Energy storage including Fuel cells News for May 2009

Energy storage including Fuel cells News Archive

Virginia Tech scientist develops glass-based SOFC seal

A materials scientist at Virginia Tech in the US has invented a new glass that can be used to seal solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) modules and stacks. The self-healing glass seal will provide strength and long-term stability to the stack, according to Peizhen (Kathy) Lu, assistant professor of materials science and engineering.

PolyFuel wins further DOE funding for portable fuel cell development

The US Department of Energy has awarded California-based PolyFuel a further $2.5 million in funding for its portable fuel cell development program.

Adaptive Materials powers UGV for 40 mile demonstration

US-based Adaptive Materials Inc, a leading developer of solid oxide fuel cells for portable power, recently completed a 40 mile (64 km), 12 h test drive of an unmanned ground vehicle (UGV). The achievement, completed at Camp Grayling in Michigan, demonstrates that AMI’s 150 W fuel cell system, powered by widely available propane, enables unprecedented UGV endurance capabilities.

Ceres Power’s solid oxide fuel cell Alpha CHP unit passes British Gas product testing

UK-based solid oxide fuel cell developer Ceres Power has announced the successful design, build and testing of 1 kW grid-connected combined heat and power (CHP) products that meet all of the deliverables under the ‘Alpha’ phase of the company’s CHP program in conjunction with British Gas. This important milestone has been achieved within the timescale set out in the roadmap that Ceres agreed last year with BG.

Printable power using carbon nanotube supercapacitors Printable power using carbon nanotube supercapacitors

Portable electronic devices such as mobile phones, netbooks, and cameras are becoming increasingly more important to our society. How rarely we leave the house without our trusty iPhone or Blackberry!

UltraCell wins funding to expand fuel cell manufacturing

California-based UltraCell Corporation, a leading producer of PEM fuel cells for mobile power applications, has announced the award of $3.8 million in new funding. The company will use the new capital to scale up manufacturing at its facility in Dayton, Ohio, believed to be the first volume-production micro fuel cell facility in North America. The money will also be used to expand sales, marketing and field trial testing of its flagship product, the UltraCell XX25™ portable fuel cell.

Ebara Ballard fuel cell joint venture to be dissolved

Canadian-based Ballard Power Systems has announced its intention to discontinue operations of Ebara Ballard Corporation. The Japanese joint venture with Ebara Corporation is focused on the development, manufacture, sale and servicing of PEM fuel cell stationary power systems for the residential cogeneration market in Japan.

Fuel Cell Europe and VDMA Fuel Cells cooperate on commercialising fuel cells

Fuel Cell Europe, the European association of fuel cells developers and users, and VDMA Fuel Cells, a group of manufacturers of systems and components for fuel cells in the German Engineering Federation have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to foster commercialisation of fuel cells.

Ceramic Fuel Cells Ltd launches modular solid oxide fuel cell generator

Australian-based solid oxide fuel cell company Ceramic Fuel Cells Ltd has launched a new modular generator product. The 2 kW BlueGen™ unit is a combined heat and power (CHP) system for homes and other buildings. CFCL has also signed a memorandum of understanding with VicUrban, the sustainable urban development agency for the southern Australian state of Victoria, to showcase the BlueGen units in VicUrban housing developments.

Viaspace, Hayman sign deal for filling, distribution of methanol cartridges for micro fuel cells

California-based Viaspace has signed a memorandum of understanding with Hayman Ltd in the UK, a packager and distributor of alcohols and solvents worldwide. Under the deal, Hayman Speciality Products will provide methanol filling and distribution services to Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Corporation.

Ballard sells fuel cell solution to FirstEnergy

Ballard Power Systems will deliver 1 MW of fuel cell power for use in a utility load management project to FirstEnergy Corp.

Swiss municipal vehicle powered by hydrogen fuel cells

The Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Testing and Research (EMPA) and the Paul Scherrer Institute (PSI) have developed a hydrogen-powered municipal street cleaning vehicle, which was unveiled recently in Basel, Switzerland. The vehicle features a 20 kW PEM fuel cell system hybridized with a 12 kWh lithium-polymer battery, and with storage of 7.5 kg of hydrogen.

Morphic wins fuel cell order from RV accessories supplier

Italian-based Morphic Exergy Fuel Cells has signed a distribution agreement with Narbonne Accesories of France, to supply its Polaris 140 portable PEM fuel cell system. The order has a guaranteed minimum value of SEK48 million (US$6m) for Exergy, a subsidiary of Swedish-based Morphic Technologies. The product has been approved by the customer, and deliveries will begin in September.

Proton and Skoda launch triple-hybrid fuel cell bus Proton and Skoda launch triple-hybrid fuel cell bus

Fuel cell company Proton Power’s subsidiary Proton Motor Fuel Cell GmbH has launched a triple-hybrid fuel cell that can be used in Skoda busses.

Oorja secures orders for materials handling, forklifts in California

In California, Oorja Protonics has received a purchase order from Super Store Industries (SSI), to install its OorjaPac™ direct methanol fuel cells on SSI’s entire materials handling fleet operating in the freezer at its Lathrop facility. Oorja has also received a purchase order from LPC to install OorjaPac systems on all its electric forklifts. Oorja is pioneering the commercialization of DMFCs for forklift applications.

Tighter strategic focus for Morphic Fuel Cells

Swedish-based Morphic Technologies has reviewed the strategy for its Morphic Fuel Cells business unit, which now has a greater emphasis on market-driven product planning, and the subsidiaries will be given clearer responsibilities. In addition, to further strengthen the group’s fuel cell expertise, a scientific and industrial advisory council has been established.

US scientists report bimetallic PEM fuel cell catalyst

Materials scientists at Washington University in St Louis, Missouri (WUSTL) have developed a technique for producing a bimetallic fuel cell catalyst that they say is efficient, robust, and between two and five times more effective than commercial catalysts. The palladium-platinum bimetallic nanodendritic structure offers high activity for oxygen reduction on PEM fuel cell cathodes.

Austrian collaboration unveils hydrogen fuel cell boat

The Austrian companies Fronius International, Bitter GmbH and boatbuilder Frauscher recently unveiled their first electric boat powered by hydrogen fuel cells, at Schloss Orth on Lake Traunsee. The boat is the realization of the partners’ Future Project Hydrogen, which aims to develop an emissions-free, fuel cell propulsion system for motorboats using hydrogen as the energy carrier.

Protonex wins USAF award to extend aerial vehicle propulsion

Massachusetts-based Protonex Technology has received a $265,000 contract from the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) for advanced development of high-performance fuel cell systems for small unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). This award expands on a series of efforts by Protonex to miniaturize fuel cells for use in smaller UAVs.

US makes heavy cuts in fuel cells, hydrogen budget

President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2010 budget request for the Department of Energy has cut $100 million from the Fuel Cell Technologies program (formerly Hydrogen Technology), reducing it by nearly 60% compared with the FY 2009 appropriation. The National Hydrogen Association and US Fuel Cell Council were quick to criticize the program cuts, saying in a joint statement that the cuts ‘threaten to disrupt commercialization of a family of technologies that are showing exceptional promise, and beginning to gain market traction.’

ACAL fuel cell system passes 1000 h milestone, plans 1 kW demo unit

UK-based ACAL Energy reports that its FlowCath® PEM fuel cell system has achieved more than 1000 h of continuous operation with no performance deterioration. The company has also confirmed operation of the complete fuel cell stack and integrated system for more than 100 h of cumulative operation at power levels of nearly 60 W, well above its design specification.

Protonex holds back on market launch for RV fuel cell power

Massachusetts-based Protonex Technology is deferring the launch of its M250-B fuel cell product into the US recreational vehicle (RV) market, originally planned for this year. The delay is to allow the company to focus more of its near-term technical and business development resources onto the military version, the M250-CX.

MTI Micro unveils OEM developer program for Mobion micro fuel cell platform

US-based MTI MicroFuel Cells, which has developed the Mobion portable power solution, has launched a Mobion Developers program for qualified original equipment manufacturers. The program will provide engineers and product designers at qualified OEMs with a Mobion Developers Kit, including a direct methanol fuel cell prototype, and the tools and information for them to evaluate and quickly understand how to integrate and use the Mobion platform in their product development efforts.

DoE gives US$41.9m to fuel cell technologies

US Energy Secretary Steven Chu has announced US$41.9 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding for fuel cell technology.

More Hydrogenics fuel cell buses for Europe

Two additional hybrid MidiBuses powered by fuel cells from Canadian-based Hydrogenics have entered operation in Germany. In addition, Hydrogenics has made significant progress with its Rampini Fuel Cell bus project, now planned to be commissioned this month in Gladbeck, Germany, where Hydrogenics has its European fuel cell operation.

Energy frontier research center for South Carolina, focused on fuel cells

The University of South Carolina has been selected by the US Department of Energy to house a research center for a team of leading energy researchers in the College of Engineering and Computing. The center, with $12.5 million in federal funding, is one of 31 Energy Frontier Research Centers (EFRCs) being set up by DOE’s Office of Science at leading universities, for advanced scientific research on energy.

Versa Power plans fuel cell manufacturing plant

Colorado-based Versa Power Systems is making plans to build a manufacturing plant for its 10 kW planar solid oxide fuel cells.

FMC trialing Plug Power, Oorja fuel cells for automatic guided vehicles

Fuel cells are now also being implemented as a power source for automatic guided vehicles (AGVs). Texas-based FMC Technologies is preparing to operate two fleets of AGVs powered by two different types of fuel cell. One will be powered by hydrogen PEM fuel cells from NY-based Plug Power, while the other will utilize direct methanol fuel cell battery-chargers from Oorja Protonics in California.