Ballard to demo backup power applications

Ballard to demo backup power applications

NEWS Ballard to demo backup power applications T he Government of Canada is cooperating with Ballard Power Systems to demonstrate three application...

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NEWS

Ballard to demo backup power applications

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he Government of Canada is cooperating with Ballard Power Systems to demonstrate three applications of fuel cells for backup power, under its h2 Early Adopters (h2EA) Program. The program will provide half of the C$4m (US$3.2m) funding for the demonstration, with the balance coming from the program participants. The demonstration will involve projects to demonstrate Ballard fuel cell technology for uninterruptible power supply (UPS) and backup power applications for the power generation market. Ballard will lead the program with support and participation by MGE UPS Systems, Bell Canada Holdings, Emerson Network Power Canada, Praxair Distribution and the University of Toronto at Mississauga. Real-world applications are key to identifying and facilitating the development of the necessary codes & standards to commercialize fuel cell and hydrogen technology, such as siting and permit requirements. Ballard’s Nexa® RM Series modules will be featured in three distinct generator applications: • As a backup UPS for critical loads in an industrial/commercial building at the National Research Council’s Institute for Fuel Cell Innovation in Vancouver. Nexa modules will be utilized in conjunction with UPS technology from MGE UPS Systems. • For backup power at a telecoms site operated by Bell Canada. The modules will be utilized in a four-season outdoor enclosure supported by Emerson. Praxair Distribution will provide hydrogen supply hardware and hydrogen. • Critical backup power for server room applications at the University of Toronto at Mississauga. Nexa modules will be used in conjunction with UPS technology from MGE UPS Systems, with hydrogen supply systems and hydrogen delivery from Praxair Distribution. Meanwhile, MGE UPS Systems reports that MGE China is showcasing the first fuel cell UPS in China for manufacturing and computer networking applications. The Nexa-powered 3 kVA UPS provides critical process applications with extended runtime during power failures. MGE China, MGE Americas and Ballard collaborated to integrate hydrogen fuel cell modules into the rack-mounted UPS. Fuel cell modules are ideal for the UPS and telecoms markets where battery limitations, including inadequate runtimes and excess weight and floorspace requirements, present difficulties for applications requiring backup times over 1 h. 6

Fuel Cells Bulletin

Contact: Ballard Power Systems Inc, Burnaby, BC, Canada. Tel: +1 604 454 0900, www.ballard.com Or contact: MGE UPS Systems Inc, Costa Mesa, California, USA. Tel: +1 714 557 1636, www.mgeups.com/us Or contact: MGE China, Shanghai, PR China. Tel: +86 21 5064 4528, www.mgenasia.com For more on the Canadian h2 Early Adopters (h2EA) Program, go to: www.tpc.ic.gc.ca/h2

Self-assembling designer molecules for fuel cells

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materials science and engineering research team at Cornell University in New York has developed a new class of synthetic macromolecules that mimic nature in their ability to spontaneously self-assemble into various nanoscale structures. The discovery could lead to improvements in applications such as fuel cells, the team believes. The new molecules, ‘extended amphiphilic dendrons’, were created by combining molecular design concepts from two known classes of synthetic macromolecules: block copolymers and dendrimers. The resulting molecule shows a combination of behaviors, which has been sought by researchers worldwide for a decade. The synthesized designer molecules selfassemble into structures with dimensions on the order of 10 nm. The precise self-assembly behavior obtained is dictated by the molecular architecture, which can be tailored or ‘engineered’, says lead researcher Professor Ulrich Wiesner. This makes it possible to design nanoscale structures that otherwise would be impossible to manufacture, which could ultimately lead to the construction of nm-scale devices and machines. The new class of macromolecules also exhibits ‘a rich phase behavior’, meaning they change their structure several times as the temperature rises, and each stable phase produces a different behavior. The self-assembled structures range from one-dimensional cylinders through 2D lamellae to 3D continuous cubic structures. Wiesner says the continuous cubic structure could be particularly relevant for applications such as fuel cells, batteries and solar cells, because it exhibits ion transport when doped with lithium salts. The team’s development work is reported in Science (10 September), and was supported by the NSF’s Cornell Center for Materials Research. Contact: Professor Ulrich Wiesner, Department of Materials Science & Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA. Tel: +1 607 255-3487, www.ccmr.cornell.edu/~uli

Nuvera test facility for hydrogen fuel cells

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S/Italian-based Nuvera Fuel Cells plans to establish a hydrogen test facility in Italy with Rivoira SpA and the SIAD Group, both affiliates of industrial gas giant Praxair. The plan calls for SIAD’s Osio Sopra laboratory near Bergamo to be expanded for the purpose of testing and demonstrating hydrogen-based fuel cell systems. The new facility will be dedicated to testing Nuvera’s hydrogen products in the 5.5–25 kWe power range, including its H2e™ fuel cell power module for industrial equipment applications, the Forza™ power module for industrial hydrogen recovery, and the Andromeda™ automotive fuel cell stack. The hydrogen to power the fuel cell systems will be supplied by Rivoira/SIAD from a new natural gas reforming plant, with purity up to 99.9995%. Nuvera intends to operate multiple test stands in the facility as it prepares to launch beta trials of its early-market hydrogen products. ‘With beta trials of our 5 kWe H2e fuel cell power module ready for advanced testing, and the recent successes of our automotive fuel cell stacks with Centro Ricerche Fiat [FCB, December], we are well positioned to advance our technology to the next level of pre-commercialization,’ says Michele Tettamanti, senior VP and COO at Nuvera Fuel Cells Europe. Contact: Nuvera Fuel Cells Europe Srl, Milan, Italy. Tel: +39 02 2129 2212, www.nuvera.com Or contact: Rivoira SpA, Turin, Italy. Tel: +39 011 2253 711, www.rivoiragas.it Or contact: SIAD SpA, Bergamo, Italy. Tel: +39 035 328 326, www.siad.it

Hoku membranes, MEAs for automaker

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awaii-based membrane developer Hoku Scientific has reached agreement with an unnamed ‘global auto company’ to sell significant quantities of its Hoku Membrane™ and Hoku MEA™, to evaluate for integration into fuel cell vehicles. Hoku Scientifics has been working closely with the automaker for several months, to demonstrate the advantages of its non-fluorinated Hoku Membrane and Hoku MEA. Last year Hoku Scientific announced its relationship with Sanyo Electric, to develop an

November 2004