Ballard, Sanmina-SCI to commercialize telecoms backup power

Ballard, Sanmina-SCI to commercialize telecoms backup power

NEWS Singapore to evaluate Palcan’s Palpac B C-based Palcan Fuel Cells has signed a letter of intent with CET Technologies in Singapore, a division...

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Singapore to evaluate Palcan’s Palpac


C-based Palcan Fuel Cells has signed a letter of intent with CET Technologies in Singapore, a division of Singapore Technologies. Under the agreement CET will test and evaluate Palcan’s Palpac™ fuel cell system and backup power generator for use by the Singapore Armed Forces. The testing and evaluation will take place over a period of three to six months, starting imminently. CET will provide test results to Palcan and anticipates that – subject to agreement on pricing, specifications and delivery schedules – it will purchase Palpac fuel cell systems and backup power generators for resale to its customers, including the Singapore Armed Forces. The country’s military is seeking a replacement energy source for its gasoline-fueled power supply systems, with an additional goal to reduce the environmental impact of existing dry-cell batteries. Contact: Palcan Fuel Cells Ltd, Burnaby, BC, Canada. Tel: +1 604 422 8868, Or contact: CET Technologies Pte, Singapore. Tel: +65 6567 6769,

DOE releases long-term Hydrogen Posture Plan


he US Department of Energy has released its ‘Hydrogen Posture Plan’, which outlines the activities and milestones needed to support the country’s shift to a hydrogen-based transportation energy system. The plan supports President Bush’s vision of a hydrogen economy, and includes timelines and milestones for technology development over the next decade, leading to a commercialization decision by industry in 2015. The Plan integrates R&D and demonstration activities from DOE’s renewable, nuclear, fossil energy and science offices, in line with the recommendations of the recent National Academies’ report [FCB, April]. An integrated hydrogen program will improve the effectiveness and accountability of DOE’s research activities, and increase the probability of success in achieving technical milestones on the road to a hydrogen economy, the plan says. DOE has also coordinated its work on codes and standards with the Department of Transportation and other agencies. 4

Fuel Cells Bulletin

The Plan stresses that the federal government ‘will play a key role in accelerating the transition towards the hydrogen economy by pursuing research to overcome technical challenges.’ For the long term, the plan foresees countrywide availability of hydrogen produced from fossil fuels (combined with carbon capture and sequestration), renewable energy and nuclear energy. It will be used throughout the transportation, electric power and consumer sectors. ‘In the near to mid-term, most hydrogen will likely be produced by technologies that do not require a new hydrogen delivery infrastructure, namely from distributed natural gas and electrolysis of water using electricity,’ the report continues. DOE will focus on methods to produce affordable hydrogen from water using renewable electricity (e.g. solar and wind power) and nuclear energy. Work on thermochemical conversion of biomass and photoelectrochemical systems is also among the priorities for renewable resources. ‘A mix of diverse energy feedstocks to produce hydrogen is needed to gradually make the transition to a sustainable, secure, affordable and environmentally safe hydrogen energy system,’ according to the Plan. The long-term hydrogen initiative is complemented by other DOE programs on near-term energy efficiency and renewable energy, such as FreedomCAR. President Bush is proposing a total of $1.7bn over the next five years to develop hydrogen-powered fuel cells, hydrogen infrastructure and advanced automotive technologies. The report is available at: hydrogenandfuelcells/pdfs/hydrogen_posture_plan.pdf

Ballard, Sanmina-SCI to commercialize telecoms backup power


C-based Ballard Power Systems and Sanmina-SCI Corporation in California have entered into a memorandum of understanding under which they will work together to commercialize and sell fuel-cell-based backup power systems for the telecoms industry. Sanmina is a leading contract manufacturer of electronics and electronic packaging. The deal centers on a system comprising Ballard’s Nexa® RM Series fuel cell modules in a Sanmina-SCI outdoor enclosure. The Nexa RM Series, launched last summer [FCB, October 2003], is specifically designed to meet the needs of the telecoms power market. The fuel cell system has an extended run capability, which is particularly advantageous for backup power applications during lengthy blackout periods.

The Sanmina enclosure makes it easy to site the fuel cell power system outdoors, freeing up revenue-generating space indoors. The enclosure is designed to withstand harsh environments while providing optimal internal operating conditions and by-product management. Ballard and Sanmina unveiled their relationship at the recent CTIA Wireless 2004 telecoms trade show in Atlanta. Contact: Ballard Power Systems Inc, Burnaby, BC, Canada. Tel: +1 604 454 0900, Or contact: Sanmina-SCI Corporation, San Jose, California, USA. Tel: +1 408 964 3500,

Plug signs agreements with Honda, Airgas


Y-based Plug Power and Honda R&D Co in Japan have agreed to continue joint development of a Home Energy Station. The new agreement concerns the second phase of an expected multi-phase product development effort. Plug Power also recently signed a hydrogen fuel service agreement with Pennsylvania-based Airgas. Honda and Plug Power completed the first phase of their collaboration last October, with the successful demonstration of a prototype Home Energy Station at Honda R&D Americas’ facility in Torrance, California [FCB, January]. The second phase of the project will focus on developing a next-generation prototype. Under the new agreement, Honda R&D will continue to fund Plug Power’s work on the project. The Home Energy Station fuel cell system provides electricity and heat to a home or business, while also providing hydrogen fuel for a fuel cell vehicle. The partners believe that Home Energy Stations – fueled by natural gas – could become a critical element in the emerging hydrogen economy. Elsewhere, Plug Power has reached agreement with US industrial gas distributor Airgas, whereby Airgas will be the preferred supplier of hydrogen for Plug Power’s GenCore® customers. The five-year agreement calls for the two companies to jointly market hydrogen fuel service products for GenCore fuel cell systems in the US. Airgas, with a US network of nearly 800 locations, will offer fuel services including cylinder drop-off and connection to GenCore customers. It will also provide a complete line of specialty gas equipment to help manage the fuel supply, and a unique chemical energy storage module to provide hydrogen fuel storage for GenCore systems.

May 2004