Fuel Cell and Hydrogen

Energy Connection
September 2013
Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Industry News
Federal Program News
Request for Papers, Proposals, and Information
About the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Connection

Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Industry News


President Obama's Visit to Sweden Includes Demonstration of myFC PowerTrekk Portable Fuel Cell Charger


On September 4, during a visit to Sweden focused on the environment and clean energy technology, President Obama was showcased the myFC PowerTrekk, a portable fuel cell charger, at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm.


President Obama (right) and Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt (center) speaking with Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) Professor Göran Lindbergh (left), and KTH researchers Rakel Wreland Lindström (center-left) and Carina Lagergren  (center-right)(Source : KTH)


The PowerTrekk works by reacting water with a sodium silicide Puck (developed by FCHEA member SiGNa Chemistry) to generate hydrogen. The hydrogen is then used to fuel the portable fuel cell, producing electricity for consumer electronics.


A link to myFC's press release can be found here.


Governor Brown Signs AB 8 - Approves Funding $20 Million Annually to Build At Least 100 Hydrogen Stations


On September 28, California Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. announced the signature of a number of electric vehicle bills, including Assembly Bill 8 (AB 8).  In addition to extending the state's clean vehicle and fuel incentives through 2023, AB 8 also approved $20 million in annual funding through the same time period for the development of hydrogen infrastructure.  This funding would provide support for the deployment of at least 100 hydrogen stations in California.


More information on AB 8 can be found here


ClearEdge Power Fuel Cell Fleet Surpasses 1 Million Hours of Operation


On September 5, ClearEdge Power announced that its 400kW stationary fuel cell fleet has reached a milestone of 1 million hours of field operation, the equivalent of saving more than 660,000 barrels of oil or planting more than 9,000 acres of trees.


In addition to the 400kW of electrical power, the fuel cell system also provides 1.5 million Btu/hour of heat for combined heat and power applications.


A link to ClearEdge Power's press release can be found here.


Fuel Cell Energy and NRG Energy Announce Agreement


On September 4, Fuel Cell Energy Inc. announced a teaming and co-marketing agreement with NRG Energy for the sale of FuelCell Energy power plants.  NRG energy will purchase and own power plants, and sell the electricity and heat generated to customers through power-purchase agreements.  FuelCell Energy will continue to install, operate and maintain the power plants.  "This new relationship helps to round out our distributed power generation portfolio, offering our customers efficient, clean, continuous on-site power," said Tom Gros, President, NRG Solutions.


FuelCell Energy's power plants are stationary plants that can operate on natural gas or renewable biogas, and can provide primary generation or electrical grid backup power. 


A link to FuelCell Energy's press release can be found here


E.ON and Swissgas Demonstrate Power-to-Gas Applications with Hydrogenics Technology


On August 28, E.ON announced that commercial operations had begun at its Power-to-Gas (P2G) facility in Falkenhagen, Germany.  The two megawatt facility uses Hydrogenics electrolysis technology to produce hydrogen gas from water, and inject it into existing natural gas transmission lines at a rate of 360 cubic meters per hour.  The hydrogen/natural gas mix can be used in a variety of industrial applications, and allows German energy companies to better balance demand against energy supply.


Swissgas and E.ON will partner for a second P2G facility in Hamburg, Germany in 2014. 
A link to the full press release can be found here

ITM Power Announces Sale of First Hydrogen Refueling Station in U.S.


On September 11, ITM Power announced that it had received its first purchase order for an electrolyser-based hydrogen refueling unit in the United States.  The purchase order was received from Hydrogen Frontier, Inc. to be used as part of Hyundai's fueling station in Chino, California.  The station was approved through an award by the California Energy Commission (CEC) on April 11, 2013.  


When deployed, the refueling station will be capable of generating 100kg/day of hydrogen.  The hydrogen generated will be 100% renewable, and will be dispensed at both 350 and 700bar.  


The station will also be open for public use, as part of California's larger hydrogen refueling infrastructure.


A link to the full press release can be found here


More information is available on the Fuel Cell Today website here.


China Partners with Ballard Power to Expand Fuel Cell Bus Fleet


On September 19, Ballard Power Systems provided a market update announcing that China's State Council is investing 1.8 trillion yuan (US $228 billion) in renewable energy through 2015, and 2.3 trillion yuan ($368 billion) on emissions reductions and energy savings initiatives.  In a joint statement, China's National Development and Reform Commission and the Finance, Science and Industry Ministries announced that fuel cell buses will now qualify for rebates up to 500,000 yuan (US $81,000).


China currently has the world's largest commercial vehicle segment - including a seven percent year-over-year growth of city buses.  To address the high level of automotive emissions caused by the buses, Beijing will restrict the number of vehicles on the road while promoting the sale of new energy vehicles, including fuel cell buses.  


Earlier this year, Ballard Power signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Azure Hydrogen Corporation of Beijing providing a manufacturing license agreement, engineering services, and fuel cell stacks and components to Azure for fuel cell bus development.


For a link to the full press release, click here.


LG Fuel Cell Systems Awarded $5.1 Million Grant to Advance SOFC Technology


On September 20, Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), announced the LG Fuel Cell Systems Inc. (LGFCS) at Stark State College in North Canton, Ohio, received a $5.1 million grant through the Department of Energy (DOE) to advance its fuel cell technology that focuses on making vehicles cleaner and more energy efficient. The grant will further develop the laboratory and improve the affordability and reliability of its solid oxide fuel cells. 


Senator Brown's press release is available here.


Michigan State Professor Awarded NSF CAREER Award for SOFC Research


On September 19, Michigan State University Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science announced that Jason D. Nicholas, an assistant professor, has received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award.  Nicholas was awarded for his research on solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC), and the 5 year, $400,000 grant will support  his work on reducing operating temperatures, improving performance, and lowering overall costs of the fuel cell technology.


Nicholas is the 13th member of the MSU College of Engineering faculty to receive an NSF CAREER Award in the past four years. 


For a link to the full press release, click here


Lilliputian's Nectar Power System Receives Award from Mass Technology Leadership Gala


On September 12, Lilliputian System's Nectar Power System was awarded the 2013 Innovative Technology: Mobile Award at Mass Technology Leaderhip Council's (MassTLC) annual awards gala  in Boston, Massachusetts.  Lilliputian Systems developed the Nectar device for consumer electronic devices, using solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) wafer fabrication methods to function as a battery replacement with 5 to 10 times the average run-time compared to similar-sized battery products. 


The Nectar Mobile Power System has won several awards since its launch, including multiple awards at the 2013 International Consumer Electronics Show. 


For more information on Nectar, visit its website here.  Lilliputian's press release can be found here


Air Products Ranks Among Top 10 Percent on Climate Disclose Leadership Index


On September 17,  Air Products, a world leader in hydrogen supply, announced that it had again achieved a position on the CDP Global 500 Climate Disclosure Leadership Index (CDLI).  Air Products ranked among the top 10 percent on the index for demonstrating commitment to the disclosure of climate change data.  


CDP is a nonprofit working to measure and share environmental 

information, and CDP holds the largest collection globally of primary corporate climate change and water data. Compiled by 
PricewaterhouseCoopers, the CDLI scores companies that have displayed a strong approach to the disclosure of climate change information.


The full CDP Climate Index can be found here. Air Products' press release can be found here


$1 Million Fund Established for Fuel Cell, Renewable Natural Gas Innovations


On September 13, Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) announced that the establishment of a $1 million innovation fund in partnership with Los Angeles CleanTech Incubator (LACI).  The fund aims to speed development of fuel cell technology, renewable natural gas, and distributed natural gas products such as liquid transportation fuels.   


LACI will work to help incubate and develop technologies best suited for deployment into SoCalGas's territory and other markets.  


A link to the SoCalGas press release can be found here


UK Department for Transport Announces New Strategy for Ultra Low Emission Vehicles Through 2020


On September 4, The Department of Transport Office for Low Emission Vehicles (OLEV) presented its Strategy document, "Driving the Future Today," during a visit to the annual low carbon exhibition in Bedfordshire. Transport Minister Norman Baker reaffirmed the governments support for ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEV), establishing the UK as a premier market.  The ministry guaranteed £500 million in funding for ULEV's from 2015 to 2020, in addition to the £400 million already authorized through 2013.  The government's long-term strategy will include infrastructure and regulatory support, as well as fiscal assistance, which includes tax incentives.


Included in the plan is a mandate for "exploring options for a new network of hydrogen refueling stations to support introduction of fuel cell electric vehicles in the UK."


A link to the full press release can be found here, and a link to the full strategy document can be found here.


Federal Program News


Energy Secretary Moniz Dedicates Clean Energy Research Center at NREL - Followed by Launch of National Fuel Cell Technology Evaluation Center


On September 11, during a visit to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz dedicated the nation's first major research facility focused on clean energy grid integration and wide-scale deployment, the Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF). 

Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz speaks at dedication event for ESIF (source: FCHEA)

On September 12, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced the unveiling of the National Fuel Cell Technology Evaluation Center (NFCTEC) dedicated to the independent analysis of advanced hydrogen and fuel cell technologies, which is located at NREL's ESIF.

The DOE press release on the ESIF dedication is available here.  The DOE press release launching the NFCTC is available here.


U.S. DOT Announces $13.6 Million to Commercialize U.S. Fuel Cell Bus Technology


On September 5, the U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) Federal Transit Administration (FTA) announced $13.6 million in Federal funding to advance commercialization of American-made fuel cell buses for the transit industry.  Eight projects were selected to recieve Fiscal Year (FY) 2012 funds through FTA's National Fuel Cell Bus Program.


Funding of the projects will be managed by CALSTART and the Center for Transportation and the Environment, two non-profits focused on advancing clean transportation technologies.


The funds will support fuel cell bus deployments in Oakland, CA; Cleveland, OH; Thousand Palms, CA; Ithaca, NY; Birmingham, AL; and Altoona, PA.


A link to FTA's press release can be found here.


Department of Energy Launches iOS App for Hydrogen Use


On September 12, the Department of Energy (DOE) announced a new app as part of the Obama Administration's open data initiative called Hydrogen Tools.  The app, available for iPhone and iPad, provides best practices and procedures for safely handling and using hydrogen for fuel cells.  Developed by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory with support from the DOE, the app incorporates a of variety content focused on safe usage and handling of hydrogen, including information on ventilation, safe distances and storage pressures. 


The full press release can be found here, and the app can be downloaded from the Apple App store here.



DOE Webinar on Hydrogen Safety Events Database


On Tuesday, September 10, the Energy Department held a bilateral webinar highlighting important safety event database tools that have been developed to bring lessons learned and related information to the forefront of the hydrogen community. Held in conjunction with the 5th International Conference on Hydrogen Safety (ICHS2013), the webinar included an overview of Europe's Hydrogen Incident and Accident Database (HIAD) and the U.S.'s Hydrogen Incident Reporting and Lessons Learned Database (H2Incidents.org). The webinar introduced these safety event databases, explored their features, and illustrated how they are being integrated and used to engage, educate, and inform various stakeholders. 


DOE Webinar on Fuel Cell Buses 


On Thursday, September 12, the Energy Department presented a webinar about fuel cell buses. There are currently more than 70 fuel cell buses in operation in 10 countries, and another 50 hydrogen buses are expected to come on line in the next 18 months. These zero emission buses are showing significant improvements in fuel economy over conventionally powered buses, and experts predict dramatic reductions in their relative life cycle cost in the coming decade. 


On behalf of the FTA's National Fuel Cell Bus Program, CTE presented a summary of worldwide fuel cell bus activities, highlighting key strategies and partnerships and how these are shaping the future of fuel cell bus adoption. Following CTE was a presentation by the California Fuel Cell Partnership on its California Fuel Cell Bus Roadmap, providing a strategy and funding approach to move fuel cell bus technology from the current stage of full-scale validation to early commercialization through Centers of Excellence by 2016. 


Request for Papers, Proposals, and Information


Department of Labor Seeking Input on Fuel Cell Technicians


The US Department of Labor's Occupational Information Network (O*NET) is seeking assistance from expert fuel cell technicians, with at least five years experience, to complete a series of occupational questionnaires for a national database.  This database is a service to employers, human resource professionals, job counselors, and labor market analysts across the country, providing information about the skills, abilities, activities, and work context for about 900 occupations nationwide. 


Technicians will be asked to complete several O*NET questionnaires to provide information on their field of expertise. These take about 90 minutes to complete. 


Interested applicants should contact Jim Rose Business Liaison O*NET Operations Center, RTI International at 877-233-7348, Ext. 121 or by email jrose@onet.rti.org


Further information about this initiative can be found at www.doleta.gov/programs/onet.




In our previous newsletter, Sandia National Laboratories hydrogen researcher, Lennie Klebanoff, was mistakenly identified as Director.


About the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Connection




Press releases and story ideas may be forwarded to Connor Dolan and Karen Hall for consideration at  cdolan@fchea.org and  khall@fchea.org respectively.


The Sponsors


Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association --  The Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA) is the trade association for the fuel cell and hydrogen energy industry, and is dedicated to the commercialization of fuel cells and hydrogen energy technologies. Fuel cells and hydrogen energy technologies deliver clean, reliable power to leading edge corporate, academic and public sector users, and FCHEA members are helping to transform the our energy future. FCHEA represents the full global supply chain, including universities, government laboratories and agencies, trade associations, fuel cell materials, components and systems manufacturers, hydrogen producers and fuel distributors, utilities and other end users.


National Energy Technology Laboratory --  The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), part of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratory system is owned and operated by the DOE.  Its mission is "Advancing energy options to fuel our economy, strengthen our security, and improve our environment".  NETL performs, procures, and partners with universities and the private sector.  Together, these efforts focus a wealth of scientific and engineering talent on creating commercially viable solutions to national energy and environmental problems.  NETL has expertise in coal, natural gas, and oil technologies, contract and project management, analysis of energy systems, and international energy issues.   NETL supports DOE's mission to advance the national, economic, and energy security of the United States.  
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