Canada’s Ballard Power Systems is to deploy 13 fuel cell power systems to the Digicel Group network in Jamaica.
The ElectraGen-ME fuel cell backup power system is powered by methanol and is designed to provide extended runtime backup power. A fuel reformer converts a methanol-water liquid fuel mixture into hydrogen gas to power each fuel cell stack.
This is the second order the Vancouver-based company received from the Digicel Group, which will bring the total systems deployed at critical sites around the island of Jamaica to 25. 161 ElectraGen-ME systems are installed across the entire Caribbean region.
Most of the systems will be located at rooftop base station locations.
“There are inherent challenges with incumbent backup power technologies on rooftops. Our methanol-fuelled systems offer a practical solution to address those challenges and deliver meaningful value to telecom operators globally,” said Larry Stapleton, Ballard Power Systems vice president of sales.
Due to extreme weather conditions in the region, telecom networks are vulnerable to frequent grid outages, which have an impact on continuity of service to subscribers
Communications provider Digicel Group has over 14m customers across its 32 markets in the Caribbean, Central America and Asia Pacific regions.
Fuel cell-powered combined heat and power (CHP) units could be profitable for 90% of UK households, according to a report by Ecuity Consulting LLP.
The report, developed on behalf of UK fuel cell developers, highlights that the installation of more than 5.3m fuel cell CHP units by 2030, allowing power consumers to generate heat and electricity themselves, would reduce energy bills by 21%. The fuel cell powered homes would produce 5GW of flexible energy capacity, which is equal to 14 gas fired power stations, according to the report.
“By de-centralising power generation and producing it in your home instead of centralised power stations, our technology empowers the consumer to produce clean, affordable, efficient and controllable energy where it is needed in the home, at twice the efficiency of centralised power stations,” said Mark Bugler technical director, at IE-CHP.
Fuel cells can be run on natural gas as well as zero carbon alternatives such as biomethane and hydrogen. Therefore it reduces CO2 emissions, the report says. The study bases its assumptions on the installation of fuel cell units in other countries, such as Japan and Germany.
The report “Fuel cells the smart power revolution” can be found here: http://www.ecuity.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/FUEL-CELLS-THE-SMART-PO...
Ballard Power Systems and Anglo American Platinum (Amplats) are to test a fuel cell-powered microgrid prototype in a remote rural community in South Africa.
The companies will power 34 households in a 12-month trial with a generator system that is fueled by methanol and uses platinum group metals as catalysts. The fuel cell system is integrated into a prototype off-grid solution incorporating a battery bank and inverters that operate within the microgrid.
The system is designed to provide a total of 15kW of power and generate peak power of 70kW.
"This field trial will provide valuable insight into the market requirements of off-grid communities,” said Andrew Hinkly, executive head of marketing at Amplats. South Africa’s Department of Energy (DOE) has chosen the rural community of Naledi Trust as a suitable site for the trial as the area does not have any access to grid power and expanding the national network would be too expensive.
The next phase of the project will be the installment of 200 to 300 units in remote villages across the country, according to Godfrey Oliphant, South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources.
Ballard and Amplats are collaborating with power utility company Eskom and South Africa’s DOE to conduct the field test.
US-based NRG Energy has bought $35m of FuelCell Energy shares and extended a $40m loan.
The investment enables power-plant developer FuelCell to invest in project development, project finance and working capital support.
“These agreements strengthen the Company’s liquidity position and are expected to accelerate deployment of multi-megawatt fuel cell projects in the U.S.,” said Chip Bottone, FuelCell’s chief executive officer.
FuelCell CFO Michael Bishop said the company aims to finish power plant projects in order to sell the fully operational power plants to long term investors.
“We believe that clean distributed power generation from fuel cells will be one of the key technologies that drive our country toward a cleaner energy future,” said Mauricio Gutierrez, NRG’s Energy chief operating officer.
NRG Energy now owns 6% of FuelCell. “We want to actively participate in the construction of FuelCell Energy power plants,” Gutierrez added. NRG Energy and FuelCell are working together to build combined heat and power projects. The terms of the equity transaction include a warrant giving NRG Energy the right to purchase an additional 2m shares for $3.35 each.
The investment follows a €4.9m ($6.6m) funding to FuelCell and partner Fraunhofer Institute for stationary fuel cell research, given by German government in July.
British AFC Energy (AFC) has struck a deal with South Korean power plant owner Daniel to provide a 1MW alkaline fuel cell system for a stationary plant.
The deal has an expected worth of $3.75m and contains a follow-on option for a further 3MW project, which could make a total potential value of $15m. According to AFC, this is the largest single order AFC has received since the company launched in 2006.
The 1MW fuel cell system is set to be deployed in stages at Daniel’s site. The system will use a mixture of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and biomass gas as its primary energy source. The South Korean government’s clean energy incentive programme will support the project.
It is the second deal for AFC in South Korea within a week after signing a contract with Chang Shin Chemical for the supply of multiple fuel cell systems with a potential of 5MW.
“South Korea is one of the world's fastest growing fuel cell markets where US companies have traditionally made early inroads due to their long history," said Ian Williamson, chief executive at AFC and added: “This initial agreement represents a tremendous opportunity for AFC Energy and, together with our other commercial-scale projects, is expected to establish a strong foundation to build a truly world-class British fuel cell company focusing on industrial, chemical and utility sectors.”
State-owned electricity utility company Kepco estimates that the installed capacity for stationary fuel cell systems in South Korea will increase from 306MW 2014 to 780MW by next year and double again by 2020.
FuelCell Energy Solutions (FCEL) and partner Fraunhofer Institute have received €4.9m ($6.6m) in funding from the German government for stationary fuel cell research.
The three-year research and development project is aimed at enhancing FCEL’s fuel cell technology by increasing the power output of the fuel stack as well as extending operating life and lowering the costs. The research will take place at FCEL’s facility in Ottobrunn and Frauenhofer’s facility in Dresden, Germany.
The awards were given by German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.
"With the support of various government organizations, strategic partners and private industry, product, performance and system enhancements continue on our proprietary fuel cell technology and are now being performed on three continents. This validates the global interest in our power and hydrogen generation solutions that enhance the resiliency of power distribution in an ultra-clean and affordable manner, " said Chip Bottone, president and chief executive officer of FCEL.
FCLE’s fuel cell stationary power plants utilise carbonate fuel cell technology and provide continuous baseload power located where the power is used, including both on-site applications and electric grid support.
Hydrogenics Corporation has supplied a fuel cell unit to provide power to docked ships in the US Port of Honolulu.
The system will comprise four 30kW fuel cells, a hydrogen storage system and conversion equipment in a six-metre footprint. This is a pilot project starting in early 2015 to compare the fuel savings and emission levels to a diesel generator. The Hawaii Natural Energy Institute will procure the hydrogen.
Ports are a major source of both water and air pollution in the US but have not come under regulation scrutiny until recent years. The trial could be replicated at other US ports looking to adopt ‘greener’ sources of power.
Sandia National Laboratories, a partner in the pilot project, last year ran a viability comparison to measure the efficiency of diesel engines versus fuel cells. The study examined energy efficiencies at various power levels and compared the savings and reductions in emissions of using fuel cell-power over diesel-power for the port.
A consortium comprising Air Liquide, Daimler, Linde, OMV, Shell and Total have agreed a plan for the construction of a nationwide hydrogen refuelling network for fuel cell-powered vehicles in Germany.
Known as the ‘H2 Mobility’ initiative, the six firms aim to expand the current network of 15 filling stations in Germany to 400 by 2023 at a cost of €350m ($473m).
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