth Swedish National Pension Fund and KTH Chalmers Capital, and having secured several patents around propriety shaped flexible fuel cell systems with a record of high power density, myFC will launch their first product, the PowerTrekk in Q4 2011.

The 2-in-1 PowerTrekk solution is both a fuel cell and battery pack and the portable battery pack can be operating independently as a storage buffer for the fuel cell or a ready source of power. The fuel cell can instantly charge a depleted battery without the necessity of a wall charge.

A concept fuel cell car from Toyota

The PowerTrekk is easy to use as the user just inserts the fuel pack and adds water, and to charge portable devices such as mobile phones the use uses a USB port to connect the device to the PowerTrekk.

CEO Bjorn Westerholm says, “We are delighted to have chosen GP Bullhound as our transaction advisor. Their energy, international contacts and deep industry understanding has been of great value to us. We look forward to continuing to work with GP Bullhound in future transactions.”

Westerholm went on to say, “We see huge interest in our product both from media, the outdoor and ITC industries and consumers. As a result of this, we currently cannot even meet the market demand for the product. We understood that we were addressing an immense market opportunity but we never fully understood the extreme market demand for a fuel cell charger such as PowerTrekk. Each year, around 2 billion mobile phone chargers are sold and the travel charger segment, which is the fastest growing sub-segment, is valued at more than €11 billion.”

The PowerTrekk should be available in selected stores in Europe sometime late fall in 2011 and commands a recommended price of €199, ad we have a quick one minute promotional video of the myFC PowerTrekk for your viewing consideration below.

July 5, 2011
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Nanotech-Enhanced Fuel Cells to Provide Cleaner Coal

The idea of clean energy may conjure up images of vast fields filled with windmills slowly churning away or an entire cityscape covered with solar panels. But this idyllic vision must cede to a more realistic one where we accept that fossil fuels -- at least for the short term -- will continue to play a major role in energy production.

In this spirit, there has been much research to increase the dismal efficiency and the environmental cleanliness of coal power plants. One major innovation to this end has been the solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC). Instead of just burning lumps of coal to heat water and drive turbines, the fuels cells oxidize the coal in a more controlled way, resulting in a much higher efficiencies and lower emissions.

By the anodes are typically constructed of a material that eventually gets gunked up with carbon buildup, causing the anodes to degrade over time.

A solution to the problem has been proposed by a team of scientists led by Meilin Liu at the Georgia Institute of Technology. The team has found a way to embed the material with barium oxide nanostructures that prevents the carbon from building up and deactivating the anode. According to Nanowerk, the structures oxidize "the carbon as it forms, keeping the nickel electrode surfaces clean even when carbon-containing fuels are used at low temperatures."

The team hopes that because the solution builds on previous technology, it will be easily integrated into existing systems. Liu has high hopes for the technology and tells Nanowerk "This could ultimately be the cleanest, most efficient and cost-effective way of converting coal into electricity."

WATCH THE VIDEO : Green Energy

July 6, 2011
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UK's first hydrogen filling station to open in Swindon

The UK's first commercial hydrogen filling station is to be opened in Swindon.

The fuel cell station will open at car manufacturer Honda's South Marston plant in September.

Honda manufactures the FCX Clarity, the world's first commercially available hydrogen-powered vehicle.

A concept fuel cell car from Toyota

The station is being seen as an important step in a UK-wide scheme to make hydrogen vehicles a viable alternative to petrol-driven cars.

Swindon Borough Council's regeneration body, Forward Swindon, was awarded a £250,000 grant from the South West England Regional Development Agency in order to build the fuel station at Honda in Swindon.

Forward Swindon Chief Executive Ian Piper said: "It's absolutely ground-breaking stuff. It is the first one in the UK and we think it's great that Swindon is at the forefront of this.

"The automative and car-making sector is very important to Swindon, and it's important for Swindon to be at the leading edge in this way."

BOC, the UK's largest supplier of industrial gases, will be installing and operating the facility. As one of the project partners, the gases company is also providing further private sector funding to the venture.

Although there are currently few hydrogen-powered cars on the road in the UK, evironmentally-friendly, low-carbon emission vehicles are seen by many as the future of motoring.

The Hydrogen Highway initiative has been set up to promote the viability of new, alternative fuel technologies and build a number of hydrogen-fuelling stations across the south west.

The project also aims to encourage Honda to research and develop new hydrogen-powered cars at its Swindon plant. Currently they are only being manufactured in Japan.

July 6, 2011
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ACAL Energy and Gordon Murray Design team up to develop affordable fuel cell vehicle concept

According to the July 6th news release from Chesire, United Kingdom, the 12-month project is funded by the Technology Strategy Board under its Low Carbon Vehicle program. The study will be led by Gordon Murray Design, and combines ACAL Energy’s novel Flowcath® technology that significantly reduces the cost and improves the durability of a fuel cell engine, with Gordon Murray Design’s award winning iStream® concept, which allows for fast, low cost production of light weight vehicles.

The iStream® concept is based on flexibility of the assembly process, which means same factory could be used to manufacture different variants. It consists of the following:

- The process centers on a separate body chassis assembly process.
- The assembly process is separate. During the first part, the powertrain, wiring harnesses, brakes, suspension and all major components can be fitted directly onto the chassis prior to the body panels being fitted.
- The body panels are delivered to the line pre-painted.
- The body panels are ‘married’ to the completed chassis near the end of the assembly process, helping to reduce paint damage normally associated with a standard assembly line. All external panels can be mechanically fixed to the chassis

The iStream® design process is also a complete re-think on high volume materials, as well as the manufacturing process, and is intended to lead to a significant reduction in full lifecycle CO2.

Andrew Everett, Head of Transport at the Technology Strategy Board, said that the Low Carbon Vehicle Integrated Delivery Program aims to draw out innovative technologies being developed within the UK that “have the potential to redefine the current automotive industry view”.

Dr SB Cha, CEO of ACAL Energy said of the partnership: “We are very excited to be working with the team at Gordon Murray Design on this important project. Without carbon emission free vehicles that are affordable in both developed and developing countries, we will not address one of the core drivers of climate change. By combining a low cost fuel cell engine with a lightweight auto platform and a low cost production process, ACAL Energy and Gordon Murray Design aim to show that carbon emission-free fuel cell autos can be an affordable alternative to petroleum fuelled cars, especially for the millions of new buyers in developing countries that will enter the market over the coming decade.”

Gordon Murray said “The team at Gordon Murray Design are very excited to be working with ACAL Energy in another new area where we can continue to push the boundaries of innovation”.

The news of the latest project comes soon after ACAL Energy’s announcement that it had completed its current fund raising round, securing total investments of £6.1 million.

About Acal Energy

For the record, ACAL Energy Ltd is already the world's leading developer of low cost Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cells systems, powered by ACAL Energy's proprietary platinum free cathode technology (FlowCath®). The company was founded in August 2004 by FlowCath® inventor Dr Andrew Creeth and is headquartered in Runcorn, UK.

Fuel cells are a highly efficient and clean energy production technology capable of replacing combustion engines in applications including remote and distributed power and residential cogeneration, as well as automotive and mobile power applications.

FlowCath® is unique in that it replaces the expensive precious metal catalyst found in conventional fuel cells with a proprietary low cost liquid catalyst. This not only reduces the cost of the fuel cell, but also provides significant durability and reliability benefits through system simplification and the elimination of the most common failure mechanisms found in standard fuel cells.

With this technology, ACAL Energy believes that fuel cells can ultimately replace combustion engines in remote and distributed power, residential cogeneration and automotive applications. FlowCath® is a registered trademark of ACAL Energy Ltd.

About Gordon Murray Design

Gordon Murray Design Limited is a British company operating from Shalford in Surrey. The Company aims to be the world leader in automotive design and reverses the current industry trend for sub-contracting by having a complete in-house capability for design, prototyping and development. The Company is compact and focused and undertakes automotive and other engineering programs in an efficient and innovative way.

The iStream® assembly process is a complete rethink and redesign of the traditional automotive manufacturing process and could potentially be the biggest revolution in high volume manufacture since the Model T. The simplified assembly process means that the manufacturing plant can be designed to be 20% of the size of a conventional factory, which could reduce capital investment in the assembly plant by approximately 80%. For more information please visit www.gordonmurraydesign.com

About The Technology Strategy Board

The Technology Strategy Board is a business-led government body which works to create economic growth by ensuring that the UK is a global leader in innovation. Sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Technology Strategy Board brings together business, research and the public sector, supporting and accelerating the development of innovative products and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges and help build the future economy. For more information please visit www.innovateuk.org.

July 6, 2011
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Airbus and German Aerospace Centre (DLR) perform research tests for fuel cell powered autonomous taxiing

Airbus is strongly engaged in developing greener aircraft and increasing the eco-efficiency of its modern product line. One of the most promising contributors for emission free ground operation is fuel cell technology. Together with its research partner DLR, Airbus is examining the potential of this technology, its integration into the aircraft and has already successfully performed the first flight test on a civil transport aircraft in 2008, where a fuel cell system provided power for the aircraft’s back-up systems.

In order to gain more details on the potential of fuel cell technology as supply for electric power in aircraft ground operation, a DLR designed technology demonstrator has been installed in the DLR owned A320 fuel cell test aircraft at the Airbus site in Hamburg. The technology demonstrator consists of a fuel cell powering an electric motor which drives the nose landing gear wheels allowing the aircraft to taxi autonomously. The objective of these tests is to further validate the potential of the integrated fuel cell technology for powering future aircraft functionalities such as autonomous taxiing. The data collected in the tests will be analysed by Airbus and the DLR to further develop the overall integration of this technology and potential further optimisation possibilities.

Within the joint R&T activities, Airbus is in charge of the overall aircraft system architecture and technology integration into the aircraft, whereas the DLR is driving some of the basic research activities for aerospace fuel cell technology. The landing gear itself with the integrated DLR-designed fuel cell powered motor is provided by Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg.
Airbus considers fuel cell technology as key contributor to the ACARE 2020 goals, which foresee the reduction of CO2 emissions by 50%, NOx emissions by 80% and noise by 50%. Consequently Airbus is pursuing engagement of industrial research partners in that field. In addition Airbus is strongly engaging in implementing and testing bio-fuel technology and actively supports the installation of local bio-fuel value-chains around the world. With regard to wider initiatives such as Air Traffic Management (ATM), Airbus co-operates with all the protagonists to deliver the best solutions for airlines and the environment. Airbus has a leading role in the SESAR programme to improve the efficiency of European ATM and works with teams involved in the NEXT GEN project designed to do the same for US ATM.


A fuel cell is a device which transforms the energy contained in hydrogen and Oxygen into electricity through a direct chemical conversion at a low temperature level without moving parts. The exhaust product is water, and in the case of an air-breathing system, oxygen depleted air. The electricity produced by fuel cells is cleaner and more efficient than combustion engines. In addition, the water and the oxygen depleted air (inert gas) can be used on the airplane to substitute the water and inerting systems.

July 6, 2011
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The New Hydrogen Fueling Infrastructure: Filling Stations At Quick Lube Shops

We spend a lot of time talking about the possibilities for a large scale battery electric vehicle charging infrastructure, but what about hydrogen fuel cell vehicles? They're a little further out from commercialization--the first vehicles will hit the market in approximately 2014--but they offer plenty of advantages: quick filling time (it takes three minutes to fill up a car), a range of over 300 miles, and fuel prices that are comparable to gasoline (the equivalent of $2.50 per gallon). Solar-powered hydrogen fueling startup SunHydro has a simple plan to build out a hydrogen infrastructure before these cars become commercialized: stick fueling stations in ubiquitous oil change and quick lube stations across the U.S.

SunHydro and sister company Proton OnSite (the company that makes the hydrogen fueling equipment) have been in preliminary talks with the Automotive Oil Change Association about the potential to install fueling stations in some of the AOCA's 15,000 oil change and quick lube centers across the country.

The conversation began after the AOCA saw coverage of Proton's grand opening for its hydrogen fueling station in October of last year (Proton has been involved in 16 fueling stations, while SunHydro has one). The organization had been looking at alternative revenue streams, explains R. Scotti Lee, an AOCA board member. "Right now, it's just grassroots. We're starting to shake the trees, telling [AOCA members] that you don't have to get this set up for tomorrow, but start setting aside money and areas you can use for fueling."

Ultimately, the decision to install a hydrogen fueling station will be up to individual AOCA members. And while SunHydro and Proton would like to get started as soon as possible, there are no concrete business or branding plans yet. "[The stations] could be branded SunHydro, we could do co-branding with a particular fast lube owner, or we could put down Proton Hardware," says Mark Schiller, Proton's VP of business development.

Make no mistake: SunHydro and Proton don't have grand dreams of crushing the battery electric car revolution. "We think there is definitely a market opportunity for a mix of both [hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and EVs]. At the end of the day, they're both electric cars--one is a battery, one is hydrogen."

July 7, 2011
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UPDATE: AFC Energy getting nearer to commercialising its fuel cells

Fuel cells maker AFC Energy plans to begin field testing of its ‘Beta’ fuel cell system in the second half of this year as it moves towards commercialisation of its technology.

Independent broker Merchant Securities commented: “Shipment should see AFC regain the top spot in investor’s minds seeking fuel cell exposure.”

AFC said today that after constructing and successfully completing the first stage of commissioning of its Beta Fuel Cell at its site in Dunsfold, Surrey, and it expects shortly to have finished the necessary hazard and operability (HAZOP) study to be able to deploy a Beta unit in the field for testing.

The firm’s low-cost alkaline fuel cell systems use hydrogen to produce clean electricity as well as heat and water. The fuel cells are targeted at large-scale industrial applications, with the objective of producing the lowest possible unit cost electricity.

AFC claims its cells have high efficiency levels: using readily-available hydrogen and air as the source of oxygen electrical efficiency is up to 60 percent, which compares to approximately 30 percent for conventional electricity-generating technologies. The cells are also able to operate at temperatures of less than 100 degrees centigrade, enabling AFC to use low-cost polymer mouldings for many parts.

AFC also said it has been awarded its first patent and that it is confident it will be granted additional patents relating to its core technology. To date, the firm has filed 12 families of patents.

Reporting its interim results today, AFC said that post-tax losses during the six months to 30 were £1.8 million (H1 2010: £1.3 million). The firm explained that the increased operating loss was attributable to a planned increase in expenditure relating to the further strengthening of its technical team, expansion of its Dunsfold facilities and the construction of its first two Beta systems.

Merchant Securities said that today’s numbers were “virtually irrelevant” as the group is still approaching the first shipment of its Beta unit to its launch customer Akzo Nobel. “We believe the time taken by Akzo Nobel to write the operating procedures (HAZOP) bodes well for the scale of future adoption – not only by Akzo Nobel but other major players in the chlor-alkali industry,” added the broker.

At the end of April AFC had cash of £3.7 million on its balance sheet, compared with £2.7 million a year earlier. Since then, the firm has raised almost £4 million from a share placing on 27 May so that its current cash position is £7 million.

July 7, 2011
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Praxair to Supply Hydrogen to Hemlock Semiconductor, L.L.C.

DANBURY, Conn., - Praxair, Inc. has signed a multi-year contract with Hemlock Semiconductor, L.L.C. to supply high-purity hydrogen to Hemlock Semiconductor, L.L.C.'s new $1.2 billion polysilicon manufacturing facility under construction in Clarksville, Tennessee. Praxair will build and operate an on-site hydrogen generating facility and supply liquid hydrogen by truck. Plant start-up is scheduled for 2012.

"Praxair's relationship with Hemlock Semiconductor, L.L.C. goes back 35 years," said Anne Roby, president of Praxair Electronics. "We look forward to continuing to grow with Hemlock Semiconductor, L.L.C. as it meets the growing demand for photovoltaics and semiconductors." Praxair also supplies nitrogen and hydrogen to Hemlock Semiconductor L.L.C.'s polysilicon facility in Hemlock, Michigan.

"Our contract with Praxair will provide a long-term, economical and reliable source of hydrogen for our Clarksville facility," offered Stuart Bolland, Americas direct procurement manager for Dow Corning.

About Praxair Electronics

As an experienced supplier to the polysilicon and photovoltaic industries, Praxair Electronics offers a complete portfolio of onsite and merchant gases, process gases, gas handling and distribution systems, and gas and chemical management services to help customers operate efficiently and reliably. Praxair Electronics also provides the global semiconductor industry with process consumables, including a full line of materials; sputtering targets; CMP pads; chamber components including electrostatic chucks; and spare-parts and logistics services. More information on Praxair Electronics is available on the Internet at: www.praxair.com/electronics .

About Praxair

Praxair is the largest industrial gases company in North and South America, and one of the largest worldwide, with 2010 sales of $10 billion. Praxair products, services and technologies bring productivity and environmental benefits to a wide variety of industries, including aerospace, chemicals, food and beverage, electronics, energy, healthcare, manufacturing, metals and others. More information on Praxair is available on the Internet at www.praxair.com .

July 11, 2011
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FuelCell Energy and UTC Power Score Highest in New Pike Research Assessment of Prime Power Fuel Cell Vendors

The stationary fuel cell prime power market is experiencing rapid growth. With an increasing number of companies offering commercial products to the non-residential market, commercial adopters are demonstrating increased interest. The residential market is only a matter of months behind. According to a new Pike Pulse report published by Pike Research, two prime power fuel cell vendors are the best positioned in the early stages of this market: FuelCell Energy and UTC Power.

“The prime power fuel cell market is in a fluid, vibrant phase of market growth,” says research director Kerry-Ann Adamson. “In the midst of this critical stage of development, we are seeing some new market trends appearing. These include the ‘electrons or hardware’ business model where adopters lease or buy the stationary fuel cell prime power unit. The benefits of both vary depending on the adopter and, interestingly, the country in which the company is operating. In terms of geography, we have seen some companies developing a single country specific product, for example in the Japanese residential market. So although a company may be leading today, in terms of deployment, looking forward it could face significant barriers to entry for its product in other regions.”

Adamson adds that FuelCell Energy attained the highest overall score in the Pike Pulse report due to a combination of a clear go-to-market strategy, geographic reach, and partnerships, coupled with its cost-down systems and mass manufacturing. In this market, where high-quality, high-volume manufacturing is not the norm, Adamson says that FuelCell Energy’s ability to ramp up manufacturing based on market demand gives it a clear edge.

UTC Power is the runner-up and is assessed as second in both Strategy and Execution. The highest-ranking residential prime power fuel cell manufacturer in the study is ClearEdge Power, with Ceramic Fuel Cells only one point behind.

The “Pike Pulse Report: Prime Power Fuel Cells” evaluates 15 of the leading prime power station fuel cell developers and rates them on 12 criteria for strategy and execution, including go-to-market strategy, product portfolio, partnerships, innovation, reach, market share, pricing, and staying power. Using Pike Research’s proprietary Pike Pulse methodology, developers are profiled, rated, and ranked with the goal of providing industry participants with an objective assessment of these companies’ relative strengths and weaknesses in the rapidly growing prime power stationary fuel cell market. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm’s website.

July 12, 2011
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Nedstack fuel cells pass 10,000 hours of industrial operation

In the Netherlands, Nedstack has reached an important milestone by completing 10,000 hours of operation with its PEM fuel cell stacks in a real-world industrial installation.

The fuel cell stacks are running in industrial conditions in a PEM Power Plant at the AkzoNobel chlor-alkali plant in Delfzijl. Chlor-alkali plants produce hydrogen as a by-product, which fuel cells can then convert into electricity.

The Nedstack fuel cells are showing an extremely low degradation rate. The performance loss over the past 10,000 hours is only 5%, which suggests that this generation of fuel cell stacks will achieve a lifetime of over 20,000 hours.

Such a long life expectancy makes PEM fuel cells attractive for baseload applications, where – as well as initial stack purchasing costs – a long, predictable lifetime is an important factor in the total cost of ownership.

‘Our PEM Power Plant is operated at an industrial site, which exposes fuel cell stacks to conditions that are harsher than in the lab,’ says Frank de Bruijn, Chief Technology Officer at Nedstack.

‘Start-stops, emergency shutdowns and air contaminants are all part of the game,’ continues de Bruijn. ‘The fact that our stacks survive these with a low voltage decay over such a long time is excellent for international standards.’

Nedstack is finalising the construction of a second PEM Power Plant, for Solvay. This fuel cell unit will recover 1 MW of electricity and 1 MW of heat from a stream of hydrogen at the SolVin chlor-alkali plant at Antwerp-Lillo in Belgium.

Nedstack – the biggest independent PEM fuel cell producer in Europe – is also utilising its fuel cells as a power source for city buses and mobile phone towers.

July 12, 2011
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AT&T to Power 11 California Sites with Bloom Energy Fuel Cells

DALLAS and SUNNYVALE, Calif. -- AT&T* and Bloom Energy Corporation announced today that Bloom Energy will install Bloom Energy Servers, or Bloom Boxes, at eleven AT&T sites in California. AT&T is the first telecommunications service provider to utilize Bloom Energy Servers to help power their operations. Through the use of this breakthrough solid oxide fuel cell technology, the Bloom Boxes will provide 7.5 megawatts (MW) of clean, reliable, affordable onsite power that reduces CO2 emissions by approximately 50% compared to the grid and virtually eliminates all SOx, NOx, and other harmful smog forming particulate emissions.

"AT&T is committed to finding more sustainable ways to power our business operations as part of our efforts to incorporate alternative and renewable energy sources into our energy portfolio. Bloom Energy provided us with a solution that was not only cost comparable but also allows us to minimize environmental impact," said John Schinter, director of energy, AT&T.

Once fully operational these Bloom Boxes are expected to produce over 62 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy annually--enough to power over 5,600 homes per year. The Bloom Energy installations will be deployed at 11 AT&T facilities in California including: Corona, Fontana, Hayward, Pasadena, Redwood City, Rialto, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Jose, and San Ramon.

"Bloom Energy is excited to be working with AT&T in helping to achieve their corporate sustainability goals," said Bill Thayer, Executive Vice President of Sales and Service at Bloom Energy. "With a shared vision of reliability, environmental stewardship, and innovation, Bloom Energy and AT&T's collaborative efforts are sure to make an impact throughout their facilities in California."

The Bloom Energy Server installations will begin later this year, and will be fully operational by mid 2012. Bloom Boxes contain stacked fuel cells and will convert air and natural gas into electricity through a clean electrochemical process. The high efficiency of the Boxes will help AT&T avoid approximately 250 million pounds of CO2 emissions, equivalent to removing over 3700 cars from the road.

AT&T recently released their 2010 Sustainability Report highlighting the company's energy commitments, which include reaching nearly 3 million annual kWh of solar energy production in 2010 and contracting for an additional 19 solar deployments in 2011.

AT&T is committed to integrating sustainable business practices across its business and was recently added to Corporate Responsibility Magazine's 12th Annual 100 Best Corporate Citizens List. AT&T was also included in the 2010 Dow Jones Sustainability North America Index (DJSI) and in Carbon Disclosure Project's (CDP) 2010 Carbon Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI.) Visit www.att.com/csr to learn more about sustainability at AT&T. Also visit www.att.com/csr to download the 2010 AT&T Sustainability Report.

*AT&T products and services are provided or offered by subsidiaries and affiliates of AT&T Inc. under the AT&T brand and not by AT&T Inc.

About AT&T

AT&T Inc. is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates - AT&T operating companies - are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. With a powerful array of network resources that includes the nation's fastest mobile broadband network, AT&T is a leading provider of wireless, Wi-Fi, high speed Internet and voice services. A leader in mobile broadband, AT&T also offers the best wireless coverage worldwide, offering the most wireless phones that work in the most countries. It also offers advanced TV services under the AT&T U-verse® and AT&T | DIRECTV brands. The company's suite of IP-based business communications services is one of the most advanced in the world. In domestic markets, AT&T Advertising Solutions and AT&T Interactive are known for their leadership in local search and advertising.

Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at http://www.att.com . This AT&T news release and other announcements are available at http://www.att.com/newsroom and as part of an RSS feed at www.att.com/rss . Or follow our news on Twitter at @ATT. Find us on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/ATT to discover more about our consumer and wireless services or at www.Facebook.com/ATTSmallBiz to discover more about our small business services.

© 2011 AT&T Intellectual Property. All rights reserved. Mobile broadband not available in all areas. AT&T, the AT&T logo and all other marks contained herein are trademarks of AT&T Intellectual Property and/or AT&T affiliated companies.

About Bloom Energy

Bloom Energy is a provider of breakthrough solid oxide fuel cell technology that generates clean, highly-efficient power onsite from a wide variety of fuel sources. Bloom Energy's mission is to make clean, reliable energy affordable for everyone in the world. The Bloom Energy Server is currently producing power for several Fortune 500 companies. The company is headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA. For more information, visit www.Bloomenergy.com .

July 12, 2011
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Lifeloc Technologies unveils platinum fuel cell breathalyser

A new breathalyser featuring platinum fuel cell technology has been unveiled in the US.

The wireless Bluetooth breathalyser - FC20BT - is designed for police forces to use on-the-go.

Platinum fuel cell technology was incorporated to give the device longer operating life, while the Bluetooth capability gives officers more flexibility.

Lifeloc product manager Kelly Silverman explained: "Bluetooth gives users more connectivity options and peripheral choices than previously available in the industry.

"The FC20BT can be factory paired with Lifeloc's wireless printer and compact wireless keyboard for on-the-go productivity."

She added that the breathalyser can be used with a range of other devices, such as handheld mobile computers.

In addition to a full-sized platinum fuel cell for long device life, the FC20BT features onboard passive and direct subject testing, multiple language capability and extensive test memory and download capabilities.

It follows the adoption of the company's original Bluetooth breathalyser, the Phoenix 6.0BT, by police forces around the globe.

Lifeloc marketing manager John Rhoades explained that law enforcement agencies have realised they can "leapfrog" traditional breathalyser methods with the technology.

A concept fuel cell car from Toyota

July 14, 2011
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Topsoe Fuel Cell expanding production of solid oxide fuel cell stacks

Topsoe Fuel Cell is expanding its solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) stack production facilities in Denmark. The company needs the extra production capacity because it expects demand to exceed its current capacity in 2013.

The fuel cell stack production facility will be located in an existing building near the current plant in Ravnholm, 35 km (22 miles) north of Copenhagen.

Construction starts this month, and Topsoe anticipates inaugurating the plant in December 2012. The production facilities will be established step by step, and will be fully expanded in 2016, making it possible to meet the estimated 2016 demand.

The new facility is an important step towards industrialisation of fuel cell stack production using state-of-the-art production technology. It will also enable Topsoe Fuel Cell to improve quality, and speed up cost reduction.

Using experience gained from the new facility, Topsoe Fuel Cell expects to implement large-scale industrial production of fuel cell stacks in Denmark and overseas from 2016.

The design of the expansion is being done in close cooperation between Topsoe Fuel Cell, its parent company Haldor Topsøe, and the Danish engineering consultancy Alectia.

July 14, 2011
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Fuel Cell Mobile Lighting System Featured at Space Shuttle Atlantis Launch

LIVERMORE, Calif. — Fuel cells are used in the space shuttle as one component of the electrical power system, so perhaps it was appropriate that a hydrogen fuel cell-powered mobile lighting system could be seen on the grounds of the Kennedy Space Center as the Space Shuttle Atlantis launched into space last week, the 135th and final mission for the NASA Space Shuttle Program.

The lighting system, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) in conjunction with Boeing Co., and developed by Sandia National Laboratories with several industry partners, was deployed to the site of the final space shuttle launch and observed by visitors, shuttle astronauts and members of the international media.

A concept fuel cell car from Toyota

The unit provided lighting in the international press area, and its auxiliary power was used to conveniently recharge the camera battery packs for a number of photographers at the event. The NASA deployment was the latest in a series of high-profile test sites where the lighting system has been utilized.

The hydrogen fuel cell-powered mobile lighting system is a clean, quiet and efficient alternative to traditional technologies commonly powered by diesel fueled generators. The system features a fuel cell running on pure hydrogen, resulting in zero-emission electrical power. The fuel cell produces electricity for an advanced, power-saving Light Emitting PlasmaTM (LEP) lighting system and additional auxiliary power up to 2.5 kW, which allows additional equipment (such as power tools, public address systems or security metal detectors) to be powered by the unit at the same time the system is providing illumination.

Current mobile lighting typically uses diesel fueled generators that produce greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide nitrogen oxides, which produce pollutants and create smog, and soot, making them environmentally objectionable. In addition, diesel units are noisy and can create a safety hazard when construction personnel are distracted and cannot hear oncoming traffic.

Sandia researchers estimate that a single hydrogen fuel cell-powered lighting system would offset 900 gallons of diesel fuel per year and completely eliminate soot, nitrogen-oxide and carbon-dioxide emissions, allowing the system to be used indoors in contrast to current diesel technology.

“This hydrogen fuel cell-powered mobile lighting system has the very real potential to drastically reduce dependence on diesel-fueled mobile lighting across the United States and abroad,” said Lennie Klebanoff, Sandia’s project lead.

The prototype system has been tested in a variety of environments and has primarily focused on the entertainment, transportation and airport sectors. In addition to NASA (which also used the system during the Space Shuttle Endeavor launch) customers who have provided test sites include the California Department of Transportation, the 2010 Academy Awards ceremony, the 2011 Golden Globe Awards, the 2011 Screen Actors Guild Awards and the 2011 Grammy Awards. Boeing, the San Francisco International Airport and Paramount Pictures will soon be deploying units as well.

In addition to the DOE’s sponsorship and Sandia’s design and technical management role, the industry partners on the project include Boeing, Multiquip Inc., Altergy Systems, Luxim Corp., Lumenworks Inc., Stray Light Optical Technologies, Golden State Energy and Ovonic Hydrogen Solutions. The California Fuel Cell Partnership has provided support on hydrogen fuel for several deployments. Multiquip is implementing a manufacturing and commercialization plan for the system.

Sandia National Laboratories is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. With main facilities in Albuquerque, N.M., and Livermore, Calif., Sandia has major R&D responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies, and economic competitiveness.

July 14, 2011
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BOC launches hydrogen cylinder to power Hymera fuel cell portable generator

BOC has launched a new lightweight hydrogen cylinder, which will provide the energy source for its Hymera fuel cell generator. The Hymera power source is used in a variety of low-energy, high-efficiency applications.

The 150 W Hymera PEM fuel cell generator was launched last year by BOC, a member of The Linde Group. The units are already being used in a range of off-grid applications such as construction and railway maintenance – and increasingly in lighting projects.

‘With products like Hymera and the new cylinder, BOC is making the hydrogen economy a reality,’ says Stewart Dow, Packaged Energy Manager at BOC. ‘Hymera is already being used in commercially viable applications for the rail, construction and security industries.’

David Isherwood, Hire & Technical Director of White Light Ltd, one of the UK’s largest live event lighting companies, has been offering the Hymera fuel cell generator to customers over the last year.

‘We have been using a number of Hymera fuel cell power generators built into a self-contained off-grid lighting system,’ says Isherwood. ‘It is easy to set up and operate, and the units have performed very well.’

The new cylinder could keep a modern laptop powered for almost a week of continuous usage. It features an integrated valve regulator, with the output pressure controllable from 0 to 10 bar (145 psi).

When full, the cylinder weighs just over 10 kg and contains 2 m3 of hydrogen. When converted to electricity via a fuel cell at 50% efficiency, this generates just under 3 kWh of electrical energy.

July 19, 2011
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A look at future of energy

If fuel cells are going to one day have widespread use in people's homes and cars, the industry will have Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute to thank.

That's because students, post-docs and faculty at RPI's Center for Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Research are tackling some of the fuel-cell industry's biggest challenges.

Not that there aren't already some successful fuel-cell companies. For instance, after years of struggles, Latham-based Plug Power has found its niche in the materials handling sector, providing fuel cells for fork lifts used in distribution centers for companies like Sysco, Wegmans, FedEx and Whole Foods.

RPI researchers say that breakthroughs in technology could go a long way in making fuel cells more cost-competitive with other energy technologies, which would accelerate investment in the industry and adoption by consumers. Their work was on display Monday during a open house.

One of those researchers is Micah Casteel, a fourth-year doctoral student in the mechanical engineering department who is working on ways to slow the degradation of interconnects in the fuel cells.

Over time, metal parts vaporize, which can clog the fuel cell and impair performance. Casteel's research involves studying the rate of that breakdown in high-temperature, solid-oxide fuel cells and searching for new materials that can last longer.

"Improving that degradation rate is a big concern," Casteel said.

Casteel designed his own machine incorporating a furnace that tests the breakdown rate of different materials used in fuel cells, including chromium. He plans to test new composite materials that he expects to perform better than traditional materials.

Casteel says he's hopeful for the industry and notes the success of a Silicon Valley company called Bloom Energy that sells solid-oxide fuel cells that run on natural gas being used by Google, eBay, Staples, Wal-Mart and Coca-Cola. The company's fuel cell, the Bloom Energy Server, generates enough electricity to power 100 homes or a small office building.

He also notes that Detroit automakers are also planning to roll out cars powered by fuel cells by 2015.

"There's a big push there," Casteel said.

Although fuel-cell research has been taking place at RPI for a while now, the fuel-cell center is relatively new. It is led by assistant professor Dan Lewis, who this year won a Faculty Early Career Development Award from the National Science Foundation worth $630,000 over five years. It is one of the most competitive NSF grants.

Lewis says the fuel-cell center is capable not only of testing fuel-cell materials but also building fuel cells from the ground up.

"We can do soup to nuts," Lewis said.

Lewis says fuel cells can have a key role in the energy-technology landscape, especially because the efficiency of fuel cells can reach 80 percent when heat from the systems is recycled.

"The key is, how do we drive the costs down so we can drive people into the technology?" Lewis said.

July 19, 2011
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U.S. government to install fuel cells at 8 military posts

WASHINGTON - The Energy Department said on Tuesday it would install 18 fuel cell backup power systems at eight U.S. military posts, as part of a partnership with the Defense Department to bolster energy security.

"Projects like these fuel cell systems will help reduce fossil fuel use and improve energy reliability at military installations across the country," Energy Secretary Steven Chu said at the U.S. Army and Air Force Energy Forum.

Players from the Pentagon, industry, think tanks and Congress were discussing ways to help the military cut its appetitive for fuel at the forum, outside Washington.

The U.S. military used about $13.2 billion of petroleum in military operations in 2010, Chu said.

He said alternative aviation fuels, biofuels and energy-efficient military vehicles could effectively reduce fuel consumption and the cost of transporting fuels to military personnel fighting wars in far-flung locations.

Diesel generators are widely used for backup power in military installations. Compared to generators or batteries, fuel cells are believed to require less maintenance, cut noise and emit fewer pollutants.

The fuel cell project will cost $6.6 million, the Energy Department said

"The primary challenge facing currently available fuel cells is the higher cost of the units, compared to conventional technologies they replace," it said.

July 19, 2011
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Pike predicts 5,200 hydrogen fuel stations by 2020

More than 5,000 hydrogen refueling stations will be in use by 2020, according to new research, as investors and governments look to harness the potential of hydrogen fuel.

A new report from Pike Research indicates that hydrogen fuel cell applications are currently finding traction in light duty vehicles, forklifts, buses, stationary power, and scooters.  These fuel cell market present different infrastructure build-out pathways, with varying opportunities and challenges.

While the hydrogen fuel cells currently have limited use within the passenger car market, the new report suggests that infrastructure investment, will see the number of refueling stations soar from 200 worldwide in 2010 to around 5,200 by 2020, as a new breed of hydrogen-powered cars, buses and forklifts become operational.  The cleantech market intelligence firm forecasts that, by the end of that period, annual investment in hydrogen stations will reach US$1.6 billion, with a cumulative 10-year investment totaling US$8.4 billion. 

“There is no one clear business model for the hydrogen infrastructure market at present,” says senior analyst Lisa Jerram.  “Currently, the major players in hydrogen fuelling are large multinationals: the industrial gas companies, and the energy and gas companies, both those that operate retail gas stations and those that provide fuels for the grid.  These companies tend to favor large-scale hydrogen infrastructure options.”

Jerram adds that some smaller ‘independent’ hydrogen suppliers that are developing and marketing smaller onsite hydrogen generator technologies could offer a more modular path to hydrogen infrastructure build-out.  Yet another pathway is presented by vehicles using very small quantities of hydrogen, such as scooters.  These vehicles can be fuelled by small solid state hydrogen cartridges, which are readily distributed in retail outlets.

Pike Research’s analysis indicates that forklifts will be the largest driver of hydrogen fuel demand by 2020, representing 36 per cent of the total market by that time.  The other large application categories include light duty vehicles, which will consume 33 per cent of total hydrogen, and uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) for stationary power, which will represent 27% of the total.  Fuel cell buses and scooters will each be a relatively small percentage of total hydrogen demand.

A number of car makers have hydrogen-fuelled vehicles planned for market-launch within the next ten years, including Daimler, Hyundai-Kia, Toyota and Honda. Honda was the first to begin series production of a hydrogen fuelled car, with its FCX Clarity, which began leasing in small numbers to customers in the US and Japan.

July 21, 2011
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Plug Power Commits to Purchase Fuel Cell Stacks from Ballard

Ballard Power Systems, a provider of clean fuel cell products, has received a commitment for a minimum purchase of 3,250 fuel cell stacks from Plug Power. The fuel cell stacks are destined for use in material handling operations and would be procured over the next 1 ½ years.

The companies have an existing supply agreement for the equipment and the fuel cell stacks purchase has been structured under this agreement. The fuel cell stacks have power levels that range from 1.5 kW to 20 kW. The cadence and scale of the product shipments associated with the equipment would reduce the cost of the stack and increase the manufacturing efficiency.

Plug Power has integrated Ballard FCvelocity®-9SSL fuel cell stacks into its GenDrive® systems line. The company is collaborating with Ballard to develop fuel cell stacks with the GenDrive® systems. This would lead to further reduction in cost and increase the geographic reach of the product. The development would also allow use of the system in other suitable applications. The GenDrive® systems are designed to suit class-1, -2 and -3 forklift trucks in North America.

A number of manufacturers and distributors belonging to the North American market, including BMW, Coca-Cola, Wegmans, Whole Foods and FedEx Freight are using GenDrive® systems with Ballard fuel cell stacks. Many companies are converting their fleets of distribution center lift trucks to hydrogen fuel cell power, which underscores the increase in global demand for clean fuel cells.

July 22, 2011
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Stone Edge Farm: Leading Organic Winery Increases Energy Efficiency and Supports Sustainability Goals with ClearEdge Power

ClearEdge5 Stationary Continuous Power System Enables Stone Edge Farm to Benefit from Clean, Cost-Effective Energy

SONOMA, Calif. – July 22, 2011 – ClearEdge Power, a manufacturer of high-efficiency stationary fuel cells, today announced that Stone Edge Farm, an organic farm and winery located in California’s Sonoma Valley, is leveraging the ClearEdge5 system to advance its energy efficiency and sustainability goals. The ClearEdge5 system enables Stone Edge Farm to significantly reduce the energy costs required to run a successful estate and vineyard. In particular, it reduces the energy required to run the farm’s irrigation system and lights.

“At Stone Edge Farm we are committed to making world-class organic wine, while also to serving as an industry steward of sustainable practices in agriculture, farming and conservation,” said Mac McQuown, proprietor, Stone Edge Farm. “A key to minimizing our impact on the earth is determining energy efficiency best practices that help meet the operational needs of our growing agricultural operations. ClearEdge Power has been instrumental in helping us advance toward this goal by providing a system that significantly reduces our dependence on traditional energy sources while dramatically lowering our carbon emissions.”

By using the ClearEdge5 to provide power and heat for some operational functions, Stone Edge Farm expects to save 49 percent on its electricity bill and remove 24,000 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the environment annually. The financial savings will allow the winery to save more than $250,000 on total energy costs over a 20-year period. In addition to the clear financial benefits, Stone Edge Farm chose the ClearEdge5 system for its efficiency, ease-of-installation and overall aesthetic value.

“Stone Edge Farm is making tremendous strides in reducing the environmental impact of their agricultural production, and we are excited they have included our ClearEdge5 system as part of their impressive sustainability efforts,” said ClearEdge Power President and CEO Russell Ford. “This deployment clearly demonstrates the economic and environmental benefits that commercial and agricultural entities, like farms and wineries, can achieve with onsite continuous power systems such as the ClearEdge5. By providing efficient and 24/7 access to clean power and heat we can help businesses achieve energy independence, while saving money and becoming better stewards of the environment.”

The ClearEdge5 is a 5-kilowatt fuel cell from ClearEdge Power that combines heat and power in a scalable solution that can meet individual business’ specific energy needs. Unlike power sources that use traditional combustion technology, the ClearEdge5 uses an electrochemical process to convert natural gas to electricity and heat. This process dramatically reduces the environmental impact of producing electricity by reducing carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 35 to 40 percent compared to traditional combustion technology. Roughly the size of a standard refrigerator and incorporating a system for real-time remote monitoring, the innovative fuel cell system also reduces other typical pollutants, such as volatile organic compounds, ash and particulates, to trace levels.

About ClearEdge Power

ClearEdge Power is a global, privately held, technology company leading the way for smarter, cleaner on-site energy systems focused on commercial, institutional and residential buildings. The company designs, manufactures and markets the ClearEdge5 system, a proven fuel cell appliance that cleanly converts natural gas to electricity and heat, offering both significant financial and energy savings, as well as a greatly reduced impact on the global environment. The ClearEdge Power corporate management systems are certified to ISO 9001 and ISO 14001. Follow ClearEdge Power on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

July 23, 2011
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Seaport complex takes delivery of zero-emission hauling truck

The heavy-duty rig, which will transport cargo between the ports of L.A. and Long Beach and Inland Empire warehouses and distribution centers, runs on electric batteries powered by a hydrogen fuel cell.

A concept fuel cell car from Toyota

An El Segundo company aims to help the nation's busiest seaport complex advance its green technology efforts by providing zero-emission trucks for heavy-duty hauling.

Executives from Vision Motor Corp. delivered a heavy-duty hauling truck Friday to one of the port complex's most important cargo haulers, Total Transportation Services Inc. of Rancho Dominguez.

The Tyrano class 8 rig looks like any other big rig, but a hydrogen fuel cell powers an electric drive, emitting only water from the tailpipe. The ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach are billing it as the world's first zero-emission heavy-duty hydrogen rig. If it performs to expectations during an 18-month test, Total Transportation plans to order at least 100 more.

Experts said the venture could set the stage for a new era in green cargo movement.

Fleets of zero-emission trucks with the range to deliver cargo to the Inland Empire's warehouses and distribution centers would "eliminate one of the principal objections neighbors and governments have when freight and logistics are a major part of the local economy — that's the problem of diesel emissions," said economist John Husing, whose firm, Economics & Politics Inc., tracks international trade.

The Tyrano uses a combination of technologies to operate with an expected range of 200 miles, said Rudy Tapia, vice president for business development for Vision Motor. The power flows through electric batteries, which are kept charged by a hydrogen fuel cell. No fossil fuels are used in the truck.

"Up and above the benefit of zero emissions, we at TTSI feel that this fuel format is the only true way to break our dependence on imported fuel. Hydrogen is the most abundant resource on the planet," said Vic La Rosa, president of Total Transportation , a hauling and logistics company that moves freight and provides warehousing and rail service and handles shipments through seaports in Los Angeles, Long Beach, San Diego, Seattle, Tacoma, Wash., and Norfolk, Va.

Getting Total Transportation onboard for the test was a big boost, said Martin Schuermann, chief executive of Vision Motor.

"It underlines our assumptions that there are multiple commercial applications for our hydrogen powered zero-emission big rigs in today's trucking industry," Schuermann said.

Officials at the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach have a lot riding on the outcome. The nation's largest and second largest cargo container ports, respectively, put up $425,000 in seed money for the development of the Vision Motor truck through their joint Technology Assistance Program, which has an annual budget of $1.5 million. The program has funded several projects, including a hybrid diesel tugboat from Seattle-based Foss Maritime Co.

"We really want to see the truck put through the paces to see how durable the fuel cell system is," said Heather Tomley, director of environmental planning for the Port of Long Beach. "We're hoping that it works as well as they think it will."

In addition to the on-road Tyrano, Total Transportation will test a Vision Motor truck more like the common terminal tractor, designed to move containers inside the ports.

Kevin Maggay, air quality supervisor for the Port of Los Angeles, said its green technology efforts so far, including the introduction of fuels that pollute less than earlier versions, were just the beginning.

"We have made great strides in reducing emissions, but we need to go further and we have to find new technologies to get us there," Maggay said. "Clean diesel does not get us there."

Vision Motor's business plan may have tapped into a way to avoid the problem all small start-ups face — the inability to rapidly scale up to major factory production levels. It's not building the trucks. It's using Freightliner to provide the chassis and cab. It's not building the electric motor, which is made by Siemens. The fuel cell is made by Hydrogenics Canada. Vision Motor will deliver the proprietary software to make the systems work together, Tapia said.

"We go with best of breed for the components for the best performance and durability and for the lowest costs," Tapia said. "It's the most capital efficient way to go."

July 25, 2011

New Fuel Cell Company Brings Jobs and Investment to Midstate of South Carolina

LOGANEnergy to Establish New Small Scale Power Division in Columbia, South Carolina

Columbia, S.C. – LOGANEnergy, a world-leader in providing fuel cell solutions for clean energy services with home offices in Roswell, Georgia, has announced the opening of a new business unit at Midlands Technical College’s (MTC) Enterprise Campus in Columbia, South Carolina.  This new venture, LOGANEnergy Carolina, will be housed in MTC’s business accelerator bay providing the company with new facilities to assemble its power systems and stage its expansion of fuel cell services targeting Southeast and Mid-Atlantic markets with small scale fuel cell solutions.

For more than 17 years LOGANEnergy has established itself as a world-leader of fuel cell solutions with 125 installations across the country and abroad with capacities ranging from 5kW to 600kW. In addition to its reputation and subject matter expertise, LOGANEnergy Carolina is expected to bring 15-25 new jobs to the Midstate region. The firm will join other industry leaders such as Trulite, Inc., which relocated to Columbia in 2009 to pursue manufacturing advanced portable power solutions, and strengthen an already robust atmosphere for fuel cell innovation in the Midstate region. 

“We are proud that LOGANEnergy has chosen Columbia for this exciting new venture, LOGANEnergy Carolina,” said Mayor Steve Benjamin, who also serves as the co-chair for EngenuitySC. “This is a major milestone in our ongoing effort to build our knowledge economy and position our region as a global energy technology leader.”

“The collaboration occurring in our state within groups like the South Carolina Research Authority, the Central SC Alliance, the South Carolina Department of Commerce and strategic economic development initiatives like Innovista, is making these types of deals possible,” said Neil McLean, executive director for EngenuitySC.  “

"We look forward to expanding our operations in Columbia to tap into the growing demand for fuel cell solutions in the U.S.” said Sam Logan, president of LOGANEnergy. “Columbia’s base of research at the University of South Carolina, a knowledgeable workforce, and strong manufacturing resources made this decision an easy one,” he added.

Initial activity at the facility will serve to support LOGANEnergy Carolina as it fulfills new demand created under its recent acquisition of a contract with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to deploy 19 fuel cell back-up power systems at nine different U.S. locations by the end of 2011. In addition, LOGANEnergy Carolina will develop two fuel cell power projects in the Columbia region to showcase the technology in real world applications.

“Connecting new industry with the growing clean energy workforce talent in our region is a central focus at Midlands Technical College, and we believe that LOGANEnergy Carolina will be a valuable addition to Columbia’s landscape,” said Dr. Marshall (Sonny) White Jr., president of Midlands Technical College.

LOGANEnergy’s announcement to expand in South Carolina and establish a new small-scale power division in Columbia, S.C., follows the June 2011 release of the State of States report, an annual report compiled by Fuel Cells 2000, a non-profit project providing educational information about fuel cells to the public, media and policy-makers, to evaluate and rank each state’s investment, development, commercialization, and deployment of fuel cell technologies.  South Carolina ranked in the top five for the second consecutive year.

“This move is a significant result for clean energy investment in South Carolina,” said Bill Mahoney, CEO of the South Carolina Research Authority (SCRA). “LOGANEnergy’s expansion into South Carolina and its recent contract with the U.S. Department of Defense collectively reflect the growing tangible value delivered to institutions and businesses by alternative energy solutions. “

About LOGANEnergy Corp.

Since 1994, LOGAN has analyzed hundreds of fuel cell applications, and acquired technical skills, knowledge and expertise with project design, development and installation of large-scale commercial and small-scale PEM fuel cell power plants. The LOGANEnergy Corp. product catalog includes PEM, PAFC and CARBONATE power plants ranging from 5kW to 2.8MW capacities. The company's staff has installed more than 160 fuel cell power plants exceeding 9 MW of capacity at more than 100 locations in the US and UK. Customers include the federal government, utilities, banks, universities, real estate developers and other commercial accounts. For more information please visit our website at www.loganenergy.com.

About the USC Columbia Fuel Cell Collaborative

The University of South Carolina – City of Columbia Fuel Cell Collaborative was formed by the University of South Carolina, the City of Columbia, EngenuitySC and SCRA to position Columbia, SC as a leader in hydrogen fuel cell innovation and technology.  Its mission is to attract private sector partners, top fuel cell scientists, entrepreneurs, and innovators to the Columbia region to help grow an innovation pipeline from discovery to development to deployment of fuel cell technology. For more information, visit www.fuelcellcollaborative.com.

July 25, 2011
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BMW Manufacturing Announces Study to Convert Landfill Gas to Hydrogen

Groundwork begins on sustainable pilot project to use methane gas from local landfill as source of hydrogen fuel.

Spartanburg, S.C. - BMW Manufacturing announced today the launch of the first phase of an integrated program of work with the intent to validate the economic and technical feasibility of converting landfill gas into hydrogen.  If successful, the follow-up phases of the project will provide infrastructure for using this hydrogen to fuel the company’s entire fleet of material handling equipment. 

The first phase of this million dollar, multi-phase project will be funded by SCRA (South Carolina Research Authority). A unique collaboration of partners from various government energy agencies and other public and private sponsors will work together on future phases.  The project team will include BMW, Advanced Technology International (a subsidiary of SCRA), the Gas Technology Institute, Ameresco, Inc., and the South Carolina Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Alliance. 

This project expands upon BMW’s commitment to sustainable energy development.  Since 2003, methane gas has been collected, cleaned and compressed from a local landfill and used to power more than 50% of the BMW plant’s total energy requirements. In 2009, the company invested $12 million in its landfill gas program to further improve overall efficiency.  Implementation of the program has reduced CO2 emissions by about 92,000 tons per year and saves about $5 million annually in energy costs.

In September 2010, BMW completed installation of a hydrogen storage and distribution area within the existing Energy Center at its North American manufacturing plant in South Carolina. The company is using hydrogen fuel cells to power nearly 100 material handling vehicles in the plant’s new 1.2 million square foot assembly facility that produces the new BMW X3 Sports Activity Vehicle.  Success of this new project will allow BMW to transition from the pilot-scale system into a full-scale system capable of supporting the largest single-site deployment of fuel cell material handling equipment in the world. 

“This project allows testing of valuable technology to determine if using locally-sourced hydrogen in our fuel cell equipment can provide the necessary performance needed to expand our hydrogen fuel cell fleet,” said Josef Kerscher, President of BMW Manufacturing. “In the spirit of continuous improvement, we are always pursuing additional, sustainable methods of capturing renewable energy, including our existing source of landfill gas.”

“This landfill gas-to-hydrogen project at BMW will seek to demonstrate a first-of-its-kind solution that will serve as a model for other private sector companies,” said SCRA CEO Bill Mahoney. “Projects like these further the Knowledge Economy of South Carolina, and I am delighted to be working, together with our partners, to launch this important project on the grounds of a major South Carolina manufacturer. I am confident that this solution to combine renewably-generated hydrogen with clean, efficient fuel cell technology will improve productivity, reduce environmental pollutants and relieve electrical power demand from the grid and am optimistic that it will be replicated nationally.”

In addition to using hydrogen to power material handling equipment, BMW is participating in two projects with the US Department of Energy (DOE) to develop efficient storage of hydrogen for use in future motor vehicles.  Collaboration with the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory on a project to produce and store cryo-compressed hydrogen is ongoing, as well as a DOE project to efficiently store hydrogen via a liquid organic carrier. These projects are part of a portfolio of innovative concepts that are intended to enable industry to achieve long range zero-emissions vehicles on the roads across America.

BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC

BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC is a subsidiary of BMW AG in Munich, Germany and is the global producer of the BMW X3 and X5 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 Sports Activity Coupe.  In addition to the South Carolina manufacturing facility, BMW Group North American subsidiaries include sales, marketing and financial services operations in the United States, Canada and throughout Latin America; and a design firm and technology office in California. For more information on BMW Manufacturing, visit www.bmwusfactory.com.

July 26, 2011
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Globo Hydro Power Is Set to Officially Launch Its Fuel Enhancement Process

SYDNEY -- An eco-innovative public company based in Sydney, Australia, Globo Hydro Power has developed a fuel enhancement process, which utilizes Hydrogen Gas to dramatically reduce fuel consumption and negative greenhouse gas emissions across Petrol, Diesel, LPG and Bio-Fuel engines.

The Government regulatory body, The New South Wales Department of Fair Trading and the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA) have recently approved the fitting and retail sales of Global Hydro Power's worldwide patient of the hydrogen infusion system for use in standard Australian vehicles and engines. This approval has been granted after five years of extensive testing and due diligence.

The system's technology enhances standard fuel systems by blending flammable Hydrogen with standard engine fuels to deliver motorists up to 50% reduced fuel cost savings, while reducing car exhaust emissions by up to 45%. This is a profound and obvious improvement on current engine fuel usage.

CEO of Paradise Tours, William Matar, states that his Scania Coaches fitted with Globo Hydro Power, are now driving on 36% less fuel cost than before he used the system. Besides the direct benefit of fuel savings, Mr. Matar noted that his fleet of coaches demonstrated increased power under full load, on hill climbs. "This has massive implications for my tour bus company. Words can hardly explain how happy it's made me," says Mr. Mater.

Globo Hydro Power's Founder and Executive Director, Elaine Johns says, "With the rising fuel costs, Global Hydro Power is much more than a product. It is an opportunity for mum and dad drivers to put an end for once and for all, to the hemorrhage of their weekly income. For business operators and high polluters, it's a new green technology giving assistance with reducing greenhouse gas emissions in light of the recent carbon tax announced in Australia by the current Federal Government."

"In a victory for the environment, Hydrogen gas has always been a naturally produced by-product of petroleum production which is released wastefully into the atmosphere. Oil companies can now tap the Hydrogen gas by-product, storing it safely for resale and inclusion into GHP's fuel enhancement process," Miss Johns states.
Elaine Johns explains, "GHP has received extremely positive interest from a handful of multi-national petroleum companies. We're on the verge of a landslide victory for the environment, petroleum companies and Australian motorists alike."

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO) scientists confirmed that the oil used within the engine's operating system and the oil within the vehicle's primary fuel source coats the cylinders and cylinder heads, forming a protective barrier between the hydrogen gas and the metal of an engine. This saves the cylinder heads from any possible damage caused by the increased power of the explosion.

July 26, 2011
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Schumer's Expansion of Tax Break to Benefit Plug Power Fuel Cell Customers

Improved Legislation to Cover Fuel Cells for Off-Highway Vehicles, Like Forklift Trucks

LATHAM, N.Y. -- Plug Power Inc. a leader in providing clean, reliable energy solutions, today announced that U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer has revealed legislation to improve the tax credit for fuel cell-powered industrial vehicles to include fuel cells designed for heavy machinery and off-highway vehicles. Schumer unveiled legislation in the Senate to match that of Congressmen Paul Tonko and Chris Gibson in the House of Representatives.

Plug Power's GenDrive(R) fuel cells replace lead-acid batteries in electric lift trucks. The current tax credit provides significant incentives to buyers of fuel cells for cars and trucks, and a separate credit for power generation, but neither credit specifically targets fuel cells designed for material handling vehicles. Passing the tax credit will mean a break of between $8,000 and $40,000 for buyers, depending on the nameplate kilowatt capacity or weight of the fuel cell material handling vehicle.

Senator Schumer's legislation is intended to amend section 30B of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, also known as the Alternative Motor Vehicle Credit (AMVC). The proposed legislation expands the definition of "fuel cell motor vehicle" to include fuel cell-powered material handling vehicles. Changes to the AMVC will provide tax credits for companies to invest in fuel cell-powered industrial vehicles, providing additional economic incentives to Plug Power's customers and industry partners.

The bill also reforms section 48C of the tax code, to provide a new qualified fuel cell motive property credit based on a vehicle's nameplate kilowatt capacity -- an objective, widely accepted and verified industry standard of measurement.

"Fuels cells save energy and help the environment regardless of whether they're attached to a car or a forklift, and this new legislation will ensure that companies that produce either type of vehicle are treated equally," said Schumer. "By leveling the playing field, we have the potential to create hundreds of jobs here in the Capital Region and to allow Plug Power, one of the world's preeminent manufacturers of fuel cells, to compete on a level playing field."

Plug Power's headquarters are in Latham, NY, where over 100 New York State residents are employed. Extending the tax credit to include Plug Power's customers in the material handling sector, would provide a boost to the company in terms of manufacturing pipeline, job creation and supplier relationships. The Department of Energy currently estimates that the domestic fuel cell industry will create 40,000 jobs over the next ten years. It's critical that domestic fuel cell producers and suppliers are supported under the AMVC credit in order to meet, or exceed, these targets and keep the United States as the leader in fuel cell technology.

"The expansion and improvement of the tax law is a result of the impressive relationship Senator Schumer has been able to establish with companies within the fuel cell industry," said George McNamee, Chairman of the Board of Directors for Plug Power. "His dedication to the commercialization of alternative energy solutions will only make our Capital Region, State and Nation stronger."

"Senator Schumer's progressive legislation sheds light on the remarkable affects that fuel cell market growth can bring to New York State," said Andy Marsh, CEO at Plug Power Inc. "By helping to commercialize sustainable fuel cell power solutions, thousands of green jobs will be created in manufacturing, engineering and supply chain domestically."

About Plug Power Inc.

The architects of modern fuel cell technology, Plug Power revolutionized the industry with cost-effective power solutions that increase productivity, lower operating costs and reduce carbon footprints. Long-standing relationships with industry leaders forged the path for Plug Power's key accounts, including Wegmans, Whole Foods, and FedEx Freight. With more than 1,200 GenDrive units shipped to material handling customers, accumulating over 2.5 million hours of runtime, Plug Power manufactures tomorrow's incumbent power solutions today. Additional information about Plug Power is available at www.plugpower.com .

July 27, 2011
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Ballard Announces Dantherm Power Agreement to Collaborate with Delta Power Solutions (India)

VANCOUVER - Ballard Power Systems today announced that Dantherm Power, the backup power systems company in which it has a controlling interest, has signed a collaboration agreement with Delta Power Solutions (India) Pvt. Ltd. [Delta] to market clean energy fuel cell power solutions in the India telecommunications sector. Delta Power Solutions (India) is a subsidiary of Delta Electronics (Thailand) PLC, part of the Delta Group, the world's leading energy saving solutions provider.

Under the agreement, Dantherm Power and Delta will jointly work to deploy product field trials comprised of Dantherm Power's direct hydrogen 2-kilowatt (kW) DBX2000 fuel cell system as well as its 5kW DBX5000 fuel cell system, which will be integrated by Delta, along with its Site Management & Control System (SMCS), and deployed at telecom customer sites in India. Delta will take responsibility for installation, commissioning, maintenance and management of these field deployments. These sites will be remotely monitored by Delta's Network Operation Centre (NOC).

John Sheridan, CEO of Ballard and Chairman of Dantherm Power said, "This agreement represents an effective, managed approach to backup power market development in India. Delta will leverage its existing telecom industry relationships in order to identify interested customers, and Delta will provide on-the-ground support throughout the trial period. Onsite expertise and customer support is the key to gaining traction with solutions that are new to the market, such as fuel cells in the India telecom sector."
These field trials will enable an informed assessment of the commercial market opportunity, including identification of appropriate fuel cell solutions. Commercial deployments in India would then benefit from Delta's in-country marketing, sales, distribution and servicing capabilities.

Dalip Sharma, Managing Director of Delta Power Solutions said, "We are very pleased to be working with PEM fuel cell products from premier providers such as Dantherm Power and Ballard. This collaborative partnership has all the right elements for a successful evaluation of the market opportunity and for potentially large-scale product roll-out down the road."

Delta Power Solutions serves many of the largest service and infrastructure providers in the Indian telecom industry, including Indus, Bharti, Vodafone, Reliance and Idea Cellular.

July 27, 2011
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South Carolina Jobs Being Created In A Green Way

Columbia, SC - An effort is underway to bring more jobs our way and its by going green.

"If you look at the opportunity in the green energy sector we are talking about job creation," says Energy Forum Organizer Erika Myers.

They are looking at all types of ways to turn renewable energy into money. The Coastal Biodiesel Group based in Conway uses restaurant cooking oil - turning it into fuel for fleets.

"We provide a container, service it, manage it, no cost, we come by, pump it out and every quarter we send them a refund check based on the amount of gallons pumped out," says Mark Randolph. 

And unlike regular gas, Coastal Biodiesel says their fuel keeps energy dollars in South Carolina

"We are creating jobs, we are active in the community and it is the right thing for the environment," said Randolph.

Supporters say renewable energy has the potential economic impact to improve our unemployment status.

"Let's develop what we have here and let's look at all the opportunities we have to keep dollars in the state and create jobs that cannot be exported," says Myers.

July 27, 2011
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Understanding the SC Hydrogen Convergence Gold Rush

Since the Department of Energy (DOE) is so hostile to the ongoing research and development of hydrogen fuel cells, states are stepping up to the hydrogen convergence challenge and putting America on a more entrepreneurial footing. No state does it better than South Carolina according to the Fuel Cells 2000 annual report [PDF] on the status of hydrogen convergence in America.

The bottom line is that hydrogen convergence equals jobs growth. This is because there are very few hydrogen fuel cell applications currently deployed. So jobs have to be created to meet the increasing demand for near-zero emissions solutions. State governments may be late to hydrogen convergence movement but they understand what it takes to ensure a healthy manufacturing base and the strategic network enablers.

In the case of South Carolina, the strategic network that makes it all work is called the South Carolina Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Alliance (SCHFCA). In fact, the entire hydrogen convergence movement owes a debt of gratitude to SCHFCA because their members were the first to lobby a Congressional delegation in 2009 for continued hydrogen fuel cell funding. This level of extraordinary support is also shown by their willingness to co-host the 2011 SC Renewable Energy Forum.

Very serious people often ask what the average citizen can do to advance hydrogen convergence in America. We at the ebTDesign Forum suggest that you and your peers join your state’s version of the SCHFCA. Hydrogen Convergence is a team effort. So if you and your peers are building a business case for early investment in hydrogen convergence, we suggest there’s no better example than South Carolina and the South Carolina Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Alliance (SCHFCA).

July 28, 2011
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News 12 tours hydrogen lab at SRS

AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. -- News 12 took a bus trip that was a bit unusual. School was not the destination and the bus driver has a Ph.D. Probably the most unusual of all was what was happening under the hood. It was the familiar internal combustion system, but of hydrogen gas, not gasoline.

"Basically, it's almost a standard engine, and it's just been modified for hydrogen use," said Dr. Ted Motyka. He was the bus driver for the day. He's the Hydrogen Program Manager for the Savannah River National Laboratory at SRS. They don't just have the bus; they also have a Chevrolet Silverado which uses similar technology.

"This whole vehicle holds about 10 kilograms of hydrogen and gets about a 150-175 mile range," he said of the Silverado.

They're interesting toys, but they're also important research tools at the Center for Hydrogen Research, where Dr. Motyka works. The goal of the state of the art facility is developing hydrogen fuel technologies that will replace fossil fuels like gasoline one day. What is hydrogen?

"It is the cleanest source we have, and the nice thing about hydrogen . . . is you can make it. It's diverse. You can make it from almost anything. Theoretically, you can make it from coal if you have to. You can make it from natural gas," he said.

But you can also make it from something even simpler: water. In a lab at the Center for Hydrogen Research, scientists actually use solar energy to make electricity, they run that electricity through water to create hydrogen, they store that hydrogen in a fuel cell, and then they could theoretically use that fuel cell to power a house or business.

Similar technology could also keep you from paying high gas prices and actually let you pump renewable, clean-burning hydrogen in your tank instead.

"2015-- you'll see more on the road, no doubt," said Motyka.

It sounds like science fiction, but it's actually becoming science fact.

"Almost all the auto companies have hydrogen vehicles under test now, and many are being leased. Toyota and Honda, Ford and General Motors all have lease programs that are in the hands of the general public, and people are driving fuel-cell vehicles around," he said.

There are a few obstacles facing hydrogen technology. Chiefly, it still very expensive to use. Also, there aren't a lot of places to refuel hydrogen vehicles right now. They'll also have to develop fuel cells that last as long as your engine does. Of course, the goal of Dr. Motyka's lab is solving some of those issues.

Many hope this facility in Aiken County could bring jobs, international attention, and prosperity to the surrounding area.

July 29, 2011
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NTT America installs Bloom Energy fuel cells for data centers

Fuel cell maker Bloom Energy Corporation adds another customer looking for a more cleaner way to power their data centers after NTT America, the United States division of Japanese telecom giant NTT, said it has installed five of their fuel cells in its facilities in San Jose, California.

Nine-year-old Bloom sells an industrial-sized fuel cell called Bloom Energy Server or Bloom box that uses oxygen and fuel to create electricity with minimal or no emissions.

Individual cells are made of sand baked into diskette-sized ceramic squares painted with special green and black ink on each side.

Oxygen is drawn into one side of the unit, and fuel, either natural or biogas is fed into the other side. The two combine within the ceramic plate and produce a chemical reaction that creates electricity in a less carbon-intensive manner since it does not burn the fuel.

Each Bloom Energy fuel cell is capable of producing about 25 watts, enough to power a light bulb. For more power, the cells are sandwiched and housed into a unit which looks like a large refrigerator.

Five units installed in NTT America have a total capacity of 500 kilowatts, which is the equivalent power for about 500 houses or five large office buildings. Each Bloom fuel cell costs around $700,000 to $800,000.

The Bloom Energy Servers installed in NTT are designed to run on natural gas, which is mostly methane, but will also convert biogas to electricity. NTT said it will use biogas produced at a California dairy farm.

Biogas is a gas primarily composed of methane like natural gas. It is made by decomposing organic material in the absence of oxygen and is slightly less polluting than natural gas piped from underground.

NTT said its fuel cells will produce more than 4.2 million kilowatts of electricity annually, reducing the amount of energy the data center draws from the public grid which cuts emissions from power generation.

NTT will generate electricity where it will be used, allowing the company to reduce the amount of energy loss due to transmission across power lines, thereby increasing efficiency and trimming costs.

Carbon dioxide emissions offset by the fuel cells equal 1.6 million pounds (0.000725 metric tons).

Similar deal

Bloom Energy is fresh off a similar deal with AT&T, its first with a telecommunications company. The Bloom box will also power data centers within 11 sites in California.

The systems will generate 7.5 MW, of power equal to around 75 bloom boxes, and be fuelled by natural gas rather than biogas. The installation will begin later this year and will be fully operational by mid-2012 in 11 facilities.

The project will generate 62 million kWh and help AT&T avoid approximately 250 million pounds (0.11 MT) of carbon dioxide emissions.

So far Bloom has done much of its business within California, because California offers fuel cell installers significant subsidies.

Fuel cells are included in their Renewable Portfolio Standard and adoption can be subsidized by California under the Self Generation Incentive Programme.

Companies with facilities in California like Google, Ebay, and Coca-Cola have taken advantage of the state subsidies to deploy Bloom’s boxes. The internet giant was the company’s first customer in July 2008, and has installed fuel cell units generating 400 kW to power a building on Google’s main campus.

Coca-Cola also used bloom boxes to improve the energy efficiency of its plants, vehicle fleet, and cold drink equipments. The company installed 500 kW worth of units at its Odwalla plant in Dinuba, California, providing 30 percent of the plant’s power needs while reducing its carbon footprint by 35 percent.

Bloom Energy traces its roots to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Mars space program, after Dr. KR Sridhar, chief executive of Bloom Energy, and his partners thought of finding a way to reverse a process for producing oxygen.

The company’s investors include Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, representing the firm’s first clean tech investment, as well as Morgan Stanley, NEA, and Northgate Capital.

In January, Bloom Energy said it has 20 MW equal to 200 bloom boxes providing electricity to current customers including Staples Inc. and Walmart and new customers California Institute of Technology, Kaiser Permanente, and Becton, Dickinson and Company. (O.M. Bayani)

July 31, 2011
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Opel Plans to Build 20,000 Fuel-cell Luxury Sedans for 2016

According to Opel’s deputy chairman, the GM-owned German carmaker has plans to bring a TOL (Top-Of the Line) sedan to market by 2016, which would be, in his words, a “technological spearhead” for the brand, bringing together fuel-cells, electric batteries, and other state-of-the-art technologies into a package that he believes the German brand could sell in big numbers.

In an interview with Automotive News, Opel’s Klaus Franz offered that Opel is seen, in Europe, as a green-tech innovator because of its sold-out Chevy Volt twin.  ”Already with the our Ampera electric vehicle, we have shown what we are able to do and enjoy an advantage of two to three years compared to the competition.”

Franz sees annual sales of 20,000 for the model as “realistic” for the TOL Opel, which is huge, compared to the only 200 (two-hundred) FCX Clarity fuel-cell Hondas that company plans to build over the next three years (check the right-hand menu).  Franz said Opel’s “other priorities”, however, would take precedent over the TOL, including the upcoming Opel Junior, a new Opel (formerly, Saturn) Astra coupe, and a small SUV.  ”The TOL,” he adds, “is a luxury.”

Expect Opel’s TOL to make a more formal debut at the next Frankfurt show, and to borrow heavily from the well-received (and Volt-based) Flextreme GT/E concept car.  Here’s hoping GM has the good sense to bring the thing stateside as some kind of new, green Chevy Impala (although I wouldn’t hold my breath).

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