Fuel Cell and Hydrogen News: Week Ending 21st August
Still really quiet.
Vapor IO and Bloom Energy to Provide Fuel Cell Data Centres to the Global Market
In a first of it’s kind deal for Bloom Energy, this week the company announced that it will be working with modular datacentre provides, Vapor IO, to design, ship and build “green” datacentres. These will be marketed and sold worldwide.
This units will be available in the first quarter of 2016.
Link to the original Bloom press release is: http://bit.ly/1LmXMBS
Sharjah University Students Achieve 10 Minute Fuel Cell Powered UAV Flight
Last week the American University of Sharjah (AUS) announced the successful completion of a 10-minute unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) flight using hydrogen for power.
Write up of the event can be found here: http://bit.ly/1TXwWI2
Iwatani Builds Hydrogen Refuelling Station for Fuel Cell Forklifts
Iwatani has completed the first construction of a commercial hydrogen refuelling station located in Shunan City, of Yamaguchi Prefecture in the Chugoku Area, and is built to serve FC forklifts.
The full press release can be read here: http://bit.ly/1J9Er6q
Fuel Cell and Hydrogen News: Week Ending 14th August
August is traditionally a very quiet month for the fuel cell and hydrogen sectors. So far this one is just that. Very quiet.
Constellation to Provide Equity Financing for 40 MWs of Bloom Boxes
Bloom Energy announced that Constellation, owned by Exelon, will provide finance for the deployment of 170 Bloom Boxes, representing 40 MWs of power.
According to the press release the units will be deployed in the US by the end of 2016.
Link to the original Bloom press release is: http://bit.ly/1E9C9Wb
GM and Honda Announce 10g Platinum Fuel Cell Automotive Stack
In an Automotivenews.com interview with Charlie Freese, GM’s head of global fuel cell engineering, he announced that the GM / Honda lab based automotive stack was down to (an impressive) 10 grammes of platinum.
Ed Note: When this is compared with current diesel loadings of around 7 grammes of platinum you can see how far the fuel cell stack is progressing. No information was given on the timing of commercial launch of the next generation stack but I would suggest from lab to market to vehicle is in the region of 10 years.
Link to the full interview is: http://bit.ly/1HBcwrP
FuelCell Energy Has Sold a Further 5.6 megawatts of fuel cell modules to POSCO Energy
This week FuelCell Energy announced the sale of a further 5.6 MWs of fuel cell modules to POSCO Energy. The modules will be assembled with local balance of plant in South Korea, and will be sold and deployed into the growing South Korean market.
The full press release can be accessed at: http://bit.ly/1J9zVok
Fuel Cell and Hydrogen News: Week Ending 31st July
Fuel Cell ferries are starting to come back to the fore and this week saw the announcement of a fuel cell ferry in the San Francisco bay area.
With the boat being a new design, it looks like the fuel cell could be the prime mover, and not an APU. The project is being run by Sandia National Laboratories and the Red and White Fleet ferry company.
EON and FuelCell Energy Europe to Install 1.4 MW Fuel Cell Facility in Germany
Europe’s first fuel cell of megawatt size in an industrial environment is to be built in Germany.
The 1.4MW fuel cell will be installed at a production plant in Mannheim.
E.ON plans to build, own and operate the project to supply clean energy to the plant.
Fuel Cell and Hydrogen News: Week Ending 10th July
The new 4th Energy Wave Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Review is out. Report download at: http://www.4thenergywave.co.uk/annual-review/
News from Japan
H2 Logic A/S and MKK to Collaborate on Hydrogen Fueling for Japan
It has been announced that H2Logic and MKK have signed a binding technology transfer agreement, through which H2Logic will transfer and adapt the H2Station® CAR-100 product for the Japanese market. The aim is to have the first new refuelling station up and running in Japan in 2016.
More information on this can be found in the official press release: http://bit.ly/1LVBSHk
Kyocera to Launch SOFC System in 2016
As with many other companies Kyocera have decided to move up the supply chain and has announced that it will be developing its own SOFC system, with an initial launch date planned for 2016.
Tokyo to Have Fuel Cell Powered Bus Rapid Transit for Olympic Games
Tokyo has decided to introduce fuel cell powered, hydrogen fuelled, bus rapid transit buses in 2019. The “bendy buses” have twice the people carrying capacity. This will be the first such use of a fuel cell in the transit fleet.
Hydrogen at Refuelling Stations in Japan to be Priced at ¥1,100 / kg
With the price of hydrogen still being under discussion in many parts of the world it should be no surprise that Japan has, once again, taken the lead and an announced has been made that at refuelling stations hydrogen will be priced at ¥1,100 / kg, excluding tax. This equates to US$9 / kg
CFCL’s German Assets Bought by SOFC Developer Solid Power
In an interesting development SolidPower has bought the German assets, including manufacturing facility, of bankrupt CFCL.
The press release here is in German: http://bit.ly/1JzKRLR
BMW Shows Teases With a Mock Up of its 5 Series Grand Turismo Hydrogen Fuel Cell Car
It’s another car. Looks good. Not production ready.
A write up can be found here: http://bit.ly/1JTtk4r
Fuel Cell and Hydrogen News – Week Ending 3rd July
Ballard Power to Buy Protonex
This week saw the surprised news that Ballard Power is to buy portable and military fuel cell company Protonex. The deal is worth $30 milllion and all of the Protonex IP will be transferred to Ballard.
NEL Hydrogen Signs Public-private partnership agreement with Akershus County Council for Hydrogen Refuelling Station
It has been announced that Akershus County Council will award a grant for the completion of a hydrogen refueling station, to be located in county of Akershus, Norway, to NEL Hydrogen. The agreement is among the first public-private partnership agreements in the process of building a hydrogen infrastructure throughout Norway.
Some more information on this can be found at: http://bit.ly/1elB3tZ
McPhy Energy and CNR join forces to develop carbon-free mobility and power-to-gas projects
This week McPhy Energy and CNR Energie have announced a partnership to jointly develop this new industrial sector and support energy transition. McPhy Energy will contribute its technology and its hydrogen production, storage and distribution equipment, and CNR its experience in both 100% renewable energy and regional development to establish hydrogen energy as a new sector capable of addressing the challenges of energy transition.
More on this agreement can be found in the McPhy official press release at: http://bit.ly/1Hapj4z
Also this week Green Acorn, in the UK, handed over their first hydrogen demonstration unit. Sadly as there is no more details on this, this is all we can say
Fuel Cell and Hydrogen News – Week Ending 26th June
PowerCell Receives its First Order for its S2 Fuel Cell Stack Platform
It has been reported that during the 2015 Hannover Fair Powercell received a binding order for two fuel cell stacks of the S2 platform of 25 kW each. The fuel cell stacks will be delivered in August and September. Little is known about the customer, apart from them being of a German company.
The Powercell press release can be accessed here: http://bit.ly/15l0p7x
Toyota Looking to the UK to Sell the Fuel Cell Mirai
Toyota have indicated that it sees the UK market as a key European market for its new fuel cell car. Interestingly in the UK market the company plans on selling its vehicles directly to consumers.
Fuel Cell Cargo Trucks Deployed at Memphis International Airport
Memphis International Airport in Tennessee has a new 15-vehicle fleet of hydrogen fuel cell powered ground support equipment. The project, which is funded by the US DOE Fuel Cell Technologies Office is designed as a two-year demonstration of the vehicles.
The trucks are powered by Plug Power fuel cell units.
More on this can be found at: http://1.usa.gov/1LUh6sL
Editors Note: The press release claims this is a world’s first. It is not the world’s first fuel cell cargo truck, but is in terms of scale of deployment.
Fuel Cell and Hydrogen News – Week Ending 19th June
Anglo American Offers Help to Companies Wanting to Manufacture Fuel Cells in South Africa
Anglo American has announced that are open to helping companies which want to open new manufacturing facilities for PGM based fuel cells in South Africa. The platinum mining company is keen to support the development of the fuel cell industry as it see the growth of fuel cells as a natural fit for its platinum.
More information on this can be found at: http://bit.ly/1G2Nr9F
Editor’s Note: I would suggest that the Pt number mentioned in the article, of 600,000 ounces per annum by 2025, is too high. This would translate as in the region of > 700,000 cars per year by 2025.
Air Products Opens India’s First Solar Powered Hydrogen Refuelling Station
As part of a mass public transport bus fuelling and vehicle demonstration program, Air Products this week unveiled a renewable hydrogen, public refuelling station. The project is Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) of the Government of India, and is the 4th Air Products hydrogen refuelling station in India.
More information can be found at: http://bit.ly/1Snguwi
McPhy Energy Inks Electrolyser Deal With ThyssenKrupp
This week saw MyPhy Energy and ThyssenKrupp sign an exclusive market development agreement for hydrogen based energy storage equipment.
The partnership is hoped will accelerate commercial deployment of McPhy Energy’s alkaline high-pressure water-electrolysers that incorporate De Nora’s activated electrodes.
MyPhy Energy official press release can be found at: http://bit.ly/1Snguwi
Fuel Cell and Hydrogen News – Week Ending 11th June
Northeast Electrochemical Energy Storage Cluster Launches Innovation Action Program to Support Fuel Cell, Hydrogen and Energy Storage SMEs
The NEESC pilot Innovation Action Program offers technical assistance through third-party service providers to help hydrogen/fuel cell and energy storage businesses leverage private financing or federal funding for research and new product development, and to facilitate the commercialization of emerging technologies.
Some service requests may be eligible for support from existing resources, such as the Small Business Development Centers and CCAT’s Advanced Manufacturing Center. If the NEESC resource network offers no suitable provider, up to $5,000 may be made available for other third party services.
The full press release can be read at: http://bit.ly/1NOpPe0
Ballard to Supply 33 Fuel Cell Bus Modules to China
Ballard announced this week that it has signed definitive license and supply agreements with each of Nantong Zehe New Energy Technology Co., Ltd. (“Zehe”) and Guangdong Synergy Hydrogen Power Technology Co., Ltd. (“Synergy”) to provide fuel cell Power Products and Technology Solutions to support the planned deployment of an initial 33 fuel cell-powered buses in two Chinese cities.
The deal is worth $10 million.
The official Ballard press release can be read at: http://bit.ly/1MBvT98
Ballard to Develop Fuel Cell Power Modules for Chinese Trams
In the same week Ballard also announced that it was to supply fuel cell power modules for the development of fuel cell trams in China.
The agreement is a framework agreement for development of a new fuel cell module, with Tangshan Railway Vehicle Company, Limited (TRC).
The aim of the agreement is to have the first fuel cell tram ready by the end of 2016.
The official Ballard press release can be read at: http://bit.ly/1fk3Ccx
Hydrogen Refuelling Station Opens in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii
This week saw the signing off for public use of a fast fill hydrogen refuelling station at the Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH), in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii.
More information on the project can be found at: http://bit.ly/1JRpcyV
Fuel Cell and Hydrogen News – Week Ending 5th June
NEL Hydrogen to Acquire H2Loigc
This week it was announced the NEL Hydrogen, a long time supplier of industrial scale electrolysers, has agreed to acquire 100% of hydrogen infrastructure company H2Logic.
The deal, worth 300 million Krone ($36.5 million), will part financed in cash, and part in equity.
The official press release of the acquisition can be found at: http://bit.ly/1eBQGxv
EU to Push Harder on Zero Carbon Cars
On June 18th the European Commission will start the negotiation process on further cuts to CO2 levels from the transport fleet. Although policy is not due until 2016 the EU is clear that much deeper cuts are needed, and that a much more holistic approach to the problem will need to be adopted.
A good primer on these talks, and the history, can be found at: http://bit.ly/1Jm7XGD
Plug Power Announces Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Expansion with Walmart Canada
At the minute it seems that not a month goes past without Plug Power making another expansion announcement. This month was the news that it will be providing a further 124 GenDrive fuel cells to Walmart High Velocity Distribution Centre building in Alberta, Canada. With the new deployment this makes a total of 230 Plug Power units at this site.
The Plug Power press release can be read at: http://bit.ly/1eBSSoS
Fuel Cell and Hydrogen News – Week Ending 29th May
Abengoa and the Port of Seville Launch the Fuel Cell Powered EcoBouy
A fuel cell and renewable energy powered buoy is in operation in Cadiz. The buoy can measure current, waves, water parameters and weather conditions and also report any episodes of river pollution, detect shipping patterns and communicate bi-directionally with other devices.
According to Abengoa the system will be commercially marketed.
Hydrogenics Signs 10 Year Deal with Alstom Transport
With the re-emergence of the potential for fuel cells in rail and light rail applications the announcement this week from Hydrogenics that they have signed a 10 year deal, worth some $55 million, to supply over 200 fuel cell power systems for future light commuter rail is another positive signal.
The deal will see the first units delivered in 2016, following prototype work slated for late 2015.
The Hydrogenics press release can be read at: http://bit.ly/1G4vdmN
Connecticut Offers New Fiscal Incentive for the Purchase of Fuel Cell Cars and EVs
The State of Connecticut, in the US, has started to offer buyers a direct cash incentive of up to $3,000 off the sticker price of an electric car, plug-in hybrid, or fuel cell vehicle.
The incentive is only available up to a total pot of $800,000. This is on top of the US federal rebate.
To read more on this a suggested link is: http://t.co/b913YuOWrf
Fuel Cell and Hydrogen News – Week Ending 22nd May
Whilst this was a slow week for fuel cell and hydrogen news that was the week that the International Monetary Fund released a report on fossil fuel subsidies.
IMF Releases New Working Paper – “How Large are Global Energy Subsidies”
The IMF this week released a damning Working Paper on the level of subsidy that the fossil fuel industry continues to attract. The study, available from http://www.imf.org/external/np/fad/subsidies/, calculates that the industry will gathers US$ 333 billion in pretax subsidy in 2015, but at post tax level this jumps to US$ 5,301 billion.
Editor’s Note: The study, which takes into account costs of accidents, air pollution and climate change provides a very illuminating read on the actual cost, especially when the level of vitriol against the renewable energy and cleantech industry subsidy is on the increase.
Toshiba Develops “Portable” Fuel Cell Generator
Japanese giant this week unveiled a shipping container sized “portable” fuel cell generator. The system, which has inbuilt solar panels, an electrolyser, hydrogen storage tanks and a PEM fuel cell, has been created to provide emergency power, and is being aimed at local authorities.
The system, known as the “H2One” will be on sale in the fiscal year 2015, with a target of September, 2015, and the projected volume in year one is 50 units. Currently the price is unknown.
Press release can be read at: http://bit.ly/1H9EkDz
Fuel Cell and Hydrogen News – Week Ending 15th May
Removing the slew of press releases on fuel cell cars remains an interesting selection of other news over the past week. Some officially released, and some frustratingly waiting for the official release before I can tell you….. .
VAIREX Secures Development Grant
Fuel cell supply chain gem, Vairex, has announced a grant from the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade, under their Advanced Industry Accelerator programme.
According to the inimitable Ski Milburn, CEO of Variex, “the funds (and our own matching contribution) will be used to develop a new small blower for the 1 kW fuel cell market, and the first of a new series of fuel cell-specific BLDC motor controllers.”
Horizon Energy Systems Unveils World’s First Hydrogen Fuel Cell Powered Multi-Rotor UAV
Horizon Energy Systems (HES) this week unveiled the “HYCOPTER”. As previously announced the HYCOPTER is the world’s first hydrogen fuel cell powered multi-rotor UAV, and will be tested under a flight endurance test which is proposed to four hours.
The craft stores the hydrogen in its frame and can carry the 120g of hydrogen. This equates to the four hours of power for the vehicle.
More information and photos of the craft can be seen at: http://bit.ly/1QOFwUe
Also there is the rumour that Toyota and Mazda may be working together on system development….
Plug Power Announces Increase in Sales but Also Increase Quarterly Losses
- Quarter bookings over $46 million, in line with yearly projections of > $200 million
- $9.4 million in revenue, up 69% over the same period in 2014
- Shipped 175 GenDrive units, with yearly sales forecast at 3,300 GenDrives and 15 GenFuels
- Cost of revenue for the quarter was $11.5 million, compared with $7.5 million in the same quarter in 2014
Full results are available from: http://bit.ly/1K9NC97
Fuel Cell and Hydrogen News – Week Ending 1st May
Intelligent Energy Adds a Fourth Automaker to its Partner List
It has been announced that Intelligent Energy has signed an MOU with an unnamed Asian automotive company. The current role call is Suzuki, an unnamed European car maker and a further unnamed Asian company.
The deal was highlighted in this article: http://bit.ly/1zyQ1qu
Toyota Opens Innovative Stock Options to Help Pay for Fuel Cell Vehicle Investment
Toyota has announced that it will sell as much as 500 billion yen ($4.2 billion) of new “Model AA” unlisted shares. The stock will be sold for at least a 20 percent premium over common equity and restricted from trading for five years.
The company named Nomura Holdings Inc. as the underwriter for the sale in its filing.
The full Forbes article can be found here: http://bloom.bg/1GLSFc6
Ballard Power Receives Order for Fuel Cell UPS in India
Ballard Power has announced that it has received a 100 unit order from Reliance Jio Infocomm, in India, for systems to at telecom sites. The 100 ElectraGen™-ME units are expected to be shipped this year (2015).
Fuel Cell and Hydrogen News – Week Ending 24th April
One of the biggest indicative signs that the fuel cell and hydrogen industries are going through a period of industrial transformation is the numbers in the press releases are leaping up from 1, or 5 to many hundreds or many MWs. This is not to decry the small shipments, but to highlight that an increasing number of companies are facing high growth phases. This in itself poses a challenge, as companies have to go from small batch manufacturing to scale. So whilst we celebrate the press releases below, we also need to be mindful that not all companies will be able to make the numbers in the press releases, and some will likely even go bankrupt as they stare success in the face.
ElectroPowerSystems Raises €14.2 M in IPO on Euronext
Italian and French fuel cell and hydrogen company ElectoPowerSystems (EPS) have not only made a spectacular return from the side of the grave, but on the 22nd April, 2015, IPOed on Euronext and in the process raised a hefty €14.2 M.
The company is now focused on the rapidly emerging energy storage, power to gas and power to power markets, as well as continuing work in the telecoms area.
Information on the listing can be found at: http://bitly.com/1HvtH1P
AFC Energy Signs a MOU with Dubai Carbon
AFC Energy and Dubai Carbon have announced the signing of an MOU to assess the potential for an estimated 300 megawatts of hydrogen fuel cell generation capacity in Dubai by 2020.
Whilst there are many potential stop signs in this deal if it goes ahead it would be the first major deployment of fuel cells in the UAE.
The original AFC Energy press release can be read here: http://bit.ly/1HwksyD
Horizon Energy Systems to Unveil New 700Wh/kg AEROPAK-S Fuel Cell
Horizon Energy Systems (HES) have announced that they will be unveiling a new higher density fuel cell system for drones.
The system will have an energy density of 700 Wh/kg and includes a solid fuel cartridge.
More information on the unveiling can be found at: http://bit.ly/1GoKxOH
Shetland Islands Continue to Focus on Hydrogen
The most northerly chain of islands in the UK, the beautiful Shetland Islands, continues to focus on hydrogen. It has been announced that a study is underway looking at the options to use and deploy fuel cells and hydrogen into the local community.
Unst, one of the islands, is already home to the PURE Energy Centre. http://bit.ly/1JAXhlA
Nebraska Public Power District to Use Waste Hydrogen to Power New Power Plant
After decommissioning a local coal plant, a utility in Nebraska, has decided to use the waste hydrogen produced by a local manufacturing company, in a hydrogen power plant.
This move is somewhat rare still but is likely to become more common as the calorific value of hydrogen of released.
More information on the decision can be found at: http://bit.ly/1ImkRlN
Fuel Cell Trams to go into Operation in Dubai
In a second story from the UAE there has been something of a sleeper announcement that Dubai will see the running of a fleet of hydrogen fuelled, fuel cell trams. The trams are double deckers and aimed at the tourist sector.
The double-deck trams are being custom-built by US firm TIG/m under a contract awarded in 2009. They will use fuel cells to generate electricity for traction, with batteries for to recover regenerated braking energy. TIG/m is also installing the plant for producing hydrogen on-site by electrolysis of water.
More information on the trams, and the route they will operate, can be found at: http://bit.ly/1yVPpe5
Proton Onsite Gets First Californian Power-to-Gas Contract
Proton Onsite have announced that they have received their first contract for a power-to-gas electrolyser system from California.
More information on the project can be found at the company press release at: http://bit.ly/1JAYyZR
Fuel Cell and Hydrogen News Roundup – Week Ending 10th April
Better late than never this week. Sorry for the delay.
New York State Opens up 20 Year Fuel Cell Contracts Opened RFP
New York State has opened a solicitation, worth $160 million (€147 million) to implement large-scale renewable energy and fuel cells projects, under 20 year contracts.
he state of New York has set aside about USD 160 million (EUR 147m) to purchase environmental attributes tied to large-scale clean energy projects under the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) over a 20-year period.
To read the official press release see: http://on.ny.gov/1ybsf38
Fuel Cell and Hydrogen News Roundup – Week Ending 3rd April
This was a week were you just feel things were moving, really moving, forward. And this was a week were I realised the naysayers and apostles will always try and poke holes in what the industry is doing, and often what I am doing, and I just don’t give a damn anymore. The fuel cell and hydrogen industries are going to be part of the energy mix for many decades to come. They will grow, they will be profitable and as much as the faith healers and believers in other camps would wish it otherwise they are wrong. Point blank wrong.
Impala Platinum to Deploy 23.8 MWs of Fuel Cells in South Africa and Government Calls for 1 GWs Installed Capacity
This was a big watermark week this week for fuel cells in South Africa.
Impala Platinum, partnering with Mitochondria Energy, announced that it was to deploy an initial 1.8 MW of Fuji PAFC systems running of waste hydrogen. The systems will go in in two tranches. After this a further 22 MW are to be installed running of natural gas, as well as direct hydrogen. This 22 MWs are to be deployed at an ImPlats metal refinery, which will enable the plant to run off the grid, and provide resilience to the plant from the increasing volatility and blackouts in the South Africa energy network.
Also this week, at the unveiling of a Doosan Fuel Cell PAFC system in South Africa, Rob Davies, the South African Trade and Industry Minister made the call that the government should commit to 1 GWs of fuel cells installed by 2020. Considering that the entire global industry only cumulatively shipped 1 GW by the end of 2014 this target could be done, but would be challenging.
To read Impala Platinum overview please go to: http://bit.ly/1BVekJE
To read about the 1GW target there is more here: http://bit.ly/1Gfx0tF
Thailand to Encourage the Sale of BEVs and FCEVs
The Thai government this week announced that it will be promoting the adoption and use of both BEVs and FCEVs. Although the plans so far focus on the EV infrastructure the policy specifically includes the use of FCEVs.
For more on this suggested link is: http://bit.ly/1bNxkVh
UK Government Tops of Investment in Fuel Cells and Hydrogen by a Further £6.6 million
Alongside an already committed £7.5 million, the UK government this week announced that it would making a further £6.6 million available to deploy further hydrogen infrastructure. This annoucnment can at the same time as the unveiling of 7 new hydrogen infrastructure projects:
- 2 new hydrogen refuelling stations in Brentford and Croydon – ITM Power
- 4 upgrades to Sheffield and London stations – ITM Power
- 2 upgrades to existing stations in Hatton Cross and Hendon – Air Products
- 1 upgrade to a mobile refuelling station to support conferences and test drives of fuel cell vehicles – Air Products
- 1 new mobile station based in Southern UK – Fuel Cell Systems
- 1 upgrade to an existing station in Port Talbot – University of South Wales
- 1 upgrade to an existing station in Swindon – Honda UK
More on this can be seen at: http://bit.ly/1Dn7Xpq
Air Liquide to Install Hydrogen Fuelling Stations for French Logistics Hub
It was announced that Air Liquide is to install a hydrogen refuelling station at a forklift logistics hub in Neuville-aux-Bois (France).
The aim to be able to switch the entire fleet of forklifts to hydrogen.
For more on this suggested link is: http://bit.ly/1xO4mOX
Finally in news with no linking press releases:
- Israeli fuel cell developer CellEra has been acquired by Elbit Systems.
- Blackberry has been awarded a patent for a hot swappable fuel cell cartridge
- The Japanese government department METI is preparing a subsidy for the purchase of hydrogen from overseas.
March 2015 Fuel Cell and Hydrogen University Research Monthly Roundup
Unless I have missed some press releases or blogs or write ups, which is always possible, I have to say March has been somewhat quiet for news from the university sector. As usual though the majority of the stories cover the development of alternative catalysts. Whilst most of the press releases focus on the lab breakthroughs and make rather large claims, very few focus on the harsh expense and lengthy reality of taking something from a lab bench to market.
Harvard University Spin Out SiEnergy Receives $300k Grant for SOFC Development
SiEnergy Systems, which was spun out of Harvard in 2007, is working on thin film SOFCs, which they claim have the advantage of operating at better temperature for commercial operations. The company, which sits closes to Harvard, has been awarded a $300k grant, in essence to top up the award from ARPA-E which they received last year.
K-A Comment: Although the company was set up with the highly laudable aim to commercialise the technology developed at Harvard there is no indication on timelines. With a 2007 company set up date and the average time for a SOFC development programme to come to market still being between 9 – 14 years then a commercial product could still be some way off.
More on the company and the award can be found here: http://bit.ly/1F5Gsvp
Northwestern University Working on a New Fuel Cell Membrane Using Defective Graphene
Franz M.Geiger and a team of scientists from Northwestern University (USA) are working on defective graphene as fuel cell membrane and have found that it can transports protons much faster and more selectively than standard fuel cell membranes.
A very good, approachable write up on the research can be found here: http://bit.ly/1I6YjZj
The original Nature Communications article can be found here: http://bit.ly/1I1RvJD
K-A Comment : As with a lot of university research this sounds really exciting but this is a long, long way from market. I suspect that this could be reduced somewhat with some very targeted funding and commercial support.
Researchers at the University of New Mexico to Work on Fuel Cell Electrocatalysts
Researchers from the Center for Micro-Engineered Materials and Chemical and Biological Engineering at the UNM are teaming up with IRD Fuel Cells and Pajarito Powder to develop a “a new type of electrocatalyst”. The teams will focus on developing a base metal electrocatalyst than can scale.
K-A Comment: The interesting part of this project is the involvement of IRD and Pajarito, 2 commercial companies. So unlike a lot of university based electrocatalyst research this is clearly much more commercial focused from the outset. I would suggest that this project is one to watch.
A news article on the research can be found at: http://bit.ly/1Ey4hMf
The Innovation Research Center for Fuel Cells at the University of Electro-Communications, Tokyo Unpacking the Fundamentals of Fuel Cells Catalysts
Professor Yasuhiro Iwasawa, head of the Innovation Research Center for Fuel Cells at the University of Electro-Communications, Tokyo, and his team are to look at the very fundamentals of fuel cells, in the atomic structure, reactions mechanisms, and degradation mechanisms of fuel cell catalysts.
The research is part of a US$26 million NEDO programme to develop X-ray absorption fine structure (XAFS) spectroscopy to better understand the behaviour of fuel cell catalysts.
Much more detail the how’s and early results from the research can be read here: http://bit.ly/1y1SHwi
Cornell University Synthesize new SOFC Cathode Catalyst
Researchers at Cornell University (USA) have succeed in synthesizing for the first time a thin-film growth of Bi2Pt2O7 pyrochlore, a potential new SOFC cathode material.
The step forward in the research is that the team were able to produce the material as a thin-film, and not a powder.
More information, in a fairly dense article, can be found at: http://bit.ly/1HlOXFk
University of New South Wales Scientists Develop Improved Alkaline Electrodes for Hydrogen Electrolysis
Using nickel and iron, scientists at the University of New South Wales (Sydney) have developed a new set of new electrodes for an alkaline electrolyser.
The original article in Nature Communications can be read here: http://bit.ly/1wZ5m2a
Fuel Cell and Hydrogen News Roundup – Week Ending 27th March
Managed to corner John Jostins, of Microcab, last week to ask about the mysterious MOU with Italian sustainability company Cinque International. Apparently it is to do with car clubs and cars. Ta da! Seriously the fuel cell and hydrogen industry need to wake up to marketing.
Also it seems that silly season has kicked off early this year with the first in a batch of reports written by folks who clearly don’t know the industry, but sniff money in attempting to forecast it. My favourite so far this year includes, in their public table of contents, profiles of 4 companies that no longer exist. The fact that they then try and charge thousands of dollars for this tosh astounds me.
Outside of the news from IKEA the rest of the actual news this week covers transport.
Hydrogen Refuelling Stations open in Tokyo and Diamond Bar (California)
This week saw the opening of Tokyo’s first mobile refuelling station and a new public refuelling station in California.
What I like about these stories is that these are two places which aren’t waiting for some mythical occurrence in the future to build out the infrastructure, they are just getting on with it.
British Colombia Offers its Residents a $6k Rebate on Fuel Cell Cars
If you happen to live in beautiful British Colombia in Canada, you can now get a $6k rebate on the sticker price of a fuel cell car, and a $5k rebate on a battery EV.
The incentives are due to run on March 31, 2018, or until the $10.6 million fund is used up.
On top of this is the news that Vancouver, in BC, is aiming for 100% renewable energy. No news on by when yet though.
Proton Onsite to Supply Electrolysers to Submarines
Apologies that I have just seen this as the news was released 2 weeks ago but it appears that Proton Onsite has landed a deal with UTC for 17 oxygen-generating electrolyser cell stacks. These stacks will be deployed in Barracuda-class submarines.
This follow on order takes the total of stacks shipped by Proton Onsite to UTC to 39.
A short, but the best I can find, press story covering this can be found here: http://bit.ly/1BtwVML
IKEA Gets a Bloom Box
Sadly not IKEA HQ in Sweden, but IKEA in Emeryville, California, will be installing a solitary 300kW Bloom Box.
The system will be installed this summer, 2015, so we expect to see more announcements about the installation then.
Audi Shows off its Hydrogen Car, the H-Tron
I don’t think the name is a reference to the sci-fi classic, but this week Audi re-launched the H-Tron with a snazzy new ad.
It’s in German but even if you can’t under the message (it goes far, leaves no footprint etc), you can see that this is a professionally done ad.
Nothing on release dates of the car though.
The video can be seen on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=24&v=pFN9OYpb3Iw
Fuel Cell and Hydrogen News Roundup – Week Ending 20th March
Well that was a busy week for the industry. After a sparkling day at “Delivering Hydrogen and Fuel Cells to Market 2015”, were the panel on investment went down a storm, coming back to hearing that Apple has (another) fuel cell patent, Tata more than hinted about developing fuel cells and Intelligent Energy unveiled its news 100kW automotive stack was rather exciting news.
Apple is Granted Fuel Cell Patent
US Patent Number, US 2011/0311895 A1, which was filed in 2010, and covered extensively in the press in 2010 and 2011, Is for a fuel cell that be housed internally in a laptop, or used in a different configuration as an external battery recharger. The original patent document can be found here: http://1.usa.gov/1992ynS
It looks like Apple’s patent application US2011/0313589, filed in 2011 is still under review.
Plug Power Releases Full Year Results
Plug Power this week released there annual results. With a jump in shipments of GenDrive units and the successful uptake of the GenFuel product the company has clearly been very busy. No news Selected high- and lowlights are:
- Shipped 2,644 fuel cell forklift GenDrive units
- Product Revenue up from $5.7M in 2013 to $12.2M in 2014
- Total Revenue up from $8M in 2013 to $21.4M in 2014
- Cost of product revenue jumped from $6M in 2013 to $10.3M in 2014
- Operating loss increased to $13.2M
The full 10K can be read here: http://bit.ly/1GxT80k
Tata Group Starts to Work on Hydrogen
A curious cover all press release came from Tata Group this week. The Group, whose 2014 revenue was over $100 Billion, has dabbled in fuel cells in past, with a fuel cell bus trial, and development work with Plug Power on fuel cells for telecom sites. But this story appears to claim that the group now has a business plan to make over $100 million from its hydrogen business. Not much else is given. The story, as given, can be read at: http://bit.ly/1BEAob7
Intelligent Energy Unveils 100kW Automotive Stack
This week saw Intelligent Energy unveil a new 100kW stack, which architecture has been designed specifically for the automotive market. Aimed at the next generation of automotive stacks, forecast by 4th to enter the market around the 2020 time period, the stack has is claimed to have world leading power density. But sadly not data in the press release. The official Intelligent Energy press release can be read here: http://bit.ly/1xEFQua
Toshiba to Take Part in Hydrogen Project in Methil, Scotland
It has been announced that Toshiba will take part in the £4 million “Levenmouth Community Energy Project”. The aim of the project is to see the Hydrogen Office at Methil Docks “developed into the world’s foremost demonstrator of innovative applications of hydrogen derived from renewable sources.” Looking forward to seeing how this develops. Not a great selection of good coverage on this, sadly, but here is a link to one of the better news stories: http://bit.ly/1MPz8u3
Hydrogen Tram Unveiled in China
China South Rail Corporation (CSR), through its subsidiary Sifang Co., have unveiled a hydrogen fuelled, fuel cell powered, city tram. According to the press release the tram can be refilled with hydrogen in three minutes and can then run for 100 km at speeds as high as 70 km per hour. Coverage of this event can be found at: http://bit.ly/19EQMCR
Daimler’s Plant Gets a Facelift as the Company Moves to Produce Fuel Cell Systems
Daimler’s plant at Untertuerkheim is to be given a billion dollar facelift as it moves to produce fuel cell systems, and other low emission drivetrains.
Fuel Cell and Hydrogen News Roundup – Week Ending 13th March
Spring is finally here and the industry seems to be shaking off its current lethargy with this week being a week of MOUs, JDAs, cost targets being met and new ones being rolled out.
Intelligent Energy Showcases 100 Kilowatt Automotive Fuel Cell Stacks
Intelligent Energy continues to develop into multiple markets. As well as over the last month big news in the portable and telecoms arena, this week sees the company unveil its new 100kW stack specifically designed for the automotive sector. With 2020 being the likely launch of the next generation of integrated automotive stack, this timing is clearly aimed at showcasing the IE talents for use in the next generation of fuel cell vehicle. More information on the stack can be found here: http://bit.ly/1x0N14Y
ITM Power Acquires Two New Investors
ITM Power, the UK, energy storage company, this week announced that they have welcomed two new investors into the company. J.C.B. Research and Valebond Consultants Limited have invested a total of £4.9M ($7.3M) into the company. It should be noted though that with a bit of digging it looks like Jo Bamford, who is the whole owner of Valebond Consultants Limited, actually works for JCB. JCB Research is wholly owned by the Bamford Family as well. So JCB are clearly now invested in ITM Power. The official ITM Power press release can be found here: http://bit.ly/19dJpSI
AFC Signs a 50 MW Project Development Agreement with Samyoung Corporation and Changshin Chemical Company
AFC Energy announced this week that is has signed project development agreement with 2 South Korean firms, Samyoung Corporation and Changshin Chemical Company. The PDA, which will create a joint venture between the three companies with indicative participating equity interests of: AFC Energy (40%); Samyoung (45%); Changshin (15%), will have 5 MW installed by the end of 2016 and a further 45 MWs installed by 2019. Both of these dates are subject to permitting. This deal looks like it could well be an update on the June 2014 announcement by AFC Energy and Changshin Chemical Company that they would work together to deploy upto 5 MW of fuel cells. More information on the PDA and deal can be read in the AFC Energy press release at: http://bit.ly/1BrWYa8 We also know that this week Microcab signed an MOU with Italian sustainability company Cinque International. But we don’t have any other information on this MOU.
Finally as I am sure some folks are noticing, we are going through a process of updating the website. This won’t be a ta da, overnight change but will be more of a gradual process over the next fortnight. It is to reflect that 4th is growing and is increasingly covering energy storage, as well as fuel cells. The (first) 2015 Flow Battery Report has been kicked off as well as the 2015 Fuel Cell Annual Review. –
Fuel Cell and Hydrogen News Roundup – Week Ending 6th March
Sorry for the late posting folks but I was at the Scottish Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association Energy Storage day yesterday. It was a rare combination of useful and interesting. Information on flow batteries, fuel cells, power-to-gas and policy all in one day. SHFCA will be at All Energy so if you are there it really is worth going over and having a chat with them.
Ceramic Fuel Cells Goes into Liquidation
CFCL (Australia) has declared that it is going into voluntary liquidation. After shipping over 500 SOFC into the residential market the Australian company has thrown in the towel. No news on the disposal of IP. The official press release can be found here: http://bit.ly/1Bht0Wj
SymbioFC and DHL to Release a Number of Vehicles with Fuel Cell Range Extenders
SymbioFC (France), which is working on small PEM fuel cells, has announced that along with DHL they will be releasing a small fleet of Renault Kangoo ZE, using fuel cells are range extenders. The vehicles, an unknown number, will run in Lyon (France), for the 18 months. Link to the full press release can be found at: http://bit.ly/1EzB8DJ
VW Performs a Volte-Face on Fuel Cell Vehicles
VW, which lets be honest has been openly critical on fuel cells in the past, has decided that they maybe aren’t that bad after all and will be developing the technology. That doesn’t that in the near future we will have a fuel cell beetle or campervan, but at least they are now onboard with developing the full range of technologies, including battery vehicles and fuel cell vehicles. An overview of the their new position can be found at: http://bit.ly/18UuxID
Arlanda Airport Gets its own Hydrogen Refuelling Station
The forward march of hydrogen refuelling stations continues with the announcement, from Linde, that they are to build a dedicated refuelling station at Arlanda Airport. The station will use hydrogen produced from renewables using electrolysis, and will be open by September, 2015. More information can be found via the Linde press release at: http://bit.ly/1KB9Yl9
February 2015 Fuel Cell and Hydrogen University Research Monthly Roundup
At the end of each month 4th Energy Wave publishes a short round up of topical research at universities around the world. It is understood that this research is some way from market and no comment will be made on the sometimes somewhat excessive claims posted in the press releases, usually by overzealous university based PR departments.
Case Western Reserve University Developing Carbon-Based Fuel Cell Catalyst
Alongside a slew of other universities and R&D groups the Center of Advanced Science and Engineering for Carbon at Case Western University are looking at alternative catalyst development to the traditional platinum based catalyst. The work at Case is focused on carbon based catalysts and research is currently showing performance data on a par with platinum. Professor Liming Dai is leading the research. An overview of the research can be found at: http://www.nanowerk.com/nanotechnology-news/newsid=39212.php
Hydrogen From Bacteria at Missouri University of Science and Technology
Dr. Melanie Mormile, Professor of biological sciences at Missouri S&T, is working on the nattily titled “Halanaerobium hydrogeninformans” which the researchers have shown can effectively produce bacteria. More information on the project can be found at: http://news.mst.edu/2015/01/st-researcher-finds-hydrogen-production-in-extreme-bacterium/
SINTEF Working on Biological Fuel Cells
Researchers at SINTEF (Norway), working on water purification technologies, have discovered a natural biological fuel cell. The fuel cell at present has only small power outputs but the researchers are now working on trying to scale up the system. A great overview of the research can be read here: http://gemini.no/en/2015/01/running-fuel-cells-on-bacteria/
Adding Aalto University to the List of Universities Researching Platinum Free Fuel Cells
Staying in Northern climes, Aalto University (Finland) have provided an overview of their take on the potential for their platinum free fuel cell catalyst. Using iron and carbon on the catalyst developers claim that the efficiencies of the new catalyst are on a par with a platinum catalyst. An overview of the research at Aalto University can be found at: http://www.hydrogenfuelnews.com/new-catalyst-could-lead-to-less-expensive-fuel-cells/8521259/
Finally, hats off to the crew at Pittsburg State University who spent time this month at a Junior School giving presentations on hydrogen to schoolkids.
Fuel Cell and Hydrogen News Roundup – Week Ending 27th February
Well that was a busy week. Not only did the 4th Energy Wave Fuel Cell Directory 2015 get completed and sent out, but after many requests from clients, 4th has commissioned its first report on flow batteries, and, on top of that, we started the kick off the Fuel Cell Annual Review, 2015, with the aim to launch it at HFC2015 in Vancouver. So you please forgive the very slightly late publication of this months round of University R&D, which will be published on Monday (2nd March). Industry news was also fizzing over this week, thank crunchie, as the last few weeks have a been a bit low on the positive stuff. The actual news is shown below, and as usual includes no blogs or so-called analysis on share prices.
Intelligent Energy has Bought BICs Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Cartridge Business
Back in 2011 BIC bought up Angstrom Powers fuel cell and hydrogen cartridge technology, alongside key staff. Since then though we have not seen BIC come forward with a commercial product. So it was great to hear that Intelligent Energy have bought up “the totality of BIC’s fuel cell and disposable cartridge technology”. For a total price of $15M, and up to a further $7m cash consideration under an earn out arrangement. What they get for their $22M is a lot of IP, technology and I suspect some real value add for their portable power team in the hydrogen cartridge business. The full press release, including a very upbeat quote from Henri Winard, can be found here: http://bit.ly/1C3f70T
Nedstack Wins 2 MW PEM Fuel Cell Power Plant Order from China
So Nedstack looks like it could be back from the brink with an order for a 2 MW PEM fuel cell power plant. The company has been very quiet of late, to the point were it was questionable that they were still operating. The power plant will be used at a facility in Liaoning Province, China, by Ynnovate Sanzheng (Yingkou) Fine Chemicals Co Ltd, at a site with significant waste hydrogen. The official press release can be read at the Nedstack news page at: http://bit.ly/1Dy6NE9
Ballard Power Moves into Portable Power and Releases Full Year Results
Ballard continues to spread its wings under its new CEO with two more support contracts. One for an unnamed automotive OEM*, and, interestingly, a contact with Ardica Power. Ardica Power are working on developing a unit for military personal power and the deal will involve using a Ballard stack in the system. In terms of the 2014 performance key results include:
- Revenue of $68.7 million, up 12% from 2013;
- Telecoms shipments of the ElectraGenTM-ME down 45%, from 2013 levels;
- Shipments of stacks for integration into third party telecoms products up;
- In the material handling sector full year revenue was $14.5 million, an increase of 124%;
- 12 power modules shipped for buses;
It is certainly worth sitting down with a mug of tea and reading through both press releases in their entirety. They can be found at: http://bit.ly/1AQBOCo
* do the math and you can make a pretty good guess at who this is
US DOE Announces Recipients of $10M Fuel Cell Incubator Fund
The US DOE continues to support basic R&D at a fairly steep level and this week announced the results of a fuel cell incubator fund. The recipients are:
• Advent Technologies, Inc., East Hartford, Connecticut, will advance liquid-fueled and higher temperature fuel cell technology at the catalyst, gas diffusion electrode, and membrane electrode assembly levels for stationary and auxiliary power unit applications.
• Center for Transportation and the Environment, Atlanta, Georgia, will develop 700 bar conformable hydrogen storage systems based on novel pressure vessel designs developed by the founder of High Energy Coil Reservoirs.
• Gas Technology Institute, Des Plaines, Illinois, will assess the technical and economic feasibility of thermal compression for cost-effective pressurization of hydrogen to 700 bar for hydrogen fueling stations, as well as demonstrate the concept in a small-scale test system.
• Giner, Inc., Newton, Massachusetts, will develop reversible fuel cells for energy storage applications based on alkaline exchange membrane technology.
• Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts, will develop non-PGM, anion poisoning-resistant, oxygen reduction reaction electrocatalysts to replace high platinum loadings in phosphoric acid-based fuel cells for combined heat and power stationary applications.
• Proton OnSite, Wallingford, Connecticut, will advance alkaline exchange membrane-based electrolysis technology by developing durable and efficient PGM-free electrolysis cells.
• University of California, Irvine, California, will develop a novel photocatalyst particle-based slurry reactor with the potential for low-cost renewable hydrogen production via solar water splitting.
• University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware, will develop a new class of anion exchange membranes with high oxidative-stability for use in cerium redox-flow batteries and with potential for use in fuel cell applications.
• University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico, will address a major challenge for anion exchange membrane fuel cells, which is the absence of a reliable anode catalyst for the hydrogen oxidation reaction.
• Versa Power Systems, Littleton, Colorado, will develop hydrogen production technologies using high temperature solid oxide electrolysis capable of operating at high current densities (i.e., high hydrogen production rates) and high efficiencies.
• Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, will develop biological hydrogen production technology based on an in vitro synthetic biosystem composed of numerous thermoenzymes and biomimetic coenzymes.
Kabashima Floating Wind Project to be Used to Generate Hydrogen
Sometimes it is the small stuff that makes you sit up and take notice. This project in Japan is going to use an already installed, 2 MW wind turbine to generate hydrogen from its excess electricity. The wind turbine produces more power than the fishing village needs so excess is now going to converted into hydrogen. The reason this is a project worth looking at is that it is replicable in many small communities and islands around the world. It might now make front page headlines but put together this type of project could change everything. A pretty limited press release on the project can be found at: http://bit.ly/1vER0mL
Fuel Cell and Hydrogen News Roundup – Week Ending 20th February
In the week that I finally realised that Acta (Spa) had ceased trading and the Hannover Fair started to loom large, actual news on market developments was few and far between. As usual none a number of so called press stories are actual rehashing of events from previous weeks, and badly researched opinion pieces continue to be circulate as fact.
UQM Technologies Acquires Roush Performance Products Fuel Cell Compressor Business
Supply chain company UQM has this week bought a fuel cell compressor business, from Roush Performance Products. UQM seem to be moving to be up the supply chain, from compressor components to compressor’s. It will be interesting to watch if they continue in this trajectory with future acquisitions. The official UQM press release on the business purchase can be found here: http://bit.ly/1w4pvDI
Ballard to Supply Fuel Cell Bus Modules to Stark County, Ohio
As predicted when the news of the fuel cell bus funding was released Ballard Power have press released that they have the contract to supply the fuel cell bus modules. The Ballard Power press release can be found here: http://bit.ly/184R8Su
First Hydrogen Refuelling Station in California Certified to Sell Hydrogen to the Public
Although not the first hydrogen refuelling station in California, by any stretch, California now has its first station open that is certified to sell the fuel to the public. A press release from Hydrogenics, which supplied equipment to the station, can be found at: http://bit.ly/1DztOcm Finally news from Japan, via the lovely folks at FCDIC . Tokyo to provide fuel cell bus subsidy of up of 1 billion yen, for up to 10 buses. And Japanese firm Teijin is continuing development of ulta low platinum catalyst for use in automotive applications. Target data for commercialisation is 2025.
Fuel Cell and Hydrogen News Roundup – Week Ending 13th February
Last week has again been dominated by news from the auto industry, with the energy storage sector making a welcome addition.
VW Buys Ballard Power Patents and Engineering Services
I am sure I am not the only one that read this the first time as VW buys Ballard Power! The reality of the deal is somewhat different. The deal, worth a cool $80 million*, is a combination of direct IP transfer, of selected automotive related patents, for the price of $50 million, and engineering services out to March 2019, for the rest of the cash. It is important to note, and is not covered in most press releases on this deal, that Ballard will retain a royalty-free license to utilize the IP transferred to Volkswagen Group in bus and non-automotive applications as well as for certain limited pre-commercial purposes in automotive applications. It will be interesting to see how this affects, VWs somewhat cool relationship with fuel cells. The official Ballard Power press release can be found at: http://bit.ly/1uEljtk *there are a number of press releases quoting this deal at $112 million. According to Ballard this number is incorrect.
Toyota Industries to Supply up to 400 Fuel Cell Forklifts to Kansai International Airport
Japan is continuing its push to create the worlds first real fuel cell and hydrogen economy with the announcement this week that Kansai International Airport is to replace all of its forklift fleet with fuel cell forklifts. The forklifts, which will be made and supplied by Toyota Industries, are projected to cost 10 million yen ($84,000) each. Although there is not that much information in the original press release for reference it can be found here: http://bit.ly/1vIffRo
Powercell Receive a Grant from the Swedish Energy Agency to Develop Fuel Cell CHP Systems
Powercell has recived a further development grant from the Swedish Energy Agency. This time the 5 million SEK, ($603,000) is to develop a CHP version of the diesel reformer Powerpac. Sister units are already being tested in South Africa for telecoms and it is looks like the next market to be targeted with be the modular CHP market. There is no information if this will be residential scale, or larger. The Powercell press release can be found at: http://bit.ly/173k23P
German Power-to-Gas Project Reports Stellar Results
Thüga Group has installed a power-to-gas system, with electrolyzer from UK firm ITM Power, has reported initial results which have exceeded expectations. The full results can be found via ITM power at: http://bit.ly/1F5OJnO
Neah Power Provides More Information to Shareholders.
Neah Power’s CEO has published a letter to shareholders outlining the company’s movement towards commercialisation. This includes more information on the Shorai acquisition. The full letter can be read at: http://bit.ly/1KSAtPO
NanoFlowcell Introduces the Quant F 802 kW Redox Flow Battery Concept Car
Some of the most exciting movements in the auto industry are coming from the non-traditional players. NanoFlowCell is quieter than most, but has recently released an updated concept car, the Quant F. Aside from being stunningly beautiful the car could go 800 kilometres (~500 miles) before needing to refuel. The reason for including this press release here, which does not use a fuel cell, but a redox flow battery, is that a number of press releases are referring to the technology as a fuel cell. It is worth highlighting here that whilst some people may tag is a fuel cell it is more of a battery than a fuel cell. Pictures of the Quant F can be found in the press release at: http://bit.ly/1ywGJnz
Fuel Cell and Hydrogen News Roundup – Week Ending 6th February
And so ends a week when there is still more news on fuel cell cars, and not a lot else!
Toyota Confirms Numbers and Price for European Launch of the Mirai
According to a Toyota spokesperson, the company will be bringing around 100 of its fuel cell Mirai’s to Europe per year, and the cost before subsidy will be in the region of £63k. Interesting article on this can be found here: http://bit.ly/16gOB5E So not a lot and yes it is expensive. After a very genteel debate on the merits, or not, of a car with such a high price tag I would like to point out that although the skin of the vehicle is not new pretty much all the components under the bonnet are. Yes it can be viewed as expensive substitution technology but so was the first ipod. It was substituting for something else on the market and was many, many multiples of the price. As with the ipod, this car will likely provide new functions to the user which will become the de facto norm as fuel cell and battery cars become more prevalent. Also prices are due to come down steeply fast. More on this and the PEM learning curve will be published in the Fuel Cell Annual Review 2015, publication April 2015.
Stark Area Regional Transit Authority to Buy 5 Fuel Cell Buses
Stark County (Ohio, USA) is get five fuel cell buses thanks to an award of $8.9 million from the US DOE. The buses, will be bought and run by the Stark Area Regional Transit Authority. No information on timing or were the buses will come from so expect around 5 more press releases on this to come out between order and running of the buses. Local news article on the award can be found here: http://bit.ly/16o2qPO
France Gets a New Hydrogen Refuelling Station
Saint-Lô (Normandy, France) has had a new hydrogen refuelling station designed and installed by Air Liquide. The article – http://bit.ly/1yPHBEZ – claims that it is the first in France
*. With France’s increased push for non nuclear electrification and opening up towards BEVs and fuel cells this is likely to be the only one only for a very short period of time. *if memory serves there was a hydrogen refuelling station in France under an EU project some years ago.
January 2015 Fuel Cell and Hydrogen University Research Monthly Roundup
At the end of each month 4th Energy Wave publishes a short round up of topical research at universities around the world. It is understood that this research is some way from market and no comment will be made on the sometimes somewhat excessive claims about the “disruptive” potential of the technology being researched.
KTH Royal Institute of Technology Develops Protoype Fuel Cell System Running on Waste Olive Oil Dregs.
A Spanish research team has completed their research into developing a CHP system, including a fuel cell, which can run off waste biomass. The team now have a prototype system. The project overview can be found at: http://bit.ly/1ESmPsH
Texas A&M University Professor, Dr. Yossef Elabd, Working of Ultra Low Platinum Membranes
Dr Elabd is working on polymer nanofiber-platinum nanoparticle electrodes, which according to the press release can reduce platinum loadings to 16% of current loadings*. *The press release does not state what the level of current loadings it is using are though. The university press release can be found at: http://bit.ly/1Deh07m
Distinguished Professor of Engineering Yushan Yan, of University of Delaware, Identifies Pt Reaction Mechanism
In research to understand the potential for the application of alkaline polymers, Professor Yan’s team have been working on the characterisation of the reaction of the platinum catalyst. The article can be downloaded from: http://bit.ly/1zddECN
University of Tennessee Unpacking Fuel Cell Electrode and Catalyst Design
Under a $2.75M grant from the US DOE Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy a team at the University of Tennessee are looking at creating more efficient fuel cells, to use natural gas more efficiently. The team, at the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, are working on the electrode and catalyst design. The brief overview article be found at: http://bit.ly/1Dei1wi
Center for Nanoparticle Research at the Institute for Basic Science Claims Success on Removing Poisoning from Direct Methanol Fuel Cells
Researchers at The Center for Nanoparticle Research at the Institute for Basic Science (South Korea) have claimed success in removing CO poisoning from DMFCs. Research overview can be found at: http://bit.ly/1HqflSx
Uppsala University Working on Biomimetical Solar Hydrogen Production
Under a grant from the Swedish Energy Agency researchers at Uppsala University (Sweden) are working on catalyst that would allow hydrogen production from solar power using a biomimetic process. Quick project overview, with conference announcement, can be found here: http://bit.ly/15OyNXW
In other news from the academic sector: SOFC Guru, Dr. Kenneth Reifsnider, Moves to University of Texas at Arlington http://prn.to/1zdbgfm
Fuel Cell and Hydrogen News Roundup – Week Ending 30th January
Last week has been a very quiet week on the commercial front, within, in amongst the rhetoric and share price speculation masquerading as news, only a handful of actual news stories.
Borit Raises €7.5 Million in Fund Raising Round to Increase Industrial Capabilities
Beligan based fuel cell plate and sub-assembly company Borit, has closed on a fund raising round after investment reached €7.5 million. According to Luc Wanten, Borit’s CEO, the additional funds will be used to “ …further build our industrial production platform, expand our customer base and increase our market penetration.” Great to see a company increasing production due to market demand. The original press release is not the company’s website, so cannot be linked to here. Sorry.
Symbio FCell Release 5 Fuel Cell Range Extended Renault Kangoo ZE Light Commercial Vehicles
Symbio FCell has released the first 5, out of 40, Renault Kangoo ZE Light Commercial Vehicles with a fuel cell range extender included. The website provides very little in the way of information on the size, or performance, of its range extender fuel cell, but using the clue that it can go 100 miles on a tank of Hydrogen it is likely to be in the range of 5kW in size. This, according to the press release, is the lower end of the scale that Symbio produce. 2014 saw The Michelin Group take an equity stake in Symbio. The press release can be read at: http://bit.ly/1Dkd6Ko
Oslo to get 8 Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell Vehicles
The European Union project HyTEC (Hydrogen Transport in European Cities) has announced that the project will see 8 Hyundai ix35 fuel cell vehicles deployed in Oslo. The vehicles will be deployed this year. A press release from the project can be read at: http://bit.ly/1JNL0LH
Fuel Cell and Hydrogen News Roundup – Week Ending 23rd January
It’s been a lot busier week this week on the fuel cell and hydrogen news front. All positive signs as well. Personally, I think the blue plaque to William Grove is long overdue, but better late than never. Also the news from Japan that there were 1,500 orders for the Mirai in 1 month was fabulous. Don’t forget that is took over a decade to sell a million hybrids, and a number of analysts, myself including, are still forecasting a long slow adoption curve for fuel cell vehicles. But I, as am sure many others are the same, would be over the moon to be proven wrong! Finally thank you to the companies who have started to email me press releases directly. Much appreciated.
At least 6,000 Fuel Cell Cars on the Road in Tokyo by 2020
It was released this week that the Japanese government aims to ensure that the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games are the most sustainable yet. This is to include upto 6,000 fuel cell vehicles, which will be able to refuel at 35 new hydrogen refuelling stations. Tokyo is setting aside 45.2 billion yen ($385 million) to subsidise the vehicle purchase and the building of the hydrogen stations. A month ago this 6,000 cars would have seem an optimistic target but this is also the week that Toyota released first months sales figures from Japan, of the fuel cell Mirai. They were 1,500; well over 1000 higher than expected. On the back of this interest Toyota have also announced that they plan to increase production of the vehicle to 3,000 vehicles in 2017. Note that 3,000 is the production number to be sold globally. A good overview of this story is provided here, at Automotive News: http://bit.ly/1yDk4sW
Bloom Energy Aims at a Further $160 Million in Equity Investment
With still no sign of a IPO the Wall Street Journal tracked down information which showed that Bloom Energy is selling upto $160 million in convertible notes. By the end of December $130 million has already been raised, but there is no information from whom. The original WSJ article can be found here: http://on.wsj.com/1xQEIls
Australian company Telstra Starts Testing Fuel Cells at Telecoms Site
Australia is somewhat behind in the deploying of fuel cell technology so the announcement this week that Telstra has started to deploy fuel cells at telecom sites is a baby step forward. A good write up can be found at IT News, link here: http://bit.ly/1zwEeYt
Neah Power Successfully Completes Testing at DRDO of the Government of India
Neah Power continues to make strides in developing and opening up multiple new markets. This week announcing that it has successfully completed field testing of the PowerChip units at the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO), in India. The original Neah Power press release can be found here: http://neahpower.com/media/
US DOE Announces First 2015 SBIR Awards’
The first of the 2015 awards under the US DOE Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) have been released. They include: Non-Platinum Group Metal (PGM) Catalysts for Fuel Cells: • Proton OnSite of Wallingford, Connecticut, will develop a non-precious metal catalyst based on doped cobalt oxides.
• pH Matter, LLC, of Columbus, Ohio, will develop a non-precious metal catalyst based on phosphorus-doped carbon-nitrogen materials Detection of Contaminants in Hydrogen:
• Southwest Sciences, Inc., of Santa Fe, New Mexico, will develop a diode laser sensor for detection of typical impurities found in hydrogen fuel at the refueling station.
• Sustainable Innovations, LLC, of East Hartford, Connecticut, has teamed with the University of Connecticut to develop an innovative multi-channel hydrogen fuel quality monitor to detect multiple hydrogen impurities at the refueling station. Information on the SBIR, and current open solicitations can be found at: https://www.sbir.gov
Proton OnSite Releases 1 and 2 MW Electrolyser into the Marketplace
Proton Onsite became the first hydrogen electrolyser company to have a commercial multi megawatt PEM electrolyser. This week the company announced that they had a 1, and just for good measure, a 2 MW system now for sale. Critically, as well as being commercially available the systems have had a 50% cost out. The Proton Onsite press release can be found here: http://bit.ly/185Cb2c
Sir. William Grove to Get a Blue Plaque in Swansea
Father of the fuel cell industry, Sir William Grove, is to have a blue plaque unveiled at his birth place in Swansea. (In the UK, a blue plaque is used to commemorate a link between that location and a famous person.) Link to BBC announcement can be found here: http://bbc.in/1GB3y3C
Mercedes Shows Uber Lux Fuel Cell Concept Car
During CES at Las Vegas Mercedes unveiled a new fuel cell / battery concept car, that seems to have no made much of a dent in the news! The “F015 Luxury in Motion” concept, is an uber lux high end concept car, of the type that will never be made. Gorgeous to look at, the FO15 has a theoretical range of 684 miles. 124 miles from the battery and 559 from the fuel cell. Oh yes, and it is self driving….. A video and pictures of the car can be found at: http://bit.ly/1unnUSX
Finally for those attending the conference “Delivering Hydrogen and Fuel Cells to Market 2015” in Birmingham (UK) in March, it has been announced that at the event there will also be a free International Brokerage Event. This is for conference delegates only. To sign up for the brokerage event, and more info on the conference, can be found at: http://bit.ly/XeyfHc . (if that isn’t enough to entice you to the event – and for goodness sake don’t believe a word of what Fox News said about the city – I will be presenting, as well as chairing a session on that tricksy beast, finance.)
Fuel Cell and Hydrogen News Roundup – Week Ending 15th January
With most of the this weeks headlines still focused on the Toyota patent story, and Elon Musk once again trying to divert attention back to batteries, this week has been been somewhat slow in the wow factor. That said Intelligent Energy and Honda did make an attempt.
Intelligent Energy & Essential Energy Deploys First Fuel Cell to Indian Telecomm Site
This week Intelligent Energy (UK), and its Indian subsidiary Essential Energy India, announced the dpeloyment of the first fuel cell powere telecom base station in India. The unit went into a site operated by Ascend Telecom, in the remote and rural region of India Uttar Pradesh West. The full press release from Intelligent Energy can be found at: http://bit.ly/1xwDd
Honda Releases FCV Concept Car at LA Auto Show
It’s another car. It is powered by a fuel cell. It does over 300 miles. The interior looks great. Cue oohs, argh’s, or “don’t be silly” from various quarters. Photos and Honda‘s official press release can be found here: http://bit.ly/1DKiycZ
iPower Gaines £1 million Investment to Deploy CFCL Units in Social Housing
iPower (Scotland) received a £1 million investment from Scotland’s Social Growth Fund to deploy CFCLs Bluegen unit, for free, in a range of locations across Scotland. Note that the write up in the Scotsman is so inaccurate that there is no link to it here. My absolute favorite story of the week though comes from Taiwan, the land of many fuel cell surprises.
“Star of Hope” Fuel Cell Ferry up and Running in Taiwan The ferry is supplied by 2 x 40kW fuel cell and battery combo’s, and can operate at for over 8 hours before needing to be refueled. The most amazing thing about the ferry is that the project only took a few months to complete. YC Synergy have supplied the powertrain, including the fuel cell, to the ferry which runs on Sun Moon Lake. The original press release can be found here: http://bit.ly/1DOMP7L
Fuel Cell and Hydrogen News Roundup – Week Ending 9th January
First week in January over, and if this is the norm then 2015 is going to be busy for the fuel cell and hydrogen sector. The headlines were understandably centered about Toyota (thank you Toyota), but also there was some good stuff from eZelleron and an interesting news piece from Neah Power. First though the Toyota headline:
Toyota to Make Over 5,600 Fuel Cell Patents Royalty Free.
During this years 2015 Consumer Electronic Show Toyota announced that it would be opening up nearly 6,000 patents for royalty free use. The patents are: ~3350 patents for software to control hydrogen fueling systems; ~1970 patents for fuel stack technology ~290 patents relating to high-pressure tanks for hydrogen fuel ~70 and patents relating to the production and supply of hydrogen-fuel My understanding is that apart from the stack technology patents, the others are set to remain royalty free in perpetuity. The stack technology patents will remain royalty free only until 2020. Anyone wanting to use the patents will have to enter into a contract direct with Toyota, and this looks like it is limited to groups that develop and market hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles, parts suppliers for said developers/sellers, fuelling station developers, companies that develop/sell hydrogen buses, and/or industrial equipment that uses fuel-cell technology. The official press release from Toyota can be found here: http://newsroom.toyota.co.jp/en/detail/4663648/
Portable Fuel Cell Developer eZelleron Goes down the Kickstarter Route
With finance to move from concept to manufacturing still in short supply, German SOFC portable fuel cell company eZelleron has opted to use crowd funding, in the shape of a Kickstarter campaign. The campaign allows potential customers, and small scale distributors, to pre-order direct from the company, providing the upfront finance. The Kickstarter campaign can be found here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/265641170/kraftwerk-highly-innovative-portable-power-plant
Neah Power to Merge with Li Ion Battery Company, Shorai
With immediate effect Neah Power is merging with California based Shorai. The combined company will be called Neah Power Systems. The link to the original press release can be found here: http://neahpower.com/2015/01/neah-power-systems-agrees-to-acquire-shorai-the-leading-high-performance-lithium-ion-power-starter-battery-company/ That’s all for this week but just to say that the monthly round-up of research news will be posted on the last Friday of each month now.