September 2011

 

9.1.2011 Air Force Awards Optomec Contract to Extend Fuel Cell Manufacturing Technologies
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9.1.2011 Toyota's Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicle 'ready by 2015'
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9.2.2011 Hyundai fuel cell Hope tour funds cancer research
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9.5.2011 Distributed generation kept lights on after Irene
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9.5.2011 Power in a box
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9.7.2011 FuelCell Energy Announces Asian Market Expansion With Sale of Ultra-Clean Fuel Cell Module for Installation in Indonesia
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9.7.2011 UTC Power Fuel Cell to Serve UConn’s Depot Campus
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9.8.2011 Inventions at NASA Glenn in Power and Measurement Named Among R and D 100 Awards
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9.8.2011 Breakthrough in hydrogen fuel cells touted by National Science Foundation
(view article)

9.9.2011 Hyundai ix35 FCEV review
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9.11.2011 R&D Advances in Hydrogen Fuel Storage Technology Promise Green Benefits
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9.11.2011 ZEEP24 – A New Energy Supply System Converts Sunlight Into Hydrogen
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9.12.2011 Mercedes-Benz F125! Concept: Fuel Cells Still Waiting On Tomorrow
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9.13.2011 Daimler Aims to Expand Fuel Cell Partnerships By The End of 2011
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9.16.2011 Honda lays groundwork for FCX Clarity launch
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9.16.2011 See the Fuel Station of the Future
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9.17.2011 Fuel cell generator for homes takes off
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9.17.2011 The Race for Hydrogen Cars
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9.19.2011 To focus on hydrogen, Hyundai passes Kia keys to EV market
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9.21.2011 Solid Oxide Fuel Cells: Technologies and Global Markets
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9.21.2011 Fuel Cell Markets in Asia Pacific to Reach $6.7 Billion by 2017, Forecasts Pike Research
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9.21.2011 Researchers produce 'limitless' hydrogen from bacteria
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9.21.2011 Crown builds 500th new fuel cell-operated forklift
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9.23.2011 First hydrogen refuelling station in UK opened by Honda
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9.24.2011 Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC) Market to Grow 45% Annually Through 2016
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9.26.2011 UK manufacturer Microcab launches hydrogen fuel cell car
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9.26.2011 Dutch investing in soldier fuel cells
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9.26.2011 Crown is the “right choice” for fuel-cell technology
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9.26.2011 Quantum wins Daimler contract for high-capacity composite tanks
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9.27.2011 Plug Power Could Double Shipments For The Fourth Year In A Row
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9.29.2011 Ann Arbor Firm Gets Army Fuel Cell Contract
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9.30.2011 CIT Invests in Richmond's Marz Industries
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9.30.2011 Eco Company's Torrington segment to air Saturday
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9.30.2011 USC-Columbia fuel cell effort honored
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September 1, 2011
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Air Force Awards Optomec Contract to Extend Fuel Cell Manufacturing Technologies

Enhancements to Aerosol Jet Printing Platform Will Enable Production of High Performance Graded Fuel Cells

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Optomec today announced a new $500,000 contract extension from the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) to enhance its Aerosol Jet system to enable the production of graded fuel cell structures in a single manufacturing step, versus current multiple step approaches. The system will be used by AFRL to develop and prototype high efficiency solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) based on the Aerosol Jet technology's unique material mixing capabilities. These advances will improve the electrical and mechanical performance of fuel cells, increase the material utilization rates, and substantially lower manufacturing and equipment costs.

Optomec's Aerosol Jet solution is a fundamental building block for a range of fine feature printed electronics, including applications in solar cell manufacturing and advanced semiconductor packaging. Working together with AFRL, Optomec has extended Aerosol Jet capabilities to enable the printing of high performance fuel cells. For more information on Aerosol Jet technology, click here.

Commercialization of SOFC technology has been limited in part by the lack of processing methods suited for mass production. Commonly used approaches such as tape casting; screen printing; spray; and spin and dip coating have limitations due to the inability for easy scale-up and difficulties in obtaining layer uniformity and reproducible microstructures. Alternative techniques based on physical vapor deposition involve high equipment and operating costs. Aerosol Jet systems provide a compelling alternative to these legacy methods, based on the systems' ability to cost-effectively print fuel cell components with exceptional uniformity, reproducibility and a greater utilization of active materials. Aerosol Jet systems also serve as an ideal development and prototyping tool due to their ability to readily and reproducibly alter cell architectures and material compositions.

Most notably, the Aerosol Jet solution has a unique ability to create graded interfaces between the fuel cell's primary component layers: the anode, electrolyte and cathode. These graded "inter-layers" simultaneously increase cell performance by enlarging the reaction zone and improve mechanical stability by alleviating the mismatches in thermal expansion. Using this capability, AFRL has demonstrated the ability to increase SOFC power densities by more than 30%. Under this contract extension, Optomec will further enhance the Aerosol Jet hardware to enable seamless, high throughput production of these unique high performance graded fuel cells.

The AFRL system and its enhancements will remain housed at the Propulsion Directorate Energy/Power/Thermal Division at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. The system will continue to be primarily used to develop deposition processes for SOFCs.

Dr. Ryan Miller of the Thermal and Electrochemical branch states, "Optomec and AFRL continue to have a productive partnership, through the development of further enhancements to the Aerosol Jet system. It brings a unique capability to our lab in the area of thick film material deposition with a wide range of applications, in addition to solid oxide fuel cells."

Optomec is the world-leading provider of additive manufacturing solutions for high-performance applications in the Electronics, Solar, Medical, and Aerospace & Defense markets. These systems utilize Optomec's patented Aerosol Jet Printed Electronics technology and LENS powder-metal fabrication technology. The company has a global customer base of more than 100 users that includes many industry-leading manufacturers.

LENS is a registered trademark of Sandia Corporation.

Aerosol Jet is a registered trademark of Optomec, Inc.


September 1, 2011
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Toyota's Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicle 'ready by 2015'

Toyota's Highlander Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicle (FCHV) will be ready for the market by 2015, after the automaker said it has reduced costs significantly in recent years.

The model will go on sale within four years, with an estimated price tag of $50,000, just under twice the amount for a standard version.

Toyota is in the process of testing over 100 Highlander FCHVs in the US ahead of the planned launch date.

The firm's hydrogen fuel cell technology has been continually evolving since its first generation fuel cell vehicle hit the road in 2002, explained Chris Hostetter, Toyota Motor Sales Group vice-president of strategic resources.

He said the last nine years have seen improvements in range, durability and efficiency of fuel cells, while significant cost reductions in materials and manufacturing have also been realised.

"Fuel cell technology is viable and ready for the mass market," he added.

"Toyota plans to bring a fuel cell vehicle to market in 2015, or sooner, and as you see … we will not be alone in the marketplace."

One major barrier to the widespread adoption of hydrogen fuel cell technology is a lack of points where people can fill up their vehicle, despite the Highlander FCHV managing 500 miles on a single tank of hydrogen.

"Building an extensive hydrogen re-fuelling infrastructure is the critical next step in bringing these products to market," Mr Hostetter noted. "But infrastructure development is no easy task."

Earlier this year, a collaborative effort by Shell, Air Products, Toyota, South Coast Air Quality Management District and the Department of Energy resulted in a new hydrogen fuelling facility in Torrance, Calfornia.

But the growth of fuel cells will depend on more projects like that one, Mr Hostetter said.

"It will require coordination and cooperation between vehicle manufacturers … government agencies … hydrogen producers … and end users," he explained.


September 2, 2011
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Hyundai fuel cell Hope tour funds cancer research


Hyundai's hydrogen-powered Tucson sets off from San Francisco to raise funds for and awareness of pediatric cancer research

A Hyundai Tucson left San Francisco this morning, heading to Los Angeles in the first leg of a cross-country trip. But this trip is no family vacation; the Tucson will be picking up handprints from children as it makes stops at pediatric cancer facilities. And the car will not burn any gasoline in its travels, as its fuel cell stack converts hydrogen into electricity for its drive motor.

Hyundai's Hope on Wheels tour is designed to raise awareness of pediatric cancer, and present 71 hospitals with $100,000 grants to fund researchers. Childhood cancer patients and survivors will add their handprints to the Tucson at each stop.

The tour is timed to coincide with National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and will cover 15 states. It winds up in New York at the end of September. Hyundai has been running the Hope on Wheels program since 1998, and raised $43 million for cancer research.

Driving the Tucson Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle (FCEV) will be Zafar Brooks, Hyundai's director of Corporate Social Responsibility, and Joe Foster, the Drive 4 Hope field leader.

The vehicle being used for the tour represents the third generation of Hyundai's fuel cell technology. It holds two 10,000 PSI hydrogen tanks, giving it a range of 400 miles per fill-up. Hyundai planned the tour to take advantage of hydrogen filling stations along the way, but also has had to ship hydrogen filling apparatus to members of its dealer network to make up for the current lack of infrastructure.

Hyundai has built 48 examples of this third-generation Tucson FCEV for research. Its 100-kilowatt motor gets electricity from the hydrogen-fed fuel cells and gives it a top speed of 100 mph. The drive system also uses regenerative braking and a lithium polymer battery pack to store excess electricity.

Hyundai Senior Fuel Cell Engineer Joshua Mermelstein says this current generation of fuel cell stack, built in-house by Hyundai, is designed to achieve 5,000 hours of operation, equivalent to about 100,000 miles of driving.

You can follow the tour at the Hyundai Drive 4 Hope Web site


September 5, 2011
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Distributed generation kept lights on after Irene


September 5, 2011
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Power in a box

Mike Upp, vice president of marketing for ClearEdge Power, demonstrates a ClearEdge fuel cell recently installed at Stone Edge Farm in Sonoma. The 5-kilowatt unit, roughly the size of a refrigerator, will save the organic farm and vineyard about 49 percent on its electricity bill, while removing 24,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from the environment annually. The cost savings to the winery over 20 years is estimated at $250,000. The unit converts natural gas into hydrogen-rich gas that combines with oxygen to produce electricity and heat. Besides powering the winery, the fuel cell will be used to heat the estate's swimming pool.


September 7, 2011
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FuelCell Energy Announces Asian Market Expansion With Sale of Ultra-Clean Fuel Cell Module for Installation in Indonesia

Sub-Megawatt Power Plant to Demonstrate Stationary Fuel Cell Benefits at a Showcase Installation in Indonesia

DANBURY, Conn. -- FuelCell Energy, Inc. a leading manufacturer of ultra-clean, efficient and reliable power plants, today announced market expansion into Indonesia with the sale of a sub-megawatt Direct FuelCell(R) (DFC(R)) module to partner POSCO Power for installation at a showcase location in Indonesia. POSCO Power will combine the fuel cell module with locally manufactured balance of plant and install the complete fuel cell power plant at a heavily visited waterpark resort in Jakarta, Indonesia. This high exposure installation will demonstrate the benefits of ultra-clean, efficient and reliable power generation as POSCO Power develops a market for megawatt class power plants in Southeast Asia, starting with Indonesia and to be followed by Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.

"Establishing a presence in Jakarta, Indonesia with a Direct FuelCell power plant is the first overseas expansion for POSCO Power and is the first commercial stationary fuel cell power plant to be installed in Southeast Asia outside of South Korea," said Soung-Sik Cho, Chief Executive Officer for POSCO Power. "I am pleased to be leading POSCO Power as the organization moves from a technology importer to a green and high-tech ambassador of ultra-clean and efficient fuel cell power generation in Asia."

Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world with a population of approximately 245 million and is the world's eighth largest producer of natural gas. With growing power needs from an expanding urban middle class, Indonesian utilities need scalable baseload distributed generation. The virtual lack of emissions combined with quiet operation of DFC plants, facilitates their siting in populated areas. The scalable nature of DFC plants permits utilities to add power in cost effective increments as demand warrants. Distributed generation also improves energy security and energy reliability while reducing the need to build and maintain costly transmission and distribution.

"POSCO Power has ordered 140 megawatts of ultra-clean Direct FuelCell power plants and fuel cell components since 2007," said Chip Bottone, President and CEO for FuelCell Energy, Inc. "With this strong market development base of expertise and having developed strong ties with the Indonesian Government, POSCO Power is well positioned to build on their success in South Korea with fuel cell power plant exports throughout Indonesia and Southeast Asia."

DFC plants are fuel flexible, operating on natural gas or renewable biogas. Given Indonesia's abundant supplies of domestic natural gas and desire to reduce pollutants and carbon emissions, DFC plants are an attractive power generation solution for Indonesian utilities and independent power producers. Fuel cells generate electricity cleanly and efficiently using an electrochemical process that does not involve combustion. The lack of combustion eliminates almost all pollutants such as NOx, SOx or particulate matter.

DFC plants are 47 percent electrically efficient, which is higher than any other power generation of a similar size. High efficiency results in fuel savings as a greater amount of electricity is generated from each unit of fuel and high efficiency also reduces carbon emissions, helping customers reach sustainability goals. In addition to ultra-clean power, DFC plants generate usable high quality heat suitable for generating steam and can achieve efficiencies up to 90 percent in a combined heat and power (CHP) configuration. The heat from this power plant is expected to be used for facility heating and cooling.

As the market in Indonesia and Southeast Asia develops, FuelCell Energy will build and export the core fuel cell components to South Korea where POSCO Power will stack the components to create fuel cell modules. The modules will be combined with locally built or sourced balance of plant and the completed DFC plant will be shipped to Indonesia. In addition to the revenue generated from the sale of components, POSCO Power will pay a royalty to FuelCell Energy for each complete power plant built under a 2009 licensing agreement.

The 300 kilowatt DFC300 power plant is expected to be operating by the end of 2012 at Ancol Dreamland resort in Jakarta, Indonesia, one of the most highly visited tourist destinations in Southeast Asia.

About FuelCell Energy

Direct FuelCell(R) power plants are generating ultra-clean, efficient and reliable power at more than 50 locations worldwide. The Company's power plants have generated over 850 million kWh of power using a variety of fuels including renewable biogas from wastewater treatment and food processing, as well as clean natural gas. With over 180 megawatts of power generation capacity installed or in backlog, FuelCell Energy is a global leader in providing ultra-clean baseload distributed generation to utilities, industrial operations, universities, municipal water treatment facilities, government installations and other customers around the world. For more information please visit our website at www.fuelcellenergy.com

This news release contains forward-looking statements, including statements regarding the Company's plans and expectations regarding the continuing development, commercialization and financing of its fuel cell technology and business plans. All forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Factors that could cause such a difference include, without limitation, general risks associated with product development, manufacturing, changes in the regulatory environment, customer strategies, potential volatility of energy prices, rapid technological change, competition, and the Company's ability to achieve its sales plans and cost reduction targets, as well as other risks set forth in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The forward-looking statements contained herein speak only as of the date of this press release. The Company expressly disclaims any obligation or undertaking to release publicly any updates or revisions to any such statement to reflect any change in the Company's expectations or any change in events, conditions or circumstances on which any such statement is based.

Direct FuelCell, DFC, DFC/T, DFC-H2 and FuelCell Energy, Inc. are all registered trademarks of FuelCell Energy, Inc. DFC-ERG is a registered trademark jointly owned by Enbridge, Inc. and FuelCell Energy, Inc.


September 7, 2011
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UTC Power Fuel Cell to Serve UConn’s Depot Campus

In partnership with UTC Power, the University will begin using a fuel cell power plant to supply energy, heat, and cooling to buildings at the Depot campus in spring 2012. The project is part of UConn’s ongoing commitment to sustainable energy and a reduction of its carbon footprint.

The 400kW UTC Power PureCell fuel cell system will provide clean, efficient, and reliable energy to all buildings on the Depot campus, including important research laboratories and offices at UConn’s Center for Clean Energy and Engineering and Longley Building. The Depot campus is located a short distance from the Storrs campus.

“We are very excited to work with UTC Power on this innovative public-private partnership that will bring clean energy generation to the Depot campus,” says Mun Choi, dean of UConn’s School of Engineering. “This initiative represents the first installation of a fuel cell this size in a college or university in New England, and demonstrates UConn’s deep commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship.”

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions

The fuel cell installation advances the University’s 2010 Climate Action Plan, which outlines more than 200 strategies for achieving a carbon-neutral Storrs campus by 2050. The plan aims at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels through infrastructure improvements, new technologies, and greater use of alternative fuel sources. The plan also calls for the University to raise awareness about environmental sustainability and climate change through its daily operations and educational activities.

Ongoing improvements in sustainable energy and resource conservation allowed UConn to improve its ranking on the Sierra Club’s annual greenest schools list from 49th overall in 2009 to 16th this year. University officials expect the new fuel cell to propel UConn into the top 10 on the Sierra Club’s ‘coolest schools’ list once it goes online. The Sierra Club’s listings are based on surveys sent to more than 900 schools across the country.

 “This fuel cell unit represents a key component of our clean energy initiative,” says Prabhakar Singh, director of UConn’s Center for Clean Energy and Engineering (C2E2) and the UTC Professor of Fuel Cell Technology. “By installing this unit, we are going to reduce our carbon footprint significantly. And this is a great educational tool for students and faculty in terms of teaching and demonstration. We’ll be able to show and monitor the unit’s performance through dashboards that will be installed both at [the Longley Building] and C2E2.”

Based in South Windsor, UTC Power is a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE:UTX) and a world leader in fuel cell technology. UTC Power fuel cells can be found in 19 different countries on six continents. The PureCell system is a combined heat and power device that can operate independently of, or in conjunction with, the commercial power grid and provides clean, efficient energy that easily meets the most stringent emissions requirements. This commercially proven system also boasts an industry-best 10-year cell stack life and an overall system efficiency of up to 90 percent, which is nearly three times that of typical central generation. A fuel cell converts natural gas into electricity and heat through a combustion-free, electrochemical process, of which the only byproducts are water and heat.

Clean, efficient energy

“UTC Power is proud to partner with UConn to deliver clean, efficient energy with the PureCell system and to help meet the goals of their Climate Action Plan,” says Joe Triompo, vice president and general manager of UTC Power. “We are thrilled that our fuel cell technology will power the very buildings where UConn is conducting important fuel cell research every day.”

Funding for the UConn fuel cell installation was secured through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund, as part of the distributed generation program.

“This fuel cell will not only support the important energy-related research occurring at C2E2 but it will also be an important educational tool for UConn students,” says Bryan Garcia, president of the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority. “Student access to clean energy technologies such as fuel cells ensures that our graduates will be well prepared to join the clean energy workforce now being advanced across Connecticut.”

"This initiative represents the first installation of a fuel cell this size in a college or university in New England, and demonstrates UConn’s deep commitment to sustainability and environmental stewardship."

Created by the Connecticut General Assembly in 2011, the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority is the successor organization to the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund. Its mission is to promote, develop, and invest in clean energy and energy efficiency projects in order to strengthen Connecticut’s economy, protect community health, improve the environment, and promote a secure energy supply for the state.

Once the PureCell unit goes online, UConn will derive power from the fuel cell, which will be served by existing natural gas lines on the Depot campus. The new energy system will result in a net reduction of about 600,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per year, according to University estimates. It will reduce emissions of gaseous nitrogen compounds, sulphuric compounds, particulate matter, and other volatile organic compounds. Any excess energy produced by the PureCell system will be fed into the commercial grid.

The fuel cell will provide energy to all buildings at the Depot campus, including cooling  and heating for several large research bays in the Center for Clean Energy and Engineering and heating for the Longley Building. UConn’s Center for Clean Energy and Engineering is staffed by some of the top energy researchers in the country, who came to UConn through the state of Connecticut’s Eminent Faculty Initiative in Sustainable Energy. The initiative, launched in 2007 and jointly funded by the state and private business investment, supplied UConn with $4 million to recruit top scholars in order to strengthen the state’s and UConn’s technological leadership. Researchers at the center are advancing science in smart grid technologies, photovoltaic solar energy, fuel cells, computational modeling, advanced combustion technologies, and other areas.

In addition to Prabhakar Singh, other participants in the University’s initiative include Tricia Bergman, associate director of C2E2; Matt Larson, director of procurement; Alex Roe, director of planning; Ron Gaudet, UConn energy manager; Ugur Pasaogullari, associate professor of mechanical engineering; and Radenka Maric, CCEF professor of sustainable energy in the chemical, materials, and biomolecular engineering department.


September 8, 2011
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Inventions at NASA Glenn in Power and Measurement Named Among R and D 100 Awards

Teams of researchers and scientists at NASA's Glenn Research Center were named as developing three of the top 100 technologically significant new products in 2011.

The R and D 100 Awards announced annually by R and D Magazine will be presented during its banquet on October 13 at Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld in Florida.

The magazine's editors, along with an independent judging panel, selected the following Glenn products for award.

The Non-Flow-Through Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell is a more efficient way to produce electricity for long duration missions. All fuel cells combine hydrogen and oxygen to generate, heat, electricity and water. While the standard fuel cell requires continuous purging of the water produced, the new invention passively wicks the water away. This avoids the need to recirculate gases and results in a system with much less weight and volume. The new fuel cells could lead to improved long term scientific exploration, lead to safer military operations and have significant impact on unmanned underwater and aerial vehicles. Additionally, as fuel cells become more widely used, they will significantly reduce the amounts of pollutants generated in the atmosphere. Members of the team are Mark Hoberecht and Ken Burke of Glenn, Ian Jakupca of QinetiQ North America, Bill Smith and Alfred Meyer of Infinity Fuel Cell and Hydrogen, Inc., James McElroy of McElroy PEM Technologies and Christopher Callahan of Callahan Engineering, LLC.

The Multi-Parameter Aerosol Scattering Sensor can accurately measure, characterize and monitor atmospheric particulates. Originally developed for early-warning fire detection in spacecraft and remote habitats, this extremely compact sensor provides more accurate measurements than larger, heavier, and more expensive instruments that are currently available. Because the sensor is small, lightweight, mechanically robust and portable, it can potentially be worn as a personal monitor, enabling first responders, firefighters, and hazardous material personnel to manage their exposure to dangerous breathing conditions. Glenn's Paul Greenberg and David Fischer, as well as Cleveland State University's James Lock and the National Center for Space Exploration Research's William Yanis will receive the award for this device.

The Laser Pulse Stretcher allows scientists to study flames and combustion systems, using a series of mirrors to store short pulses of light while allowing a small amount to leak out in a controlled manner. This lengthens the time during which measurements can be made, so that scientists can see more clearly what is occurring in various types of fire. This critical new capability allows for the design and development of highly efficient combustors with lower emissions than ever before. A better understanding of the combustion process will have a positive impact in building safer, cleaner and more affordable aircraft. Glenn's Quang-Viet Nguyen and Jun Kojima of Ohio Aerospace Institute will receive the award for this invention.

With these most recent awards, Glenn is the recipient of 112 R and D 100 Awards since 1963, when the awards were initiated to identify revolutionary technologies newly introduced to the market.

For more information about NASA Glenn Research Center, visit: http://www.nasa.gov/glenn

For more information on the 2011 R and D 100 awards, visit: http://www.rdmag.com/Awards/RD-100-Awards/2011/06/R-D-100-2011-Winners-Overview/


September 8, 2011
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Breakthrough in hydrogen fuel cells touted by National Science Foundation

A team of scientists at the University of Southern California in the US has developed a robust, efficient method of using hydrogen as a fuel source, according to an announcement this evening from the National Science Foundation.

Although hydrogen has long been considered a great potential fuel source because it can be easily converted to electricity and is carbon free, storage has always been a problem. Unlike gasoline, hydrogen can only be stored in high pressure or cryogenic tanks.

But researchers at the USC, led by Travis Williams, an assistant professor of chemistry at the school’s Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, may have come up with a solution.

First Williams and his team figured out a way to release hydrogen from an innocuous chemical material -- ammonia borane, a nitrogen-boron complex --that can be stored as a stable solid.

Now they’ve developed a catalyst system that releases enough hydrogen from its storage in ammonia borane to make it usable as a fuel source.

Moreover, the system is air-stable and reusable, unlike other systems for hydrogen storage on boron and metal hydrides.

“Ours is the first game in town for reusable, air-stabile ammonia borane dehydrogenation,” Williams told a university publication, adding that the USC Stevens Institute for Innovation is in the process of patenting the system.

The system is sufficiently lightweight and efficient to have potential fuel applications ranging from motor-driven cycles to small aircraft, he said.

The research was funded by the Hydrocarbon Research Foundation and the National Science Foundation. It has been published in this month’s Journal of the American Chemical Society.


September 9, 2011
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Hyundai ix35 FCEV review

What is it?

A prototype version of the Hyundai ix-35, powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

The ix35 FCEV is powered by a 134bhp electric motor, which gets its charge from hydrogen fuel cells. Hydrogen is pumped in through a converted filler cap and stored in a tank under the boot floor. The only tailpipe emission is water vapour.

What’s it like to drive?

We drove a prototype car, for two laps of the 800-metre track at the Ecovelocity event in London.

We got up to 30mph, and the experience was enough to suggest that the FCEV is just like any other ix35 to drive. Simply turn the key, select drive and away you go.

The car’s 134bhp gives it sprightly acceleration. Hyundai quotes a 0-62mph time of 12.8 seconds and a top speed of 100mph.

As with the diesel and petrol-powered ix35s the ride is firm, but the FCEV’s powertrain is quieter than either of the other cars’.

Hyundai quotes a range of 360 miles, four times as much as most conventional electric vehicles.

Should I buy one?

You can’t, yet. The ix35 FCEV is part of a trial programme of prototype vehicles, undergoing continual development. The production version - due in 2015 – might not even look like this: it could be based on the ix35’s replacement.

Currently, Hyundai is aiming for a price of around $50,000 (roughly £31,000) for US models. Right-hand drive production – and UK availability - hasn’t been confirmed.


September 11, 2011
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R&D Advances in Hydrogen Fuel Storage Technology Promise Green Benefits

Hydrogen is an excellent, carbon free, water-bound (and  thus cheap) fuel-source easily convertible to electricity through fuel cells, ideal as a power source for workboats, barges and recreational craft. But storage of the gas is a problem.

In gas form hydrogen has to be stored either at high pressure or else at a very low temperature. Researchers seek a more convenient, safer alternative storage solution for this ideal fuel; one, already proven effective, is to store the hydrogen in chemical form and two developments in the field are highlighted here.

Hydrogen-fuelled Barge Ross Barlow

Three years’ development work on the canal longboat Ross Barlow by a team at UK’s University of Birmingham was recently spotlighted in news released by The Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA – German acronym for ‘Eidgenössische Materialprüfungs- und Forschungsanstalt’).

Ross Barlow, an 18 m long canal barge was converted to carry hydrogen for the fuel cells in hydride storage modules, developed by EMPA.  The modules contain sealed storage tubes packed with powdered alloys of titanium, zirconium, manganese, vanadium and iron, a mixture that readily absorbs hydrogen and acts as the storage medium. The shortcoming of this system is that the modules must be kept in temperature-regulated water tanks in order to dissipate heat generated when the modules are being ‘charged up’ with hydrogen or, conversely, to warm the water when necessary.

The technology itself was well tested durning a 105 km, four-day summer test cruise along Britain’s inland waterways. During the voyage a total 106 kWh of electrical energy was consumed (a quarter came from the hydrogen fuel-cells, the rest from lead-acid batteries and solar panels) meeting all energy needs, including electical power for the barge’s 10 kW permanent magnet motor propulsion system.

Reportedly, crew aboard theall-electric Ross Barlow appreciated their silent, exhaust-gas free progress through the locks and green inland waterways. The barge produced zero carbon dioxide emissions during the four-day test voyage, whilst a conventionally fuelled accompanying barge with a diesel engine emitted approximately 133 kg.

Latest Breakthrough by UCS Research Team

In the September 2011 issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society a team of researchers at USC (University of Southern California) led by Assistant Prof. Travis Williams published breakthrough findings on the use of a nitrogen-boron complex, ammonia borane (an innocuous chemical material) as a new chemical storage medium for hydrogen.

The USC team claim their ammonia borane based storage system is safe, robust, air-stable and re-usable, releasing sufficient hydrogen from storage to make it viable as a fuel source for hydrogen fuel cells. ‘Ours is the first game in town for re-usable, air stable ammonia borane dehydrogenation’ Prof. Williams reportedly said, going on to add that the USC Stevens Institute is in the process of patenting the system.


September 11, 2011
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ZEEP24 – A New Energy Supply System Converts Sunlight Into Hydrogen

Both the artificial and natural disasters keep on haunting Japan for decades and often gives a break to the peoples normal life by means of electrical power supply outages. Researchers in Japan keep on searching for a new way to give an uninterrupted power supply to the whole nation even at the time of disasters. In that search, hydrogen was always being their main interest and they keep on researching to find a way to make use of hydrogen to get clean energy.

As a milestone in their journey Japan’s FC-R&D released a new simple home energy system that makes use of sunlight, water and hydrogen to generate electricity 24×7. During day time the solar panels will convert the sunlight into electricity for homes and the excess electricity generated will be converted into hydrogen for the future use. The hydrogen which would be produced through the process of electrolysis requires very less space compared to conventional batteries due to their high energy density.

 In a country like Japan “where both the parents are working and children’s going to school as no one will be at home”, a very less amount of electrical energy would be utilized at daytime. Hence this conversion of excess energy into hydrogen will work well in Japan and can generate more hydrogen energy for future use.

According to FC-R&D, ZEEP24 utilizes hydrogen alloy containers which will absorb hydrogen. As a result, the wastage of hydrogen through discharge when not in use would be avoided. This ZEEP24 would be manufactured without using any carbon compounds and hence there would not be any occurrence of carbon induced deteriorations normally found in ordinary batteries.

To take this product to the next level FC-R&D was working on attaching this hydrogen storage container directly to a hydrogen powered car.


September 12, 2011
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Mercedes-Benz F125! Concept: Fuel Cells Still Waiting On Tomorrow


While the rest of the auto world dives deeply hybrids and electric cars at this year's Frankfurt Auto Show, Mercedes-Benz is still convinced the hydrogen fuel cell is the powertrain of the future--absolutely by the year 2050, and likely much sooner than that if new hydrogen-storage technology can make it from engineering concept into reality.

When it does happen, Daimler AG chairman Dieter Zetsche says hopefully, the "battle for command of oil will be a thing of the past."

Zetsche says that channeling the most "democratic" of fuels--hydrogen is the most abundant element on earth, though it's not fuel-ready without energy-intensive cracking and without exceptionally sturdy storage--automakers can avoid having to cut hydrocarbon emissions from today's vehicles by up to 95 percent in the year 2050, just to keep carbon levels in the atmosphere where they are today.

The latest fuel-cell concept from the German automaker is the F125!, a gullwing car about the size of a future vehicle from the S-Class range. A plug-in hybrid with an EV range of up to 31 miles, and a theoretical maximum range of more than 600 miles, the concept pairs a 10 kW/h lithium-sodium battery pack with a hydrogen fuel cell for electric-driven miles and fuel-cell-driven range extension, all funneled through an electronic all-wheel-drive system.

The key to the Mercedes concept, Zetsche says, is that the complex storage problems of hydrogen--it's highly flammable and requires thick-walled, heavy tanks kept to temperature--are narrowed by better tank design. The engineering left unsaid, as it's still in development, will allow fuel-cell vehicles to store hydrogen at much lower pressure thank today's 10,000-psi tanks, and will be stable enough to be used as part of the car's structure. The rest of the body is fashioned from carbon fiber, aluminum, and high-strength steel--and is strong enough for wide gullwing doors that permit easier access to the rear seat.

Mercedes also hedges on the capacity of the Li-Na batteries. The concept's energy storage is estimated at double that of today's best batteries -- but says carefully that "the real potential of this technology is still being uncovered."

If those huge technical hurdles are passed, the F125! concept will have peak horsepower equivalent of 308 hp, good for a 0-60 mph time of 4.8 seconds and a top speed of 137 mph. It also won't require the recharging times of pure electric cars, the Daimler CEO snarked: "you could read War and Peace" in the time it takes some EVs to replenish their driving range. The fuel cell concept on stage, Zetsche promises, will be refillable in as little as three minutes.

It's an homage to the brand's 125th anniversary, and a pitch to change cars forever, but the F125! is also a serious effort to keep cars the size of the S-Class from sinking into historic oblivion, as environmental concerns become a cornerstone of automotive engineering. Buyers today still want luxury cars, and even young car buyers want bigger, faster, more technologically advanced machines, Zetsche says. That's why this luxury concept has bronzed details, a blue-sueded interior, chaise-style rear seats and a huge LCD screen available to entertain passengers, not to mention 3D gauges, built-in social media with safety blocks built in, and control of car functions by voice or gesture. A wave of the hand, for example, opens those long gullwing doors.

There's also nascent car-to-car technology drafted into the design, technology that would allow some autonomous driving, even passing cars on the road ahead.

"We are talking about science, not science fiction," Zetsche said as Mercedes' Frankfurt preview drew to a close. It would take massive technological leaps to make the F125! reality, but as Zetsche says, automakers may not have a choice, other than to find those breakthroughs.


September 13, 2011
(view original article)

Daimler Aims to Expand Fuel Cell Partnerships By The End of 2011

Daimler AG (DAI), the world’s third- largest maker of luxury vehicles, is in advanced talks about expanding its fuel cell partners beyond Ford Motor Co. (F) as it targets widescale production of the technology, development chief Thomas Weber said today in an interview at the Internationa Motor Show in Frankfurt.

The Stuttgart, Germany-based maker of Mercedes-Benz vehicles is in talks with other automakers as well as companies that would set up a hydrogen fuel station network, Weber said.

Daimler, which introduced a fuel cell-powered concept vehicle in Frankfurt, plans to produce more than 1,000 B-Class F-Cell vehicles, which are powered by the chemical reaction that creates water. The production run will rise to more than 10,000 with a next generation in 2017, Weber said.

Mercedes plans to expand its fuel cell offering with a sedan below the S-Class by 2017, he said. Daimler and Ford both own stakes in Automotive Fuel Cell Corp.


September 16, 2011
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Honda lays groundwork for FCX Clarity launch

Honda used its hydrogen-powered car, the FCX Clarity, as the centre point of its presence at the World Hydrogen Technologies Conference in Glasgow this week, underlining the company's focus on pollution-free technologies for future transportation.

The FCX Clarity is, at its heart, a simple electric car. Unlike traditional plug-in electrics, however, there's no battery to charge: instead, the power is generated from a hydrogen fuel cell stack, which reacts stored hydrogen with atmospheric oxygen and produces as its only emission plain old water vapour.

The use of hydrogen fuel cells has an array of benefits over a traditional lithium-ion battery-based car: the range offered by the FCX Clarity is an impressive 288 miles, with a top speed of 100mph and handling on a par with a petrol car. More importantly, the vehicle can be refuelled with hydrogen in under four minutes - a significant improvement on the multiple hours required by a plug-in electric hybrid's battery recharge cycle.

While it's easy to dismiss Honda's creation as yet another impractical concept car, the company has been keen to demonstrate its commitment to the project: it's already possible to lease, although not buy, commercial examples of the vehicle in America and Japan where there is an emerging infrastructure of hydrogen refuelling stations, and the company has announced a partnership with BOC and Forward Swindon to open the UK's first public hydrogen refuelling station later this month.


September 16, 2011
(view original article)

See the Fuel Station of the Future


Imagine pulling-up to a fuel station that supplies your car with clean, renewable fuel. Now imagine that, while you’re filling up, this same fuel-station just so happens to be providing power back to an entire industrial facility. Sound a little far-fetched? Perhaps, but, in a first-of-its kind milestone—a new fuel cell and hydrogen energy station in Fountain Valley, Calif., is doing just that.

Considered the world’s first tri-generation fuel cell and hydrogen station—the fuel cell used at the station, developed by FuelCell Energy, is a combined heat and power system that produces both hydrogen and electricity.

The Fountain Valley energy station, supported in part by a $2.2 million grant to Air Products and Chemicals from the Energy Department, runs on biogas generated by the Orange County Sanitation District’s wastewater treatment facility. In turn, hydrogen produced by the fuel cell system is sent to a fueling station able to support between 25-to-50 fuel cell electric vehicle fill-ups every day. The fuel cell also produces approximately 250 kW of electricity for use by the wastewater treatment facility.

“Innovations like this demonstrate how American ingenuity and targeted investment can accelerate breakthroughs in the hydrogen and fuel cell industry while driving the clean energy economy forward,” said DOE’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Renewable Energy Steve Chalk. “By providing the added value of electricity and heat, this approach provides a significant step in overcoming economic challenges with hydrogen refueling infrastructure.”


September 17, 2011
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Fuel cell generator for homes takes off


Clean machine: The production line for the Ene-Farm fuel cell power generator runs at full bore at a Panasonic plant in Kusatsu, Shiga Prefecture. CHUNICHI SHIMBUN

Nagoya-based Toho Gas recently announced that it sold its 1,000th fuel cell unit since the household power generators hit the market in May 2009.

Demand for the Ene-Farm system, which can be used to generate electricity and heat for hot water and heating, has surged nationwide amid the power shortages created by the March 11 Great East Japan Earthquake.

The gas company, which sells the system in three prefectures in the Tokai region, expects to sell 900 units this year alone.

While Toho Gas sold 220 units in fiscal 2009, the figure jumped 2½ times to 515 units in 2010.

As of Sept. 2, 283 units had been installed this year, bringing accumulated sales to 1,000 units since 2009. Combined with earlier installation orders, the figure comes to 920 for the five months from April to the end of August.

"Since the March 11 disasters, more people have been revisiting the way they use energy at home and paying attention to the combination of electricity and gas for their use," said Hironari Tachi, senior manager for marketing.

The Ene-Farm system generates electricity by combining hydrogen extracted from city gas and liquefied petroleum gas with oxygen in the air to create a chemical reaction. Heat produced from the process is used to boil water.

Toho Gas estimates that the unit's annual output when generating 3,000 kwh is enough to cover about 50 to 60 percent of the energy consumed by the average household, saving around ¥50,000 a year in energy costs.

If a home also has a solar power generator, annual output exceeds consumption and owners can sell the surplus power back to a utility.

It doesn't hurt that the government has offered subsidies to homeowners who install the system. The program had drawn applications for 8,133 units as of July 7 and the government has stopped taking applications for the rest of the year.

A Panasonic plant in Kusatsu, Shiga Prefecture, manufactures the products commissioned by eight gas companies, including Toho Gas. Production is expected to surpass 6,000 units this year, compared with about 3,000 last year.

The Ene-Farm, however, comes with a big price tag — about ¥3 million per unit. Even with the government subsidy covering as much as ¥1.05 million of the cost, homeowners still need to shell out nearly ¥2 million.

"After this year's grant program was closed, sales have been slowing to a sluggish pace," said Tachi.

In response, the gas industry is building up its lobbying effort and pressing the government to provide more funding for the subsidies in the third supplementary budget for 2011.

If the Ene-Farm system is to really take off, production costs will have to come down dramatically. Toho Gas is eager to bring the customer's burden below ¥1 million.

"We are still in a transition period and accumulating the technologies," a Panasonic official said. "We need a breakthrough to simplify the complicated system."


September 17, 2011
(view original article)

The Race for Hydrogen Cars



Amidst ongoing discussions over the shortfalls and challenges of battery electric vehicle concepts, at the Frankfurt Motor Show Daimler presented a research car driven by hydrogen fuel cells. The vehicle boasts a large number of innovative features including its electronics.

The F125 is powered by the same near-production fuel cell stack that was used in the fleet of Daimler B-class passenger cars that circled the world recently. The hydrogen to feed this stack is stored in a tank with a capacity of about 7.5 kg of hydrogen. The tank design is rather innovative: Instead of the cylindrical high-pressure (700 bar) tanks typically used for this purpose, the vehicle's tank stores the liquid hydrogen in a porous, spongy metallic structure. With its working pressure of only about 30 bar, it was possible to integrate the tank into the floor assembly. This technology however, still is an object of basic research, Daimler admitted.

In any case, the electric power generated by the fuel cell stack is stored in a lithium-sulphur battery - another innovation in this vehicle. With its capacity of 10 kWh, it is lighter than the lithium-ion batteries used in today's electric vehicles and Daimler hopes that by the time of its commercialization it will be able to offer a higher specific energy density of 350 Wh per kg. This, in turn, allows considerably higher recuperation rates in connection with the electric drive. The car is driven by four electric motors near the wheels. Their continuous output power of 170 kW (231 horsepowers) gives the car a top speed of 220 km/h. Nevertheless, the fuel consumption is only 0.79 kg of hydrogen per 100 km - the equivalent of 2.7 liters of Diesel fuel.

One filling of the hydrogen tank gives the vehicle a driving range of about 1000 km. In the case that the tanks are empty, it also can drive for some 50 km purely on battery. If necessary, the battery can be charged inductively.

The telematics and infotainment concept is as futuristic as the powertrain. Of course, the vehicle is "always on" - it has its own website which functions as a control hub for user(s) and the service workshop. Through this homepage, authorized users have real-time access to information such as fuel level or next scheduled service. By means of a PC or smartphone, users can remotely configure the telematics and infotainment programs.

The user interface integrates touch technologies as well as voice control and even hand gestures - the large gull-wing doors for example open and close on a hand gesture of the authorized user. Since the vehicle is constantly connected to the cloud, users have seamless access to all the media they use normally. The information to the driver is displayed in an autostereoscopic 3D display which replaces traditional instrument clusters. A further 17-inch display entirely controlled by hand gestures is installed at the front passenger side.

Of course, the traffic situation around the car is displayed on the central monitor - no mundane mirrors are required anymore.

A nice selection of assistance systems makes life easier for the driver. The systems can carry out frequently occurring driving maneuvers autonomously. For instance, lane-changing can be handed over to the assistant system. A future version will even be able to automatically carry out overtaking maneuvers.


September 19, 2011
(view original article)

To focus on hydrogen, Hyundai passes Kia keys to EV market

Electric vehicles may seem like the inevitable evolution of the conventional gas-powered automobile, but not every carmaker agrees. Hyundai will sit out the pure-electric car round, and instead concentrate its efforts on designing the next-generation hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.

As part of a decision by the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group, Hyundai--which owns 51 percent of Kia--will stop all efforts to develop and produce electric vehicles, according to Korean newspaper The Chosun Iblo. The auto manufacturer previously planned to produce the all-electric BlueOn, but it has shelved those plans and instead will focus on developing the Tucson ix Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle. The Tucson ix FCEV has a driving range of approximately 350 miles and produces zero tailpipe emissions, and is expected to enter production in 2015.

But to hedge its bets, Kia will take the lead on developing EVs for the world market. Kia introduced its first hybrid vehicle this year, the Optima Hybrid, and it's arriving late to the EV car market as well. Kia has floated some forward-thinking all-electric car designs, such as the Pop and Naimo, but it has not made any official announcement about which EVs it will produce.

Reuters reports that Kia plans to sell a "box-shaped pure electric car" in South Korea by the end of this year, which could be the Venga. Kia also is planning an electric crossover in 2014 for the global market, according to Car and Driver.


September 21, 2011
(view original article)

Solid Oxide Fuel Cells: Technologies and Global Markets

NEW YORK -- Reportlinker.com announces that a new market research report is available in its catalogue:

Solid Oxide Fuel Cells: Technologies and Global Markets
(CLICK HERE to view the report)

REPORT HIGHLIGHTS

* The global solid oxide fuel cell market in 2011 will be worth more than $380 million, up from $360 million in 2010. This will result in a $530 million global market in 2016, a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.9% between 2011 and 2016 under a consensus scenario.

* The market for CPUs is valued at $140 million in 2011 and is forecast to rise to almost $215 million by 2016, reflecting a CAGR of 9%.

* The total market for generators, remote and APUs is likely to increase from $135 million in 2011 to approximately $159 million in 2016, a CAGR of 3.3%.

INTRODUCTION

STUDY GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

Fuel cells are viewed as potential candidates for auxiliary power, mobile power, stationary distributed or central power, and portable product power. Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are among the most efficient and cost-effective. Although relatively high operating temperature limits the range of applications possible, stationary, mobile, and even portable product configurations are possible.

Advances in the technology have been made, but sometimes these advances reveal even more challenges to be met. Slowly, there is the realization that total dependency on hydrocarbon fuels is not a viable economic option. SOFCs have a part in securing energy security for the country, improving the environment, greatly reducing urban pollution, and creating jobs in manufacturing as the technology advances. They can also provide a cost-effective and performance-driven rival for other fuel cells, batteries, internal combustion engines, and coal- or oil-fired heat engines.

This study analyzes components of the SOFC, a technology offering the promise of greatly reduced environmental impact and excellent performance, price, and efficiency advantages. Recent historic developments and approaches are described along with recent commercial developments and the state of the art.

REASONS FOR DOING THE STUDY

This report can also provide valuable information in terms of assessing investment in particular technologies and, therefore, should benefit investors directly or indirectly. Others may find the broad discussions of energy policy and environmental impact to be of considerable value in understanding the opportunities and problems in the near- to mid-term.

INTENDED AUDIENCE

This report is intended to provide a unique analysis of the SOFC market and will be of interest to a variety of current and potential fuel cell users and integrators as well as competing battery, fuel cell, and conventional power generation makers.

BCC Research wishes to thank those companies, government agencies, and university researchers that contributed information for this report.

SCOPE OF REPORT

This report discusses the North American, European, Far Eastern, and Rest-of-World market value. Target markets are based on optimistic, pessimistic, and consensus alternatives. This is compared to the conventional power generation target and peak shifting opportunities. The current market is small, mainly limited to pilot projects or emerging niches. By 2016, these pilots will be expanding into commercial implementations. This 2016 market is also characterized in terms of optimistic, pessimistic, and consensus scenarios.

SOFC applications are described and analyzed. The following applications are considered:

* Combined heat and power (CHP)
* Exotic
* Military
* Portable product power
* Remote power and auxiliary power units (APUs)
SOFC companies are listed and detailed profiles prepared.

METHODOLOGY

An in-depth analysis of technical and business literature and published dissertations; a review of the history of the technologies involved; and interviews with industry experts, company representatives, federal government researchers, and university scientists provide an assessment of the outlook for alternative electrical power storage. Other INFORMATION SOURCES include product literature from suppliers, scientific references, conferences, and patent searches.

Both primary and secondary research methodologies were used in preparing this report, which is based on interviews with commercial and government sources, literature reviews, and patent examinations. Throughout the report, past market data is expressed in current dollars, and estimates and projections are in constant 2011 dollars. Historic markets (2006) and the projected market for 2016 are provided.

Most market summaries are based on a consensus scenario that assumes no unanticipated technical advances and no unexpected legislation. When appropriate, pessimistic, consensus, and optimistic market scenarios characterize several developmental markets. Totals are rounded to the nearest million dollars. When appropriate, information from previously published sources is identified to allow a more detailed examination by clients.

INFORMATION SOURCES

Market assumptions used in this report include those based on updates of material from an earlier version of this analysis, as well as from BCC Research studies. This report's author prepared these studies as well. He also edits the twice-monthly BCC Research newsletter, Fuel Cell Industry Report and Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Progress, which are uniquely valuable sources for this market. Although many segments of the industry are well documented, much of this information is based on estimates, not hard facts. The distinction between these estimates and hard facts can be vital, and wherever possible, sources are identified.

Click here to view the full report


September 21, 2011
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Fuel Cell Markets in Asia Pacific to Reach $6.7 Billion by 2017, Forecasts Pike Research

BOULDER, Colo. -- In the Asia Pacific region, fuel cell technology has gained a great deal of momentum in the past few years and is being employed in an ever-increasing array of applications -- from enabling high-efficiency homes, decarbonizing transportation, and cleaning up ports to reducing energy dependence on oil-producing nations and increasing resilience in energy networks. A new report from Pike Research forecasts that the recent investments in fuel cell technology, particularly in Japan, Korea, and China, along with the increasing adoption of fuel cells for a range of applications, will result in a burgeoning market within Asia Pacific that will reach $6.7 billion by 2017, up from just $52.8 million in 2011.

"Corporations and governments in Asia Pacific have made a strong commitment to fuel cell technology, and it will begin to bear fruit in the next few years," says senior analyst Andy Bae. "Stationary fuel cells are the early leader in terms of market adoption, but the transportation sector will ultimately have the largest share of the market following the commercial launch of fuel cell vehicles in 2015. Portable fuel cells have strong potential in the long term, but market development will be slow over the next several years."

Pike Research's analysis indicates that the stationary fuel cell sector will reach $2.6 billion by the end of the 2017 forecast period. The transportation sector will not see significant revenues until 2015, but in just a few short years the market value will rise to $3.8 billion. The cleantech market intelligence firm forecasts that the portable power sector will be dominated by external battery chargers, and will increase in value to $362 million by 2017.

Bae adds that, in the stationary fuel cell space, Japan and Korea have had projects in place for a sufficient length of time and have achieved several milestones with regard to proving the technology and its business feasibility. In the case of residential combined heat and power (resCHP), Japan began offering commercial solutions with the ENE-FARM project in 2009 and Korea has followed suit with trials for its Residential CHPs Monitoring project. Meanwhile, China has been driving technology research and innovation through government, academic, and enterprise initiatives, and for the most part, the country is focusing its efforts on fuel cell transportation.

Pike Research's report, "Fuel Cells in Asia Pacific", provides insight into fuel cell industry dynamics, market trends, and technology innovations for three main sectors: stationary fuel cells, fuel cell vehicles, and fuel cells for portable power applications in the Asia Pacific region, concentrating on China, Japan, and Korea. Market forecasts through 2017 are included for unit shipments and revenue, segmented by key countries and application areas. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm's website.

Pike Research is a market research and consulting firm that provides in-depth analysis of global clean technology markets. The company's research methodology combines supply-side industry analysis, end-user primary research and demand assessment, and deep examination of technology trends to provide a comprehensive view of the Smart Energy, Smart Grid, Smart Transportation, Smart Industry, and Smart Buildings sectors. For more information, visit www.pikeresearch.com or call +1-303-997-7609.

SOURCE: Pike Research


September 21, 2011
(view original article)

Researchers produce 'limitless' hydrogen from bacteria

Electricity-producing microbes can split hydrogen from water without any other power input

US scientists have unveiled a cell capable of producing "limitless" supplies of hydrogen using bacteria rather than an external electricity source.

Hydrogen has long been touted as a potential low-carbon source of power for electricity generation and transport, but has suffered from high production costs and the fact that it is commonly generated using fossil fuels.

However, the cell developed by Pennsylvania State University researchers involves using microbial electrolysis cells to produce hydrogen from "virtually limitless supplies of sea water and river water and biodegradable organic matter".

Such technology has previously required an electrical input, but the researchers used the difference between river water and sea water, a process known as reverse-electrodialysis (RED), to add the extra energy needed to produce hydrogen.

Lead researcher Professor Bruce Logan acknowledged that the new technology is currently too expensive to be commercialised, but hailed its potential impact.

"This system could produce hydrogen any place there is waste water near sea water," he said in a statement. "It uses no grid electricity and is completely carbon neutral. It is an inexhaustible source of energy."

The results, published in the 19 September issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, show that the cells are 58 to 64 per cent efficient.

The cells produced 0.8 to 1.6 cubic metres of hydrogen for every cubic metre of liquid passed through the cell each day, and only one per cent of the energy produced in the cell is needed to pump water through the system.

RED needs 1.8 volts for the hydrolysis process that splits water into hydrogen and oxygen, which requires 25 pairs of alternating negative and positive ion exchange membranes.

By combining the RED stacks with exoelectrogenic bacteria, which consume organic material and produce an electric current, the researchers found that only five pairs of membranes were needed.

"The added voltage that we need is a lot less than the 1.8 volts necessary to hydrolyse water," said Logan. "Biodegradable liquids and cellulose waste are abundant and, with no energy in and hydrogen out, we can get rid of waste water and by-products. This could be an inexhaustible source of energy."

The next phase of the project will involve building larger cells to better evaluate the cost and potential for scale-up.


September 21, 2011
(view original article)

Crown builds 500th new fuel cell-operated forklift

NEW BREMEN, Ohio -- Crown Equipment Corporation has built its 500th new forklift to be operated with fuel cells. The number is in addition to the Crown forklifts already in operation that have been retrofitted during the last few years to accommodate fuel cells.

A Crown SR 5000 Series moving-mast reach truck was the 500th truck to be built with a fuel cell. The Crown SR 5000 is the latest forklift to be qualified as part of Crown's fuel cell qualification program for its line of electric forklifts.

To date, Crown has qualified more than 20 of its electric forklift models to operate with various fuel cells, offering 29 qualified combinations of fuel cell packs and lift trucks.

Some of the current line of Crown forklifts powered by fuel cells include the Crown PC 4500 Series center control pallet forklift, the Crown SP 3500 Series stockpicker, and the Crown FC 4500 Series counterbalanced forklift. Applications have varied from Walmart Canada's sustainable distribution centre in Alberta to the Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated production center in North Carolina, according to Crown officials.

"An increasing number of our customers are considering fuel cell-powered forklifts as a viable option. They are coming to us with questions and asking for help determining if and how this technology can be integrated into their fleets and facilities," said Ernst Baumgartner, Crown's fuel cell project manager. "Crown continues to work closely with fuel cell manufacturers to guide the evolution of the technology and increase levels of fuel cell integration with lift trucks."


September 23, 2011
(view original article)

First hydrogen refuelling station in UK opened by Honda

The manufacturing of low carbon equivalents to regular combustion engine vehicles is beginning to be favored by some companies today, due to a new demand for them. Until the facilities for these electric or hydrogen-fuel cell powered means of transport get common refueling sites however, they will not reach their full potential. This is why Honda has decided to open their Swindon manufacturing site up as the first hydrogen refueling station in the UK.

The company is set to release their FCX Clarity, which is a hydrogen powered vehicle, and in the buildup to its release it seems they have opened up this station in order to spark the manufacture of more similar service stations. The Swindon station will be run by industrial gas experts BOC, a partner of Honda’s, who also are responsible for building the station.

The refueling station, which is now fully-operational on a commercial scale, will be accessible to users of hydrogen-powered vehicles and those who are developing them. It will provide the two most common hydrogen power systems filling pressures, 700 bar and 350 bar. It is situated on the M4, halfway between Swansea and London. It uses technology that is easily mimicked so a network of similar stations can be established eventually. This way they can spread across the country so as to offer a more common service for more hydrogen fuel-cell powered vehicles.

According to ExpertReviews, Honda’s Thomas Brachmann claims that ‘Hydrogen fuel cell technology is the ultimate transport solution,’ adding that they meet environmental demands from customers at the same time as providing the performance and range that is expected. Honda’s hopes are that this scheme can provide a blueprint for future plans to build stations for these types of vehicles.


September 24, 2011
(view original article)

Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC) Market to Grow 45% Annually Through 2016

MarketResearch.com has announced the addition of the new report "Direct Methanol Fuel Cells (DMFC) Technical Insights & Market Opportunities," to their collection of Energy market reports. For more information, click here.

The global direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) market is expected to grow from 14,200 unit shipments in 2011 to 92,000 unit shipments by the year 2016 at an estimated CAGR of 45.3% for the same period. Asia is expected to lead the market with 38% share; followed by North America (35%), and Europe (27%) in terms of unit shipments by the year 2016. DMFC revenue is expected to reach $109 million by the year 2016 from $17.5 million in the year 2010.

The report "Direct Methanol Fuel Cells (DMFC) Technical Insights & Market Opportunities" discusses the cost structure, investments, volume break down, and policies and regulations. Some geographic markets which are pioneers in fuel cell manufacturing and research activities such as U.S., Canada, Germany, UK, Japan, and South Korea are analyzed in detail. The report also discusses applications of direct methanol fuel cells like portable (cell phones, laptops), stationary power units, and transportation (DMFC powered vehicles).


September 26, 2011
(view original article)

UK manufacturer Microcab launches hydrogen fuel cell car

UK-based specialist vehicle manufacturer Microcab, which was spun out from Coventry University, is launching a new hydrogen fuel cell car.

The H2EV, which is the brainchild of John Jostins, professor of sustainable transport design at the University and managing director of Microcab, includes a chassis designed by Microcab and Delta Motorsport and engineered by Lotus.

The four-seat car, which also comes in van and taxi options, is powered by a 3 kW fuel cell, which uses hydrogen as a fuel combined with oxygen, to produce electricity to drive the vehicle and produces only water as a byproduct.

The H2EV can be refuelled with hydrogen just like a convention petrol car and can run for up to 120 miles between refuelling.

A fleet of the new vehicles will take part in the West Midlands’ Coventry and Birmingham Low Emission Demonstrator (CALEB) trial, which is showcasing and testing low-carbon vehicles in the region.

Last week, Japanese carmaker Honda announced the opening of a public hydrogen refuelling station at its headquarters in Swindon.

“The H2EV represents a significant step in the development of hydrogen as an alternative energy source of the future for cars, and the launch of the new filling station in Swindon alongside the existing private stations at Coventry University and in Birmingham is another milestone for the low carbon industry,” says Jostins.

For further information:

www.microcab.co.uk
www.coventry.ac.uk/lowcarbonvehicles


September 26, 2011
(view original article)

Dutch investing in soldier fuel cells

The Netherlands Ministry of Defence has signed a three-year contract with Fokker Aerostructures for the further development of a portable lightweight fuel cell intended to supply energy for all the equipment carried by soldiers.

Fokker presented a first design for the E-Lighter cell to the Dutch MoD in 2007. Under the new three-year contract, this prototype will be developed into a piece of equipment that will meet the requirements of military practice. Furthermore, the contract contains an option for the production of 2000 units.

Due to the lower weight and smaller volume of the equipment, the E-Lighter will improve the mobility of military personnel. Military personnel also experience an increased need for this kind of portable energy source due to the growing use of electronic communications and information equipment. Another logistic improvement is that the battery packs currently used will no longer be necessary.


September 26, 2011
(view original article)

Crown is the “right choice” for fuel-cell technology

Largest independent Coca-Cola bottling company in the USA takes delivery of Crown lift-truck fleet powered by fuel-cell technology

The past few years have seen massive investment in the development of fuel-cell technology, especially in the USA. Crown has been researching fuel-cell forklift applications for more than seven years and in October 2008, the company set up its own dedicated fuel-cell research and test centre. Crown also initiated the industry’s first fuel-cell qualification programme and has now qualified more than 20 lift truck models to operate with fuel-cells in the American market. Many of these lift trucks are already in use at customer locations throughout Canadaand the United States. Now a new fleet of 35 Crown FC 4500 Series counterbalanced lift trucks, fitted with fuel cells, has been delivered to Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated, further demonstrating the lift-truck manufacturer’s leadership position in the strategic deployment of fuel cell-powered forklifts.

Practical innovation paves the way to future success

Crown has long believed that technologies should only be launched onto the market once they are fully developed, so it was clear from a very early stage that lift trucks should only be fitted with fuel cells once they were capable of matching the high standards of performance, efficiency and safety attained by conventional battery-driven vehicles. Crown set up a research and test centre near its U.S headquarters in Ohio, dedicated exclusively to fuel-cell technology research, and the company is also the first lift-truck manufacturer to set up a qualification programme for fuel cells. Crown works closely with government institutions which have been supporting the development of fuel-cell technology in the USA through state-aid programmes for many years.

This commitment to fuel cell technology research played a part in Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated’s decision in favour of Crown.

“As one of the first Coca-Cola bottlers to make the move to use fuel-cell lift trucks, it was important that we set the standard by partnering with a provider that has conducted significant research on the technology and has a strong commitment to its customers’ sustainability initiatives as well as its own,” explains Dave Brown, Vice President of Manufacturing at Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated. “After visiting Crown’s fuel-cell research centre and touring its manufacturing areas, we were confident Crown was the right choice.”

For the past few years, the company has been researching the performance and sustainability issues associated with the use of fuel cells in lift trucks, working closely with leading fuel-cell manufacturers to optimise both aspects. Exhaustive testing has produced valuable data about the ways lift trucks must be adapted so they can be fitted with the new technology – now customers can be confident that their fuel cell-powered lift trucks meet the same high standards as conventional electrically powered lift trucks. This also applies to the fuel cell-powered fleet of FC 4500 Series counterbalanced lift trucks that has just been delivered to Coca-Cola Bottling Co. Consolidated.

Greater efficiency and sustainability

Converting a lift-truck fleet to fuel-cell technology does require some additional investment in warehouse infrastructure – to provide suitable storage facilities for hydrogen, for example. But this one-off capital investment can usually be offset against the benefits of introducing the new technology, such as a possible increase in productivity. Fuel cells can power lift trucks with a steady, non-stop flow of energy for up to two shifts in a row. And with minimal training, lift-truck drivers can easily look after refuelling the trucks themselves.

“Hydrogen refuelling takes approximately two to five minutes, while replacing a depleted battery can take as long as 40 minutes,” explains Tim Quellhorst, senior vice president, Crown Equipment. “What’s more, in demanding facilities batteries may need to be changed after as little as six hours of runtime.”

The company’s research into the use of fuel cells in materials handling is just one aspect of the Crown ecologic™ programme, which focuses on the sustainability of products, manufacturing processes and services. Together with the company’s fuel-cell qualification programme, this research work serves to highlight the years of experience and expertise that underlie Crown’s use of fuel-cell technology. At the same time the high quality of the Crown fuel-cell forklifts already in use is setting new standards in the American and European lift-truck markets. More details can be found at http://www.crown.com/Europe/about/ecologic_index.html

About Crown

Crown Equipment Corporation is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of electric lift trucks. Since the company first started building material handling equipment in the 1950s, Crown products have won numerous industry accolades. From the smallest hand pallet trucks through to the largest narrow-aisle turret trucks, Crown uses innovative engineering and high-quality manufacturing techniques to respond to the full range of customer needs, achieving exceptional standards of reliability and productivity.

Crown has a unique corporate structure, characterised by the highest levels of vertical integration in the industry. This enables the company to keep tight control of development, production and customer support. Up to 85 percent of the components used in Crown products are developed and manufactured by Crown in custom-built facilities. Crown is committed to offering customers above-average added value that reduces TCO (Total Cost of Ownership).

Crown Equipment Corporation is a family-owned business with head offices in the USA, Australia and Germany. Crown now operates a global distribution and service network with more than 70 fully-owned subsidiaries and over 300 independent dealerships.


September 26, 2011
(view original article)

Quantum wins Daimler contract for high-capacity composite tanks

Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide Inc. (Irvine, Calif., USA) announced Sept. 12 that it has been awarded a purchase contract from Daimler AG for ultra-light weight hydrogen storage tanks.

Under the contract, Quantum will develop 10,000-psi/70-MPa high-capacity carbon fiber composite hydrogen tanks that are designed specifically for potential use in future Mercedes Benz zero emission fuel cell electric vehicles.

Quantum will apply its advanced ultra-light weight carbon composite and polymer liner technology to design and validate hydrogen tanks to the latest European standards and additionally to Mercedes Benz safety, performance and durability specifications.

Quantum launched the world's first ultra-light weight, 10,000-psi/70-MPa on-board hydrogen storage tanks in 2001, and continued to improve the technology with support from the U.S. Department of Energy. 


September 27, 2011
(view original article)

Plug Power Could Double Shipments For The Fourth Year In A Row

Consider the familiar fork lift truck and its importance to a distribution center. Distribution centers essentially exist for the purpose of organizing and moving goods around. Lift trucks do almost all that moving. A better lift truck would be huge. It means a fundamental improvement to operations.

For decades, almost all indoor lift trucks have been powered by lead acid batteries. They are quiet, and they don’t pollute the indoor air.

But batteries have some disadvantages on lift trucks: a set of batteries will gradually run down during a shift, meaning the goods are moving slower. Also batteries have to be charged and are often completely swapped out six hours into a shift. A swap can take 15 or 20 minutes. This means idle time for operators. These centers need huge charging rooms, and a staff just for charging and swapping batteries.

Enter the fuel cell. Think of a fuel cell as a box exactly the same size and shape as the battery pack. A fuel cell runs at 100% speed all through a shift, not slowing at all. The truck can be refueled in 2 minutes by the operator, and doesn’t require a battery charging room and staff.

These devices have been proven by some of the largest distribution center operators, such as Wal-Mart (WMT), FedEx Freight (FDX), Coca-Cola Bottling Co. (KO), Sysco Foods (SYY) and Central Grocers. Some of these companies have now proven the concept and are starting to roll out additional centers. Since the trucks are powered with hydrogen, there are no pollutants, making fuel cells the only practical alternative to batteries for indoor applications.

CLICK HERE to read the full story...


September 29, 2011
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Ann Arbor Firm Gets Army Fuel Cell Contract

The AMI business unit of England’s Ultra Electronics said Thursday it had secured an $870,000 contract to provide 30 of its solid oxide fuel cells to the U.S. Army’s Rapid Equipping Force.

Soldiers in the field will use the Ultra Electronics AMI 300-watt fuel cells to recharge batteries and provide primary power to communications and information systems.

The first delivery by Ultra Electronics, AMI of five fuel cells to the U.S. Army was made this week.

“Ultra Electronics, AMI fuel cells are the ideal power source because they’re lightweight, portable, and reliable,” said Aaron Crumm, Ultra Electronics, AMI president. “The Rapid Equipping Force contract is unique in that it quickly puts technology in the hands of soldiers. Ultra Electronics, AMI has a long history of providing portable power to the military and it’s that track record that makes our technology attractive for immediate field use.”

Rapid Equipping Force selected Ultra Electronics, AMI, because its fuel cells solve a significant military challenge. Providing reliable power for multi-day missions, the 300-watt fuel cell is ideal for applications requiring more power or longer durations than batteries can support.

Compared to a generator or the number of batteries that would be required for a multi-day mission, the fuel cell, weighing just 32 pounds, is lightweight and portable.

The Ultra Electronics, AMI fuel cells were tested for altitude, vibration, shock, cold, heat, rain, dust and drops.  They are proven to perform in temperatures ranging from -20° Celsius (-4 Fahrenheit) to 50° C (122 Fahrenheit).

AMI offers 50- and 250-watt solid oxide fuel cells that are powered by globally available and energy dense propane, butane and LPG. Adaptive Materials’ fuel cell system provides portable power to the United States Armed Forces as well as industries including leisure, remote monitoring, and medical devices. For more information, visit www.adaptivematerials.com.


September 30, 2011
(view original article)

CIT Invests in Richmond's Marz Industries

Patent-pending hydrogen fuel cell-based technology improves fuel efficiency, cuts emissions for truckers

HERNDON, Va. - The Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) announced today that its CIT GAP Funds has placed an investment in Marz Industries, Inc., of Richmond, Va., whose patent-pending hydrogen fuel cell-based technology is designed to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions for the trucking and other diesel-reliant industries.

Marz's Ranger Fuel Efficiency System converts water to pure hydrogen and uses the hydrogen to improve the efficiency of diesel combustion. It is safe for the engine and the environment. Marz's initial target market is the 2.6 million tractor trailers, which use more than 28 billion gallons of fuel each year. Long-haul trucks routinely experience fuel costs of $80,000 or more per year. The company expects its system to cut fuel usage by at least 10%. Marz executives see other opportunities with service buses, smaller trucks, and other diesel-consuming industries, including marine transportation, locomotive, mining, and agriculture.

Pete Jobse, CIT President and CEO, said, "With this investment, we are recognizing the importance of advancing innovation in all aspects of energy utilization while at the same time stimulating an opportunity for significant job creation, both of which are key national challenges."

Edward Miller, Marz Industries President, said, "CIT's assistance and co-investment will allow us to ‘fleet validate' our system, which will help Marz attract additional private investors, and enhance our sales operations."


Since its 2005 launch, CIT GAP Funds has placed over 40 investments across the Commonwealth, deploying more than $4M of public funds and attracting $16 dollars of private funding for every $1 of public money invested. (For a list of portfolio companies, please visit the GAP Funds website.)

Tom Weithman, CIT Vice President and GAP Funds Managing Director, said, "CIT GAP Funds seek to invest in entrepreneurs like Edward Miller, who are able to leverage public and private investments to generate extraordinary economic returns for the Commonwealth of Virginia." About the Center for Innovative Technology, www.cit.org. CIT is a nonprofit corporation that accelerates the next generation of technology and technology companies. CIT creates new technology companies through capital formation, market development and revenue generation services. To facilitate national innovation leadership and accelerate the rate of technology adoption, CIT creates partnerships between innovative technology startup companies and advanced technology consumers.

About Marz Industries, www.marzindustries.com
Marz Industries, Inc. was incorporated in 2008 and is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia. Its mission is to drive significant reduction in fuel consumption and emissions for the transportation industry by applying advanced PEM fuel cell and electrolyzer technologies with proprietary design features tailored to improve efficiency of existing transportation equipment. For more information, visit www.marzindustries.com.


September 30, 2011
(view original article)

Eco Company's Torrington segment to air Saturday

TORRINGTON – After making their rounds through the city’s FuelCell Energy plant and across the state, California-based Eco Company’s hard work will hit television sets beginning this weekend.

FOX CT (WTIC) has scheduled the Torrington episode to air Saturday at 12:30 p.m., where crews toured the FuelCell location, speaking with workers about the clean energy production process within a 30-minute segment.

Eco Company educates younger and teenage audiences with environmental issues, updates and innovations though a magazine-style format.

As Eco Company enters its third season, it continues to use high school and college student hosts to drive its messages. As a junior at University of California, Santa Barbara, FuelCell segment host Adam Courtin said last month not only is his job educational, but it gives him a clearer sense of the future.

“This show has made me more environmentally aware,” he said. “My family always recycled and my school always celebrated Earth Day, but I never thought I’d be interviewing the founder of Earth Day.

“It puts everything of environmentalism into perspective,” added Courtin.

Courtin and the rest of his crew had never visited Connecticut and the Torrington shoot became the first filming opportunity for the show outside of its West Coast base.

WATCH THE VIDEO


September 30, 2011
(view original article)

USC-Columbia fuel cell effort honored

Collaborative gets economic development award

Columbia’s effort to establish itself as a fuel cell hub has gotten another boost.

The USC-Columbia Fuel Cell Collaborative has received an excellence in economic development award from the International Economic Development Council.

The council honored the city with its “Technology-led Economic Development Award” for cities with a population of 25,000 to 200,000 people. Columbia and USC representatives were recognized at an awards ceremony during the council’s annual conference in Charlotte last week.

The council’s Excellence in Economic Development Awards Program annually recognizes the world’s best economic development programs and partnerships, as well the industry’s most influential leaders. The program honors organizations and individuals in 28 categories for their efforts in creating jobs. This is the first time that the USC-Columbia Fuel Cell Collaborative has received an award.

Neil McLean, executive director for EngenuitySC, said in a statement that the award shows that the region’s seven-year effort to become a hydrogen and fuel cell center is paying off.

“This is part of a 20-year vision for our community, and we’re proud that Columbia is being recognized as one of the most innovative cities in the U.S. for its tech-based economic development,” he said.

EngenuitySC is a partnership of USC, Midlands Tech, the city of Columbia, private companies and others formed to grow high-tech jobs.


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