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fuel cell

German project injects electrically made hydrogen into gas network

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 12:01 -- Ruth Williams
The site is the first instance of hydrogen produced by electricity introduced to a gas distribution network

ITM Power has commissioned a rapid response electrolyser for Thüga Group’s power-to-gas demonstration plant within the Frankfurt am Main gas distribution network.

The demo plant, at the premises of Mainova AG in Schielestraße in Frankfurt am Main, has injected hydrogen generated via an electrolytic process into the distribution network for the first time.

The electrolyser converts energy from electrical to chemical, which facilitates the storage of electricity. The electrolyser feeds the gas to the distribution network at pressure of 3.5 bar, which negates the need for a compressor.

Following a successful system demonstration, trial operation ahead of schedule at the start of 2014.

UK, Korea sign fuel cell technology agreement

Fri, 12/06/2013 - 11:26 -- Ruth Williams
The Memorandum of Understanding signed at Imperial College London

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed by Imperial College London and the University of Science and Technology in Korea to develop fuel cell technology.

The MoU is intended to advance the involvement in hydrogen and fuel cell research between UK and Korea.

A Professor from each establishment signed the MoU at Imperial College London’s Energy Future Lab, which will be the focal point of the research and is the UK’s hub for hydrogen and fuel cell technology research.

Professor Nigel Brandon, director of the EFL said: “Korea is investing heavily in a range of energy technologies including fuel cells, reflecting the country’s relative lack of natural resources. As fuel cells are the most efficient form of electricity generation for a range of fuels, including natural gas and hydrogen, this is of significant interest for Korean industry to develop for both its home and international markets.”

AFC Energy ships fuel cell system to ICL

Mon, 02/25/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

AFC Energy has delivered a fuel cell electricity generating system to Industrial Chemicals Limited (ICL), a leading UK commodity chemicals producer.

The shipment is in advance of a 1 MW commercial-scale project to install the world’s largest alkaline fuel cell energy generation system at ICL’s chlor-alkali plant in Essex, UK. The project is being supported with a European Union grant of €6.1m ($8m), from this April.

The first delivery was for a skid-mounted (mobile) Beta fuel cell system which is expected to be installed and to commence supplying small quantities of power to the chemicals works from April 2013. It will use waste hydrogen, produced as a by-product at the chemicals works, as fuel to generate clean energy. 

The system will test and qualify the hydrogen supply and site infrastructure ahead of the installation of the larger system in stages later this year.  By harnessing the waste hydrogen, AFC Energy’s fuel cell system will eventually provide up to 1 MW at point of consumption, reducing reliance on grid-supplied electricity by up to 20%. 

As part of the project AFC Energy is to provide electrical power to ICL under its first ESCO (Energy Supply Company) arrangement whereby ICL will provide its hydrogen and purchase power under long-term contracts. AFC Energy will own, operate and maintain the fuel cell systems.

Battery University in Silicon Valley

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

San Jose State University will be offering courses specifically designed for students who want to work with battery technology.

The University is partnering with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and CalCharge to offer the professional programme of education at the University’s Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering, which feeds more graduate engineers into the Silicon Valley workforce than any other university.

California has over 40 battery-related companies working on energy storage solutions for electric vehicles, consumer electronics and the renewable energy storage sector.

The courses are offered in response to changing workplace demands in the high tech battery industry.

European Commission takes UK to court over VAT on energy-saving products

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

The European Commission is taking the UK to court over its reduced VAT rate on energy-saving products.

The UK charges 5% instead of the standard 20%. Under EU VAT rules, discounts are only allowed for social policy reasons, not environmental reasons.

In a statement, the European Commission said: "Member States themselves unanimously decided on the list of goods and services that could benefit from a reduced VAT rate, and they also insisted that this list be strictly applied, with no room for manoeuvre or interpretation. This is important to prevent competitive distortions in the Single Market and to ensure a fair and level playing field between all Member States."

The Commissions added economic studies showed reduced VAT rates "are often not the best way to achieve policy objectives" and direct subsidies could be more efficient.

Stationary fuel cell developer ACAL Energy appoints new CEO

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

UK hydrogen fuel cell developer ACAL Energy has appointed Greg McCray as CEO, the company said in a statement.

McCray was previously CEO of Antenova Limited, a wireless components company. While at Antenova, Greg transformed the organisation into the world's fastest-growing innovative antenna business, backed by global venture capitalists and major institutional funds.

ACAL Energy claims it has a “revolutionary approach” to hydrogen fuel cell technology buy using 80% less platinum on average. This results in a significant cost and footprint reduction.

After eight years of R&D investment, ACAL Energy is now ready to license its FlowCath fuel cell technology to major automotive manufacturers and companies in the stationary power industry, it said.

Samsung and Xtreme Power team up for smart grid project

Fri, 02/22/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

Samsung SDI and Xtreme Power are installing a 1MW/1MWh lithium-manganese oxide energy storage system for a demonstrative smart grid project in Texas. The system, to be installed at the Reese Technology Centre in Lubbock, is partly funded by the Department of Energy.

The project aims to promote utility scale energy storage with wind energy. The battery system will be utilised to regulate power generated from local wind turbines that suffer from intermittent loss of generation.

Samsung’s lithium-ion battery technology together with Xtreme Power’s Xtreme Active Control Technology (XACT), which gives millisecond response time, will enable the wind generated power to be fed into the national grid.

This is the first project Samsung SDI and Xtreme Power have worked on together to provide energy storage solutions for renewable integration and grid support. The companies have formed the alliance to reach renewable energy goals and promote a cleaner electric grid.

New CEO at ACAL Energy to raise funds

Thu, 02/21/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

UK-based ACAL Energy has appointed a new Chief Executive. Greg McCray will lead the hydrogen fuel cell company as it continues fundraising and trialing products in the automotive and stationary power industries.

ACAL is now ready to license its technology - a smaller, more durable fuel cell designed with 80% less platinum to keep costs low.

McCray said: “The clean power sector is on the crest of a new wave of technology innovation. Hydrogen fuel cells are an important part of that wave and commercialising hydrogen power will mean we break our reliance on fossil fuels. The future looks very exciting as auto-makers and power-hungry industries, such as manufacturing, explore hydrogen as an alternative fuel source.”

ACAL has spent eight years developing what it calls a revolutionary approach to fuel cell technology that is ready to progress from trial deployments to licensing to car manufacturers.

McCray joins ACAL from Antenova Ltd, a global wireless components company, which he transformed into a fast-growing antenna business backed by venture capitalists worldwide. This experience will be utilised to mass-market the ACAL fuel cell, via licensing agreements, into the automotive industry.

Enersys and Ioxus partnership to share expertise

Tue, 02/19/2013 - 17:36 -- Ruth Williams

Enersys and Ioxus have entered a joint agreement to develop and market new products incorporating the core experience of both companies. The benefits will combine Enersys’s knowledge of batteries with Ioxus’s expertise in the ultracapacitor market.

The partnership will focus on bringing to market products related to regenerative braking and energy recovery in the material handling market markets, UPS bridge to generator markets, automotive and heavy truck critical and cold start markets, as well as energy storage/power conditioning markets.

“The combination of Enersys battery technology with Ioxus ultracapacitor technology will benefit many vertical markets in need of high-performance, extended energy storage life under harsh environmental conditions, including select automotive markets,” said Mark McGough, CEO of Ioxus.

John Gagge, Vice President of Enersys America's Reserve Power Sales and Service, said Enersys is pleased to be working with Ioxus to bring better solutions to its customer base. The joining of ultracapacitors with Enersys’s product portfolio will expand the markets for both companies and Enersys hopes to bring benefits to users in both stand-alone and hybrid applications.

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