Air Liquide to provide hydrogen station for Alabama bus demo

Air Liquide to provide hydrogen station for Alabama bus demo

NEWS cleaner ways of meeting their high energy demands. Bloom Energy Servers are currently producing power for several Fortune 500 companies and non-p...

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NEWS cleaner ways of meeting their high energy demands. Bloom Energy Servers are currently producing power for several Fortune 500 companies and non-profit organisations including Google, Walmart, eBay, Staples, Coca-Cola, Caltech, and Kaiser Permanente [FCB, March 2012, p5]. The company is headquartered in California, with plans to establish manufacturing facilities in Delaware later this year [FCB, December 2011, p6]. Bloom Energy Corporation, Sunnyvale, California, USA. Tel: +1 408 543 1500,


SFC fuel cells for US Army, major order from German military


erman-based SFC Energy has delivered 50 FC 100 lightweight alternative power sources (LAPS) to the US Army Operational Test Command at Fort Hood, Texas. The company has also received a further serial order from the German federal defence forces (Deutsche Bundeswehr), for additional portable Jenny fuel cells with a power network for its soldiers. The FC 100 fuel cell generator is designed as an alternative to the current use of deepcycle marine batteries. The generator is selfcontained, and operates autonomously to provide sustained power on a continuous basis in support of operational test instrumentation. Here ‘self-contained’ means it includes the fuel cell, a lithium-ion startup battery, and a fuel cartridge packaged in a ruggedised housing to meet military environmental requirements. The direct methanol fuel cell is designed to operate on a continuous basis for at least 100 h before the fuel cartridge is exchanged. The FC 100 fuel cells will be applied as automatic power supplies for electrical systems onboard vehicles in surveillance and observation scenarios, and as field chargers and off-grid power supplies for longer covert missions with no access to the grid. Initially, they will be the power source used by the US Army Operational Test Command when testing new equipment during the Network Integration Evaluation at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. Eventually, the fuel cells may be operated in the field for a number of additional applications, from running radio relay stations to recharging batteries. Use of the FC 100 LAPS enables significant weight reduction of the power equipment 6

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carried by soldiers and inside vehicles, resulting in longer missions and increased flexibility, while at the same time saving material and logistic costs. Meanwhile in Europe, SFC Energy has won a third serial order from the Deutsche Bundeswehr, which is equipping additional soldiers with the portable Jenny fuel cell, the SFC Power Manager, a hybrid battery specially tailored to the system, and a solar panel, as well as extensive accessories. As a powerful and flexible power supply, the energy network allows operation of stationary and mobile power consumers, such as radios, navigational equipment, night-vision equipment, laser rangefinders, portable computers, and PDAs. The order volume amounts to just under E5 million (US$6.6 million), with delivery of the systems expected to take place before the end of 2012. And in other news, SFC Energy has received the Certificate of Approval of the German Federal Army for use of its Emily 2200 fuel cell in power supply applications of the German Armed Forces. The Emily 2200 was specifically developed for the demanding requirements in defence applications. The fully automatic, silent, and clean power generator reliably supplies electric and electronic defence equipment away from the grid, 24/7, in any weather. It can be used as a vehicle-based power source, stand-alone generator, or as a field-charger. SFC Energy AG, Brunnthal-Nord, Germany. Tel: +49 89 673 5920, SFC Energy products for defence and security applications:


Air Liquide to provide hydrogen station for Alabama bus demo


n the US, the Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE) has announced that Air Liquide Industrial US LP is under contract to build and operate a hydrogen fuelling station for the fuel cell bus demonstration in Birmingham, Alabama. Atlanta-based non-profit CTE is managing the Birmingham Fuel Cell Bus Demonstration. This project is part of the National Fuel Cell Bus Program, which is funded by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Air Liquide joins an experienced team that includes EVAmerica, which specialises in the design, development, and manufacturing of

electric and hybrid-electric medium to heavyduty vehicles, who will design and integrate the bus. The fuel cell power module is being provided by Canadian-based Ballard Power Systems. Air Liquide has over 10 years’ experience worldwide in supplying bus and vehicle hydrogen refuelling systems. Some two years ago, Air Liquide signed a 10-year contract to provide hydrogen and fuelling infrastructure support for 20 hydrogen-powered buses, the largest fuel cell bus fleet in the world, in time for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Whistler and Vancouver, Canada [FCB, February 2010, p7]. The bus will be operated in regular service by the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Agency (BJCTA). The University of Alabama at Birmingham will be responsible for data acquisition and analysis, the results of which will be published when the demonstration is complete. ‘This project will give Birmingham and the surrounding communities a first-hand look at the new clean technologies that are being developed and introduced to mass transit,’ says Lee Jackson, maintenance director at BJCTA. The hydrogen fuelling system will meet all of CTE’s operational and safety requirements, and will provide on average about 20 kg per day of hydrogen throughout the 24-month demonstration period, totaling about 12 500 kg of hydrogen. The fuelling station will feature automated 350 bar (5000 psi) hydrogen dispensing at 1 kg per minute, allowing operators to refuel the bus quickly. ‘Hydrogen fuel cell technology is a solution that is both economic and sustainable for mass transit systems due to the size of public bus fleets, fuel volume requirements, and the inherent ability to use a centralised fuelling system,’ says Mark Lostak, president of Air Liquide Industrial US LP. ‘As we move towards fuelling larger bus fleets, we look forward to this technology further demonstrating itself as a cost-competitive and environmentally beneficial solution for public transit.’ At the end of 2010 CTE was awarded more than $6 million in funding from the Federal Transit Administration for six projects under the National Fuel Cell Bus Program [FCB, January 2011, p2]. CTE is also managing the demonstration programme at Joint Base LewisMcChord (JBLM) in Washington state, utilising hydrogen produced sustainably onsite to operate 19 fuel cell powered forklifts and a fuel cell hybrid shuttle bus [FCB, March 2012, p1]. Air Liquide Industrial US LP is providing the liquid hydrogen, fuelling station and infrastructure to power a fleet of 37 forklift vehicles at Coca-Cola’s bottling and distribution centre in San Leandro, California [FCB, March 2011, p8].

April 2012

NEWS Center for Transportation and the Environment: Air Liquide, Hydrogen Energy: US Federal Transit Administration: Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Agency: EVAmerica: Ballard Power Systems:


Horizon Fuel Cell to market ITM Power’s onsite hydrogen units


ingapore-based Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies has entered in a commercial alliance with ITM Power in the UK, to bring to market ITM Power’s small electolyser range as a complement to Horizon’s increasing number of fuel cell products. The agreement gives Horizon exclusive rights to sell ITM products in the ASEAN nations plus India and Pakistan, as well as rights to sell ITM Power products in other countries where Horizon is present, including the US. Horizon was founded in 2003 and has expanded through five international subsidiaries, including a new subsidiary in the US. The company began commercialisation with micro fuel cell products, while preparing for larger and more complex applications, and is now considered to be the world’s largest volume producer of commercial sub-kW fuel cell products, serving retail and OEM customers in more than 65 countries. Horizon recently formed an exclusive partnership with UK-based Arcola Energy, to provide deployment, customisation, and integration support to a wide range of companies launching Horizon fuel cell powered products in the UK, and subsequently through Horizon’s distribution network [FCB, March 2012, p9]. Horizon’s focus on commercialisation has enabled the establishment of Horizon-branded market development teams in 35 countries, all of which can now also offer ITM solutions to increase sales of Horizon’s hydrogen fuel cell solutions. In 2009, the Horizon Energy Systems subsidiary was started in Singapore to develop the world’s lightest fuel cell power systems, and targeting the aerospace and defence segments [FCB, August 2010, p1].

April 2012

ITM Power designs and manufactures hydrogen energy systems for energy storage and clean fuel production based on water electrolysis. The company’s hydrogen systems convert renewable energy to a clean fuel that can be indefinitely stored for use in transport, residential, and industrial applications. [See the feature on ITM Power’s hydrogen fuelling technology in our January 2012 issue.] ‘Having overcome hydrogen infrastructure barriers with small-scale products in the past years, we are now getting ready to introduce larger-scale fuel cell solutions that will require onsite hydrogen supply,’ explains TarasWankewycz, founder and chief marketing officer of Horizon. ‘The ITM range of solutions will help our clients increase fuel storage capacities, and provide solutions for new Horizon applications, including small hydrogen-electric vehicles.’ ‘We are very happy to sign our first distribution agreement and take this important step in our commercialisation process,’ adds Dr Graham Cooley, CEO of ITM Power. ‘Horizon have an excellent commercial footprint globally, and their experience will be invaluable to ITM Power.’ Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies Pte Ltd, Singapore. Tel: +65 6872 9588, Horizon Energy Systems: ITM Power Plc, Sheffield, UK. Tel: +44 114 244 5111,

FuelCell Energy, Plug Power raise funding through public offers


onnecticut-based FuelCell Energy and Plug Power in upstate New York have both been successful in recent public offerings of their common stock, proving that investors still see fuel cells as a worthwhile opportunity for significant future growth. FuelCell Energy completed the underwritten sale of 23 million shares, including 3 million shares under the full exercise of an overallotment option. All of the shares were offered at a price to the public of $1.50 per share, which resulted in total net proceeds to the company of approximately $32.1 million. FCE will use the net proceeds for growth capital and general corporate purposes. FuelCell Energy is making good progress with commercial partnerships and installations of its Direct FuelCell® molten carbonate power plants [FCB, February 2012, p1]. With

over 180 MW of power generation capacity installed or in backlog, the company’s units are generating clean, efficient and reliable power at more than 50 locations worldwide. FCE is a global leader in providing clean baseload distributed generation to utilities, industrial operations, universities, municipal water treatment facilities, government installations, and other customers around the world using a variety of fuels, including renewable biogas from wastewater treatment and food processing [FCB, August 2011, p1]. Meanwhile, Plug Power has completed its underwritten public offering of just under 15 million shares, including 1.95 million shares via the underwriter’s exercise of its over-allotment option. The shares were sold at a price to the public of $1.15 per share, for net proceeds of approximately $15.7 million after commissions and expenses. Plug Power is now focused on providing hydrogen PEM fuel cell power units for the materials handling industry [see the feature in FCB, December 2011]. The company has shipped more than 2000 GenDrive® units to materials handling end-users in North America, including major clients such as Procter & Gamble [FCB, December 2011, p1]. It is also working with French-based Axane – the fuel cell subsidiary of industrial gases and hydrogen station developer Air Liquide – to develop the European market for hydrogen fuel cell powered forklifts [FCB, November 2011, p3]. FuelCell Energy Inc, Danbury, Connecticut, USA. Tel: +1 203 825 6000, Plug Power Inc, Latham, New York, USA. Tel: +1 518 782 7700,

AFC Energy to invest in additional fuel cell production facility


K-based AFC Energy reports that its board of directors has approved the £180 000 (US$290 000) investment necessary to create an additional production facility at its base at Dunsfold Park, Surrey. The new facility will enable the increased production of low-cost alkaline fuel cells with full cartridge assembly. In addition, it will provide an intermediate step between smallscale and high-volume inline production. The plant will start producing its annually expected output of up to several thousand fuel cells by mid-summer. This facility will support ongoing development and commercial activities, as

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