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Ballard supplies bio-fuel cells to Caribbean telecoms

Thu, 06/06/2013 - 18:36 -- Ruth Williams

Ballard Power Systems has deployed more than 270 of its ElectraGen fuel cell backup power systems to 16 Caribbean and Latin American telecom networks. The systems use liquid methanol fuel – a readily available and abundant feedstock in the regions.

Telecom providers in the Caribbean and Latin America region rely on back up power systems because the electric grids are susceptible to power disruptions due to natural disasters and extreme weather conditions causing frequent grid outages.

Larry Stapleton, Ballard Vice President of Sales said, “We have been very pleased with the growing demand for fuel cell-based backup power products originating with telecom service providers in various parts of the globe. And, this milestone is another positive indicator of that demand, as customers recognise the reliability and other advantages of our products as compared to lead-acid batteries and diesel generators.”

Fuel cells systems are appropriate in this region because the range of temperatures and climates that can cause batteries to perform less well does not affect them. 

So far 138 Ballard methanol-fuelled systems have been deployed in the Caribbean; 114 systems deployed in Mexico as well as 20 systems deployed in Chile, Guatemala and Argentina. Further trials are underway in other countries.