Air Products launches hydrogen cylinder for portable power market

Air Products launches hydrogen cylinder for portable power market

NEWS Meanwhile, the Korean capital Seoul recently announced plans to support the installation of 230 MW of stationary fuel cell power plants, as part ...

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NEWS Meanwhile, the Korean capital Seoul recently announced plans to support the installation of 230 MW of stationary fuel cell power plants, as part of its goal to replace the power generation of one nuclear power plant. The plans call for 29 fuel cell parks (totalling 190 MW) and 102 commercial building installations (totalling 40 MW) by 2014, with 50 MW installed in 2012, 82 MW in 2013, and 98 MW in 2014. The installations include a total of 70 MW at 11 locations to support the operation of the subway, 70 MW across 10 water treatment and pump facilities, and 50 MW at eight resource collection facilities. Building installations will include 10 MW at hospitals and data centres, and 30 MW at high-rise residential developments. FuelCell Energy sees the Seoul announcement as a key opportunity for its Direct FuelCell power plants in Korea. ‘The greater Seoul/Inchon metropolitan area in South Korea has one of the highest population densities in the world, so clean and efficient baseload power generation that can be delivered near the point-of-use is very important to government officials and electric utilities,’ says Ben Toby, VP for Eastern Region and International Sales at FuelCell Energy. FuelCell Energy Inc, Danbury, Connecticut, USA. Tel: +1 203 825 6000, POSCO Energy:


US Army tests DMFC systems to boost alternative fuel options


he US Army Operational Test Command (OTC) is running fuel cell test systems at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico, trying out alternative fuel options for clean, longterm power. Test systems at WSMR have already been operated using direct methanol fuel cells provided under an OTC programme. Currently OTC, which determines the suitability, survivability, and effectiveness of new technology under realistic operating conditions, is testing several types of fuel cell. The DMFCs were developed by German-based SFC Energy, redesigned in a more rugged form for Army field use and testing. OTC is researching other commercially available fuel cells in different configurations. SFC Energy recently delivered 50 of its FC 100 lightweight alternative power sources (LAPS) to the OTC at Fort Hood, Texas,


Fuel Cells Bulletin

for use in testing new equipment during the Network Integration Evaluations at White Sands [FCB, April 2012, p6]. The fuel cells can be used to power equipment such as communications relays, instrumentation, and data collection packages for test operations. The two primary designs are ruggedised for military use, with a power output of 250 W for the larger unit and 100 W for the smaller one. The larger unit runs at a selectable 12 or 24 V, like a vehicle power supply, while the smaller one runs at 28 V. ‘The fuel cells run for about a week between refills for the smaller ones,’ says Henry Merhoff, with OTC’s Test Technology Directorate. ‘If we use the large fuel cell it has a larger tank, so it runs about three weeks between refuelling.’ The use of removable cartridges keeps refuelling simple, and empty tanks can then be disposed of or recycled. ‘These units we have here are at Technology Readiness Level 9, which means they are production units that have been deployed and used in an operational environment,’ adds Merhoff. Currently OTC has about 90 production units that can be deployed in support of operational testing or other appropriate activities under the Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC). At this time the fuel cells’ use is limited to supporting testing and other similar functions. The Army does not yet classify methanol as a tactical fuel source, so it does not have the acquisition and logistical requirement to get the fuel to deployed units. At White Sands the fuel cells are already powering test operations in support of programmes like Patriot Missile testing. They are also being used as power supplies for communications and relay towers during the Network Integration Evaluations (NIE), a series of operational tests and evaluations designed to integrate and mature the Army’s tactical network. One of the applications that OTC is experimenting with is using fuel cells as a lightweight power pack for soldiers using the real-time tracking device vests and casualty assessment equipment that are also being tested during the NIE. US Army Operational Test Command: SFC Energy:

Air Products launches hydrogen cylinder for portable power market


ir Products has launched the SmartFuel Portable-Power Cylinder, designed specifically for applications in

the portable energy generation market. The new cylinder offers an innovative method of delivering small quantities of hydrogen easily and cost-effectively. The company has also called on the UK government to work with industry to create a market for hydrogen used in transport. The new cylinder will enable fuel cells to replace battery or diesel generators, by making it possible to easily transport and use hydrogen fuel. The company says that the cylinder will be ideal for anyone working in remote areas without grid access, or where a portable power supply is needed for lighting, signage, or tools. The cylinder will initially be available in selected EU geographies. The SmartFuel Portable-Power Cylinder features include a preset flow rate, which eliminates setup time, while the snap-on connection and hand-operated on/off valve avoid the need for spanners or bottle keys. Furthermore, it has been designed to ensure stability, and has a built-in regulator that controls pressure to 3.5 barg (50 psi). Last summer, UK-based BOC launched its 54ZH portable hydrogen fuel cylinder, which provides the energy source for its Hymera fuel cell generator [FCB, July 2011, p7]. Meanwhile, Air Products UK has submitted evidence to the House of Commons Transport Select Committee inquiry into low-carbon vehicles, calling on the government to work with industry to create a market for renewable hydrogen. The company says that current subsidies, like the plug-in grant, do not do enough to build up the essential infrastructure needed to support a low-carbon transport system. ‘There are numerous government schemes that subsidise electric vehicles, renewable electricity production, and other potentially low-carbon fuels like biofuels,’ explains Diana Raine, Air Products’ European business manager for hydrogen energy systems. ‘[Hydrogen cars] will be ready for consumers by 2015, yet the government is failing to support the production of renewable hydrogen, and the creation of a hydrogen transport infrastructure that will be essential if we expect members of the public to invest in a hydrogen car.’ Air Products called on the UK government to work with industry to create a market for hydrogen used in transport. The company says that, in the short to medium term, the government could do this by incentivising the use of hydrogen in transport within the Renewable Transport Fuels Obligation (which currently subsidises biofuels). In the longer term the government should support the production of renewable hydrogen – but should be talking to industry now about how this can be done.

June 2012

NEWS Air Products has 11 hydrogen fuelling stations in the UK, including providing the hydrogen and fuelling stations for London’s fuel cell buses, and is participating in the government-supported UKH2Mobility project [FCB, January 2012, p1]. Air Products, Hydrogen Energy: h2energy or

Lilliputian in strategic chargers partnership with Brookstone


assachusetts-based fuel cell developer Lilliputian Systems Inc (LSI) has signed a strategic partnership agreement with the US retail store chain Brookstone, to launch LSI’s initial product, a portable charger for powerhungry consumer electronics. Under the terms of the agreement, Brookstone will be the first retail launch partner for LSI’s portable charging system, which will be sold under the Brookstone® brand. Lilliputian and Brookstone will make a formal product announcement in the coming months. Brookstone will be responsible for marketing, promotion, distribution, and sale of the product through its various distribution channels such as catalogues,, and retail stores including airport and mall locations. Lilliputian will be responsible for product design, development, and manufacturing. ‘Today’s smartphones use much more power, increasing the need for a more efficient way to recharge when on the go,’ says Steven Schwartz, VP of merchandising and product development at Brookstone. ‘Lilliputian’s groundbreaking technology provides power, wherever and whenever you need it.’ The stand-alone, portable, lightweight, ‘plug-less charger’ product will charge and power the wide range of consumer electronics devices that subscribe to the USB standard, such as smartphones, mobile handsets, MP3 music/video players, digital cameras etc. It provides several weeks’ worth of power to the user from a single recyclable cartridge. The product has been approved for carry-on and use on regular commercial aircraft abroad by the UN International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and in the US by the Department of Transportation. Lilliputian’s small form-factor Silicon Power Cell™ technology – originally developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – is based on highly efficient solid oxide fuel cells and

June 2012

microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) wafer fabrication methods, and is fuelled by recyclable, high-energy-density butane cartridges. Last summer the company announced that it had raised $11.1 million of a planned $21 million financing [FCB, July 2011, p11], building on an investment the previous autumn by chip giant Intel, with whom it also signed a wafer manufacturing deal [FCB, December 2010, p11]. Lilliputian Systems Inc, Wilmington, Massachusetts, USA. Tel: +1 978 203 1700, Brookstone Inc:

Multiquip shows H2G EarthSmart hydrogen fuel cell generator


alifornia-based Multiquip unveiled a prototype of its MQ H2G EarthSmart™ hydrogen fuel cell powered generator (H2G) at the recent Cine Gear Expo 2012, a major trade show for the entertainment industry. The highly efficient H2G can be operated for more than 24 h at full load, and its very quiet operation makes it ideal for use in entertainment production. ‘Building on the technological momentum of the award-winning H2LT light tower, we are anticipating strong results for the H2G, which was designed to make a significant environmental contribution,’ says Torsten Erbel, the firm’s VP for product management, engineering, and customer support. As the industry’s first mobile hydrogen fuel cell-powered generator, the H2G is environmentally friendly, pollution-free, and does not produce particulate emissions. Multiquip says that the generator can be operated inside and for tunnel/underground applications, according to a report in The ultraefficient H2G can be operated for up to 26 h at full load, and is extremely quiet, with a noise level of just 44 dB at 23 ft (7 m). Multiquip, which manufactures and supplies construction equipment, power generators and lighting, unveiled the H2LT hydrogen fuel cell powered mobile lighting tower early last year [FCB, February 2011, p5]. The lighting tower utilises PEM fuel cell technology from California-based Altergy Systems. Multiquip: Altergy Systems:


H2 Logic hydrogen station extends network in Norway


he latest hydrogen refuelling station in Norway has just been officially opened in Lilleström, near the capital Oslo. The new facility is the fourth hydrogen station delivered in Scandinavia by Danish-based H2 Logic in the last 12 months. The H2 Logic hydrogen refuelling station in Lilleström is part of the Akershus Energypark, which will develop and test a wide range of hydrogen production and compression technologies. The company says that this station is the first in the world to be supplied by hydrogen produced from domestic waste. For H2 Logic this is the fourth A-70MPa (700 bar, 10 000 psi) hydrogen refuelling station it has delivered in only 12 months, joining stations in Denmark, Norway, and Finland. It also marks a significant step forward in its efforts to standardise and streamline the H2Station® product. The Lilleström hydrogen station is part of the Norwegian Hydrogen Project HyNor, itself a key participant in the Scandinavian Hydrogen Highway Partnership [see the feature on the SHHP in FCB, March 2011]. Hydrogen refuelling in Lilleström is performed in exactly the same way as at other newer hydrogen refuelling stations around the world. Several years ago car manufacturers and energy companies agreed on joint refuelling standards, such as SAE J2601. This helps to ensure that a fuel cell electric vehicle can be fuelled with enough hydrogen for a range comparable to a gasoline car in only three minutes, independent of the location. The hydrogen station is owned by HyNor Lillestrøm AS, which is a joint venture between the local energy company Akershus Energi, various local organisations, and Skedsmo municipality. The station is part of a larger development effort on hydrogen technologies in the Lilleström area, where various hydrogen production and compression technologies are to be tested, as well as hydrogen production from domestic waste. In addition to continuous development of the H2Station technology, efforts are also under way to secure a steadily increasing supply of additional stations to the growing infrastructure markets. H2 Logic expects to deliver the next hydrogen station for Copenhagen in early 2013.

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