CommScope and Hydrogenics for data centre backup power

CommScope and Hydrogenics for data centre backup power

NEWS Taiwan – including sub-licensing this IP to M-Field in an agreement worth approximately US$1 million. Ballard will also provide M-Field with engi...

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NEWS Taiwan – including sub-licensing this IP to M-Field in an agreement worth approximately US$1 million. Ballard will also provide M-Field with engineering services support into early 2015 through Dantherm Power, to assist in optimising system integration activities that utilise Ballard fuel cell stacks. Ballard will be the exclusive supplier of stacks – including its FCgen™-1020ACS air-cooled and FCvelocity™-9SSL liquid-cooled stack products – for all materials handling systems deployed by M-Field in Europe. Zero-emission fuel cell-powered forklifts offer significant economic benefits associated with increased productivity and lower operating costs in high-throughput indoor distribution centres and warehouses, compared to incumbent lead-acid batterypowered trucks [see the forklift features in FCB, September and October 2010]. Since 2003 H2 Logic has progressed its H2Drive technology through the demonstration phase, with extensive field tests across Europe in collaboration with Ballard and leading materials handling vehicle manufacturers [FCB, July 2013, p2]. Ballard, Dantherm Power, and M-Field have collaborated for several years on fuel cell R&D and projects. Ballard has supplied stacks for H2 Logic, and Dantherm Power and H2 Logic have collaborated on numerous R&D projects. This will continue after the transfer, where Dantherm Power and Ballard will focus on cost reduction of fuel cells for materials handling vehicles, with support from M-Field and H2 Logic on cost reduction of hydrogen dispensing. Ballard has recently signed a deal with Azure Hydrogen to license the assembly of telecom backup power systems for the China market [see page 5]. H2 Logic has made a strategic decision to focus and expand its efforts to commercialise its H2Station® hydrogen refueling station products [see the H2 Logic feature in FCB, May 2013]. Existing staff working on H2Drive will switch to its H2Station activities. The company is partnering with Air Liquide to jointly invest in the hydrogen fueling company, Copenhagen Hydrogen Network (CHN), which will build a network of hydrogen stations in Denmark [see page 8]. Ballard Power Systems, Burnaby, BC, Canada. Tel: +1 604 454 0900, Dantherm Power, Hobro, Denmark. Tel: +45 8843 5500, H2 Logic, Herning, Denmark. Tel: +45 9627 5600, M-Field Energy Ltd, Hsinchu, Taiwan. Tel: +886 3 582 8530,


Fuel Cells Bulletin

Fuel cell power for lightship maintains Mersey marine safety

Fuel Cell Systems, Hungerford, Berkshire, UK. Tel: +44 1488 680580, UPS Systems Plc: SFC Energy: or The Corporation of Trinity House:


n the UK, a lightship operated by Trinity House has been equipped with a direct methanol fuel cell supplied by Fuel Cell Systems [FCB, March 2014, p5], part of UPS Systems Plc. The lightship marks the entrance from the Irish Sea into Liverpool, to maintain maritime safety in the Mersey estuary. The installation is part of a trial to ensure that onboard aids to navigation (ATONs) are kept fully operational. The Light Float 2 (Bar) is an unmanned boat-like structure located on the Liverpool bar at the start of the Mersey. The 110 W EFOY Pro 2400 Duo fuel cell – manufactured by German-based SFC Energy – ensures the light float’s batteries are kept fully charged. These provide a constant source of power for the navigation aids – a main light with a 12 nautical mile (22 km) range and a radar transponder. The fuel cell ran for 10 h each night from November to January. ‘We were alerted to a gradual drop in the batteries’ capacity, indicating that they were probably coming to the end of their life, and that the solar PV panels fitted to the light float simply weren’t providing enough charge during the winter months,’ explains Peter Dobson, engineering manager for Trinity House, which is responsible for navigational aids in UK waters. The batteries were first recharged using a portable generator, but this proved inefficient, time-consuming, and costly. To meet the standards set by the International Association of Lighthouse Authorities, a remote power solution was required that would allow the light float to operate effectively before its scheduled summer maintenance in dry dock, following six years at sea. ‘Should the batteries fail, this would result in us having to divert one of our vessels from its routine buoy tender maintenance schedule to recharge the batteries in situ, which could take two to three days,’ says Dobson. ‘However, the fuel cell operated flawlessly, keeping the batteries in a nominal charged state, allowing the ATONs to be kept operational.’ Dobson’s team intends to carry out further fuel cell trials. If these are also successful, Trinity House will consider integrating this technology, where suitable, as part of the hybrid energy mix to power additional ATONs throughout England, Wales, and the Channel Islands.


CommScope and Hydrogenics for data centre backup power


orth Carolina-based CommScope has launched a compact indoor hydrogen fuel cell solution to provide reliable backup power for enterprise data centres in North America. The systems feature PEM fuel cell modules supplied by the company’s partner, Hydrogenics in Canada, and follow the recent launch of outdoor hydrogen backup power solutions for smaller businesses [FCB, March 2014, p7]. This innovative, scalable indoor fuel cell solution can provide 10, 20 or 30 kW of reliable, clean backup power to enterprise computing systems. Multiple power racks can be installed to scale in 30 kW increments and sustain a variable runtime from hours to days, based on customer requirements and hydrogen storage tank options. The product is the same width as a standard server cabinet and 2 m high, so the cabinet can easily fit at the end of a data centre row. ‘Space within most data centres is at a premium, and this backup power solution takes up the least amount compared to a battery rack or other backup power solutions,’ says Daryl Wilson, CEO of Hydrogenics. ‘Operating expense is another growing concern for data centres and, depending on the configuration, the indoor hydrogen fuel cell solution can be a lower-cost solution than traditional power solutions after just two or three years.’ CommScope will offer the indoor and outdoor hydrogen fuel cell backup power solutions through its extensive PartnerPRO™ Network, which can assist customers with site planning, installation, commissioning, and ongoing maintenance. The company’s fuel cell solutions are enabled through its long-running partnership with Hydrogenics, a global leader in manufacturing and installing industrial and commercial fuel cell and hydrogen production systems [see page 7]. CommScope has already deployed fuel cell backup power solutions in the telecom industry, such as the Louisville, Colorado headquarters of CableLabs [FCB, November 2013, p4], and

July 2014

NEWS the headquarters data centre of the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers in Exton, Pennsylvania [FCB, July 2011, p5]. Hydrogenics Corporation, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. Tel: +1 905 361 3660, CommScope, Fuel Cell Solutions:

Ballard signs telecom backup power licence agreement in China


anadian-based Ballard Power Systems has signed a definitive agreement with Azure Hydrogen in Beijing in relation to an assembly licence for telecom backup power systems for the China market. The agreement has a value of approximately US$6 million over the 2014–15 period. In addition to the payment for the assembly licence, under the agreement Ballard will be the exclusive supplier of subsystems, including its FCgen™-1020ACS air-cooled PEM fuel cell stacks and fuel processors. Ballard will also receive a royalty payment for each telecom backup power system sold in China, if Azure successfully executes its business plan and achieves volume commitments. This latest telecom backup power agreement builds on the multi-year agreements Ballard signed last autumn to support Azure Hydrogen’s fuel cell bus programme for the China market [FCB, October 2013, p2]. ‘The telecom backup power market is a key growth driver for our business, and is also a significant opportunity in China given the scale of the market and China’s growing focus on clean energy technology,’ says John Sheridan, Ballard’s president and CEO. Licensing of Ballard’s extensive portfolio of fuel cell intellectual property (IP) and fundamental know-how, is a key element of the company’s three-level business model, along with product sales and engineering services [FCB, June 2013, p3]. Ballard recently acquired the IP portfolio of United Technologies Corporation of approximately 800 PEM fuel cell patents [FCB, May 2014, p10]. Ballard has also just taken over the H2Drive® fuel cell activities of Denmarkbased H2 Logic, which will see Ballard’s Danish subsidiary Dantherm Power focus on commercialising fuel cells for materials handling vehicles in Europe in collaboration with M-Field Energy Corporation, a subsidiary of M-Field Energy Ltd in Taiwan [see page 3].

July 2014

Ballard Power Systems, Burnaby, BC, Canada. Tel: +1 604 454 0900, Azure Hydrogen Energy Science & Technology Corporation: [in Chinese]

SFC unveils integrated remote control power solution for oil & gas


erman-based SFC Energy has introduced a new secure ‘remote access’ feature for control, notification, and data acquisition/logging with the proven EFOY Pro fuel cell power systems for oil & gas applications. The new feature has been jointly developed by SFC Group member Simark Controls in Canada, and Florida-based telemetry and remote SCADA applications specialist Semaphore, for integration into the latter’s Semaphore TBox telemetry system. The Semaphore TBox is used in the oil & gas industry to provide ruggedised, reliable automation and gas flow computing solutions for telemetry and remote SCADA applications. The TBox can be easily installed in SFC Energy’s EFOY ProCabinet. SCADA systems sold by Simark Controls have a competitive advantage due to their small footprint, on-board cell modem, ease of integration with communication systems (radio, satellite etc.), and are used for measuring (API 21.1), monitoring, alarming, data logging and controlling many of the processes involved in industrial solutions. They can be configured to comply with regulatory reporting needs such as environmental protection requirements or energy regulatory boards. SFC Energy Group’s SCADA systems can be used in combination with its own reliable off-grid power solutions, based on EFOY Pro direct methanol fuel cells. Thus, off-grid SCADA systems at remote wells or pipelines are safely and reliably supplied with interruptionfree power even in the harshest weather and environmental conditions. SFC/Simark recently launched the EFOY ProCabinet fuel cell power solution for demanding industrial applications in Arctic conditions, such as powering electrical equipment, instrumentation, and automation solutions used in wellhead production, processing, refining facilities, and pipelines [FCB, May 2014, p3].

SFC Energy AG, Brunnthal, Germany. Tel: +49 89 673 5920, or Simark Controls Ltd, Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Tel: +1 403 236 0580, Semaphore:

IN BRIEF Doosan acquires Korean PEM fuel cell maker, ClearEdge Power for phos-acid The South Korean conglomerate Doosan Corporation ( recently acquired two fuel cell companies in barely a week, as it moves to expand into the renewable energy market. First it announced that it is acquiring FuelCellPower (www.fuelcellpower., a leading Korean manufacturer of PEM fuel cells for residential use and smalland mid-sized buildings. Doosan subsequently agreed to buy US-based ClearEdge Power (, for $32.4 million in a US bankruptcy auction. Doosan will combine the two acquisitions into a new unit, Doosan Fuel Cell America. Doosan is reorganising its business divisions, and FuelCellPower CEO Meenam Shinn will join the newly established Doosan Corporation Fuel Cell Business Group. FuelCellPower reported $16.5 million in sales last year, and a $3.6 million operating profit. It enjoys an 80% share of the residential fuel cell market in Korea [FCB, October 2009, p11]. Doosan said in a regulatory filing that the ClearEdge Power acquisition is aimed at ‘establishing a US subsidiary to tap into new businesses and develop a new growth engine.’ ClearEdge Power, which reported revenues of $68 million last year, makes stationary phosphoric acid fuel cells that run on natural gas. It recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in California [FCB, May 2014, p8], and shut down its two facilities in Connecticut, which it took over when it acquired UTC Power in early 2013 from United Technologies [FCB, January 2013, p8]. Toyota to launch fuel cell car next spring Toyota Motor Corporation ( toyota-fcevs) has revealed the exterior design and Japanese pricing of its hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicle, first unveiled as a concept at the Tokyo Motor Show last autumn [FCB, December 2013, p2]. The car will launch in Japan before April 2015, and preparations are under way for launches in the US and European markets next summer [FCB, February 2014, p2]. In Japan, the fuel cell sedan (saloon) will go on sale at Toyota and Toyopet dealerships priced at ¥7 million (US$69 000) excluding sales tax. Greenlight’s 200th automotive test station Vancouver, BC-based Greenlight Innovation ( has supplied its 200th PEM fuel cell test station to an automotive OEM. This latest project is for the FCATS™ G900, capable of automated R&D testing on fuel cells rated up to 200 kW. Greenlight recently acquired Commonwealth Automation, a leading supplier of automated equipment for fuel cell manufacturing [FCB, April 2014, p11].

Fuel Cells Bulletin