Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Industry News
Mercedes-Benz Opens World's First Facility Dedicated to the Production and Technology Development of Fuel Cell Stacks
Mercedes-Benz Canada, a division
of Daimler AG, last week announced the completion and official grand opening of the world's first automated automotive facility dedicated to the production and production technology of fuel cell stacks. The 3,300 square meter building, located in Burnaby, British Columbia the facility is surrounded by the Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation and the industrial fuel cell cluster located in the Greater Vancouver Area. This placement was a strategic decision made to build on the technological environment and the required infrastructure necessary for the further development of fuel cell stacks.
Present at the opening ceremony was John Sheridan, President and CEO of Ballard Power Systems. Ballard has a long-standing relationship with Mercedes-Benz, as partners in research, development, and the manufacture of fuel cell stacks for use in Mercedes-Benz automotive programs. Establishment of the new production facility is an important step in the commercialization of fuel cell cars, as Mercedes-Benz works toward market introduction over the next several years.
Daimler's press release is available online here. Ballard Power's press release on the grand opening is available here.
FuelCell Energy Expanding Operations in Seoul
- Installing 230 MW of Fuel Cells
- Developing World's Largest Fuel Cell Park
To replace the production of an aging nuclear power plant, the city of Seoul, South Korea has moved ahead with plans to install FuelCell Energy DFC3000 power plants at 131 separate locations. Twenty-nine fuel cell parks will supply 190 MWs of power to the city. In addition, FuelCell Energy will have installations at 102 commercial buildings, providing a further 40 MW. All fuel cells are to be configured for combined heat and power (CHP), increasing their total efficiency to close to 90%.
These installations will be used to power the city's subway, water treatment plants, resource collection facilities, several hospitals, data centers, and residential developments.
FuelCell Energy is also supplying fuel cell units for two additional fuel cell parks in South Korea being developed by POSCO Energy. A 60 MW park in Hwaesong, and an 8.4 MW park in Samcheok City are under development by POSCO Energy to help local utilities comply with the South Korean Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard. The 60 MW park will be the largest fuel cell installation in the world once completed. To date, POSCO Energy has ordered 140 MW in stationary fuel cell power plants from FuelCell Energy and has entered into a memorandum of agreement to purchase an additional 120 MW in fuel cell kits.
|Rendition of 60 megawatt fuel cell park in Hwaseong, South Korea (FuelCell Energy)|
More information on South Korea's commitment to hydrogen power can be found here. More information on FuelCell Energy's advances in South Korea can be found here.
EBay to Power New Data Center Completely with Bloom Energy Fuel Cells
EBay has announced plans to completely power their new data center in South Jordan, Utah with 30 fuel cells provided by Bloom Energy, reaching a total power generation of 6 MWs. This is the largest non-utility fuel cell installation currently planned. The fuel cells are set to be the main source of power for this new data center with the grid functioning as a backup power source. The Bloom installation is being designed and engineered into eBay's expanded data center facility in Utah, and will be fully functional by mid-2013.
In a press release statement, John Donahoe, President and CEO of eBay, supported the installation saying, "We believe the future of commerce can be greener. Technology-led innovation is changing retail and revolutionizing how people shop and pay. We also want to revolutionize how shopping is powered. We are embracing disruptive energy technology and designing it into our core data center energy architecture. Running our data centers primarily on reliable, renewable energy, we intend to shape a future for commerce that is more environmentally sustainable at its core."
EBay's press release on the announcement is available online here. New York Times coverage of the announcement is available online here.
Boeing Hydrogen-Fueled Phantom Eye Completes First Autonomous Flight
Earlier this month, Boeing announced that its hydrogen fueled unmanned airborne system, the Phantom Eye, completed its first autonomous flight. The aircraft is able to remain airborne for up to 4 days while reaching altitudes of 65,000 feet. This is made possible through its innovative and environmentally responsible liquid-hydrogen propulsion system, which creates only water as a byproduct. The Phantom has a 150-foot wingspan and is capable of carrying a 450-pound payload.
|Boeing Phantom Eye on First Autonomous Flight|
Darryl Davis, President of Boeing Phantom Works was quoted in a press release stating, "This day ushers in a new era of persistent Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) where an unmanned aircraft will remain on station for days at a time providing critical information and services."
|Boeing Phantom Eye Originally Unveiled July, 2010 |
More information on the Boeing Phantom Eye is available here.
Germany Announces Plans to Build 50 Hydrogen Stations by 2015
Germany's Ministry of Transport, Building and Urban Development (BMVBS) and several industrial sector companies signed a Letter of Intent on Wednesday, June 22 announcing plans to invest over 40 million Euros to expand the country's network of hydrogen filling stations from 15 to 50 by 2015.
This will serve as a test of the capability of innovative filling-station technology and ensure a reliable supply for the 5,000 fuel cell vehicles that are expected to be on the road in Germany at that time. The expansion plan focuses on the country's metropolitan regions and creating a network to connect those regions. FCHEA members Air Liquide, Air Products, Daimler, and Linde, along with Total Germany have all signed a letter of intent and will be contributing to the project.
The press release for the announcement is available online here.
Daimler Receives IAHE Sir William Grove Award 2012
On June 6, Daimler AG received the IAHE Sir William Grove Award at the World Hydrogen Energy Conference, held in Toronto, Canada. The award was given in recognition of the major automakers efforts and leadership in the field of fuel cell vehicle technology. This distinction is presented by the International Association for Hydrogen Energy (IAHE) and is named in honor of Sir William Robert Grove, the British inventor of the fuel cell in 1839. This marks the 8th time this award has been given since 1998.
Daimler holds considerable knowledge and experience in developing fuel cell electric vehicles. The automaker first introduced its NECAR 1 in 1994, a single-seat van whose fuel cell, battery pack, electric drive unit, and additional control devices took up all the interior space of the vehicle. Since the NECAR1, Daimler's latest FCEV is the Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL, a normal four-door sedan powered by a fuel cell aimed to be commercialized by 2014.
More information on the award is available online here.
ClearEdge Fuel Cell System to Power "America's Most Beautiful Home and Garden Center"
Roger's Gardens, a destination home and garden store, has partnered with ClearEdge Power to install a fuel cell system on its Orange County campus. The 15kW system will reduce the garden center's emissions and energy bills through the efficient onsite generation of heat and electricity.
"The ClearEdge system delivers cost-effective clean energy that helps us increase efficiencies and reduce our environmental footprint," said Roger's Gardens co-owner Gavin Herbert, Jr.
The electricity generated by the system will be used to power the facility's operations and computer systems while the heat given off as a byproduct will be used to heat the center's orchid nursery. In addition to saving the Gardens $14,156 annually in combined heat and electric costs, the ClearEdge system will reduce CO2 emissions by 41%. In all, the fuel cell system will help reduce Roger's Gardens' annual greenhouse gas emissions by 17.2 tons/yr.
More information on the installation is available online here.
GreenGT Unveils Hydrogen Electric Hybrid Racer to Race in Next Year's Le Mans - Featured by Top Gear
Next year's Le Mans 24 hour marathon will include the GreenGT H2, a hydrogen-electric hybrid racer, which will take the place on the grid reserved for experimental vehicles. BBC's Top Gear covered the vehicle in an online article this week.
The vehicle features a 100 kW fuel cell which provides electricity to drive two motors at 540 bhp and will reach an expected top speed of 186 mph. Earlier prototypes used lithium-ion batteries, but these power sources were found to be the "weak point" of the vehicle and hydrogen fuel cells were chosen instead.
Top Gear's write up on the H2 racer is available here.
Additional coverage can be found on Autoweek here.
Federal Program News
Department of Energy Invests $55 Million to Spur Development of Transformational Manufacturing Technologies
The Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) announced that it will be investing over $54 Million in 13 projects to help develop innovative technologies and materials for the industrial sector with the goal of sparking the American manufacturing sector. According to U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, the 13 competitively selected projects demonstrate the Energy Department's commitment to clean energy technology. FCHEA member, Air Products and Chemicals Inc., has received $1.2 million in funding to create a microbial reverse electrodialysis that will be combined with excess waste heat recovery to effluents into electricity and chemical products including hydrogen gas.
More information on the projects can be found online here.
Department of Energy Held Two Webinars Discussing Fuel Cells in June
The Energy Department presented a live webcast titled "Brookhaven National Laboratory's (BNL's) Low-Platinum Electrocatalysts for Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles" on June 19, 2012. The webinar showcased electrocatalysts developed by BNL scientists that uses less platinum and increases the effectiveness of fuel cells for use in electric vehicles.
The Energy Department, in partnership with the Battelle Commercialization Council of Labs, held another webinar titled "Accelerating Innovation: Fuel Cells" on Wednesday, June 20, 2012.
This webcast highlighted four fuel cell-focused technologies developed at DOE national laboratories, all of which are found on EERE's Energy Innovation Portal.
Office of Naval Research Announces Contract for Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Unmanned Underwater System
NexTech Materials, Ltd. has announced that it has received a contract from the Office of Naval Research for a Future Naval Capability project aimed at design, development and demonstration of a compact energy system for unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs). NexTech will be creating a solid oxide fuel cell power generator that uses liquid hydrocarbon fuel (JP-10) and liquid oxygen reactants. The UUV fuel cell based systems offer much higher energy density than can be achieved with batteries, as well as re-fueling capability. The use of solid oxide fuel cells in conjunction with liquid hydrocarbon fuels offers extremely high electrical efficiency. This reduces the volume and weight of fuel and oxygen that needs to be stored.
More information on the Office of Naval Research award is available here.
Army OTC Testing Portable Power Fuel Cells
The United States Army Operational Test Command (OTC) has announced that a series of tests are being conducted to evaluate fuel cells in portable soldier power and power generator applications under realistic operating conditions. Army OTC is looking into lightweight portable fuel cells fueled by methanol cartridges. These portable fuel cells are being used as replacements for heavy battery packs for soldiers on missions, as well as fuel cell generators for communications and relay towers. Fuel cells are being considered due to their ability to provide reliable power in remote locations, while reducing the weight of materials needed for operations.
More information on the OTC testing of fuel cells is available here.
University of Maryland Wins 2012 Hydrogen Student Design Contest
The University of Maryland has won the Hydrogen Education Foundation's 2012 Hydrogen Student Design Contest. The contest is supported by the Department of Energy and is being conducted to ensure we are equipping our students and workforce with the skills and training they need to lead the clean energy economy. The UMD team created design concepts for a tri-generation system that prvides electricity, heat and hydrogen for their University Campus.
RFP / Solicitation News
Department of Energy Issues Request for Information on Material Handling and Backup Power Targets for Early Market Fuel Cell Applications
The Department of Energy, Fuel Cell Technologies Program, has issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking input from stakeholders on proposed technical and cost targets for fuel cells designed for backup power and material handling applications. Feedback on proposed performance, durability and cost targets, as well as on current status, for these two early market fuel cell applications is sought from developers, manufacturers, end users, and other stakeholders. The targets are intended to meet end user expectations, and are not driven by the operating parameters or constraints of specific technologies.
For more information on this RFI, please visit the DOE's Funding Opportunity Exchange website under Reference Number DE-FOA-0000738.
Application deadline is 12:00 PM EDT June 30, 2012.
Department of Energy Announces up to $2.5 Million to Deploy Fuel Cell Powered Baggage Vehicles at Commercial Airports
The Department of Energy has issued a funding opportunity announcement for up to $2.5 million in 2012 to demonstrate and deploy fuel cell hybrid ground support equipment (GSE) vehicles at airport and/or air freight distribution centers.
Packaged solutions for polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cell systems fueled by hydrogen with the ability to power a baggage tow tractor with 3,000 to 6,000 pounds of towing capability for a minimum of 10 hours of continuous operation and 5,000 total hours are sought.
The deadline for submission for this announcement is 5:00 PM EDT July 7, 2012.
For more information on the funding announcement, see the Department of Energy press release here.
Department of Energy Announces $9 Million Available for Small Business Innovation Research in Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
The Energy Department (DOE) announced up to $9 million available this year to fund small business innovation in energy efficiency and renewable energy. Hydrogen and fuel cell technologies are included in the funding in addition to advanced manufacturing, energy-efficient buildings, biomass, solar energy, and wind and water power technologies that contribute to an overall framework of 8 broad topics and 30 subtopics.
The DOE will fund selected small businesses with one-year awards of up to $150,000 that are intended to test the possibilities of innovative clean energy concepts. There will be an opportunity for successful candidates to compete for more than $1 million in follow-on-funding.
Full application submission deadline is 11:59 PM EDT July 3, 2012.
More information on the announcement can be found on the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's (EERE) Funding Opportunity Exchange website.
The EERE press release on the announcement is available online here.
About the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Connection
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Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association -- The Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA) is the world's premier advocacy organization dedicated to the commercialization of fuel cells and hydrogen energy technologies. Its membership represents the full spectrum of the supply chain from universities, government laboratories and agencies, fuel cell materials, component and system manufacturers, hydrogen producers and fuel distributors, utilities and other end users. (http://www.fchea.org/)
National Energy Technology Laboratory -- The National Energy Technology Laboratory is federally owned and operated. Its mission is "We Solve National Energy and Environmental Problems." NETL performs, procures, and partners in technical research, development, and demonstration to advance technology into the commercial marketplace, thereby benefiting the environment, contributing to U.S. employment, and advancing the position of U.S. industries in the global market. (http://www.netl.doe.gov)