NEWS now being shown at events, and also to potential industrial partners who could help to develop the system. ‘The grand challenge consisted in designing the overall system, comprising the fuel cell and all the components necessary for operation, in such a way that it fitted in a vehicle,’ explains Professor Detlef Stolten, head of the Institute for Energy Process Engineering (IWV-3) at Jülich. A key constraint was that the vehicle should not have any major external modifications. The project was a team effort by several working groups within IWV-3 and the Central Technology Division (ZAT). Instead of three conventional lead-acid batteries, as installed by the manufacturer, the vehicle is now powered by a hybrid drive comprising a fuel cell and a Li-ion battery. In normal operation, the fuel cell drives the vehicle’s electric motor, with the battery boosting power when starting or driving uphill. With a full tank the vehicle has about twice the range (120 km) of the standard vehicle. The fuel cell stack consists of 100 single cells, and has a power output of 1.3 kW. The membrane-electrode assemblies (MEAs) are now no longer by produced hand at IWV-3, but by a mechanical process. This allows the researchers to continue to improve fuel cell manufacturing techniques and fabricate high-quality components in a near-industrial, low-cost process. The researchers reduced the quantity of platinum in the fuel cell electrodes to less than half the previous state-of-the-art. They used a special graphite for the cell components instead of metallic materials, for a lighter and cheaper stack. Many functions – such as the methanol supply – have been integrated into the stack, saving space and benefiting the surrounding system components, such as eliminating no need to preheat or humidify the air. The volume of the complete system has been reduced by a factor of three or four to make it fit into the vehicle. Contact: Professor Detlef Stolten, Institute for Energy Process Engineering (IWV-3), Forschungszentrum Jülich, Jülich, Germany. Tel: +49 2461 613076, Email: [email protected]
FCE, Chevron Energy Solutions sell first DFC1500 in California
onnecticut-based FuelCell Energy has sold its first 1 MWe Direct FuelCell® power plant in California, to Alameda County for the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin. This is FCE’s first fuel cell project with its North American distribution partner, Chevron Energy Solutions. 4
Fuel Cells Bulletin
FCE will provide Alameda County with the power plant, and related operating and maintenance services. Chevron Energy Solutions will act as overall project manager and integrator, providing design, engineering, construction and installation services to Alameda County. The DFC1500 is expected to provide 90% of baseload power requirements for the Santa Rita Jail. ‘The addition of this 1 MWe fuel cell power plant to the jail’s existing 1.18 MWe solar power system gives the County the most environmentally sound distributed power system in the country,’ says Alameda County’s energy program manager, Matt Muniz. The system combines the baseload capabilities of the fuel cell plant with the daytime peaking characteristics of PV. Alameda County is receiving up to $1.4m in project funding from the California Public Utilities Commission’s Self Generation Incentive Program, and a $1m grant from the DOD’s 2003 Climate Change Fuel Cell Program.
cations, including Quantum Technologies’ fuel cell-powered military vehicle for the US Army’s TARDEC-National Automotive Center, an APU on board a Class 8 transport trailer at SunLine Services Group, a John Deere work vehicle, integration into a ‘low-signature’ generator set for Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems, a backup power system as part of a demonstration program led by Itochu Corporation in Japan, and two modules in a batteryhybrid bus at Hickam Air Force Base in Hawaii. Two customers are now taking delivery of the new HyPM 7 and HyPM 65 modules, for integration in a turf equipment application (The Toro Company) and an airport ground support vehicle at the DOD Fuel Cell Test & Evaluation Center, respectively [FCB, November].
Contact: FuelCell Energy Inc, Danbury, Connecticut, USA. Tel: +1 203 825 6000, www.fuelcellenergy.com
MTI Micro wins Marines, Army DMFC contracts
Or contact: Chevron Energy Solutions, San Francisco, California, USA. Tel: 1 800 982 6887 (tollfree in US), www.chevronenergy.com
Hydrogenics expands HyPM power module line
oronto-based Hydrogenics unveiled two additions to its HyPM product line at the recent Fuel Cell Seminar. The HyPM 7 (7 kWe) and HyPM 65 (65 kWe) units are both targeted at light mobility and backup power applications. So far the company has shipped 26 units of the HyPM 10 module it launched at last year’s Seminar, to a range of early-adopting markets, from light mobility to backup and auxiliary power. A new generation of the HyPM 10 is under development, for re-release in 2005 with an enhanced power rating of 13–14 kWe. ‘We have used the best verification tools to establish HyPM 10’s performance and durability,’ explains president/CEO, Pierre Rivard. ‘Our test power modules, subjected to rigorous duty cycles, have now exceeded 4500 h of operation with over 5600 stop-start cycles.’ The knowledge gained from this has been applied to the new HyPM products, which – together with cost reductions achieved over the last year – means that the company can engage new markets across a range of power requirements. The hydrogen-powered HyPM is easy to integrate into a wide variety of applications. In its first year of commercialization the HyPM 10 has been integrated into several appli-
Contact: Hydrogenics Corporation, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. Tel: +1 905 361 3660, www.hydrogenics.com
Y-based MTI MicroFuel Cells, which unveiled its Mobion™ cordless rechargeable portable power technology for handheld electronic devices in the summer [FCB, July], has won two contracts from the US military to demonstrate its energy density advantages and quantify the potential logistical advantages of its direct methanol micro fuel cells and fuel refill systems. The first award, administered by the Army Research, Development & Engineering Command (RDECOM) as part of its evaluation of new technologies for field-readiness, will total approximately $250 000 over the next 10 months. The program includes the delivery of five integrated hybrid DMFC systems to Special Operations Forces. The systems will provide continuous power to the Forces’ devices, and deliver more than twice the energy of the battery currently in use while fitting in the same form-factor. The other award is a six-month, Phase I Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contract of $70 000 from the Marine Corp System Command, to support MTI Micro’s efforts to analyze and report on current regulations and requirements necessary to field DMFCs and fuel refill systems. An optional three-month extension would raise the total value of the contract to $100 000 for the fuel cell subsidiary of Mechanical Technology Inc. Contact: MTI MicroFuel Cells Inc, Albany, New York, USA. Tel: +1 518 533 2222, www.mtimicrofuelcells.com