Canada’s Ballard Power Systems has shipped its 500th methanol fuel cell telecom backup power system since August 2012.
Ballard saw strongest demand in regions such as Southeast Asia and South Africa, where telecom networks are vulnerable to frequent grid outages, impacting continuity of service to subscribers.
Larry Stapleton, Ballard’s Vice President of Sales said lead acid batteries and diesel generators are not necessarily a practical or financially attractive means of providing backup power, whereas fuel cell systems can offer a reliable, economic alternative in addition to being a clean energy solution.
“This reality is putting a higher focus on the need for extended duration backup power solutions in telecom networks, which in turn is leading to a heightened interest in fuel cell systems, a proven solution for extended duration backup power.
“This heightened interest has translated into growing demand for fuel cell telecom backup power solutions, both gaseous hydrogen fuelled as well as liquid methanol fuelled.
In 2012 Ballard shipped approximately 400 ElectraGen backup power systems, comprised of 240 methanol fuelled and 160 hydrogen fuelled. An additional 260 methanol-fuelled systems were shipped in Q1 2013, said Stapleton.