Hannover Fair, Germany.
Includes Europe’s largest hydrogen and fuel cells exhibition.
News and insight about the practical application of fuel cells
Hannover Fair, Germany.
Includes Europe’s largest hydrogen and fuel cells exhibition.
HYDROGEN AND FUEL CELLS INTO THE MAINSTREAM
The Conference, Exhibition and Partnering Event will be held in
Birmingham, UK. 14th March 2017
Speakers will include representatives from the following organisations:
ITM Power Johnson Matthey
Charlotte, North Carolina
In the UK the Government plans to supply low carbon energy with nuclear power, which will require a long term subsidy. The first generator planned for Hinkley is estimated to cost £18bn and will be followed by several other expensive reactors. The Government is also seeking to reduce CO2 emissions by improving energy efficiency in buildings. The UK’s housing stock is among the least efficient in Europe according to a recent report by the National Audit Office entitled Green Deal And Energy Company Obligation. The Government’s ‘Green Deal’ to improve energy efficiency has not been value for money it says. The report states that over half a million homes were supplied with new boilers, but Fuel Cell Power suggests that, given backing for innovative SMEs, boilers could be replaced by highly efficient fuel cells with heat pumps where needed. The Government is also faced with the problem of air pollution which is responsible for 40,000 deaths per annum in the UK alone, according to a report by the Royal College of Physicians. Fuel cells could resolve all these issues, with efficiency up to 90% and zero emissions of carbon dioxide and other pollutants.
Engineers at the Cygnus Atratus (Black Swan) Group have been working for the past twenty years to develop cost effective alkaline fuel cells which will enable the generation of electricity and heat with negative carbon dioxide emissions. A gasified anaerobic digester system (GAD™ ) produces energy from municipal, agricultural or forestry waste. The ACE™ fuel cells generate electricity with efficiency over 60% and in combined heat and power mode efficiency is up to 90%.
The fuel cells start quickly, operate at around 80°C, have low maintenance and are 95% recyclable. The technology is based upon the original work of the British engineer Dr Francis Bacon who developed the first practical working fuel cell for the Apollo space programme. This technology has had no backing in the UK but engineers have reduced materials costs and can now make fuel cells commercially available.
CARBON CAPTURE AND RECYCLING (CCR)
The system can be operated on site as the electrochemical process has little noise or vibration and there are zero emissions of NOx, SOx and particulates. Usable by-products are heat, methane, syngas, sterile liquid fertiliser, bio-char, nitrogen, pure carbon dioxide and sterile ash. The only emission is potable water. The electrochemical process separates the carbon dioxide which can then be utilised locally. Carbon capture and recycling (CCR) is more efficient than carbon capture and storage (CCS).
The fuel cells can be manufactured locally, using commonly found parts and low cost materials, with advanced processes including 3D mass production. The system can be utilised around the world with telematics managing digestate handling, transport, ph stability, temperature, product gas management, humidity control, gas transmission, reformation control and monitoring, fuel cell operation, water control, fertiliser and terra preta management. Progress is being made with a low cost electric swing absorber which would enable six times more energy to be obtained from organic waste than is at present being obtained by combustion. The fuel cells can also balance the intermittent loads from wind and solar energy, using hydrogen obtained at times of low demand.
BELOW AVERAGE PRICE
The GAD™ and ACE™ system will be offered at below world average per kWh pricing. Fuel cells will enable developing countries to improve their economies and indigenous people could have a better quality of life, while eliminating carbon dioxide and other polluting emissions. The availability of an enhanced income from local agriculture or forestry could discourage further deforestation. Cygnus Atratus will ensure that a percentage of the income is devoted to the local community, which could help to improve education and further conservation measures.
ETHANOL FUELLED ELECTRIC VEHICLES
For transport applications, two fuel cell taxis and a boat have been demonstrated and the technology is now ready for evaluation in another vehicle powered by ethanol, prior to commercialisation. Most countries have an established liquid refuelling infrastructure and ethanol can be obtained from indigenous sources.
The plan is to install ethanol fuel cell stacks in the taxi and drive it from Southern France to London. Following the first tour, the taxi will be taken to the USA and driven right across the US, from New York to San Francisco. Then on to China, from Hong Kong to Beijing. It is anticipated that this will provide significant publicity and serve as a powerful tool to advance the technology and see it applied to transport applications.
The City of Hartford, Connecticut with the retail energy supplier Constellation and Bloom Energy have begun the construction of a micro-grid system powered by fuel cells that will help to manage electricity costs and supply emergency power to a portion of the city’s Parkville neighbourhood. The micro-grid system is scheduled for completion during the third quarter of 2016.
During non-emergency operation, the 800-kilowatt micro-grid system is designed to provide 100% of the electricity for various local centres and excess electricity generated by the system will reduce costs at four schools.
“When the power goes out elsewhere, our state-of-the-art micro-grid will keep the power running at a senior center, library branch, school, health center, supermarket and gas station,” said Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin. “In addition, the clean energy produced by the fuel cells will result in cost savings for the City of Hartford. That’s a win-win for our city and we hope to build on this model elsewhere in Hartford.”
Constellation is providing engineering, procurement, construction and operation services for the micro-grid system. Powered by Bloom Energy fuel cells, the electricity generated will be purchased by the city at or below current market rates through a 15-year power purchase agreement. “As a competitive energy supplier and a strong advocate of customer choice and innovation, Constellation aims to provide flexibility and support for our customers who require distributed generation and other dedicated energy technologies as part of their overall energy strategy,” said Gary Fromer, senior vice president of distributed energy at Constellation. “We applaud the City of Hartford for its commitment to micro-grid development and the state of Connecticut for creating the public-private initiatives that help make projects like this possible.”
“Bloom Energy is proud to be a part of this innovative public-private partnership with Constellation and the City of Hartford,” said Josh Richman, vice president global business development & policy at Bloom Energy. “This micro-grid project and others like it would not be possible without the state of Connecticut’s support.”
The project is Connecticut’s first to be developed thorough a public-private effort and one of the first to be implemented through Connecticut’s Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) Micro-grid Grant Program. Additionally, the project is part of the state’s Low-emission Renewable Energy Credits Program, which enables participants to sell qualified Connecticut Class I renewable energy credits created from renewable projects to the local utility under a long-term contract.
“The Parkville micro-grid is a perfect example of the positive impact we can have on our communities and residents through innovative and creative approaches to the energy challenges we face,” said Commissioner Robert Klee, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. “This micro-grid will help reduce energy costs for the City of Hartford and its school system, in addition to providing power to maintain important services for people when the electric grid goes down. We are pleased that DEEP’s micro-grid grant program and other energy initiatives helped make this impressive project possible.” www.bloomenergy.com
AEG and the Staples Center for Sports and Entertainment in Los Angeles held a celebratory event marking the completion of the deployment of Bloom Energy fuel cell technology. Former Vice President Al Gore joined executives from AEG, Bloom Energy, Green Sports Alliance and the City of Los Angeles to “Flip the Switch” on the recently installed Bloom Energy fuel cells that will provide on-site generation to the Staples Center.
The 500 kW solid oxide fuel cell project will provide approximately 25% of the power required by the sports and entertainment venue each year. The Bloom Energy Servers will also reduce the Staples Center’s carbon emissions by 39% compared to electricity purchased from the local utility.
The purchase of this new technology for the Staples Center furthers its reputation as the most efficient arena in the world. This project contributes to the sustainability goals created by AEG, owners of the Staples Center. The mission of AEG 1EARTH is to reduce the company’s environmental impact and drive business value through sustainability for all the company’s assets, including those at more than 100 venues affiliated with its AEG Facilities division.
AEG CEO & President Dan Beckerman said: “It is our hope and intention that our commitment to developing these critical programs and initiatives will challenge and inspire constituents in our industry and extend to our partners and stakeholders in the cities where we do business all over the world.”
Dr. Allen Hershkowitz, Green Sports Alliance President added: “There is no more urgent ecological issue than reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. AEG’s addition of fuel cells to its clean energy mix at Staples Center is another important example of the company’s longstanding leadership in moving the sports industry towards responsible environmental stewardship.”
Bloom is thrilled to be here and celebrate this occasion with Al Gore, and we look forward to many future ‘Bloom powered’ events here at the Staples Center,” said KR Sridhar, CEO and co-founder of Bloom Energy.
HIGHRISE PROJECT AT MORGAN STANLEY GLOBAL HEADQUARTERS
Morgan Stanley is installing a Bloom Energy fuel cell system at the firm’s global headquarters in New York City’s Times Square neighbourhood. Morgan Stanley’s second project with Bloom Energy demonstrates how clean energy can be deployed in urban areas like Times Square. The fuel cell project is expected to be fully operational in late 2016 and will provide approximately 750 kW of high quality power 24×7 to the Morgan Stanley building, equal to approximately 6 million kWh of clean electricity each year.
“Morgan Stanley is committed to investing in technologies that minimize our impact on the environment,” said Chief Operating Officer Jim Rosenthal. “Following on the success of our fuel cell installation in Purchase, NY, this project further exemplifies how we can improve the sustainability and resiliency of our facilities, while controlling costs and being responsible to our business, our shareholders and our planet.”
Support for this project was provided by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) through a long-term renewable energy credit contract to develop renewable energy projects. John B. Rhodes, President and CEO of NYSERDA said. “This project is an example of how new and innovative technologies will help us achieve Governor Cuomo’s vision of an energy system that is cleaner, more resilient and more affordable for all New Yorkers.”
“The recent Paris Climate Accord calls on government and business leaders to re-imagine the way we power the world, and this project in the heart of Manhattan demonstrates how clean distributed energy can be deployed onsite, even in urban areas,” said KR Sridhar of Bloom Energy. “We applaud Morgan Stanley for their continued commitment to clean energy as well as Governor Cuomo’s administration and NYSERDA for their work to drive adoption of clean distributed generation.”
CHANGING TO SUSTAINABLE ELECTRIC POWER
KR Sridhar of Bloom Energy, Chris Crane of Exelon, and Jim Rosenthal of Morgan Stanley hosted the inaugural ASPIRE Forum, an important thought leadership forum focused on what Fortune 500 stakeholders need to know and the options they have to secure reliable, cost predictable and sustainable electric power to support the growth of their businesses and the economy overall. https://youtu.be/Dfmde9dpmlg
Called the Rasa, this first Riversimple car is a two seater ‘network electric’ car, powered by a hydrogen fuel cell (see diagram below).
The engineering prototype has clocked over 60mph and has been weaving neatly through the traffic in London, as well as gliding down the country lanes in Wales.
RECYCLING AND ZERO TAILPIPE EMISSIONS
The engineering prototype weighs 580 kgs. The chassis is made from very lightweight but extremely stiff carbon fibre composites and the body is also made of lightweight composites. The car is powered by an 8.5 kW hydrogen fuel cell. The four electric wheel motors recover over 50% of the kinetic energy when braking, with super-capacitors to store this energy.
The production prototype should do 250 mpg petrol equivalent, with a range of 300 miles. Emissions are zero at the tailpipe and even if the hydrogen comes from natural gas there is only about 40gCO2/km well-to-wheel. The impact on the environment is minimised: even the car seats are covered with a high quality material which has been manufactured from recycled plastic bottles. Riversimple’s engineers are ensuring that every component part of the supply chain is of long lasting quality. They are selling a service not a product and long life and recycling will make it cost effective for suppliers as well as for customers.
The Rasa is designed to meet a growing demand for eco-friendly cars. World populations are growing, regulatory pressures to stop environmental damage are increasing and there is a growing global demand for mobility. At the same time fuel supplies are decreasing and the environment cannot continue to assimilate carbon dioxide safely,
NETWORK ELECTRIC CAR
It is called a network electric car because the energy is networked around the car. It can flow in any direction on any path apart from back into the fuel cell.
Energy flows constantly from the 8.5 kW fuel cell to the electric motors. It is supplemented by power from the super-capacitors when required for acceleration. The super-capacitors are replenished by energy from the motors when braking.
USER FRIENDLY HYDROGEN REFUELLING
Riversimple believes that as fuel cell cars continue to prove themselves, the supporting infrastructure will follow. That, after all, is what happened with mobile phones.
The company envisages multiple-fuel forecourts with a combination of quick stop hydrogen fuel pumps and longer stop battery-charging points. Ultimately petrol and diesel would be phased out as dirty fuels. To get things started, Riversimple is working with hydrogen refuelling partners to put in hydrogen stations one by one in hub locations near where the customers live. The more people who want a Riversimple car in any given area, the sooner hydrogen refuelling pumps can be installed.
The first road-going fuel cell car is designed for everyday journeys like the daily commute. With a range of 300 miles, it will last most people a week of local travelling before needing to fill it at the local hydrogen fuel station.
Renewable energy could be used onsite to provide hydrogen and rural stations could be linked to farms for example. Refuelling stations could also be at a coffee shop or at railway stations or supermarkets.
This production prototype has been designed by Chris Reitz, former design chief for the Fiat 500, and his team at their studio in Barcelona. With further funding, 20 cars will be ready for a Beta test with customers later this year.
Riversimple invites anyone interested in participating to contact them at www.riversimple.com
Mary Nichols was joined by Janea Scott from the Energy Commission, Tyson Eckerle from the Governor’s Office of Business Development, Clark Parker of South Coast Air Quality Management Department (SCAQMD) and Santa Monica mayor Tony Vazquez in a brief kick-off to a rally drive across California.
Janea said: “We have 15 hydrogen stations open for business and fueling these vehicles today. The fact that we are making a drive from Los Angeles to Sacramento in our fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) demonstrates the significant progress we’ve made in building out the infrastructure.” Clark talked about SCAQMD leadership in clean air and its dedication to hydrogen. “We have scores of international visitors who visit our region to learn what we’re doing for clean air” he said.
As the group mounted up for the first leg of the 380-mile drive, Mary stated, “This rally puts the network to the test and gives us a fun opportunity to highlight that hydrogen-powered cars are essential to meeting our climate goals and a crucial tool in the state’s effort to clean up our air.”
At Harris Ranch, the group stopped for its second ribbon-cutting of the day. As the five FCEVs filled for the next leg of the trip, Tyson said, “A year ago, the ability to refuel a ZEV in three minutes on a trip across California was only a plan. Now, after three minutes at the pump and a pit stop, we’re able to go another 300 miles. The possibilities are endless.”
The vehicles rolled in to Sacramento at 5:15pm and joined state elected leaders and local press for a ride and drive around the capitol, and later fueled at the West Sacramento hydrogen station that opened last year.
The California Energy Commission’s Alternative and Renewable Fuels and Vehicle Technology Program is providing cost-sharing for an initial network of at least 100 stations through 2023 by investing up to $20 million each year for stations located where customers driving fuel cell electric vehicles live, work and travel. About $100 million has been invested to date to support the construction, operation and maintenance of 49 hydrogen refuelling stations, including a mobile refueller. To follow the progress of California’s fuelling network visit www.cafcp.org/stationmap .
The size and rapid growth of China’s economy has resulted in considerably larger carbon dioxide emissions than other nations. Given the magnitude and growth rate of China’s carbon emissions, the country has become a critical partner in developing policy approaches to reducing global CO2 emissions.
In 2011, a new energy program was launched, involving 48 Chinese cities with an objective of expanding public transit while also reducing the number of vehicles in cities. One of the program’s specific goals is to deploy more than 1,000 clean energy buses in each of the participating cities, taking advantage of government subsidies to facilitate this expansion. Fuel cell buses and electric buses are eligible for a subsidy of approximately USD$150,000, through 2017. In addition, hydrogen fuelling stations are eligible for a further subsidy of approximately USD$650,000.
Ballard’s strategy is to deliver proprietary fuel cell stacks, along with technology licenses for the localization of fuel cell module assembly. Having strong local partners is key to opening the Chinese market in that it facilitates access to marketplace provincial-level subsidies and relationships with local transit operators, the end users. Ballard is currently partnered with three companies in China and recent progress has been substantial.
Ballard also has a $17 million agreement with Guangdong Synergy Hydrogen Power Technology Company (Synergy) in support of their planned deployment of approximately 300 fuel cell powered buses in the cities of Foshan and Yunfu, China.
Ballard also has a $10M agreement for power products and technology solutions to support 33 new buses with partners Synergy and Nantong Zehe New Energy Technology Company. The municipal governments in the cities of Yunfu and Rugao plan to have fuel cell bus fleets operating in revenue service in 2016.
The $3M agreement with Tangshan Railway Vehicle Company Ltd. for the development of a new fuel cell module that will be designed to meet the requirements of tram or Modern Ground Rail Transit Equipment applications is progressing well.
WORLD’S FIRST HYDROGEN FUEL CELL TRAM
Ballard has another $6M agreement to develop and commercialize a fuel cell engine specifically designed for integration into low floor trams manufactured by CRRC Qingdao Sifang Company, Ltd. Initial deployment of eight fuel cell powered trams is planned by the city of Foshan in 2017.
Ballard successfully demonstrated the tram at a ceremonial event held in Qingdao, China. The tram, developed in partnership with CRRC Qingdao Sifang Company and powered by Ballard’s FCveloCity® motive modules, had been built in just a few short months.
Progress has been made quickly, with industry coming together to form an overall project plan for the build and operation of the fuel cell powered tram. Since that launch event, the tram has undergone further development work and has now successfully passed a preliminary design review. At the design review event in October 2015, thirteen experts from the Chinese rail industry reviewed and approved the fuel cell tram design, technical standards and operational route.
This first hydrogen fuel cell tram will operate on a 6.6km rail line in the Gaoming district of Foshan, connecting a subway line with a railway station. The line will have ten stations, including a station for hydrogen refueling. The top speed of the tram is 80km per hour, but will typically run at 30km per hour between stations, which is faster than a transit bus. The low floor bus is spacious, with a load capacity of 300 people.
A hydrogen fuel cell tram offers many advantages to transit operators looking to deploy clean energy vehicles. A tram operates at street level, making it faster and less expensive to install than a subway line. With the fuel cell providing power, unsightly overhead catenary lines are unnecessary. Trams are well suited to a variety of urban cities, whether providing transport within a downtown core or efficiently moving riders from outer suburban areas to the downtown.
As part of its publicly stated goal to reduce CO2 emissions 60% from the 1990 level by 2025, the City of London has decided to establish an Ultra-Low Emission Zone in 2020 in the central city and is pursuing an ambitious program to introduce low-emission power trains to its bus fleet.
In support of this plan, Ballard’s FCveloCity®-HD powered fuel cell buses operated by Transport for London (TfL) are now an established fixture of the scenic RV1 route, taking passengers past major landmarks including Tower Bridge, the London Eye and Covent Garden.
SUPPORTED BY EUROPE
The fuel cell powered bus fleet operated by the City of London is part of a series of programs supporting the deployment of fuel cell bus fleets throughout Europe funded by the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH-JU). Europe has been at the forefront of introducing clean energy transit buses to the market place. In the last decade, several large-scale projects demonstrated that fuel cell buses can be operated safely on European roads.
The FCH-JU has published its 2016 call for proposals, including a topic covering the large scale validation of fuel cell bus fleets. Earlier EU programs (CHIC, High VLOCity, HyTransit and 3EMotion) have shown a 75% price reduction of the bus since 1990 with volumes remaining small, but to achieve further cost reductions more significant fleet sizes are required.
This topic calls for simultaneous deployment and demonstration of larger scale fuel cell bus fleets of at least 100 fuel cell buses consisting of at least three locations with a minimum of twenty buses per depot. The project will serve to analyze the operation of large fleets of buses and their impact on everyday heavy usage bus operation, including the specific purchasing mechanisms.
The stated numbers of fuel cell buses in this call for proposals represent a significant step forward from the current scale of deployments in Europe. These increased volumes of fuel cell powered buses would support cost and price reductions through economies-of-scale, enabling fuel cell solutions to compete more effectively with incumbent transit technologies.