NEWS Hydrogen will be used when the wind energy is insufficient to power the station, and may fuel an internal combustion engine generator. Any excess hydrogen produced will be stored. New Zealand’s International Antarctic Centre in Christchurch is also currently involved in a fuel cell demonstration program [FCB, December]. There, a 2 kWe PEM fuel cell system provided by US-based ReliOn has been installed to provide power for activities such as battery-charging and yard lighting during 2005. For more information on the Australian Antarctic Division, go to: www-new.aad.gov.au
Hydrogenics wins orders for backup power, aerospace applications
oronto-based Hydrogenics has secured a follow-on order for 25 of its HyPM® 10 kWe fuel cell power modules from a global backup power company. The company has also made its first sale of a hydrogen/oxygen PEM stack. The 25 HyPM power modules will be incorporated into backup power products for one of the world’s largest – but not identified – suppliers of uninterruptible power. Hydrogenics says this is its largest sale of hydrogen power modules to a singular OEM customer, and validates the HyPM 10 ‘as a reliable and cost-effective solution for mission critical backup power’. The company expected to deliver two units in 2004, and the remainder throughout 2005. In other news, the Nasa Glenn Research Center has purchased a lightweight 5 kWe hydrogen/oxygen PEM fuel cell stack from Hydrogenics to test for potential uses in space. The stack will be used in an experimental closed-cycle hydrogen/oxygen regenerative fuel cell of the type used for energy storage in places where oxygen is not easily available, such as at very high altitude, in space or underwater environments. Nasa will use this stack as part of its research program to understand how the regenerative fuel cell will operate in future aerospace applications. The hydrogen/oxygen PEM stack was designed to be very light, which is critical for aerospace and underwater applications, and the Nasa purchase has the potential to open up a new market for this lightweight hydrogen fuel cell technology. Contact: Hydrogenics Corporation, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. Tel: +1 905 361 3660, www.hydrogenics.com
Fuel Cells Bulletin
Spanish collaboration on fuel cell technology
n Spain, the Basque industrial conglomerate Mondragón Corporación Cooperativa (MCC), its Ikerlan technology research center, the battery manufacturer Cegasa and the Cidetec center for electrochemical technologies have signed an agreement to collaborate on the research and development of power systems using PEM fuel cells. The agreement is initially set for three years, with the potential for two-year extensions. MCC and Cegasa are particularly interested in fuel cells in the range from 10 We to 10 kWe; the development work will use the knowledge and experience of researchers at Ikerlan and Cidetec. Ikerlan has extensive know-how in product development, including the design, development and integration of fuel cell auxiliary systems (balance-of-plant), while Cidetec has significant expertise in the operation of PEM fuel cells, their characterization and the determination of control algorithms. Contact: Energy Unit, Ikerlan Technological Research Centre, Parque Tecnológico de Álava, Miñano Menor, Spain. Tel: +34 943 712400, www.ikerlan.es Or contact: Cidetec, Centro de Tecnologías Electroquímicas, Parque Tecnológico de Miramón, Donostia/San Sebastián, Spain. Tel: +34 943 309022, www.cidetec.es Or contact: Cegasa International, Vitoria, Spain. Tel: +34 945 129510, www.cegasa.es Or contact: Mondragón Corporación Cooperativa, Mondragón, Guipúzcoa, Spain. Tel: +34 943 779300, www.mcc.es
Honda leases latestgeneration FCVs to NY
he state of New York has leased two 2005 Honda FCX fuel cell vehicles from American Honda, making it the first state customer for Honda fuel cell technology, and also the first FCV customer in the northeastern US. The deal also makes New York the first customer to receive a Honda FCV powered by the company’s breakthrough Honda FC Stack [FCB, December 2003], which has the ability to start and operate in sub-freezing temperatures. This will make it possible to operate the car year-round in New York state.
The two hydrogen-powered FCVs are being leased for a period of two years. Delivery of the first vehicle was scheduled to take place in December, followed by the second vehicle in mid-2005. In addition to its subzero operation qualities, the 2005 FCX has increased range and performance and a 50% reduction in the number of component parts, made possible by the adoption of a new structure featuring stamped metal separators. The incorporation of new aromatic electrolyte membranes greatly improves durability, and allows for power generation at temperatures ranging from –20°C to 95°C. Contact: American Honda Motor Co Inc, Torrance, California, USA. Tel: +1 310 783 3170, www.honda.com
Osaka Gas, Kyocera to introduce Japan’s first SOFC residential cogen systems
n Japan, Osaka Gas and Kyocera Corporation have announced a major joint development project aimed at introducing 1 kWe class SOFC household cogeneration systems to the local market. The announcement follows the achievement of a power generation efficiency of 44% for Kyocera’s SOFC power generation systems, as determined by operational assessments conducted by Osaka Gas. The joint development project will start in fiscal 2005, and involves carrying out operational tests in actual households in order to improve efficiency further by the time commercial operations commence. The two companies will also be conducting durability and reliability testing, to enable rapid introduction of the systems to the market. They aim to be the first to introduce the 1 kWe class SOFC cogeneration systems for household applications in Japan. SOFC cogeneration systems feature impressive power generation efficiency as a component of their overall energy efficiency. They are therefore expected to have economic advantages for households that have a lower heat demand compared to their power demand. The systems are also likely to expand the household cogeneration market, since high-temperature exhaust heat can also be used. The 44% AC power generation efficiency achieved by Kyocera is four percentage points higher than the 40% primary energy efficiency of a large-scale thermal power station and power transmission lines.