House Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Expo and Policy Forum Held on Capitol Hill
On Wednesday, April 24, the House Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Caucus hosted the House Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Expo and Policy Forum in the Cannon Caucus Room on Capitol Hill. The Expo and Policy Forum was attended by over 100 Congressional staffers, government employees, and energy professionals.
The event featured speakers from the Administration, including Heather Zichal, Deputy Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change, and Dr. Sunita Satyapal, Director of the Fuel Cell Technologies Office in the Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), as well as two National Laboratories representatives, Dr. Anthony Cugini, Director of the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), and Dr. Chris Gearhart, Center Director of Hydrogen Technologies and Systems at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL).
Along with representatives from the Administration, Congressman Mike Doyle (D-PA), Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY), and Congressman John Garamendi (D-CA) all spoke at the event.
A State Activities Panel was held later in the day which featured Bill Elrick from the California Fuel Cell Partnership, Joel Rinebold from the Connecticut Hydrogen-Fuel Cell Coalition, Pat Valente of the Ohio Fuel Cell Coalition, and Shannon Baxter-Clemmons from the South Carolina Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Alliance.
In addition to speakers, an array of industry exhibitors participated in the event showcasing their products and services, including: Air Products, Ballard Power, California Fuel Cell Partnership, ClearEdge Power, FuelCell Energy, PDC Machines, DOE Fuel Cell Technologies Office, and the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA).
Ballard Ships 500th ElectraGen-ME Fuel Cell
On April 11, Ballard Power announced shipment of its 500th ElectraGen-ME fuel cell since production began in August, 2012. The ElectraGen-ME is a methanol fueled power system designed for prolonged telecommunications backup.
Ballard has reported considerable success in deploying the systems to locations in Southeast Asia and South Africa with unreliable electric grids, and shipped 260 systems in Q1 2013 alone.
Ballard's press release can be found here.
FuelCell Energy Sells 1.4 MW Fuel Cell to Hartford Steam Company
On April 17, FuelCell Energy announced the sale of a 1.4 MW fuel cell power plant to the Hartford Steam Company for use at the Hartford Hospital. The fuel cell will provide both electricity and heat to the hospital, and excess heat will be supplied to the Hartford district heating system. The fuel cell will be located next to the hospital, occupying minimal space while dramatically reducing emissions.
FuelCell Energy's press release can be found here.
UKH2Mobility Phase 1 Report Welcomed by UK Energy Minister Michael Fallon
On April 25, the United Kingdom's Energy Minister, Michael Fallon, praised the publication of UKH2Mobility's full Phase 1 report, which details an analysis on the deployment of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) in the UK.
Minister Fallon praised the report for demonstrating how FCEVs provide "new economic opportunities for the UK [while] diversifying [the UK's] national energy supply and driving down carbon emissions."
The industry participants in UKH2Mobility include Air Liquide, Daimler AG, Hyundai, Intelligent Energy, ITM Power, Johnson Matthey, Nissan, BOC (a member of the Linde Group) and Toyota.
The UKH2Mobility press release can be found here
. The full Phase 1 Results report can be found here.
Nuvera Announces Launch of Two-Year Fuel Cell Demonstration Program in Massachusetts to Deploy Two Toyota FCHV-adv SUVs
On April 17, Nuvera announced the launch of a two-year fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) demonstration program to raise awareness of the technology in the state of Massachusetts.
The demonstration program will deploy two Toyota FCHV-adv SUVs at Nuvera's headquarters in Billerica, MA. Nuvera will fuel the vehicles with hydrogen produced by the company's PowerTap hydrogen generation and refueling equipment.
Nuvera's press release can be found here.
Honda Begins Tests on Powering Home With Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle
On April 9, Honda announced it began tests to examine the feasibility of powering a single-family home with electricity generated by a fuel cell electric vehicle in Kitakyushi, Japan. The experiment will span two years, using an FCEV with a maximum output of 9 KW for 6 hours each week.
|Kitakyushu Mayor Kenji Kitahashi (left) and Yoshiharu Yamaoto, Honda Motor Co. Senior Managing Officer and Director (Right) (Source: Japan Times)|
The project may yield information on the potential application of FCEVs as a source of emergency power.
More information about the test can be found here.
Golden Gate Transit to Begin Operating ClearEdge Power Fuel Cell Electric Bus, Fueled by Linde
On April 17, Golden Gate Transit, which services Marin and parts of San Francisco, announced it will begin running a fuel cell bus later this month. The bus will serve six routes and represents the second such trial for Golden Gate Transit.
The fuel cell which will power the bus was developed by UTC Power (now ClearEdge Power) and will be refueled at the AC Transit hydrogen fueling station in Emeryville, CA, operated by The Linde Group.
Fuel Cell Electric Bus (Source: Golden Gate Transit)
The bus is being deployed as part of the Zero Emission Bay Area (ZEBA) fuel cell bus demonstration program, which includes five participating transit agencies: AC Transit, Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority, Golden Gate Transit, San Mateo County Transit District, and San Francisco Municipal Railway. The ZEBA partners are collaborating with the Department of Energy and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to evaluate the buses in revenue service.
Golden Gate Transit's press release can be found here.
Hydrogenics Awarded Contract for 1 MW Hydrogen Energy Storage System in Hamburg, Germany
On April 8, Hydrogenics Corporation announced that it will deploy a 1 megawatt hydrogen energy storage system in the city of Hamburg, Germany. The energy storage application will be used to convert excess power generated from renewable energy into hydrogen. In the core of the system will be the world's largest single PEM electrolyzer stack.
Hydrogen storage systems can help Germany use its renewable energy resources more efficiently, provide grid stability, and improve overall utility performance.
Hydrogenics press release is available here.
Ace Hardware Deploying 65 GenDrive Fuel Cells from Plug Power
On April 2, Plug Power announced it will deploy a fleet of 65 GenDrive fuel cell forklifts for Ace Hardware Corporation. The forklifts will be used at Ace Hardware's Retail Support Center in Wilmer, Texas.
Ace Hardware reportedly chose the GenDrive units over battery alternatives due to the lower operational cost and increased productivity of the fleet.
Plug Power's press release is available here.
Air Liquide Fuel Cell Installed by Belgian Telecommunications Firm for Off-Grid Power
On April 11, Air Liquide announced that Belgacom, a telecommunications firm, has been powering an isolated telecommunications antenna in Wemmel, Belgium with a Air Liquide fuel cell. The unit was installed in January, 2013.
Belgacom is testing fuel cells as silent, clean and reliable alternatives to the generators powering its off-grid towers.
Since 2010, Air Liquide has installed more than 100 fuel cells at telecommunication sites worldwide.
Air Liquide's press release is available online here.
Proton OnSite Announces 40% Reduction in Electrolysis Stack Cost
On April 8, Proton OnSite announced a 40% decrease in hydrogen electrolysis stack cost over the last 5 years. The cost savings were achieved through reductions in the catalyst's precious metal content.
In addition, Proton announced it expects to release an economically viable, large-scale PEM electrolyzer in 2014. The new multi-megawatt PEM electrolyzer is intended for renewable energy markets and will be able to store energy as hydrogen for later use.
Proton OnSite's press release is available online here.
Air Products and Technip Celebrate 20 Years of Successful Collaboration
On April 10, Technip and Air Products announced the celebration of 20 years partnering in hydrogen production by awarding $200,000 in scholarships to four universities; Lehigh University (Bethlehem, PA), Rice University (Houston, TX), the Indian Institute of Technology (Madras, India) and King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (Saudi Arabia).
|Pictured from left to right: Koos Overwater, Technip's Vice President Hydrogen Product Line; John McGlade, Air Products' Chairman, President and CEO; Thierry Pilenko, Technip's Chairman and CEO; and Jeff Byrne, Air Products' Vice President and General Manager - Tonnage Gases. (Source: Air Products)|
The two companies have collaborated on the construction of 25 steam methane reformer hydrogen production plants throughout 11 countries and produce over 56 million standard cubic meters of hydrogen per day.
Air Product's press release is available online here.
ITM Power Announces Participation in North Sea Power-to-Gas Platform
On April 26, ITM Power announced its participation in the newly established North Sea Power-to-Gas Platform. The North Sea Power-to-Gas Platform is a collaboration of eleven companies throughout Europe to further develop the concept of power-to-gas. In addition to ITM Power, FCHEA member Hydrogenics Corporation is also a participant.
Power-to-gas Flowchart (Source: North Sea Power-to-Gas Platform)
The power-to-gas process takes surplus renewable energy and converts it into hydrogen for a number of applications including use as energy storage, conversion to methane, power generation, feedstock for the chemical industry, or integration into the natural gas infrastructure.
ITM Power's press release can be found here.
Intelligent Energy Partnership Improves Fuel Cell Power Density
On April 16, Intelligent Energy announced that a three-year project to enhance the performance and durability of Intelligent Energy fuel cells has achieved a 30% power density increase and a 10kW power output increase.
Collaborators on the project included Intelligent Energy, Dyson Technology, Ricardo and TRW Conekt, and was facilitated by the UK's Technology Strategy Board. The project ran from December 2009-December 2012.
Intelligent Energy's press release can be found here.
Linde Supplies Renewable Hydrogen for BMW Materials Handling Fleet, Fuel Cell Forklifts Provided by Plug Power
On April 16, Linde announced that it has provided BMW Manufacturing with renewable hydrogen for its expanded fuel cell forklift fleet at BMW's Spartanburg, SC manufacturing facility. BMW Manufacturing recently announced that the entire forklift fleet has been converted to fuel cells, totaling 230 materials handling units.
The fuel cells are supplied by Plug Power, while the hydrogen provided by Linde is a by-product from a sodium chlorate plant, purified with hydropower generated electricity.
Linde's press release is available online here.
Connecticut Transit to Receive First Commercially Procured Fuel Cell Bus - Fuel Cell Provided by Ballard Power
On April 15, the Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE) finalized a deal with Connecticut Transit (CTTransit) to deliver a hydrogen fuel cell powered 40 foot, heavy-duty transit bus in partnership with ElDorado National, BAE Systems, and Ballard Power Systems.
CTE reports that this will be the first commercially procured fuel cell bus. The bus has been privately procured under a standard Request for Proposal (RFP) process. The bus will use a Ballard FCvelocity-HD6 fuel cell and BAE Systems' HybriDrive propulsion system. CTE plans to deliver the bus in the Fall 2014.
CTE's press release is available online here.
FuelCell Energy Announces Increased Fuel Cell Production Rate
On April 18, FuelCell Energy announced that it is ramping up its fuel cell production rate by 25 percent and plans to be at a 70 megawatt annualized run-rate by May 1, 2013.
FuelCell Energy reports that the production ramp-up is directly related to an increased demand in Connecticut, such as the recently announced 14.9 megawatt fuel cell park in Bridgeport.
FuelCell Energy's press release is available online here.
Air Liquide Invests in Hydrogen Storage Technology
On April 18, Air Liquide announced an equity investment in the Australian company, HYDREXIA, through its subsidiary ALIAD, which invests in technology start-ups.
HYDREXIA has developed effective and reliable hydrogen storage technology using a new magnesium alloy in a solid hydride. Air Liquide expects this alloy to reduce hydrogen production costs and provide greater storage density. The technology is designed for industrial hydrogen markets such as glass steel and chemicals.
Air Liquide's press release is available online here.
Ballard Achieves Record Production Of Telecom Backup Power Systems At Tijuana Facility
On April 2, Ballard Power Systems announced that its production facility in Tijuana, Mexico manufactured 215 ElectraGen-ME units in Q1 of 2013, a record high for the plant. The plant is 37,000 square feet and was acquired from IdaTech LLC in January 2013.
David Whyte, Ballard's Director of Operations believes that the record Q1 production represents a growing demand for backup power systems and that Ballard has the potential to produce 900 ElectraGen-ME systems per quarter at the plant.
Ballard's press release is available here.
Dutch State Secretary of Infrastructure and the Environment Tours Air Liquide Fueling Station
On April 10, Wilma Mansveld, Dutch State Secretary of Infrastructure and the Environment, visited an Air Liquide hydrogen fueling station under construction in Rotterdam, Netherlands. During the visit, Mansveld emphasized the need to prepare the Netherlands for the introduction of FCEVs into the Dutch market in the coming years.
The Air Liquide hydrogen station is expected to open to the public in late 2013, and will be the first Air Liquide station in the Netherlands. The station is supported through the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) program, and represents the first allocation of TEN-T resources for hydrogen infrastructure development.
Air Liquide's notice of the visit is available online here. More information on hydrogen infrastructure development in the Netherlands can be found here.
Ballard Launches Enhanced Air-Cooled Fuel Cell Stack for Commercial Market Applications
On April 16, Ballard Power Systems announced the launch of its next generation FCgen-1020ACS air cooled, fuel cell stack. This fuel cell has a number of improvements over their earlier model, increasing durability and lifetime of the system.
The previous FCgen-1020ACS was originally designed to provide short-term telecom backup power, but can also be used in extended duration backup power and in materials handling equipment.
In the next generation model, Ballard reports increased robustness in the membrane electrode assembly frame and expects lower operating cost and extended operating hours.
Ballard Power's press release is available online here.
Fuel Cells 2000 Releases Report on Fuel Cell Grid Support Applications
On April 8, Fuel Cells 2000 released a report on the successful applications of backup fuel cell power in the storms and grid outages. The report highlights the role of backup fuel cells in powering telecommunication installations, data centers, hospitals, and grocery stores. These sections present anecdotes of fuel cells maintaining vital systems during natural disasters, and specific statistics on financial savings.
The report notes the significant economic savings and success stories achieved thanks to the reliability and low maintenance costs demonstrated at these and other types of installations. Also highlighted in the report is superior ability of fuel cells to preserve power at hospitals and data centers, rather than diesel generators that experienced failures during Hurricanes Katrina, Irene, and Sandy.
The full report is available here.
NPR's All Things Considered Features Hydrogen-Producing Artificial Leaf
On April 10, National Public Radio's (NPR) All Things Considered program had a report on the artificial leaf and its role in future energy applications. The artificial leaf uses energy from the sun to split water into oxygen and hydrogen gas.
The report highlighted a team of 120 scientists, engineers and technicians who are working on improving artificial leaf technology at the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, an affiliated organization of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
NPR's article and recording can be found here.