The First National Bank of Omaha has bought a PureCell Model 400 fuel cell system for its data centre in Nebraska. The fuel cell provides an additional 400kW to the data centre, which has used fuel cells to generate its own power since 1999.
AFC Energy has delivered a fuel cell electricity generating system to Industrial Chemicals Limited (ICL), a leading UK commodity chemicals producer.
The shipment is in advance of a 1 MW commercial-scale project to install the world’s largest alkaline fuel cell energy generation system at ICL’s chlor-alkali plant in Essex, UK. The project is being supported with a European Union grant of €6.1m ($8m), from this April.
The first delivery was for a skid-mounted (mobile) Beta fuel cell system which is expected to be installed and to commence supplying small quantities of power to the chemicals works from April 2013. It will use waste hydrogen, produced as a by-product at the chemicals works, as fuel to generate clean energy.
The system will test and qualify the hydrogen supply and site infrastructure ahead of the installation of the larger system in stages later this year. By harnessing the waste hydrogen, AFC Energy’s fuel cell system will eventually provide up to 1 MW at point of consumption, reducing reliance on grid-supplied electricity by up to 20%.
As part of the project AFC Energy is to provide electrical power to ICL under its first ESCO (Energy Supply Company) arrangement whereby ICL will provide its hydrogen and purchase power under long-term contracts. AFC Energy will own, operate and maintain the fuel cell systems.
Samsung SDI and Xtreme Power are installing a 1MW/1MWh lithium-manganese oxide energy storage system for a demonstrative smart grid project in Texas. The system, to be installed at the Reese Technology Centre in Lubbock, is partly funded by the Department of Energy.
The project aims to promote utility scale energy storage with wind energy. The battery system will be utilised to regulate power generated from local wind turbines that suffer from intermittent loss of generation.
Samsung’s lithium-ion battery technology together with Xtreme Power’s Xtreme Active Control Technology (XACT), which gives millisecond response time, will enable the wind generated power to be fed into the national grid.
This is the first project Samsung SDI and Xtreme Power have worked on together to provide energy storage solutions for renewable integration and grid support. The companies have formed the alliance to reach renewable energy goals and promote a cleaner electric grid.
San Jose State University will be offering courses specifically designed for students who want to work with battery technology.
The University is partnering with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and CalCharge to offer the professional programme of education at the University’s Charles W. Davidson College of Engineering, which feeds more graduate engineers into the Silicon Valley workforce than any other university.
California has over 40 battery-related companies working on energy storage solutions for electric vehicles, consumer electronics and the renewable energy storage sector.
The courses are offered in response to changing workplace demands in the high tech battery industry.
The European Commission is taking the UK to court over its reduced VAT rate on energy-saving products.
The UK charges 5% instead of the standard 20%. Under EU VAT rules, discounts are only allowed for social policy reasons, not environmental reasons.
In a statement, the European Commission said: "Member States themselves unanimously decided on the list of goods and services that could benefit from a reduced VAT rate, and they also insisted that this list be strictly applied, with no room for manoeuvre or interpretation. This is important to prevent competitive distortions in the Single Market and to ensure a fair and level playing field between all Member States."
The Commissions added economic studies showed reduced VAT rates "are often not the best way to achieve policy objectives" and direct subsidies could be more efficient.
UK hydrogen fuel cell developer ACAL Energy has appointed Greg McCray as CEO, the company said in a statement.
McCray was previously CEO of Antenova Limited, a wireless components company. While at Antenova, Greg transformed the organisation into the world's fastest-growing innovative antenna business, backed by global venture capitalists and major institutional funds.
ACAL Energy claims it has a “revolutionary approach” to hydrogen fuel cell technology buy using 80% less platinum on average. This results in a significant cost and footprint reduction.
After eight years of R&D investment, ACAL Energy is now ready to license its FlowCath fuel cell technology to major automotive manufacturers and companies in the stationary power industry, it said.
UK-based ACAL Energy has appointed a new Chief Executive. Greg McCray will lead the hydrogen fuel cell company as it continues fundraising and trialing products in the automotive and stationary power industries.
ACAL is now ready to license its technology - a smaller, more durable fuel cell designed with 80% less platinum to keep costs low.
McCray said: “The clean power sector is on the crest of a new wave of technology innovation. Hydrogen fuel cells are an important part of that wave and commercialising hydrogen power will mean we break our reliance on fossil fuels. The future looks very exciting as auto-makers and power-hungry industries, such as manufacturing, explore hydrogen as an alternative fuel source.”
ACAL has spent eight years developing what it calls a revolutionary approach to fuel cell technology that is ready to progress from trial deployments to licensing to car manufacturers.
McCray joins ACAL from Antenova Ltd, a global wireless components company, which he transformed into a fast-growing antenna business backed by venture capitalists worldwide. This experience will be utilised to mass-market the ACAL fuel cell, via licensing agreements, into the automotive industry.
Flow-Rite has two new members of staff coming to work at the company. Sara McMurray joins Flow-Rite as the Central Regional Manager and Tanya Jones has been announced as the Quality Manager.
McMurray has a background in thermal processing and brings this experience to the role. She will be working with new and existing distributors as well as developing new business with national accounts. “We’re thrilled to welcome Sara," says Todd Hart, Sales Director for Flow-Rite. "As a talented, technical sales professional with an emphasis on customer service, Sara is a great addition to our team.”
Jones has worked in quality processing from suppliers to OEMs and has experience implementing quality management systems. “We are extremely pleased that Tanya has joined the Flow-Rite team,” says Mike Semm, General Manager for Flow-Rite. “With Tanya’s experience as a Quality Engineer and in supplier development, she will offer a fresh perspective to our organisation and bolster our efforts on continuous improvement.”
Enersys and Ioxus have entered a joint agreement to develop and market new products incorporating the core experience of both companies. The benefits will combine Enersys’s knowledge of batteries with Ioxus’s expertise in the ultracapacitor market.
The partnership will focus on bringing to market products related to regenerative braking and energy recovery in the material handling market markets, UPS bridge to generator markets, automotive and heavy truck critical and cold start markets, as well as energy storage/power conditioning markets.
“The combination of Enersys battery technology with Ioxus ultracapacitor technology will benefit many vertical markets in need of high-performance, extended energy storage life under harsh environmental conditions, including select automotive markets,” said Mark McGough, CEO of Ioxus.
John Gagge, Vice President of Enersys America's Reserve Power Sales and Service, said Enersys is pleased to be working with Ioxus to bring better solutions to its customer base. The joining of ultracapacitors with Enersys’s product portfolio will expand the markets for both companies and Enersys hopes to bring benefits to users in both stand-alone and hybrid applications.
UK hydrogen fuel cell developer AFC Energy is celebrating after extending the longevity of its electrodes to more than six months of continuous operation.
Electrodes are the critical components of a fuel cell, which enable the electrochemical reactions to occur between hydrogen and oxygen (from air) to generate electricity, heat and water. Laboratory trials of electrodes are on-going and further field trials of improved electrodes are scheduled to begin early next month.
At six months longevity, these applications have the potential to generate significant revenues for AFC Energy whilst also opening up new commercial opportunities in additional territories such as Germany, where the company is already carrying out long-term longevity trials with Akzo Nobel, one of the world's largest chemicals groups.
Ian Williamson, CEO of AFC Energy, said: "Our progress will surprise and challenge the power generating industry and we have recently filed six new families of patents to secure our rights. We look forward to pushing electrode life towards 12 months and beyond where we believe we will have a product that is economic globally in all target markets."