Plug Power Inc. has received its third order from Sysco Corporation for its GenDrive® fuel cell units. The current order comes from Sysco’s Front Royal Virginia Baugh Northeast Co-op, Inc. redistribution facility, where 100 hydrogen fuel cell units will power the electric lift truck fleet in the 800,000 sq. ft. redistribution center. The order includes:

5 class-1 GenDrive units to be used in sit down counterbalanced trucks

76 class-2 GenDrive units to be used in standup reach trucks

19 class-3 GenDrive units to be used in pallet jacks

Baugh Northeast has, to date, used lead-acid batteries to power its lift truck fleet and conversion to fuel cells will allow increased fleet utilization and productivity within the facility. Improvements in operational costs will be identified as the infrastructure associated with the lead-acid battery charging, changing and maintenance is removed, opening up 5,000 sq. ft. of facility space to use for other business operations.  In addition to increased productivity with lower operational costs, Baugh Northeast will also see an improvement in its environmental footprint. As an alternative energy power unit, GenDrive generates only heat and water as by-products, reducing greenhouse gas emissions at the Virginia site. By implementing GenDrive solutions, Plug Power customers have been able to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80%.     “Once again, Sysco has distinguished itself as a forward-thinking industry leader,” said Andy Marsh, CEO at Plug Power. “For Plug Power, it’s extremely rewarding to see our commercially viable GenDrive products making a substantial impact for another repeat customer. I’m optimistic that we’ll see more of Sysco’s distribution centers convert to fuel cells as the benefits continue to be realized within the organization.”  Following upon conversions to fuel cell powered fleets at the Sysco Houston and Sysco Philadelphia sites, Baugh Northeast is the third Sysco facility to convert its lift truck fleet to GenDrive fuel cells.


UPS Systems has signed an innovative new distributor agreement with Air Liquide Hydrogen Energy to become the first UK company to offer its three brand new hydrogen fuel cell systems: the Energy Container, the Mobixane and the Commpac 500.  This unique initiative will allow UPS Systems to lease Air Liquide’s products to customers. This is a first for the UK market and part of UPS Systems’ approach to broaden the use of fuel cells in the UK and develop the market place.   All three of Air Liquide Hydrogen Energy’s hydrogen systems are powered by a PEM fuel cell. They offer an autonomous, clean power supply for remote locations where access to mains grid power is difficult. The units are silent when operational, easy to deploy and require little maintenance. The Energy Container is a containerized unit comprising a fuel cell, which delivers up to 2.5kW of power, power electronics and corresponding hydrogen supply. The unit offers an unlimited runtime as long as a constant supply of hydrogen is present, making it suitable for construction and remote sites, events and festivals.  The Mobixane is a portable unit generating up to 2.5kW of power, with enough hydrogen storage to provide eight hours runtime. It’s suited to the entertainment industry, on TV and film sets. The Commpac 500 is a light solution generating up to 0.5kW of power with an unlimited runtime for remote sites that don’t have easy access to the National Grid.

UPS Systems Managing Director, Tom Sperrey, said, “Air Liquide Hydrogen Energy’s rental model is a major breakthrough for the UK market. Whilst we are seeing more and more companies interested in fuel cells for their organizations, one of the barriers to adopting higher-output fuel cell systems has been the capital costs involved.   To be able to lease Air Liquide Hydrogen Energy’s hydrogen systems means that the technology is now much more financially accessible and we predict that this will open up entirely new markets for fuel cells and their adoption as a current and viable technology. This also provides an excellent opportunity for those interested in incorporating fuel cells into their business to lease a unit for a short fixed period of time and to assess their benefits with absolutely no risk.  We find that once a customer has experienced the unique benefits of fuel cells they quickly become an advocate of them.”


Electricity, heat, cooling and refrigeration for Stop & Shop

The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company has announced a significant step in retail store innovation: a special dedication of a 400 kW fuel cell – a first for the supermarket chain – at its store in East Torrington, Connecticut.

The UTC Power PureCell® System Model 400, was supported with a grant from the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund’s On-Site Renewable Distributed Generation Program and is the first fuel cell utilized by the Stop & Shop Supermarket Company. It is expected to generate over 90% of the store’s electric energy. “In our commitment to be a sustainable company, we continually look for new innovations and technologies that help us build more energy efficient stores,” said Jihad Rizkallah, vice president of store planning for Stop & Shop. “The fuel cell technology is the latest step we’ve taken to ensure we’re doing everything we can to lower our impact on the environment in each community we serve.”

Cutting electricity and gas bills

Since the fuel cell was commissioned last summer it has produced over 1.7 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity, accounting for 95% of the store’s total electric energy requirements. This, coupled with the use of the thermal energy produced by the fuel cell, has reduced the total electric and natural gas utility bills for the store by roughly 50%.  By generating most of its power on site, Stop & Shop is able to reduce the burden on the local power grid and its impact on the environment. The fuel cell operates without fossil fuel combustion which in turn makes electricity production virtually pollution-free.

Highlights of the fuel cell operation are:

§  Stop & Shop anticipates it will prevent the release of more than 523 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually – the equivalent of planting more than 120 acres of trees.

§  The annual nitrogen oxide emissions reduction will be equivalent to removing 88 cars from roadways.

§  Designed to operate in water-balance, with no consumption or discharge of water under normal operations, the fuel cell at the Torrington Stop & Shop store will save 3.5 million gallons of water compared to central utility generated electricity.

“Stop & Shop did an outstanding job integrating this fuel cell into its new, energy-efficient supermarket in Torrington and maximizing the energy attributes of the fuel cell,” said Dale Hedman, acting president of the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund. “The store will not only benefit from electricity produced by the fuel cell but will also benefit from the fuel cell’s waste heat, which will be used for heating, cooling and refrigeration.”

Growing demand for fuel cells

This fuel cell joins a growing fleet of UTC Power’s PureCell® System Model 400 units. In 2010, UTC Power installed dozens of its stationary fuel cells at locations in California, Connecticut, New York, Wisconsin and South Korea.   Since delivery to its first customer in late 2009, UTC Power’s next-generation stationary fuel cell, the PureCell® Model 400 System fleet has completed 100,000 hours of field operation.   In reaching this mark, the growing fleet has generated enough energy to power more than 3,000 homes for over a year.  This game-changing product is one of the cleanest, quietest and most energy-efficient power-generating options available in the world today.  The PureCell® Model 400 System has an industry-leading 10-year cell stack life – twice the durability of the previous generation.   It builds upon technical development with over 9 million operating hours of the previous Model 200.   Mike Brown, UTC Power vice president of government affairs said, “By providing clean, efficient and continuous base-load energy for buildings, fuel cells have become a proven and crucial component of the energy independence roadmap.”

Residential buildings generating own power

Becker + Becker, an architecture and development firm, has already purchased and installed two PureCell® Model 400 Systems. One system is in a 500-unit LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) project in New Haven, Conn., making the facility the first large-scale mixed-use residential building to generate a majority of its own power onsite with a fuel cell. Another PureCell System is generating power and thermal energy at the Octagon, a 500-unit LEED upscale residential building on Roosevelt Island, N.Y.      Bruce Redman Becker, president of Becker + Becker said, “We are proud to pioneer the fuel cell revolution in multi-family development, powering the first 1,000 homes with UTC Power’s Model 400 System.

The PureCell Model 400 can provide up to 400 kW of assured electrical power, plus 1.7

million Btu/hour of heat for combined heat and power applications. In a combined heat and

power application, the fuel cell can achieve an industry-best 90% total system efficiency,

resulting in lower energy costs and reduced emissions for customers.

Power and heat around the clock

In late 2010 St Helena Hospital in California acquired a PureCell Model 400 to provide power and thermal energy around the clock.  Since the early 1990s, UTC Power has designed, manufactured and installed more than 300 stationary fuel cell power plants in 19 countries on six continents. The fuel cells are located at diverse locations, including educational institutions, hospitals, manufacturing and wastewater treatment facilities, office buildings and supermarkets.  To keep up with the growing demand for the PureCell System, UTC Power recently completed a major upgrade to its world-class production facility in South Windsor, Conn., which now features fuel cell fabrication robotics, rail and turntable assembly and state-of-the-art testing stations.


Mark Prisk MP, the UK Government Minister of State for Business and Enterprise, visited Intelligent Energy’s Headquarters at Loughborough, UK .   Mark Prisk (centre) is seen here with  Intelligent Energy’s Director of Communications, Dr Jon Moore (left) and Director of Corporate Finance, Dr Mark Lawson-Statham (right). The Minister received a tour of the company’s offices, test and production areas and was shown examples of Intelligent Energy’s leading hydrogen fuel cell technologies. The fuel cell systems are presently being commercialized for multiple applications for transport, stationary, backup and portable power. Following the tour, the Minister had a ride in the company’s fuel cell electric hybrid London Black Cab and discussed the rollout of hydrogen and fuel cell vehicles in the UK with Intelligent Energy’s senior team.


AFC Energy plc won the Clean Energy Rushlight Award, which is designed to celebrate and publicise significant achievements in developing clean fuels.  The Award aims to encourage further development and investment in clean technology, as well as the wider adoption of clean fuels by consumers and commerce.  The winners were chosen by a panel of expert judges, which included representatives from the British Geological Survey, DECC, WWF, the Carbon Trust and DEFRA. As a consequence of their win, AFC Energy is now eligible to go forward and represent the UK in the European Business Awards for the Environment. AFC Energy is a developer of a low cost, fully scalable alkaline fuel cell. Focused on large-scale power generation, the technology produces electricity from hydrogen at up to 60% efficiency and has demonstrated its suitability for a large range of industrial applications and global markets. Current applications include combining fuel cells with coal gasification, a revolutionary approach to clean energy generation; waste to energy, which could see the end of landfills; and industries such as the chlor alkaline sector, where hydrogen is produced as a by-product.


Ceres Power Holdings plc has commenced commercial field trials of its wall‐mounted Combined Heat and Power (CHP) product in people’s homes.  Following upon receipt of the formal CE (European Conformity) certificate, an operating fuel cell CHP product generating heat and power has now been installed in the family home of a British Gas customer in South East England.

The field trials will continue throughout 2011 and into 2012 with CHP products being deployed in a wide range of homes across the country.  The first wave of CHP products is being installed in customers’ homes during the first quarter of 2011, with the second wave of products incorporating valuable in‐field experience to follow six months later. The final wave of at least 150 field trial CHP products will take place in 2012 to test the Company’s ability to scale‐up for initial product sales and volume launch with British Gas.

Alongside the trials there is an extensive on‐going testing programme of CHP products and components at the Company’s test facilities. The CHP products for the field trials are being manufactured using processes which can be scaled up for volume production.  The fuel cells at the heart of the product are being produced at the Ceres factory in Horsham and the CHP boiler assembly is taking place at the Daalderop factory in Holland. Peter Bance, Chief Executive Officer of Ceres Power, commented; “We have made enormous progress in the development of our product over the past few months and the start of commercial field trials is a major milestone in Ceres Power’s development. I am delighted that our unique wall mounted fuel cell CHP product is now being installed in consumers’ homes and look forward to selling the product in conjunction with British Gas.”

Former FIAT Design Chief joins Riversimple

Christopher Reitz, the top European car designer who headed the design team at Fiat – where he was responsible for the Fiat 500 – and then Alfa Romeo, has joined Riversimple, the UK based company which is developing a hydrogen fuel cell car.  It is one of the most high-profile moves away from the traditional automotive industry to sustainable transport and Reitz said: “This really is a step into something different, to design cars that really are the future. Increasingly I have felt that it does not make much sense to move tons of steel around, using a lot of fuel and resources. There has to be a better way and I think Riversimple has found it, not only with its hydrogen fuel cell car but with the whole concept of the company which has as its goal complete sustainability.”

Reitz’s first job will be to design the cars that will be seen on the streets of Leicester, when pilot schemes get underway in the summer of 2012. In a ground-breaking deal with Leicester City Council, 30 cars will be driven around Leicester for a year, with drivers providing feedback on their experience.   Reitz, aged 42, said: “It has to look good as well as be functional. We don’t want to shock because if you shock you are very quickly old and out of fashion. We need to be robust, innovative and safe and getting the right mixture will help produce a successful product. It is very exciting.’ Hugo Spowers, the Riversimple founder, said: “I am delighted that someone of Chris’ calibre and standing in the automotive world has decided to join Riversimple and help us to produce sustainable cars that will be the envy of others. Chris has been responsible for some of the most beautiful and practical designs in the auto industry in recent years. His experience and flair will be of great help to us as we move towards seeing Riversimple cars on the streets and roads of the UK.”


FuelCell Energy, Inc. has announced the sale of a 300 kilowatt DFC300 (DFC) fuel cell to the Crown Estate for installation at the Quadrant 3 re-development project on London’s Regent Street. The fuel cell will help the project meet clean air emission requirements and carbon reduction targets.   The Quadrant 3 project is a 250,000 square foot mixed use retail/office/residential redevelopment project being developed by The Crown Estate with assistance from the Stanhope Estate.  The redevelopment project will maintain the historical character of the area while incorporating modern technology and sustainable environmental practices.    “Our long term outlook means that sustainability is a critically important part of our approach to business,” said Alastair Smart, Head of Development, The Crown Estate.  “Reliable on-site power generation delivered in an environmentally friendly manner is an important aspect of our development projects and the fuel cell fits our requirements at Quadrant 3.” The plant is expected to be operational later this year.

Efficient, non-polluting, quiet operation inside building

The fuel cell will be physically located inside the building as the quiet operation and virtual lack of pollutants from fuel cells is well-suited for such urban applications. The power generation process of the fuel cell uses an electrochemical reaction rather than combustion, which very efficiently converts fuel into clean electricity.  The DFC power plant generates clean electricity and high quality heat. Fuel cells can achieve up to 90% efficiency when the heat is utilized in a combined heat and power (CHP) configuration. The heat for this fuel cell installation will be used for facility heating and cooling, resulting in maximum fuel efficiency and cost savings for the client. The fuel cell project designer and installer, Logan Energy Limited, estimates the overall efficiency of this DFC installation at 82%.

Due to the lack of combustion, the fuel cell emits virtually no pollutants, such as NOx, SOx or particulate matter. This electrochemical power generation process is quiet, allowing for a normal conversational tone next to an operating fuel cell. “We were attracted by the various attributes of the fuel cell including the steady power output combined with ultra-clean, efficient and quiet power generation,” said Paul Hargreaves, Development Director, Stanhope Plc, which is overseeing the development for The Crown Estate. “The high quality heat produced by the fuel cell will be used for heating and cooling the buildings, improving the economics of this power plant as both electricity and heat are produced.”

“Fuel cells emit virtually no pollutants, an important attribute for an urban location,” said Chip Bottone, President and Chief Executive Officer, FuelCell Energy, Inc. “This order by The Crown Estate demonstrates the value of ultra-clean and reliable fuel cell power to support sustainability goals. Recent clean energy proposals announced by the British and other European governments make the European markets attractive for fuel cells.”   The Crown Estate is a successful business organization guided by its core values – commercialism, integrity and stewardship.  It manages a diverse property portfolio which includes office, retail and industrial premises; housing; farmland; forestry and minerals; parkland; and around half the foreshore and almost all the seabed around the UK.


ITM Power has announced an early result from the initial phase of their high power density fuel cell membrane testing, which is supported by a grant from the Carbon Trust.   They have demonstrated exceptionally high power densities with their proprietary hydrocarbon membrane materials for hydrogen/oxygen fuel cells. A step change from the current state of the art has been achieved, with what is believed to be the highest power density ever recorded for a PEM fuel cell (5.5W/cm2 and 10A/cm2) using pure oxygen.

While the Company’s initial investigations focused on hydrogen and oxygen fed fuel cells, a commercial fuel cell system for deployment in a vehicle requires air to be used as the oxidant. ITM has now successfully demonstrated the performance of the membrane in a hydrogen/air fuel cell developing over 2.1W/cm2 and 4A/cm2, more than doubling the power density performance presently available on the market. This early result with air exceeds the ambitious target of 1.5W/cm2 as defined as part of the Carbon Trust project and is further evidence of the potential for ITM Power’s materials to offer a step change in performance.

Commenting for ITM Power, CEO Graham Cooley said: “I am very pleased with the rate of technical progress. Exceeding our power density target for the fuel cell during the initial phase of the Carbon Trust project shows the huge potential of our materials and the enthusiasm with which we are attacking this development.  I look forward to reporting further progress on completion of the project.”    Pierre Gaudillat, Technology Commercialization Manager, the Carbon Trust added: “We are delighted with how the fuel cell project with ITM is progressing. It is clear that ITM’s technology has a great deal to offer and we continue to facilitate introductions to potential commercial end users interested in these exciting developments.” The summary of the power density performance achieved by ITM’s patented membrane technology has been updated on the company’s website

7th Annual International Conference and Exhibition, Generating the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Society

Wednesday 30 March NEC, Birmingham 09.00-17.00

The 7th Annual International Conference and Exhibition on Hydrogen and Fuel Cells at the NEC, Birmingham on 30th March will address both national and international perspectives, as well as the latest technological developments in the following areas: hydrogen production, storage and distribution, fuel cells for heat and power and transport applications.

Fuel cells to meet consumer requirements

A presentation from the University of Birmingham will give the latest news about the UK’s first hydrogen vehicle fleet and Element Energy will outline progress with hydrogen fuel cell fleets in Europe.  Smart transport possibilities, including hydrogen, will be considered in a presentation by the Airmax Group.   A presentation by SFC, Germany, will outline fuel cells attractive to consumers in Europe and the USA and a speaker from Yamanashi University in Japan will discuss the latest fuel cell developments.  The role of PEM fuel cells for micro CHP will be considered in a presentation from Amec and the latest developments will be discussed by Johnson Matthey.  The opportunities for a decarbonised UK grid operating fuel cells will be proposed by a speaker from E.ON and applications for fuel cells in a low carbon energy system will be examined in a presentation from Imperial College.

Low carbon energy

The different sources of hydrogen, from biomass and renewable electricity, to fossil fuels with carbon capture, will be examined.  The costs and impacts of renewable hydrogen will be outlined by a speaker from UNIZAR, Spain. The developing hydrogen infrastructure in the UK and USA will be covered in presentations from ETI and Air Products.  There will also be a presentation from AMI in the USA about solid oxide fuel cells powered by propane.

Partnering events

The Head of the European Joint Technology Initiative (JTI) for Hydrogen and Fuel Cells will discuss co-operation and the potential for involvement in future projects.  A partnering event has been designed to complement the conference, enabling industrial and research organisations at the conference to benefit from a series of pre-arranged meetings with potential collaborators from across the continent and beyond. It is envisaged that the conference and brokerage event will facilitate greater technical and commercial cooperation, as well as partnerships for the EU 7th Framework Programme and the JTI. A workshop on the UK Industry Grouping will be led by the UK Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association. This is an exceptional opportunity for participants to have access to an international conference with leading edge organisations from across the world.   Hydrogen and fuel cells are increasingly perceived as important components in a low carbon economy due to their high efficiencies, zero emissions and easy conversions.  The East and West Midlands regions of the UK are strong players in the emerging hydrogen and fuel cells sector.