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FuelCellWorks Inside the Industry
June 2006

Ballard announced that it has delivered the first prototypes of its next generation fuel cell, the Mark 1030 V3, for the residential cogeneration market to EBARA BALLARD Corporation (Ballard’s Japan-based joint venture with the EBARA Corporation). The prototypes are for integration and testing in 1 kW residential cogeneration systems. Featuring increased reliability and lifetime, with significantly less weight and volume, the Mark 1030 V3 fuel cell has been designed in alignment with the 2008 Japanese government targets of 40,000 hours operation, equivalent to a system lifetime of 10 years in the home.

Ford continues it’s commitment to hydrogen powered internal combustion vehicles with the announcement that Ford will begin producing the world’s first fleet of commercial hydrogen-powered internal combustion engine (H2ICE) vehicles this month. Eight E-450 shuttle busses will go to tourist destinations in Florida, where they will be highly visible to the public.

From FuelCell Energy, a leading manufacturer of ultra-clean and efficient electric power generation plants for commercial, industrial and government customers, came the announcement that the U.S. Navy has exercised its option to add an additional 250 kilowatt Direct FuelCell(R) (DFC)(R) power plant at the U.S. Marine Corps training facility at Camp Pendleton, in California. The repeat equipment sale is through FuelCell Energy’s distributor, LOGANEnergy, which will serve as a prime contractor overseeing installation and operation of the power plant. An additional 250 kW DFC unit will be added to the original order of 500 kilowatts announced last fall. These systems, scheduled for installation this summer, will provide clean, efficient and reliable base load electricity and heat for the living and dining quarters of more than 200 marines at the training facility.

UltraCell Corporation, a leading manufacturer of high performance micro fuel cells for portable power, announced that it has received a contract award from the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Research, Development, and Engineering Center’s (CERDEC) Army Power Division to accelerate development of the XX25(TM), a 25-watt reformed methanol fuel cell, for use as a soldier power device. The contract will drive advanced system design for the UltraCell unit to operate in extreme operating temperature and withstand severe shock and vibration and other Mil-Spec required environments. In addition, the XX25 has up to a 75% weight advantage over currently available military rechargeable batteries, based on a 72-hour mission at 20 watts. (Longer missions at higher power levels will show greater improvements.) The XX25 also reduces operational costs through the reduction of throwaway primary batteries and the logistic burden of recharging batteries.

From Taiwan, the announce that a new Portable Direct Methanol Fuel Cells (DMFC) that can continuously supply environmentally friendly power to a Digital Video Disc (DVD) player for eight hours was unveiled by researchers at the Atomic Energy Council (AEC). The researcher said that a new version half the size of the current DMFC and suitable for laptop computers will be unveiled by mid-June. Thereport said the current 2kg version is capable of generating 15 watts of energy, while the new version for laptops scheduled for release on June 17 or 18 will be able to supply a power output of 25 watts for eight hours.

CMR announced that its research and development program has met and exceeded a significant performance milestone ahead of previously anticipated timescales. In the Company’s admission document published on 16 December 2005, CMR was targeting a cell delivering consistent performance with cell area power densities of greater than 25mW/cm2 in mixed reactant mode by the end of 2006, which is a key step towards the very high volumetric power densities that CMR’s patented mixed-reactant architecture is expected to deliver. CMR’s engineering team has successfully developed a mixed-reactant cell which demonstrates consistent cell area power densities in excess of 25mW/cm2 with a sub millimetre cell repeat distance, using a non-platinum methanol-tolerant cathode catalyst. Although this milestone represented a technically challenging performance development for CMR’s development team it has been achieved ahead of schedule and the Company is now routinely delivering cells with these power densities at a voltage of 300mV.

Major Japanese trader Mitsubishi Corp. said that it has set up a joint venture with U.S. science and technology concern Battelle Memorial Institute for commercialization of Battelle-held intellectual property in Japan. The joint venture, Battelle-Japan Corp., is capitalized at 100 million yen, of which 60 pct was put up by Battelle and 40 pct by Mitsubishi.

Intelligent Energy’s Albuquerque office played host to a visit from two leading US politicians: New Mexico Congresswoman Heather Wilson and US Assistant Secretary for the Department of Energy, Karen Harbert. During the visit, Congresswoman Wilson and Assistant Secretary Harbert viewed recent advances by Intelligent Energy in the conversion of fuels such as propane, bio-diesel, bio-ethanol and ammonia into pure hydrogen gas, which can then be used to create electricity and heat via Intelligent Energy’s advanced PEM fuel cell technology. Congresswoman Wilson underlined the importance of making hydrogen a practical alternative to oil by stating that hydrogen could fuel the US economy within the next twenty years. The visit was part of a two-day visit to Albuquerque by Asst Secretary of Energy Karen Harbert, in recognition of the contributions of local energy companies to the state’s expanded use of renewable energy sources such as hydrogen and solar power.

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