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Ballard

Ballard to install fuel cell backup power in Jamaica

Thu, 10/02/2014 - 16:45 -- Laura Varriale
Ballard ElectraGen-ME system

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.

Ballard and Amplats launch fuel cell-powered microgrid

Wed, 08/06/2014 - 15:50 -- Laura Varriale
Ballard and Amplat's off-grid solution

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.

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