IdaTech launches ElectraGen™ backup power system

IdaTech launches ElectraGen™ backup power system

NEWS The reformer will be able to generate 65 kg per day of hydrogen, enough to refuel some 20 FCVs. The reformer and refueling system is scheduled to...

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NEWS The reformer will be able to generate 65 kg per day of hydrogen, enough to refuel some 20 FCVs. The reformer and refueling system is scheduled to be delivered and installed by June. The refueler will be one of the first in Korea, and KOGAS-Tech will play a major role in demonstrating the potential of hydrogen technologies. Hydrogenics has ordered an H-3200 hydrogen purifier from fellow BC-based firm QuestAir Technologies. The unit will be integrated into the hydrogen generation and compression package to be installed at KOGAS-Tech. Contact: Hydrogenics Corporation, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. Tel: +1 905 361 3660, www.hydrogenics.com Or contact: QuestAir Technologies Inc, Burnaby, BC, Canada. Tel: +1 604 454 1134, www.questairinc.com Or contact: Korean Gas Technology, Seoul, South Korea. Tel: +82 2 2657 1200, www.kge.co.kr

BOC funds hydrogen fuel cell urban concept car

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n the UK, The BOC Foundation has awarded OSCar Automotive a grant to develop a powertrain for a two-seat urban vehicle powered by a hydrogen fuel cell. The grant will help fund the two-year Hyrban project, which aims to prove that practical hydrogen fuel cell urban vehicles can be readily engineered using existing fuel cell technology. The Hyrban concept car will have an electric motor in each wheel powered primarily by a fuel cell. The motors will become generators under braking and will charge ultracapacitors, which will provide most of the power for acceleration. This allows the vehicle to have the acceleration of a Smart Car, despite the fuel cell only having an output of around 6 kWe and the energy consumption of a moped. The car could cruise at around 50 mph (80 km/h). The project is being developed by OSCar Automotive in collaboration with Oxford and Cranfield universities. Oxford’s Department of Engineering Science is developing the electric motors, while Cranfield is developing computer simulations (used in design optimization) and the vehicle control/energy management strategy. Both universities are already working with BOC, OSCar, Morgan Motor Company and QinetiQ on the LIFECar fuel cell powered sports car project [FCB, August 2005].

Contact: The BOC Foundation, Windlesham, Surrey, UK. Tel: +44 1403 820021, www.boc.com/foundation Or contact: Hugo Spowers, OSCar Automotive Ltd, Leominster, Herefordshire, UK. Email: [email protected] compuserve.com

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Fuel Cells Bulletin

Millennium Cell wins US Army contract

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ew Jersey-based Millennium Cell has been awarded a Phase I SBIR Program contract by the US Army Tankautomotive and Armaments Command (TACOM), under which the company will assess the feasibility of operating its ‘hydrogen battery’ technology in conjunction with a 5 kWe PEM-based fuel cell using water containing various impurities. Preliminary tests conducted by Millennium Cell suggest salt water and other non-potable water may be adequate for use with the company’s Hydrogen on Demand® technology. The ability to ship dry sodium borohydride fuel which can be mixed with local water at the point of use would result in a significant reduction in weight to be handled by the military’s supply chain. The results of this work will help the military determine the best option for refueling and distributing hydrogen devices deployed in remote locations or extreme situations. Last fall the US Army joined the US Air Force in supporting the development of Protonex Technology’s P2 prototype 30 We portable soldier power system incorporating Millennium Cell’s fuel technology [FCB, December]. The companies showed the system at the Fuel Cell Seminar, and highlighted its weight and cost benefits over batteries for soldier power [FCB, January]. The P2 system weighs 5.5 kg, yet delivers the same amount of energy. The ability to carry dry fuel cartridges would reduce a soldier’s power source burden to less than 3 kg for a 72 h mission. Contact: Millennium Cell Inc, Eatontown, New Jersey, USA. Tel: +1 732 542 4000, www.millenniumcell.com Or contact: Protonex Technology Corporation, Southborough, Massachusetts, USA. Tel: +1 508 490 9960, www.protonex.com

Methanoic acid could be key in hydrogen economy

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group of researchers from five UK universities – Bath, Leeds, Oxford, Reading and Strathclyde – has won a grant from the Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council to investigate the feasibility that methanoic acid, the simplest carboxylic acid, could play a key role in a low-carbon economy. The broad concept involves the production of methanoic acid (HCOOH) by direct catalytic

combination of hydrogen and CO2. The methanoic acid would effectively be a way to chemically store hydrogen. It would then be used in fuel cells, with the CO2 released recaptured to produce more methanoic acid. In addition, the methanoic acid would be used as a feedstock to manufacture higher chemicals and polymers. According to a report in Chemistry World magazine, Professor Peter Hall of the University of Strathclyde has demonstrated a novel type of methanoic acid fuel cell, and believes that such fuel cells could overcome many of the difficulties of their hydrogen- or methanol-based counterparts. Other consortium members are working on new catalytic systems to make methanoic acid, and on using it as a chemical feedstock. The feasibility study is due for completion in the fall. Contact: Professor Peter Hall, Department of Chemical & Process Engineering, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK. Tel: +44 141 548 4084, Email: [email protected] strath.ac.uk, www.strath.ac.uk/chemeng

IdaTech launches ElectraGen™3 backup power system

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regon-based IdaTech has unveiled its latest backup power product, the ElectraGen™3 fuel cell system. The ElectraGen™3 is a hydrogen-based PEM fuel cell system that produces up to 3 kWe of reliable backup power. Like its bigger brother, the ElectraGen™5 launched last spring [FCB, May 2005], the new product is a CE-certified fuel cell system designed for critical backup power needs from 1.5 to 3 kWe. By offering improved system reliability and more predictable performance in a broad range of climates, the ElectraGen™3 system is seen as a cost-effective replacement to valve-regulated lead-acid (VRLA) batteries and other traditional electricity-generating methods in telecoms and uninterruptible power system (UPS) backup power applications. Contact: IdaTech LLC, Bend, Oregon, USA. Tel: +1 541 383 3390, www.idatech.com

Fuel cell-powered ice resurfacer on show

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he first hydrogen fuel cell-powered ice resurfacer – a machine that smooths the surface of ice skating and hockey rinks – has been unveiled by the University of North Dakota (UND)’s

February 2006