December 2011

Transitions:
 * Loughborough, England-based Intelligent Energy has appointed James Batchelor as managing director of its Motive Division. He previously worked at Torotrak plc, a UK clean-technology and IP licensing business. Before that he held senior positions at Land Rover, BMW AG and Trafficmaster plc..............Longmont, CO-based UQM Technologies, Inc. maker of high-efficiency electric motors, has named Adrian Schaffer as vice president of sales and business development. Schaffer previously held high-level positions at Linamar Corp., a supplier to global vehicle and mobile equipment markets. ...
DoE News: Under Secretary Steve Koonin, DoE Hydrogen Skeptic, Leaves Department
WASHINGTON, DC – Steven Koonin, the Energy Department’s Undersecretary of Science and close long-time adviser and confidant to Secretary Steven Chu, has left the department - and hydrogen supporters are elated.Koonin’s departure Nov. 18 was announced in a Nov. 8 “Dear Colleagues” e-mail memo from Chu that said Koonin will be joining the Institute for Defense Analyses’ Science and Technology Policy Institute, an organization that supports the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy and the National Science Foundation.  ...
The Revolution is Coming: Toyota’s four-seater FCV-R (Fuel Cell Vehicle - Reality & Revolution), scheduled for launch around 2015. Fast Forward:
 * It’s Good to Gloat: Toyota is confirming what we reported last spring, namely, that the carmaker is working on a brand-new fuel cell sedan for 2015 (H&FCL May 11). Dribbling out information by the teaspoon, Toyota said in mid-November on its Tokyo website that a “practical sedan-type next-generation fuel-cell concept vehicle fueled by hydrogen” will be one of several concept cars unveiled at the 42nd Tokyo Motor Show Nov. 30-Dec. 11 - too late for this issue of H&FCL. No matter: Toyota says the four-seater FCV-R (Fuel Cell Vehicle - Reality & Revolution) ...
Leaders Are Optimistic About Industry’s Future at Fuel Cell Seminar
ORLANDO, FL - In spite of the sluggish economy and reductions in financial support by the federal government, a number of fuel cell industry leaders interviewed at the 2011 Fuel Cell Seminar here last month were surprisingly upbeat about the future.That optimism was there, notwithstanding  the fact that attendance was down: Some 830 participants showed up for the 35th edition of the seminar Oct. 31-Nov. 3 at the World Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort here, fewer than the 930 or so that took in last year’s event in San Antonio, TX.Also down was the number of exhibitors: 59 ...
Events:
            The next “HYPOTHESIS IX” (HYdrogen POwer THeoretical and Engineering Solutions International Symposium) will be held Dec. 12-15 at the Hotel Barcelo San Jose Palacio in San Jose, Costa Rica. Details: Marisela Bonilla, +506/ 2550 2216, mbonilla@itcr.ac.cr; www.hypothesis.ws.            The “2011 European Fuel Cell Technology & Applications Piero Lunghi Conference” is scheduled for Dec. 14-16 at the new Fontana di Trevi Conference Center in Rome, ...
DoE News: ARPA-E’s Arun Majumdar Visits with HTAC, Listens to Complaints, Worries
WASHINGTON, DC – The Energy Department’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technical Advisory Committee (HTAC) which is supposed to advise Secretary Steven Chu on these matters but has been largely sidelined got a bit of a boost last month when a senior DoE official joined the Nov. 3-4 meeting here.Dr. Arun Majumdar, the first director of DoE’s recently created Advanced Research Project Agency - Energy (ARPA-E) (H&FCL June 09) and senior adviser to Chu, was the only top management DoE official who had come to an HTAC meeting in the last three years, observed committee chairman ...
DoE News: Argonne Builds Experimental High-Efficiency Hydrogen I.C. Engine
Argonne, IL – Contrary to current perceptions of hydrogen in transportation, it doesn’t have to be always fuel cells, all the time - not yet, anyway.Case in point is an experimental one-cylinder research engine constructed at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) here that with direct injection and combustion of hydrogen has attained peak brake thermal efficiency of 45.5%. As described in the new fall issue of TransForum, a quarterly newsletter published by ANL’s Transportation Technology R&D Center, a team of engineers headed by Thomas Wallner is wrapping up this research ...
Briefly Noted:
 * Making the Case for Fuel Cells - New “Fuel Cells 2000” Report: Nearly three dozen companies have installed or deployed more than 250 fuel cell power systems and hundreds of fuel cell backup power systems, says a new report from the Washington, DC-based non-profit Fuel Cells 2000 organization, totalling more than 30 MW of installed power. The 72-page report, “The Business Case for Fuel Cells 2011: Energizing America’s Top Companies,” says in its Acknowledgements, “This list is by no means exhaustive – tens of thousands of fuel cells have been ...
Here we are: HyCologne chairman Albrecht Moellmann points to the latest addition, Ballard Power Systems, to the roster of companies in an office building in Huerth. Looking on in back (l. to r.) are Canada’s vice consul in Duesseldorf, the capital of North Rhine Westphalia, Henri Proulx and consul Leslie Reissner; Ballard sales vice president Larry Stapleton; Huerth’s mayor Walther Boecker; and Ballard’s European account director, Geoff Budd. Ballard Opens New Office in Germany to Serve European Customers
HUERTH, GERMANY – Heeding that ancient advice, “Go to Where the Market Is,” Ballard Power Systems,  Inc. opened a new office here last month to serve European customers. “We have existing customers in Germany – and throughout Europe – and we view Europe as a key future growth market for our technology and products, including such applications as buses, backup power and distributed generation systems” said Ballard’s vice president for sales, Larry Stapleton during the Nov. 21 festivities marking the official opening of the new digs.Ballard ...

November 2011

Transitions:
* UK fuel cell developer Intelligent Energy has appointed Joe Sullivan as its new chief operating officer. Most recently he was VP operations, sales and marketing at Microvision, a maker of display and imaging products for mobile applications in Redmond, WA. Before that he was with Apple Computer, Inc. for 15 years in various high-level executive roles, including vice president of operations directing the launch of the iMac computer..........Latham, NY-based fuel cell developer Plug Power, Inc. has added two new members to its board of directors. They are Evgeny Miroshnichenko and ...
Storage - Liquid Carriers: DoE, Washington State Startup Asemblon Investigate Organic H2 Carriers
 Washington DC -  Piggybacking hydrogen onto liquid organic carriers may not be the flavor du jour in American news and energy media but that doesn’t mean the subject is ignored here.The U.S. Energy Department’s hydrogen program underwrote 75% of a $4.1 million program to investigate integrated production, storage and delivery of hydrogen via reversible liquid carriers between 2005 and 2011, headed by Air Products and Chemicals and that included carmaker BMW’s Group Technology Corp., United Technologies Research Corp., and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory ...
Storage - Liquid Carriers: Arlt Q+A: Carbazole Interest is Indicative of Unhappiness with Post-Oil Energy Plans
ERLANGEN, GERMANY – “Electrical Gasoline,” “Miracle Material,” “Future Fuel” – these are some of the terms that have been bandied about in Germany to describe carbazole. But few really know what this stuff is all about. One who knows a lot is Prof. Wolfgang Arlt, chair for thermal systems technology at Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuernberg and founder and spokesman for  the Energy Campus Nuernberg  (EnCN). He launched the discussion of carbazole as a hydrogen carrier this summer and unintentionally triggered a landslide of ...
The gravimetric storage density of liquid organic hydrogen carriers overlaps with and can be better than that of liquid hydrogen, according to Prof. Arlt’s June 2011 E&ES paper. Storage - Liquid Carriers: Hydrogen-Storing Carbazole R&D Creates Excitement, Skepticism in Germany
ERLANGEN, GERMANY – Since roughly last June, reports about the new “miracle fuel” carbazole are making the rounds of German media, with some celebrating, to use a technical term, a “liquid organic hydrogen carrier” (LOHC) as “Fuel of the Future.”Some carmakers are less convinced, asserting that it doesn’t offer any great potential for transportation. There are in fact advantages as well as disadvantages, both pros and cons as a fuel for vehicles. What seems to be clear is that carbazole is not offering any miracle solutions - at least not today ...
The heart of Enertrag’s hydrogen hybrid plant: the big electrolyzer.                (Courtesy ENERTRAG/Tom Baerwald) World’s First Renewables Hydrogen Hybrid Power Plant Starts Production
 PRENZLAU, GERMANY – It took a little longer than anticipated, but the world’s first renewable energy hydrogen hybrid power plant that produces both electricity and car fuel began operations here last month. Representatives of the companies involved - plant designer and operator   ENERTRAG AG; the German subsidiary of French oil and gas provider TOTAL; energy company Vattenfall plus the energy arm of the Germany’s railroad Deutsche Bahn - were on hand to do the honors and flip the switches of the 5.5 MWh plant some 70 miles northeast of  the capital ...
Fast Forward:
 * A Franco-German-Japanese Fuel Cell Car? It looks as if one might be coming up: As part of its new six-year environmental plan, Nissan Motor Co. says its Nissan Green Program 2016 includes development of an all-new fuel cell electric vehicle with Renault-Nissan’s strategic partner, Daimler. No details so far, naturally, other than a couple of sentences in a Jan. 24 speech by Nissan president and chief executive Carlos Ghosn. Said Ghosn, “In addition to our electric vehicle technology, we expect FCEV to contribute to advancing Nissan’s leadership in zero ...
Events
                The “Fuel Cell Seminar and Exposition 2011” will be held Oct. 31-Nov. 3 at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando, FL. Details: Fuel Cell Seminar and Exposition Headquarters c/o South Carolina Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Alliance, Columbia, SC, 803/737-8031, fuelcellseminar@schydrogen.org; www.fuelcellseminar.com/                 The “18th Symposium on Utilization of Regenerative Energy Sources and ...
New Study Urges DoD to Pursue Fuel Cell Acquisitions, Use
  FORT BELVOIR, VA – The U.S. Department of Defense “should more proactively evaluate and acquire fuel cell systems” for distributed power generation, backup power and unmanned vehicle, says a  new report sponsored by the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA).  The 54-page report prepared by LMI, a-not-for-profit consultancy specializing in government management issues based in McLean, VA, recommends also that as a fourth application,“of particular interest for near-term routine acquisition of fuel cell systems, is non-tactical material handling ...
Briefly Noted:
   * Hydrogenics to Provide Energy Storage Systems  for 2 Wind Power Installations in Germany: The Mississauga, Ontario-based company got the nod for two German wind-to-hydrogen projects reported earlier (H&FCL Jan. 11) to meet regional and site-specific renewable energy needs. For the bigger of the two, Hydrogenics will deliver and install a 1 MW HySTAT(R) electrolyzer in an industrial-scale renewable energy storage project, the largest of its kind in Germany. The system will have the capacity to store up to 27 MWh of energy as hydrogen, which according to ...

October 2011

Transitions:
   * Hillsboro OR-based fuel cell developer CleanEdge Power has appointed former California State Treasurer Phil Angelides to its board of investors. Angelides, who served as treasurer from 1999 to 2007, is now president of Riverview Capital Investments, Sacramento, CA which focuses on renewable energy projects and sustainable urban development.........The American Solar Energy Society (ASES) has named Susan Greene as the organization’s new president. Most recently she was senior vice president at The Cable Center, where she expanded the center’s informational and ...
"Solar Today" Probes Solyndra Collapse, Relevant to Other Renewables
    BOULDER, CO - The website of “Solar Today,” the magazine published by the American Solar Energy Society, carries an analysis of the issues surrounding the collapse of solar pv panel manufacturer Solyndra, “Solyndra and the ‘Shakeout’ - The solar industry bankruptcies in context.” The article, due to appear in the magazine’s November/December issue, is instructive since it addresses political - both  national and international -  financial, business  and other issues that may well affect other renewable industry ...
Electric Energy Giant Siemens Launches Big Electrolyzers for Utility-Scale H2 Storage
ERLANGEN, GERMANY – Gearing up for a renewable energy economy with massive hydrogen storage, electric and electronic equipment manufacturer Siemens is readying a first large-scale electrolyzer demonstrator.Manfred Waidhas, the head of business development for the Siemens hydrogen electrolyzer division, said at a June workshop his group plans to deliver a 100 kW PEM container-sized demonstrator next year to German energy provider RWE as part of the CO2CRRECT project, largely funded by the German government that investigates massive storage of intermittent renewable electricity in form ...
Technical Issues, Lessons, Mark First Int’l Hydrogen Safety Conference in N. America
SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Hydrogen is a safe form of energy, but as the “International Conference on Hydrogen Safety” (ICHS) here Sept. 12-15 made abundantly clear, there still are many things to be learned.The three-day meeting attracted 185 high-level scientists and decision makers from politics and industry. It marked the first time that ICHS was held in North America - the fourth in a series held under the auspices of HySafe, an international association located in Brussels that had its origins in a research network of excellence funded by the European Commission as part of ...
Quantum Wins Daimler Contract for High-Capacity H2 Tank Systems
 IRVINE, CA – In a terse three-paragraph statement, Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide announced last month that Germany’s Daimler AG had awarded it a contract to develop advanced high capacity ultra-light 10,000 psi hydrogen storage systems.Quantum didn’t provide any other details such as duration of the contract, total cost or for which vehicle they are intended. It merely added that the tanks “are designed specifically for potential use in future Mercedes-Benz zero emission fuel cell vehicles,” and that Quantum will “apply its advanced ...
Fast Forward:
 * Hydrogen from Itaipu, World’s Largest Hydro Plant? That’s what may be in the cards. According to a   Sept. 9 story in “Cogeneration & On-Site Power Production,” Itaipu Binacional, the Brazilian-Paraguayian authority that operates the 14,000 MW hydroelectric facility, has signed an agreement with an Italian group, Liguria Technological District for Integrated Intelligent Systems (SIIT), to study the idea. An Itaipu delegation was scheduled to travel to SIIT offices in Genoa, and the two sides are expected to work together to determine the ...
New digs: a crowd gathers outside Humboldt State University’s new Schatz Energy Research Center building during dedication ceremonies. Humboldt State U.’s Schatz Energy Research Center Dedicates New Facility
ARCATA, CA – Two and a half years in the making and after nearly 20 years in old tired facilities, the Schatz Energy Research Center (SERC) here dedicated brand-new enviro-friendly digs last month.   SERC, part of Humboldt State University, is headed by activist Peter Lehman, known to many in the hydrogen community as, among other things, former vice chairman of the National Hydrogen Association before its recent merger with the U.S. Fuel Cell Council (H&FCL Nov. 10).     Founded in 1989, SERC scored notable Firsts in its almost-quarter century history, ...
H2 Behemoth: The 18-meter (59 feet) hybrid fuel cell Phileas articulated transit bus awaits its passengers, attendees of the f-cell symposium in Stuttgart  (Photo by Sven Geitmann). Optimism Reigns at “Best Ever” F-Cell Symposium, 18-Meter Phileas Bus is Star
STUTTGART – Things are looking up:  That seemed to be the generally optimistic consensus of the participants at the 11th edition of the f-cell symposium here Sept. 26-27. Considerably more visitors came than at last year’s tenth anniversary event, and some 800 industry executives, scientists, consultants and assorted others from 26 countries showed up for the two days of presentations, as did 46 exhibitors - a half dozen more than last year.“This was the best f-cell we ever had,” exulted Peter Sauber, head of the congress-organizing agency of that name here. ...
Events
            A one-day “Workshop on Fuel Cells and Hydrogen - Energy from Waste with Fuel Cells” will be held Oct. 5 in Brussels, Belgium. Details: FuelCellEurope, +32/22 11 34 11, secretariat@fuelcelleurope.org; www.fuelcelleurope.org.             The “European Future Energy Forum” will be held Oct. 4-6 at the Palexpo convention center in Geneva, Switzerland. Details: Jo Tyler, +44 1444 240 254, info@EuropeanFutureEnergyForum.com; ...
DoE News: H2, Fuel Cells Are Marginalized in DoE’s New Technology Review, Investigation is Urged
WASHINGTON, DC – Hydrogen and fuel cells are mentioned in the U.S. Energy Department’s debut Quadrennial Technology Review, but, say supporters, these technologies are essentially sidelined.The report doesn’t indicate any shift at DoE to actively pursue hydrogen infrastructure ahead of the planned 2015 rollout of fuel cell vehicles by carmakers, said well-known consultant, analyst and founder and former president of  H2Gen Innovations, Sandy Thomas, in a round-robin e-mail to colleagues.And Sig Gronich, who before his retirement ran the DoE Hydrogen and Fuel Cell ...
The Big Picture: Frankfurt Auto Show goers surround the new Mercedes-Benz F125! hybrid fuel cell concept car. Daimler Rolls Out Stunning F125! Fuel Cell Four-Seater Concept at Frankfurt Show
FRANKFURT – If anybody had any doubts about Daimler AG’s commitment to fuel cells for the open road, they were certain to be laid to rest with the company’s display at this fall’s automotive show season opener: The dazzling F125! gull-wing concept research vehicle rolled out by Daimler’s passenger car division Mercedes-Benz last month at the Frankfurt Auto Show was apparently the only fuel cell car at this annual industry showcase event which was dominated by all manner of electric vehicles - batteries, hybrids, plug-in hybrids, what have you.Taking an ...

September 2011

Air Products’ Ed Heydorn fuels a hydrogen fuel cell Hyundai SUV at the Orange County Sanitation District fueling station. A “Paradigm Shift”: First Tri-Generation Hydrogen Station Opens in California
 FOUNTAIN VALLEY, CA – It’s not yet officially open for business, but the first California hydrogen cars pulled up to the dispenser last month at the world’s first triple-play hydrogen fueling station, power plant and waste utilizer and converter - all rolled in one.  The tri-generation plant, designed and built by FuelCell Energy (H&FCL Aug. 07), has been installed by the National Fuel Cell Research Center (NFCRC) at the Orange County Sanitation District’s wastewater treatment facility in Fountain Valley, midway between Huntington Beach and Santa Ana. ...
Briefly Noted
  * “Will Germany Become First Nation with a Hydrogen Economy?” That question headlines a 1,400-word piece Aug. 25 in Scientific American that basically summarizes the plans by Daimler and Linde to start building commercial fuel cell cars in 2014 and to construct some 20 new hydrogen stations by 2015 (H&FCL July, Aug. 11). “German automaker Daimler and partners will build the world’s first nationwide hydrogen refueling infrastructure,” says the subhead. The story, written actually by ClimateWire, a Washington, DC-based news organization covering energy ...
Mercedes F-Cell Works as Airport “Follow Me” Car, Hybrid Bus Debuts in Hamburg
STUTTGART/HAMBURG – August is a slow news month, giving Mercedes a window of opportunity to make  some with a pair of fuel cell-related pronouncements:   The airport in Stuttgart, home base for the manufacturer, is  becoming something like “Hydrogen Central” in Germany: After opening a publicly accessible hydrogen fueling station on the airport’s grounds two years ago (H&FCL Sept. 09), the airport now has added a Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL to its fleet of tarmac vehicles. The fuel cell workhorse car, dressed up with a black-and-yellow taxi-style ...
“Foreign Affairs”: Clean Energy Crisis Presents Tough Foreign Policy Challenges
NEW YORK, NY – The United States, as well as the rest of the world, is likely to be faced with more difficult foreign policy challenges because of an impending crisis in clean energy, according to an article in “Foreign Affairs.”  The lead of the nine-page article in the July/August issue by David G. Victor and Kassia Yanosek sets the theme starkly by observing that “after years of staggering growth, the clean-energy industry is headed for a crisis. In most of the Western countries leading the industry, the public subsidies that have propelled it to 25 percent ...
Events:
                The “World Engineers’ Convention 2011 – Facing the Global Energy Challenge” will be held Sept. 4-9 in Geneva, Switzerland. Details: www.wec2011.org.                  Call for papers: The “2011 Cigre Canada Conference on Power Systems” will be held Sept. 6-8 at the Mariott Halifax Harbourfront Hotel, Halifax, Canada. Details: ...
Is DoE’s Chu Beginning to See H2/Fuel Cell Role in Transportation? Maybe
  COLUMBIA, SC – Is Energy Secretary Steven Chu beginning to see the light and embrace hydrogen and fuel cells for transportation?It sure begins to look that way:Chu, who came to South Carolina at the invitation of Rep. James E. Clyburn (D-SC) to take part in an Aug. 23 Outreach to Small Business Summit at Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College in Orangeburg, took time out for a separate one-hour afternoon meeting with members of the South Carolina Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Alliance here. Reports from participants as well as a story in a local newspaper indicate that he indeed may have ...
R&D - Catalysis (I): Canadian Scientists’ Iron-Based Catalyst Performs Comparably to Platinum
QUEBEC CITY – Fuel cells may be the future but platinum is expensive, and the search for lower-cost substitute catalyst materials is a key quest in laboratories around the world.With platinum costs soaring to $1840/troy ounce in  mid-August in the latest round of global financial uncertainty, a report about a Canadian alternative catalyst material that in practice approaches the performance of commercial platinum-based cathode catalysts in PEM fuel cells, is significant.Working at the Institut National de la Recherche Scientifique, Énergie, Matériaux et ...
R&D - Catalysis (II): PNNL Team Designs Enzyme-Derived Catalyst for Fast H2 Generation
RICHLAND, WA – In the race to design efficient, economical electrolysis and fuel cell systems generating hydrogen from water, platinum has been the catalyst of choice as long as anyone can remember.But the noble metal is expensive and apparently getting more so because of its rarity, with production controlled by a few countries and increasing demand from fuel cell developers and others. Moreover, it’s relatively slow compared to catalytic activity exhibited by many enzymes found in nature. But those also require more electrical energy than platinum to do catalytic work.No ...
Transitions
 * The UK’s ACAL Energy fuel cell developer (H&FCL March 11) has appointed Michael Baunton CBE as an independent non-executive director. With 40 years of experience in manufacturing, he is currently chairman of the board of Britain’s Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders Limited’s Industry Forum........The Richard G. Lugar Center for Renewable Energy at Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis has named Dr. Peter J. Schubert as its new director. Schubert has more than 25 years of industry experience and energy-related research, including work ...

August 2011

Transitions:
 * Keith Wipke, a group manager and senior engineer at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has been elected to the board of directors of the Washington, DC-based Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA)......Frank Wolak, vice president of government business and policy initiatives at FuelCell Energy, Inc., Danbury, CT, has been appointed to the board of directors of the Fuel Cell Seminar & Exposition, Columbia, SC.......Sun Catalytix Corp., the Cambridge, MA-based company that is developing an artificial leaf device to make hydrogen from sunlight (H&FCL, ...
Ruth Cox Leaves FCHEA, Becomes California Region 9 GSA Administrator
WASHINGTON, DC – Ruth Cox, the president and executive director of the recently created Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA) here, is leaving the organization to become administrator of the General Services Administration’s Region 9 based in California.Cox is taking over the 1,100 employee organization from acting administrator Jeff Neely August 1, and she will be sworn inAugust 4, she told H&FCL in late July. The agency is based in San Francisco, covering a vast territory from Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada and the Pacific Islands Pacific Rim to ...
Pike Research Forecasts 5,200-Plus Hydrogen Stations Worldwide by 2020
BOULDER, CO - Assuming key hydrogen markets and users such as fuel cell-powered light duty vehicles take off, more than 5,200 hydrogen fueling stations could be up and running worldwide nine years from now.  That’s the estimate by Pike Research senior research analyst Lisa Jerram in a new 81-page Pike report released last month, “Hydrogen Infrastructure.” Jerram said the current total is slightly more than 200 stations at the end of last year, with about half of them in North America, around 30% in Western Europe, about 22% in the Asia Pacific region and a ...
Linde’s Reitzle: Thousands of Fuel Cell Cars in a Few Years, Big Oil Will Sell Hydrogen
STUTTGART – Germany’s big industrial gas company Linde plans to build more hydrogen stations, expects thousands of fuel cell cars will be running in a few years, and that big oil will eventually move into hydrogen fuel big time.In a question-&-answer interview in the July 28 issue of the leading German automotive magazine, auto motor und sport, Linde CEO Wolfgang Reitzle made these and other points. Translated excerpts:Hydrogen’s significance for Linde:It has been a key part of our business for decades, most of all for the desulfurization of (carbonaceous) fuels. As an ...
Los Angeles Port Haulers Starts Testing Big Fuel Cell Hybrid Drayage Truck
 EL SEGUNDO, CA – Hydrogen fuel cell technology got a big boost last month with the announcement by Vision Industries Corp. here that it has received a letter of intent to buy 100 copies of its heavy-duty hybrid fuel cell drayage “Tyrano” trucks.Completion of the order totalling about $27 million from nearby logistics provider and trucking company Total Transportation Services, Inc., (TTSI), Rancho Dominguez, CA is dependent on the successful trial in commercial revenue service of the first truck that was delivered to TTSI near the end of last month, Vision said in its ...
House Passes Energy & Water Bill, Slashes DoE EERE Funding Requests
WASHINGT0N, DC – A few million more or a few million less in the Energy Department’s hydrogen and fuel cell budget: It’s peanuts, relatively speaking, and it may even be irrelevant in the context of Washington’s political cosmos.With the verbal guerilla warfare in Congress last month over debt ceilings and trillions of dollars and prospects of national default at fever pitch - somebody said the term “Banana Republic” comes to mind listening to Washington’s apocalyptic ruckus - the fact that the Republican-dominated House of Representatives passed a ...
Lighting Up the Sky: H2 Fuel Cells Power Mobile Lighting System for Atlantis Launch
CAPE KENNEDY, FL - As hydrogen-fueled rocket engines pushed the Space Shuttle Atlantis aloft on its program-ending  launch July 8 here, hydrogen also fueled a portable fuel cell lighting system deployed to the site for the occasion.Although the launch itself around 11:30 a.m. didn’t require any additional illumination, the system, developed by Sandia National Laboratories together with eight companies, provided light in the press area and was used to recharge camera battery packs for photographers. The heart of the system is a 5 kW PEM fuel cell built by Altergy Systems, Folsom, ...
Events:
The "ASME 2011 Energy Sustainability Conference & Fuel Cell Conference" will be held Aug. 7-10 at the Grand Hyatt Washington Hotel in Washington, DC. Details: http://www.asmeconferences.org/ESFuelCell2011/ExhibitorInfo.cfm; Kristi Bifulco, Kbifulco@McNabbMarketing.com.The Council for Hydrogen Energy Implementation (formally Mountain States Hydrogen Business Council) is holding its "7th Annual Hydrogen Implementation Conference" Aug. 23-25 at the Visitor Center of NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. Details: www.mountainstateshydrogen.com.A "WORKerence" ...
Fuel Cell Front Wheel Drive Tested on Twin Engine Airbus Passenger Jet
HAMBURG – No Noise - and No Jet Fuel Pollution:A test engineer inspects the fuel cell-powered nose wheel of a research Airbus A320 during the first successful tests on the apron of this port city’s Finkenwerder airport.  He and other research engineers from the German Aerospace Research Center DLR, Airbus and Lufthansa airlines conducted first taxi runs with this experimental fuel cell application at the end of June. The idea is to drive the plane, in this case a 47-ton twin jet, with the jet engines off virtually noiselessly from the terminal gate to the start position at ...
DoE News: Hydrogen is Key to Growing, Shaping Graphene, Oak Ridge Scientists Find
OAK RIDGE, TN – Contrary to what had been previously believed, hydrogen plays a crucial role in growing graphene, the two-dimensional one-atom-thick form of carbon.Graphene, which Wikipedia says can be visualized as atomic-scale chicken wire made up of carbon atoms and their bonds, is expected to be a key ingredient in designing a host of future electronic applications, including transistors, integrated circuits, electrochemical devices, transparent conducting electrodes, solar cells, ultracapacitors and others.Now, a team of scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory has shown that ...
Briefly Noted:
 * Ballard Announces Big Order from Plug Power: In what looks like one of the biggest orders to date, Ballard Power Systems announced a purchase commitment from Plug Power for a minimum of 3,250 fuel cell stacks over the next year and a half for installation in materials handling equipment. Vancover, BC-based Ballard didn’t provide a dollar number for the order, but said it expects that “the scale and cadence of associated product shipments” will contribute to increased manufacturing efficiency and reduced fuel cell stack costs, with power levels of its FCvelocity-9SSL ...
Breakthrough? Obama Wants Incentives for Automobile Fuel Cells, Other Electrics
   WASHINGTON, DC – A breakthrough in White House views on transportation fuel cells?  Little noticed in media reports of President Obama’s announcement late last month of big increases - 54.5 mpg - in fuel efficiency standards was the call for a new focus on fuel cells and other electric transportation technologies.  The July 29 White House release said, near the end of the document, the administration is looking for “game changing” performance improvements, including - at the top of the list - “Incentives for electric vehicles, plug in ...
Carmaker BMW Plans to Produce Hydrogen from Landfill Gas to Run Plant Vehicles
SPARTANBURG, SC – German Carmaker BMW is embarking on a multi-stage project at its SUV plant here to convert landfill gas to hydrogen to power current and future fuel cell material handling equipment.If all of three major milestones are successfully passed, as many as 300 plant vehicles could eventually be running on bio-hydrogen, making it the biggest, or one of the biggest, operations of this type anywhere in the world.   At present, about 100 hydrogen-powered fuel cell forklifts, tuggers and stackers are operating in a new 1.2 million sq. ft. assembly facility built to produce ...

July 2011

Mercedes Fuel Cell World Tour, Down Under: Led by a video boom-equipped van, four Mercedes B –Class F-Cell cars – three plus one back-up spare – are travelling through western Australia, followed by long line of fueling and repair vehicles, other support cars and trucks. Mercedes: Fuel Cell Cars Finish World Tour, Announces H2 Stations, ’14 Series Launch
STUTTGART – After more than 70 days of driving on American highways, dusty Asian potholed roads and ten-lane Moscow urban freeways, the Mercedes-Benz fuel cell troika arrived home here last month after its historic trip around the world.  The three light metallic-green Mercedes B-Class F-CELL electrics and their convoy of support vehicles – refuelers, staff SUVs, a boom-equipped video van – arrived at the Daimler corporation headquarters here June 1 from where it had started January 29 with a send-off  by German chancellor Angela Merkel (H&FCL Feb., April, ...
Transitions:
 * Charles McMillan has been named as the new director of Los Alamos National Laboratory. McMillan, the laboratory’s principal associate director of its weapons program, will succeed Michael Anastasio who announced his plans to retire in January.......Danbury, CT-based fuel cell developer FuelCell Energy, Inc. has promoted Michael Bishop to senior vice president, chief financial officer treasurer and corporate secretary. Bishop, who has been with the company for eight years, most recently was vice president, controller. He replaces Joseph Mahler, who held the same posts since ...
Fuel Cells 2000 Releases New States Report, Their Role Keeping U.S. in Global Race
WASHINGTON, DC – More than 50 MW of stationary fuel cells were either installed or purchased, and 1,500 fuel cell forklifts were deployed or ordered in the United States during the last year since April 2010, says a new report by Fuel Cells 2000, “State of the States: Fuel Cells in America 2011.”The 106-page document, a sequel to last year’s report, said that the top five states who were 2010 leaders in moving the industry forward - California, Connecticut, New York, Ohio and South Carolina - retained their position. But another five – Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, ...
Opinion: Penny Wise, Pound Foolish Policy
By Sig GronichEditor’s Note:  This is another in a series of occasional columns intended as a forum for readers. Contributions are welcome. The editor reserves the right to reject suggestions and edit material to fit our format without, of course, changing the author’s basic views.  Electric platform vehicles are critically important to the nation since they can impact national security and balance of payment deficit issues as well as global climate change. There are two primary electric platform options: battery electric, including plug-in options (PHEV), and ...
Christian Mohrdieck Interview: Daimler’s Fuel Cell Chief: New Stations to Coincide with FC Car Commercial Launch
 STUTTGART – It’s time to stop talking and start doing, says Dr. Christian Mohrdieck, Daimler AG’s director for fuel cell & battery drive development. He foresees the not-too-distant day when fuel cell cars can drive from the Ruhr in the west of Germany to Berlin or from Munich to Hamburg, and he sees examples of this forward trend in various parts of the world.Here are edited and translated excerpts from a 45-minute June 16 H&FCL phone interview with Mohrdieck:Q: Have you picked any specific locations where you and Linde will build these new fueling stations? ...
The experimental GreenTG fuel cell race car that will compete in next year’s 24 Hours Le Mans race. 
Experimental French Fuel Cell Racer GreenGT LMP H2 to Compete in 2012 Le Mans Race
Le Mans, France - Fuel cells invade big-time European road racing:A small three-year old Swiss company, GreenGT, has  been officially invited to compete in the fabled 24 Hours race at Le Mans with its fuel cell-powered  LMP H2 as an experimental car in next year’s race in mid-June. GreenGT said in a June 9 release the Automobile Club de l’Ouest (ACO), the storied organizer of the race and the largest automotive group in France, announced the invitation at a press conference that day.The car will be based on a so-called Le Mans Prototype chassis. The initial development ...
Events:
                 The “24th International Conference on Efficiency, Cost, Optimization, Simulation and Environ-mental Impact of Energy Systems” (ECOS2011) will be held July 4-7 in Novi Sad, Serbia. Details: ECOS Office, office@ecos2011.com; www.ecos2011.com/.                 A “Storage Week 2011” conference will be held July 11-14 at the Rancho Bernardo Inn in San Diego, CA. Details: 818/888-4444, ...
A sketch of the EADS hypersonic transport plane concept. Aerospace Giant EADS Announces Study, Plans for LH2-Fueled Hypersonic Plane
    PARIS – As a spectacular example of launching advanced energy technologies, EADS, the parent of airplane manufacturer Airbus, is working on an environmentally benign hydrogen-fueled hypersonic transport plane that would cover the Tokyo-Los Angeles route in two and a half hours. EADS sprang the announcement of a concept study, apparently the first evidence of interest in hydrogen as commercial aviation fuel by a major planemaker in more than a decade, at a press conference on the second day of the annual Le Bourget Air Show here.The feasibility and systems study will ...
Briefly Noted:
  * More Fuel Cells for Buildings in New York City, including City Hall - But Whose?:  * Biggest Stationary Fuel Cell Plant Order Yet:* Massachussetts Maker of Solar Hydrogen Generators Starts Limited Production: Maynard-based Nanoptek Corp., announced last month at the Clean Technology Conference and Expo in Boston it is starting to take pre-orders for its SHG300 Hybrid Solar Hydrogen Generator. The device is a flat panel that looks pretty much like a conventional PV panel, unlike the initial machine it showed three years ago which incorporated a tracking concentrating ...
NY Lawmaker Brings FC Cars to Albany, Tries to Launch Hydrogen Technologies
ALBANY, NY – A New York state lawmaker is trying to once more jump start hydrogen energy and fuel cell development together with a consortium of energy producers, business leaders and automakers.Assemblyman Joseph D. Morelle (D-Irondequit) brought some consortium members to the state capitol here in early June to let them and lawmakers drive four fuel cell cars around the capitol, brought for the occasion by General Motors, Toyota, Hyundai and Mercedes-Benz, to give them a feel for and understanding of what these cars are all about.“At a moment when Americans are paying ...

June 2011

Transitions:
The Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association’s board of directors (CHFCA) has named Eric Denhoff as its new president and chief operating officer. Denhoff, who has served as chief treaty negotiator for Canada’s government, as chief treaty negotiator for BC Hydro, as chairman and acting CEO of BC Transit and other senior assignments, succeeds John Tak, who has led CHFCA for the last six years. Denhoff will assume his new duties July 4................ Boston-based Ze-gen, Inc., an advanced gasification technology developer, has promoted David Robertson to chief operating officer ...
Fast Forward:
* It’s still iffy, but it now looks as if the fuel cell-powered Antares motorglider will try to fly across the Atlantic next year: There was earlier speculation that the plane would make the attempt this year, but that’s not in the cards any more (H&FCL Sept. 10). Project chief Josef Kallo of the German aerospace agency DLR told H&FCL that no firm decision has been made, and a 2012 date still remains a vision. If the flight is in fact attempted, it would be multi-stage project with touch downs, refueling and photo ops along the way from the United States to Europe - not a ...
Shell/Toyota station opens: With people milling around, a Toyota fuel cell SUV is backed against a fuel dispenser during the opening festivities of the new hydrogen station next to Toyota headquarters in Torrance, CA.
Hydrogen Stations: Toyota Opens 1st Pipeline-Fed H2 Station; Proton to Build Big Army Station in Hawaii
TORRANCE, CA/WALLINGFORD, CT – In an example of cooperation among a carmaker, a fuel provider and government, Toyota celebrated the opening of the first hydrogen fueling station in the United States fed by pipeline. And Proton Onsite, formerly known as Proton Energy Systems, reported it has won a $1.7 million contract to design and build a big hydrogen fueling station for a U.S. Army base on Oahu, based on its PEM electrolyzer technology.Toyota’s new station is located on land owned by Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc. here right next to the company headquarters. Toyota leased ...
A letter to President Obama A Letter to President Obama:
            May 23, 2011 President Barack ObamaThe White House 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC 20500 Dear Mr. President: As an admirer of your political views and supporter of most of your policies, I am nevertheless compelled to regis­ter my misgivings about Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s disregard of and disdain for hydrogen and fuel cell energy technologies to help bring about your goals of a cleaner environment. I am not going to list specifics or cite technical studies – others are much ...
3 Mercedes FC Cars Finish Globe Tour
STUTTGART – The Mercedes B-Class F-Cell fuel cell car trio which set out from here in January on its “World Drive” (H&FCL Feb., April, May 11) has completed its global circumnavigation. At the time of writing, May 30, the three cars had covered 30,781 km (19,238 miles), reaching Hamburg after crossing China, Russia, Kazakhastan and Scandinavia in its most recent stages. They were due to arrive here June 1, to be greeted by Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche with Welcome Back festivities. H&FCL plans a wrapup story for the July issue.
Harvard Researcher Designs Low-Temp Macro-Scale Solid Oxide Fuel Cell
  CAMBRIDGE, MA – Commercialization of small solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) may have come a step closer with the development of a version that operates at about one-half to two-thirds the temperatures of those available today.  Drawing on the research by Prof. Shriram Ramanathan, a materials researcher at Harvard University’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), a Boston-based startup company, SiEnergy Systems, has demonstrated a stable thin-film device that operates at around 500 deg. C with good power density.Until now, SOFCs have been limited in their ...
Events
                The “8th H2Expo” will be held June 8-9 at the Hamburg Messe und Congress Center in Hamburg, Germany. Details: www.h2expo.com.                A “Distributed Solar East 2011”conference is scheduled for June 8-10 at the Hilton Newark Penn Station Hotel in Newark, NJ. Details: 818/888-4444; ...
Electric Co-Existence: Germany Launches Mobility Plan; Bright Fuel Cell Prospects; Citizens Endorse H2
Berlin - Electric Co-Existence between hydrogen fuel cell and battery technologies is the operating principle here as Germany begins to move to electric transportation and large-scale renewable energy (H&FCL Oct. 10).Latest case in point is the welcoming reaction by carmaker Opel, General Motors’ German subsidiary, to the government’s May 16 “Interim Report of the National Platform for Electric Mobility,” (NPE) essentially a 64-page blueprint compiled by experts from academia and industry at the government’s request on how to proceed with phasing in battery ...
A sketch of Prof. Weimer’s solar thermal hydrogen plant concept includes 223-meter towers and heliostat fields that deliver 209 MWth to each solar reactor for a total of 2,332 GWhr/year – a net concentration of 3,868 suns with an annual sun-to-receiver conversion efficiency of 40.2%. The emission-free plant would produce 100,000 kg of hydrogen per day plus 2.1 million gallons of potable water. DoE News: Big Turnout for DoE Joint Review Meeting, Tilt to Vehicle Technologies vs. H2/Fuel Cells
ARLINGTON, VA – Going by the bare numbers, this year’s DoE Merit Review Meeting once more showed a  pronounced tilt to the Vehicle Technologies side at the expense of the Hydrogen and Fuel Cells part. Some 1,700 people had registered for the May 9-13 sessions with the improbably long official title of “2011 Hydrogen and Fuel Cells and Vehicle Technologies Programs Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluation Meeting,” but the final count was probably more around 1,600, about the same as last year (H&FCL July, Aug. 10). As in previous years, sessions were spread ...
The world’s longest fuel cell bus, an 18-meter articulated hydrogen hybrid “Phileas” built by Dutch manufacturer APTS together with German component suppliers. Briefly Noted:
* World’s Longest Fuel Cell Buses Start Operating in Cologne Metro Area: The world’s longest hydrogen hybrid fuel cell buses, two articulated “Phileas” behemoths built by Dutch manufacturer Advanced Public Transporta-tion Systems (APTS), Helmond, in a trans-border project with German and Canadian component suppliers, started carrying fare-paying passengers last month. They are operated by the Cologne-based regional transit company RVK in the Rhein-Erft district and also serve the nearby small towns of Huerth and Bruehl. Two more will be deployed in Amsterdam ...

May 2011

Transitions:
 * The California Hydrogen Business Council (CHBC) has elected three new members to its board of directors. They are Tyson Eckerle, associate director of Energy Independence Now; Ruth Cox, president and executive director of the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA); and Robert Bienenfeld, senior manager of energy and environment strategy, American Honda Motor Corp........Mississauga, Ontario-based Hydrogenics Corp. has appointed Filip Smeets as the company’s Belgian OnSite Generation business in Oevel. Smeets, previously a general manager with Cabot Corp., Boston, MA, ...
A Herd of Hybrids: Three plug-in Priuses, foreground, await test drivers in the resort’s parking lot during Toyota’s Sustainable Mobility Seminar in La Jolla. Lined up in the background are battery electric RAV4s and, in the far distance, right, a fuel cell FCH-adv SUV.  Heard on Toyota Sustainability Seminar Sidelines: A Fuel Cell Sedan for 2015?
 LA JOLLA, CA – It wasn’t on the agenda, and a couple of Toyota staffers stiffened slightly when the subject came up, but it appears the company is working on a fuel cell sedan for 2015.Nobody at Toyota’s Sustainable Mobility Seminar here last month would say whether this mystery sedan, successor perhaps and complement to Toyota’s Highlander-based FCH-adv SUV, was in the works. But one staffer allowed he was “surprised” that Takeshi Uchiyamada, Toyota’s executive vice president for research and product development, had said as much to a reporter ...
Mercedes Fuel Cell Caravan Starts World Tour Last Homebound Leg through Asia
SHANGHAI – The last – and longest – leg of the three-car Mercedes B-Class F-Cell world tour got underway here April 22, and as far as anyone could tell, none of the cars were any worse for wear.The three light-green fuel cell cars and their support convoy arrived here in mid-April on a big cargo 747 freighter from Perth, Australia, the same type that had flown them earlier from the western edge of Europe to Miami and again from Vancouver to Australia (H&FCL Feb., April, 11).Here, the cars were briefly on display at the Shanghai auto show after which they set off on ...
Stacked: ITM Power�s stack featuring proprietary membrane materials on display at the Hannover Hydrogen + Fuel Cell Group Exhibit. (Photo by Sven Geitmann) Electrolyzers are Focus of Hannover Joint H2+Fuel Cell Exhibit, Fuel Cells Still in Wings
HANNOVER – Confidence and impatience: these were the main characteristics of the atmosphere at the five-day 17th Group Exhibit Hydrogen + Fuel Cells at the sprawling Hannover Fair here last month.Some 120 exhibitors from 20 countries showed up for the April 4-8 event, fewer than last year when 141 companies, government organizations and research groups rented space in the cavernous exhibit halls. The difference was due to the fact that a joint booth by a Hamburg-based 20-member group, hySolutions, was absent this year because the company decided to exhibit only at its home base H2Expo ...
Are You Ready for This? H2 Hotel - That's the Name! - Opens in German Capital
BERLIN – H2ipsters, Rejoice: The world’s first hotel named after our favorite subject opened here earlier this year.H2 Hotel is the first of a new brand launched by the Ramada partner Hospitality Alliance AG that plans to open more of the same in other German cities. The sleek 9-story, 288-room hostelry is located right on Alexanderplatz, the storied square in the center of Berlin  with its decades-old TV tower, pride and joy of the old communist part of Berlin in what used to be called  the “German Democratic Republic” before Germany’s reunification. ...
H2 Funding: Walker Quits HTAC Over 12 Budget Cuts; FCHEA & Allies Fight to Restore Them
   WASHINGTON, DC – One of the best-connected Washington policy consultants, Robert Walker, resigned from DoE’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technical Advisory Committee (HTAC) in early April over 2012 hydrogen budget cuts proposed by Energy Secretary Steven Chu.  Walker, executive chairman of Wexler & Walker public policy associates, a 20-year veteran of the House of Representatives and former chairman of the House Science Committee, in a letter to Chu wrote that, contrary to his own belief that hydrogen could “revolutionize” U.S. energy supply ...
Fast Forward
  * A French-Japanese-German Fuel Cell Troika? According to an April 19 item on TheGreenCarWebsite.co.uk, Daimler is in talks with Renault-Nissan discussing prospects of collaborating in this area. It quoted Daimler’s chief executive for research and development, Thomas Weber, as saying both companies as “really concretely discussing this topic.” Speaking to an unidentified news agency at the recent Shanghai auto show, Weber reportedly said, “fuel cell technology is also electric, so it could make a lot of sense to join forces also in this field.” The ...
Clean Air Group Urges Gov. Brown to Push Electricity, Hydrogen as Main Fuels
     LOS ANGELES – A California clean-air advocacy group is urging Gov. Jerry Brown to use the powers of his office to make electricity and hydrogen the state’s main transportation fuels within two decades.Timed to arrive at Brown’s office on Earth Day, April 23, the Coalition for Clean Air’s eight-page letter said Brown’s administration should “support and enact laws that will result in electricity and hydrogen becoming our primary transportation sector fuel sources within 20 years.” The letter by president Joseph K. Lyou ...
Events:
                The “Stationary Fuel Cell Power Project Finance & Investment Summit” is scheduled for May 3-5 at the Hilton Del Mar Hotel in San Diego, CA. Details: Infocast, www.infocastinc.com/fuelcellpower11; 818/888-4444, mail@infocastevents.com.                The “2011 U.S. Department of Energy Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Program and Vehicle Technologies Program Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluation Meeting” will ...
Briefly Noted:
   * Bloom Energy is Bustin’ Out All Over, Quadruples Production Plant: The Sunnivale, CA-based company says it is increasing its manufacturing space by four times to more than 210,000 sq. ft. and providing more than 1000 new jobs. The company says it has grown 525% during the past four years, and it has deployed about 120 Bloom Boxes across California, reducing the carbon footprint and operating costs for customers such as Google, Walmart, Caltech, eBay, Staples, The Coca Cola Company, and Kaiser Permanente. To date, the Bloom Energy fleet of SOFC fuel cell power plants ...
A Quarter Century: 25 Years of H&FCL
   We don’t exactly feel like Public Monuments – Perish the Thought – but here we are, on the anniversary of our very first puny four-page issue, published in May 1986 with the help of an ice pack-cooled overheating IBM dot matrix printer and headlines typed with a headline-writing widget at our neighborhood Kinko’s near our former abode in suburban Maryland. Reproduced here is that very first yellowed, smudged, stained, scribbled-on front page of what was initially "The Hydrogen Letter." Name and logo were not changed to "The Hydrogen & ...

April 2011

International Carmakers, Fuel Suppliers Support 2015 Commercial Launch Date
 TOKYO – The Japan Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Demonstration Project (JHFC) hosted two days of reporting on its vehicle demonstration program, just ahead of the sprawling Fuel Cell Expo, finishing with a half-day closed workshop involving more than 30 auto companies and fuel providers.  The “International Round Table on the Introduction of an FCV & Hydrogen Supply Infrastructure” produced a bland but supportive communiqué on FCEV commercialization in 2015, according to a participant who insisted on anonymity.Instead, the closed session focused on ...
Commercial Action is Focus of 7th FC Expo, Now Part of Renewable Energy Week
TOKYO – The 7th FC Expo in Tokyo March 2-4 featured the usual crush of humanity, drawn for the most part not to the fuel cell expo but to six parallel advanced-energy areas, combined into what the organizers now called “Japan Renewable Energy Week,” drawing some 90,000 visitors. The noise, flashing lights and bad food were relieved only by the daily offerings of German beer and pretzels - and the sense that business was being done.  The fuel cell area felt smaller and certainly was more focused on commercial opportunities than past conferences.  There was less ...
All smiles: British Columbia Premier Christy Clark joins Mercedes-Benz Canada CEO Marcus Breitschwerdt on the Benz Patent-Motorwagen - the world’s first motor car – in front of the Mercedes B-Class F-CELL during the final North American stop in Vancouver of the carmaker’s fuel cell world tour. Mercedes Announces FC Stack Plant in Canada; World Tour Rolls on to Australia
 VANCOUVER - As a sort of icing on the cake and happy sendoff for the next leg of its fuel cell car world tour, Mercedes-Benz announced it would build a limited-volume fuel cell stack factory here last month. The new plant which will develop and investigate stack mass production technologies will be located inside an existing 21,000 sq. ft. (2,000 sq. m.) surplus space the carmaker is leasing from its original partner and collaborator, Ballard Power Systems, in a contract to run from this coming August through July 2019. It’s located in Burnaby east of Vancouver, across the ...
ICCT Policy Study Sees Encouraging Signs, Uncertainties for Electric Vehicles
 WASHINGTON, DC – A new study by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) that analyzes public policies aimed at encouraging electric vehicles sees both encouraging signs but also uncertainties ahead.The “Vehicle Electrification Policy Study,” which addresses both battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and fuel cell vehicles (FCEVs) worldwide, appears to be aimed in part at least at California’s Zero Emission Vehicle (ZEV) program to make sure it stays the zero emission course. At present, the ZEV program operates under what is known as LEV II criteria. ...
Spinning wheels: the super-battery-powered Audi A2 running on the DEKRA chassis dynamometer. Fast Forward:
 * German Long-Distance Car Battery Passes Safety Evaluation, New Endurance Test Exceeds Targets: Germany’s Federal Agency for Materials Research and Testing BAM has given the new, initially controversial, “Kolibri” lithium-metal-polymer super battery a clean bill of  health (H&FCL Feb., March 11). The tests followed the UN Test Handbook’s protocol for dangerous goods involving eight test series for lithium batteries. The principal investigator, Prof. Volkmar Schroeder, said the cells met “all essential safety tests very well” and were ...
EVENTS:
                The “17th Group Exhibit Hydrogen + Fuel Cells” will be held as part of the HANNOVER MESSE 2011 April 4-8, in Hanover, Germany. Details: Megan McCool, +49 89 7201; megan@h2fc-fair.com; www.h2fc-fair.com.                A “Battery Congress” will be held April 11-12 at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI. Details: Global Automotive Management Council, 734/418-2365, www.gamcinc.org, ...
DWV: Hydrogen in Nuclear Accidents: What was its Role in Fukushima?
BERLIN – The German Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association (DWV) published an explanation of hydrogen’s role in Japan’s nuclear plant disaster in mid-March, based on then-current information. Edited excerpts:“Hydrogen is not part of the normal operation of a nuclear system. When the plant runs normally it is nowhere to be found at or near the fuel rods. Cooling of the fuel is done by means of water. Small amounts of hydrogen and oxygen are continuously generated near the core by water radiolysis (splitting by ionizing radiation). These amounts are harmless, however. In ...
Daimler, Rolls-Royce Set Up Joint Venture to Buy Tognum, Will Continue Fuel Cell Work
STUTTGART/LONDON – Daimler and Rolls-Royce, two big industrial engine builders long active in fuel cell development, plan an offer to acquire engine builder Tognum AG which has long been active in developing stationary molten carbonate fuel cells.The initial March 9 releases from Daimler and Rolls-Royce didn’t say anything about fuel cells though, stating merely that both companies will set up a 50/50 joint venture and intend to acquire 100% of Tognum “to create a leading global player in the industrial engines market.” Daimler’s stake in Tognum will be tendered ...
Briefly Noted:
*  Hydrogenics Fuel Cells for NY Harbor Ferry: The Mississauga, ON-based fuel cell manufacturer says it has received a contract to deliver two HyPM HD 16 fuel cell modules producing up to 33 kW to Statue Cruises LLC, a Jersey City, NJ-based subsidiary of Hornblower Cruises & Events, San Francisco, CA. The 600-passenger vessel, described as the world’s first hybrid ship using hydrogen as fuel, is being built by Derecktor Shipyards, Bridgeport, CT and is scheduled to be launched this spring. The ship’s 1,400 HP power plant is a hybrid power plant combining Tier 2 diesel ...
Batteries: U-Illinois Team Designs Fast-Charge, Discharge Battery; Minimal Capacity Loss
CHAMPAIGN, IL – A team of three researchers led by a materials science specialist have developed a type of rechargeable battery that can be charged and discharged in minutes or even seconds.And it does that without sacrificing capacity or suffering degradation over time, typical when lithium-ion or nickel metal hydride rechargeable batteries are subjected to  quick-charge jolts, says Paul Braun, professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.“This system that we have gives you capacitor-like power with battery-like ...
Transitions;
 * H&FCL has belatedly learned that Dr.  Hermann Scheer, one of Europe’s best known supporters of renewable energy, a visionary and a member of the German parliament, the Bundestag, died unexpectedly last October 14 in Berlin after suffering a heart attack, according to Germany’s “Spiegel” magazine. He was 66. Scheer succeeded in introducing Germany’s feed-in tariff, known as Scheer’s Law. He was founder and chairman of Eurosolar, the European Association of Renewable Energy; chairman of the World Council for Renewable Energy, and he founded ...

March 2011

DLR engineers install the electric motor for taxiing in the front wheel assembly of an Airbus A320.
Big Jets Get Fuel Cell Electric Nose Wheel Motors for Silent Taxiing, Fuel Savings
HAMBURG, GERMANY – Front-wheel drive for big jets:That’s the bottom line for a project at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) here in which engineers have installed a fuel cell-powered electric motor in the nose wheel of a big twin-engined Airbus A320. The payoff is reduction or elimination of noise when taxiing on the tarmac and of kerosene-fueled emissions, sizeable fuel savings, and less maintenance for the big main engines, DLR says.Following three years of development by DLR with partners Airbus and Lufthansa airlines, the system is now ready for its first rolling tests next ...
Briefly Noted:
* Newcomer ACAL Energy wins £1million in UK Fuel Cell Challenge: ACAL Energy, a small British startup which had been operating pretty much in stealth mode (H&FCL Dec. 10), has been chosen to receive a £1million ($1.6218 million) investment from the country’s Carbon Trust in its Polymer Fuel Cell Challenge. The company, based in Runcorn, Cheshire, southeast of Liverpool, has been developing a low-cost liquid catalyst dubbed catholyte that replaces most or all – the details aren’t yet clear – of expensive platinum. Analysis by the Carbon Trust has shown ...
Hyundai’s Tucson-ix fuel cell hybrid made its debut at the FCHEA conference in the Washington DC area. Immediately behind it is the Mercedes Benz B-Class F-CELL and, barely visible in the back, is the Honda Clarity.
Big Turnout, But 2012 Budget Cuts Create Sense of Siege at 1st FCHEA Conference
 NATIONAL HARBOR, MD – Judging by sheer numbers, the debut annual conference of the newly minted Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA) was an unqualified success. With some 770 participants, FCHEA’s conference, successor to the annual gathering of the National Hydrogen Association before it merged with the U.S. Fuel Cell Council last fall into the new association (H&FCL Nov. 10), “is the second largest in its history,” said Ruth Cox, FCHEA’s president and executive director, in her Welcome remarks.But the severe cuts in the Energy ...
Events
             The “7th International Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Expo 2011” is scheduled for March 2-4 at Tokyo Big Sight, Japan. Details: Mitsuru Takazawa, +81/3/3349-8576, fc@reedexpo.co.jp; www.fcexpo.jp/en/.             The “Renewable Energy World Conference & Expo North America” will be held March 8-10 at the Tampa Convention Center, Tampa, FL. Details: Jan Simpson, 918/831-9736, ...
DoE News: Social Activist Rifkin Tells HTAC H2-Based 3rd Industrial Revolution is Coming
 ARLINGTON, VA – “We are at the end of an era. We have an industrial revolution on life support.”   This was one of several main messages that Jeremy Rifkin, social activist, author (H&FCL review, Sept. 02) and advisor to governments, conveyed to a day-and-a-half meeting of the Energy Department’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technical Advisory Committee (HTAC) immediately following the Fuel Cell & Hydrogen 2011 Conference and Expo in Washington, DC last month (p. 1).Two key events defined what Rifkin sees as the “end game” of our oil ...
The EERE budget breakdown. DoE News: DoE Cuts H2, Fuel Cell Budget Request Drastically, Angering Supporters
WASHINGTON, DC – If at first you don’t succeed,  try, try again – that seems to be Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s motto and modus operandi in proposing once more to drastically whack the Department’s hydrogen and fuel cell budget request for fy 2012.In a rerun of his unsuccessful attempt to cut funding in these areas for the current fiscal year (H&FCL June, July, Aug. Nov. 09), stopped then by a combination of hydrogen and fuel cell supporters and their Congressional allies, Chu wants to cut the hydrogen and fuel cell programs by some $70 million, down ...
CORRECTION
  The dollar amount paid by IdaTech to Plug Power in acquiring various assets, cited in the last paragraph of a Feb. 2011 story about IdaTech, was erroneous. It was $5 million (not $55 million, as printed).  
Freeze Postpones Trial of 300 Mile-Plus Car Battery, Tests are “Positive”
 FRANKFURT, GERMANY - A second long-distance driving test here of an Audi equipped with a new super battery with a claimed 300 mile-plus range has been postponed (H&FCL Feb. 10).The 20-hour drive which had been scheduled for Feb. 25 under the control of a German testing agency, DEKRA, was put off because under DEKRA’s test rules, such tests have to be conducted at temperatures of more than 5 deg. C. However, temperatures at the 11 km (6.8 mile) test track in eastern Germany had been hovering around minus 9 deg. C, a spokesman for Deutsches Dialog Institut which handles media ...
Transitions:
 * Anthony Eggert has been named Deputy Secretary for Energy Policy at the California Environmental Protection Agency by California’s new governor Jerry Brown. Until recently, Eggert was a commissioner at the California Energy Commission, and he is a member of DoE’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technical Advisory Committee (HTAC) ...........Danbury, CT-based FuelCell Energy has announced the promotion of Chip Bottone to president and chief executive officer, effective last month. He replaces Dan Brdar, who will remain chairman of the board until the 2011 annual shareholders ...

February 2011

Transitions:
 * California’s new Gov. Jerry Brown has reappointed Mary D. Nichols as chairman of the California Air Resources Board (CARB). Nichols first served as chairman of the board from 1979 to 1983, having served on the board since 1975.........Loughborough, UK-based fuel cell and hydrogen technology company Intelligent Energy has appointed Dr. Michael Provost as Engineering Fellow for predictive asset management. Provost previously worked at Bombardier Transportation where he led the engineering development of an award-winning asset management system used to monitor railway vehicles ...
Prof. Richard L. Axelbaum explains operations of the large bioreactors, lower left, in Washington University�s new Advanced Coal and Energy Research Facility that will be populated by cyanobacteria to produce hydrogen.  
Hydrogen Production R&D: Washington U. Team Investigates Cyanobacteria Bio-Hydrogen Production
ST. LOUIS, MO – Cyanobacteria are one of several photosynthetic microalgal and bacterial species that are being studied for photobiological hydrogen production.A strain of these blue-green bacteria, Cyanothece 51142, originally discovered in the Gulf of Mexico, were described as producing roughly 10 times the hydrogen gas as its nearest competitor under aerobic conditions in an article, “High rates of photobiological H2 production by a cyanobacterium under aerobic conditions,” published Dec. 14 in the online journal “Nature Communications.” The authors are five ...
Boulder-Based Pike Research Hires Four Analysts from Fuel Cell Today
BOULDER, CO – In what some industry observers registered with surprise, market research firm Pike Research here announced last month it had hired four analysts from the UK-based Fuel Cell Today (FCT) market analysis consulting group to expand its own fuel cell industry analysis capabilities.The Analysis Quartet consists of research director Kerry-Ann Adamson, senior analyst Lisa Jerram, and research analysts Anissa Dehamna and Euan Sadden.Adamson, the most senior of the group who has authored or co-authored more than 100 papers, books and articles, and Sadden will continue to be based ...
Ready for takeoff: three Mercedes F-Cell B-Class fuel cell cars, support vehicles and crew and well-wishers line up outside corporate headquarters in Stuttgart before the start of  the 125-day world round trip from Europe via North America, Australia, Asia and back to Germany. Mercedes Sends 3 Fuel Cell Cars on 125-Day 18,750 Mile World Round Trip
STUTTGART – Around the World in 125 Days:Those are the marching orders for three Mercedes-Benz F-Cell B-Class that started here at company’s headquarters at the end of last month to commemorate the 125th anniversary of the birth of the automobile. Heavy symbolism: On January 29th 1886, the man who gave the company its name, Karl Benz, registered his patent for his “vehicle powered by a gas engine” in Germany. Sent off by German chancellor Angela Merkel, the three light-green Mercedes F-Cell electrics started out going west last month on the “F-Cell World ...
The record-claiming battery-powered Audi A2, aka lekker Mobil, after its arrival in Berlin from Munich last October. New Lithium Battery Car Claims Record 375 Mile Drive, Stirs Controversy, Doubts
  BERLIN – If all works out as planned, a new super battery for electric cars claimed to give considerably more than the benchmark 300 mile range is scheduled to go on public display in early March in Germany.  The venue will be the sprawling CeBIT electronic industry show, the world’s largest, in Hanover March 1-5, the new battery technology’s second outing following a splashy, if controversial, debut here last October. A small Audi A2 model, dubbed “lekker-Mobil” and powered by a new lithium-metal-polymer battery, was claimed to have covered 600 km ...
IdaTech Expects Dramatic Market Growth for Asia, India Telecom Power Markets
BEND, OR – Starting the year on an upbeat note, fuel cell developer IdaTech here says it expects demand will increase during the next 12 months for its new- generation  methanol/water ElectraGen ME.In a product and trading update presentation, the company said that based on initial 2010 shipments and several large orders for the new device designed for telecom applications, it sees some markets in India and China, for instance, as opening “pretty dramatically,”  CEO Harol Koyama told H&FCL in a mid-January telephone interview.IdaTech did not release numbers ...
Fast Forward:
   * “British scientists ‘invent artificial petrol’ that could cost just 90p per GALLON (and there’s no carbon)”: That would be $1.43 in the U.S. This headline in the UK’s Jan. 28 “Daily Mail” was symptomatic of the hoopla in British media greeting the announcement by a new company, Cella Energy Ltd., that it has developed a new technology that allows hydrogen to be stored cheaply and practically. Said the Harwell, Oxford-based company in its Jan. 27 announcement, “filling up at the pumps with hydrogen instead of gasoline ...
Briefly Noted:
* Japan Plans 100 Hydrogen Fueling Stations by 2015: Confirming earlier media reports from Tokyo, (H&FCL Sept. 09), 13 Japanese companies have announced plans to build hydrogen fueling stations in the country’s four major metropolitan areas. The mid-January announcement said Japan’s hydrogen suppliers plan to build approximately 100 hydrogen fueling stations by 2015 in Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka and Fukuoka, in line “with the number of fuel cell vehicles expected to initially enter the market to ensure a smooth launch and to create initial market.” The 13 companies who ...
Events:
                The “Smart Energy Canada 2011” conference will be held Feb. 13-15 at the Toronto Hyatt Regency in Toronto, ON, Canada. Details:718/841-7109, Ken Lovegrove, Ken.Lovegrove@spintelligent.com; www.smartenergy-canada.com.                An “International Conference for Sustainable Energy Storage” will be held Feb. 21-24 in Belfast, UK. Details: Dr. Dmitriy Makarov, dv.makarov@ulster.ac.uk; ...
Climate: NASA: 2010 Warmest Year Yet; Canadian Study Projects Unstoppable Climate Changes
WASHINGTON, DC – 2010 tied 2005 as the warmest years on record, according to a new analysis released in mid-January by NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York.The two benchmark years differed by less than 0.18 degrees Fahrenheit, smaller than the uncertainty in comparing temperatures of recent years, according to the announcement.2010 was approximately 1.34 deg. F warmer than the average global surface temperature from 1951 to 1980. Overall, the temperature trend shows the climate has warmed by about 0.36 deg. F per decade since the late 1970s. The GISS ...
A schematic drawing of Boeing�s circular liquid hydrogen tank for a blended wing-body plane as it appears on the company�s patent. Boeing Wins Patent for Ring-Shaped LH2 Tank for Blended Wing-Body Plane
CHICAGO, IL – Hydrogen as aviation fuel, not much heard of recently, appears to be alive and well, conceptually at least, if a new patent granted to Boeing is any indication. Last month, the big aerospace company which moved corporate headquarters from Seattle to Chicago a few years ago, received a patent for a ring-shaped liquid hydrogen tank that would fit into a futuristic blended wing-body airplane design, a concept the company has been exploring for a long time.The patent for a “Hydrogen fueled blended wing body ring tank,” was received Jan. 18 and was applied for ...

January 2011

Two Wind-to-Hydrogen Facilities Get Underway in Germany
WERDER/HERTEN, GERMANY – Starting later this year, work will get underway on two wind-to-hydrogen facilities to showcase the technology’s potential to meet regional and site-specific renewable energy needs.  The bigger of the two is centered on three small communities close to each other, some 115 miles due north of Berlin, Werder, Kessin, and Altentreptow. The other will provide green hydrogen to a Hydrogen Competence Center in Herten in the industrial Ruhr area to meet its energy needs and also to provide fuel for a planned hydrogen fueling station.Detailed articles on ...
Transitions:
 * UK urban fuel cell car developer Riversimple reports it has hired one of Europe’s top automotive designers, Christopher Reitz. Before his move, Reitz, 42, headed the design team at Fiat where he was responsible for the revival of Fiat’s iconic 500 model and for Alfa-Romeo’s recent model additions. Riversimple (H&FCL July 09) is in the process of second-round financing, led by the family of Ernst Piëch, of the Porsche automotive dynasty. Reitz’s first job will be to design the fleet of 30 cars that are planned to be test driven in Leicester, beginning ...
"Need a ride, mate?” London’s top cop and Chair of the London Hydrogen Partnership, Kit Malthouse, peers down from the driver’s seat of the city’s first hybrid fuel cell bus. London Launches First of Eight Zero-Emitting Hybrid Fuel Cell Buses
LONDON – Another CHIC project under way:The first of eight hybrid fuel cell buses began operating on the streets of England’s capital last month, passing through some of London’s most polluted areas. The other seven buses are expected to be phased in this year to create the UK’s first zero-emission revenue bus route, the city’s transit agency, Transport for London, said in its announcement. They will operate on the so-called RV1 route which includes landmark stops such as Covent Garden, the Tower of London and the South Bank.The zero-emitters were developed ...
A General Motors fuel cell Equinox “docks” next to the U.S.S. Missouri in Hawaii’s Pearl Harbor, the first of what GM says are going to be many to be delivered to the U.S. Marines, the Army and Air Force on Oahu. The cars are part of the Hawaii Hydrogen Initiative (H2I) hydrogen infrastructure project, a component of the island’s plans for a sustainable energy system.  
GM, 11 Other Entities Plan Hawaii Hydrogen Infrastructure by 2015
HONOLULU, HI – Advertised as a possible prototype and forerunner for the U.S. mainland, a dozen entities, including fuel cell car builder General Motors, have announced plans for a hydrogen infrastructure for Hawaii. Taking its cue in part from ambitious infrastructure plans in Europe and Asia, the initiative’s organizers said last month the goal of the Hawaii Hydrogen Initiative (H2I) is to make “hydrogen-powered vehicles and a fueling infrastructure a reality for Hawaii by 2015.”The plan is very ambitious: the goal is to have up to 25 hydrogen fueling stations ...
R & D: Rare-Earth Metal Reactor Makes Hydrogen, Syn-Fuel from Sunlight, Water, CO2
PASADENA, CA – American and Swiss researchers have developed a device that generates hydrogen from sunlight, water and carbon dioxide.At first blush, this sounds like something biological that mimics plant life, but it doesn’t. Instead, the device replaces plants’ photosynthetic processes with a two-step thermochemical cycle that employs the oxygen uptake and release capabilities of cerium oxide to produce carbon monoxide and hydrogen – syngas – driven by high solar temperatures the team achieved with a solar cavity receiver.  Designed by a team of seven ...
New Fuel Cell & Hydrogen Energy Association will Focus on Marketing
  WASHINGTON, DC – Starting with the new year, marketing hydrogen and fuel cell technology will be the new main marching order and focus for the new Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA), the result of the recent merger of the U.S. Fuel Cell Council (USFCC) and the National Hydrogen Association (NHA).Pete Barkey, the General Motors public relations veteran who is now FCHEA’s communications director, says “we’re definitely market focused. There are lots of cases where we are in the market already, and we’re looking to grow the markets we already ...
Fast Forward:
* “Parlor Game of Potential Chu Successor Begins, If Prematurely”: that was the headline for a Dec. 6 story in “Environment & Energy Daily” discussing the prospects for Secretary of Energy Steven Chu leaving the administratrion – and the Capitol Hill scuttlebutt surrounding it. The story by reporter John McArdle quoted a DoE spokeswoman as saying that Chu has no plans to leave. It added that Chu has been getting some positive headlines, but “there are some dark clouds on the horizon” for Nobel Prize winner Chu. While Chu was credited with ...
Events
                The “Public Private Partnership in Transport: Trends and Theory” symposium will be held Jan. 12, 2011 at the Instituto Superior Técnico (IST)-Technical University of Lisbon, Portugal. Details: www.ppptransport.eu.                An “International Conference on Renewable Energy ICRE – 2011” is planned for Jan. 17-21at the Centre for Non-Conventional Energy Resources, University of Rajasthan, ...
EDITOR’S NOTE:
 Starting with the new year, we will carry selected translated and rewritten stories from our German counterpart and partner, “HZwei,” the German quarterly magazine and blog for hydrogen and fuel cell technology. Published by Sven Geitmann, the publication has been flourishing for ten years now, and in the past Sven has reported for us from Europe’s premier hydrogen and fuel cell event, the annual Hannover Joint Hydrogen + Fuel Cell Exhibit. In return, H&FCL’s stories will be available to Sven for use in “HZwei” (In case you’re wondering, ...
Carnegie Report Urges Governments to Tackle Transportation’s Climate Problems
  WASHINGTON, DC – Road transport – cars, trucks, buses – has the greatest negative impact on climate, and with the market alone unable to come to grips with the problem, it’s imperative that governments step up to the plate.That is, in short, the gist of a new 40-page report by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, “The Role of Transportation in Driving Climate Disruption,” released last month.Author Deborah Gordon, a non-resident senior associate in Carnegie’s Energy and Climate Program, wrote that “on-road transportation has ...
Hyundai Motor Company’s new hybrid fuel cell hybrid Tucson ix. The company says more than 95 % of the  SUV’s major components were made with Korean technology through close collaboration with about 120 domestic auto parts manufacturers.  Hyundai took part in the learning demonstration program organized by the U.S. Department of Energy between 2004 and 2009. Next year, 48 Tucson ix FCEV’s will be part of a Domestic Fleet Program supported by the Korean government.  Briefly Noted:
* DOE Announces $74 Million for Fuel Cell R&D: The U.S. Energy Department is accepting applications for a total of up to $74 million to support the research and development of fuel cells for stationary and transportation applications. The solicitations include up to $65 million over three years to fund continued R&D on fuel cell components, such as catalysts and membrane electrode assemblies, with the goal of reducing costs, improving durability and increasing the efficiency of fuel cell systems. The funding also includes up to $9 million to conduct independent cost analyses of the ...