FUEL CELLS IN CARBON CAPTURE RESEARCH PROJECT

FuelCell Energy, Inc. has announced their participation in a research contract with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to evaluate the effectiveness of Direct FuelCells® (DFC®) to efficiently separate carbon dioxide from the emissions of industrial operations such as refineries, cement kilns and pulp and paper mills.  These industrial operations generate flue gas, a waste product that contains CO2. The award from the EPA will fund initial testing of the ability for Direct FuelCells to consume flue gas instead of ambient air for the power generation process and their ability to cost effectively separate the CO2 within the flue gas.

Efficiently and effectively separating the CO2 enables sequestration, preventing the release of this greenhouse gas into the atmosphere.  Chris Bentley, Executive Vice President Government R&D Operations, FuelCell Energy, said that carbon capture is an important area of focus for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and their team is excited to be undertaking this leading edge research. The research under Phase I is expected to take up to six months. Successful results may lead to a demonstration project at an industrial site using a DFC power plant to provide ultra-clean electricity and usable heat for the industrial operation, while separating CO2 from the flue gas for sequestration. Capturing CO2 for sequestration is a potentially large global market.

Biogas processing

FuelCell Energy is also participating in a contract with the U.S. Department of Energy to demonstrate advanced biogas desulfurization technology.   Direct FuelCells can be fuelled by renewable biogas generated by industrial processes such as food processing, agriculture and wastewater treatment.  However, the biogas contains a high level of sulfur that must be removed prior to being used as a fuel. The biogas demonstration projects will determine the market feasibility of a new high capacity, expendable sorbent developed by TDA Research, which efficiently removes sulfur from renewable biogas.   If successful, the sorbent could reduce the cost of fuel cells operating on biogas, as it has an expected lifespan that is up to thirty times longer than the technology currently in use.

FuelCell Energy currently has 20 megawatts of DFC biogas power plants installed and in backlog.  TDA Research, Inc., the prime contractor under this U.S. Department of Energy program, developed the sorbents for the projects, which will be demonstrated at a wastewater treatment facility and a family-owned dairy farm, both located in California. The demonstration projects are expected to last 18 months.   www.fce.com

RETAILER JOHN LEWIS PLANS FUEL CELL TRIALS

John Lewis has signed a deal that could lead to it trialling alkaline fuel cell technology to generate low carbon electricity at one of its Waitrose stores.  The company has signed a commercial memorandum of understanding with Surrey based AFC Energy to evaluate the economic potential of its technology. Following successful evaluation, John Lewis will order and demonstrate the system in store as part of an integrated low carbon energy project.

John Lewis Partnership has pledged to deliver an absolute reduction in its carbon emissions of 15% by the end of its 2020/21 trading year, while at the same time targeting a doubling of revenue. This commitment is supported by a range of initiatives and targets covering operational emissions from energy, refrigeration and cooling, transport, waste and water.

The retailer says it could save a potential 200,000 tonnes in carbon emissions by taking 150 stores off grid to generate their electrical and thermal energy. Toby Marlow, engineering manager, John Lewis Partnership, said: “AFC Energy’s alkaline fuel cell gives us the opportunity to make clean electricity on site: it is a revolutionary prospect with exciting potential. This first demonstration could be the beginning of a mutually beneficial long-term relationship.”

AFC Energy’s alkaline fuel cell has the capability to significantly reduce carbon emissions for commercial buildings. An integrated system powered from bio-methane with carbon capture and storage (CCS) offers the ultimate prospect of carbon negative energy generation. www.afcenergy.com

FUEL CELL HYDROGEN BUSES IN EUROPEAN CITIES

The Clean Hydrogen in European Cities Project (CHIC), is the essential next step leading to the full market commercialization of Fuel Cell Hydrogen powered (FCH) buses. The project involves integrating 26 FCH buses in daily public transport operations and bus routes in five locations across Europe – Aargau (Switzerland), Bolzano/Bozen (Italy), London (GB), Milan (Italy), and Oslo (Norway). The CHIC project is supported by the European Union Joint Undertaking for Fuel Cells and Hydrogen (FCH JU) with 26 million Euros, and has 25 partners from across Europe, along with industrial partners for vehicle supply and refueling infrastructure. The project is based on a staged introduction and build-up of FCH bus fleets and the supporting hydrogen refuelling stations and infrastructure, in order to facilitate the smooth integration of the FCH buses in Europe’s public transport system.

Fuel cell buses now in service in London

Three CHIC fuel cell hydrogen buses are now in service in London and by the end of 2011 there will be a total of 8 in operation there.  The buses are running on the RV1 route, which takes passengers to Covent Garden, the Tower of London and the South Bank.  Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, said: “These buses are a marvel of hydrogen technology, emitting only water rather than belching out harmful pollutants. They will run through the most polluted part of the city, through two air pollution hotspots, helping to improve London’s air quality.”

Kit Malthouse, Deputy Mayor for policing and Chair of the London Hydrogen Partnership, is seen here at the driving wheel. He said: “The arrival of a flagship fleet of hydrogen powered buses places London at the forefront of this revolutionary fuel cell technology. We are thinking big and have ambitious plans to promote the use of hydrogen on the ground, propelling vehicles and powering buildings. With these buses, people can now see, touch and feel this technology for themselves and help play an exciting part in London’s energy future.”

David Brown, Managing Director for Surface Transport at Transport for London (TfL), added: “London faces many environmental challenges but we believe alternative fuels, such as hydrogen, will bring genuine long term benefits in tackling CO2 emissions. The arrival of these hydrogen hybrid fuel cell buses marks an exciting new chapter for London Buses as we embrace new technologies to further build on the excellent work we are doing to improve air quality for Londoners.”

The buses will run from a specially designed maintenance facility housed in First’s bus depot at Stratford in east London. This will include the UK’s largest permanent hydrogen refuelling station to be maintained by Air Products.  London has always been at the forefront in using and developing new technology, initially pioneering hydrogen buses in the UK when it took part in the Cleaner Urban Transport for Europe (CUTE) trial.  TfL operated three trial hydrogen buses on the route RV1, using the findings from these trials and that of European partners to seek out the suppliers who have developed these next generation hydrogen fuel cell buses to operate in central London.

The latest bus project is jointly funded by TfL, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and the European Union via the Clean Hydrogen in Cities (CHIC) project.

The London Hydrogen Partnership (LHP) launched an action plan in early 2010 setting out ambitions to create a ‘Hydrogen network’ by 2012, to help accelerate the wider use of this zero-polluting, zero-carbon energy. The LHP is working with London boroughs and private landowners on plans to deliver six refuelling sites to run hydrogen-powered vehicles in the capital over the next two years. It also aims to encourage a minimum of 150 hydrogen-powered vehicles on the road in London by 2012, including 15 hydrogen powered taxis.  www.london.gov.uk/lhp

SCANDINAVIAN HYDROGEN HIGHWAY PARTNERSHIP

The Scandinavian Hydrogen Highway Partnership (SHHP) is working towards making Scandinavia a region where hydrogen is available and used in a network of re-fuelling stations.

One of the first fuelling stations has been operating for several years in Malmö with hydrogen from wind power. The aim is to have a network of hydrogen stations ready by 2015 for 100 buses, 500 cars and 500 speciality vehicles.  The SHHP constitutes a transnational network that catalyses and coordinates collaboration between three national bodies, HyNor of Norway, Hydrogen Link of Denmark and Hydrogen Sweden. Within the Nordic countries there is a long standing and strong collaboration between Icelandic New Energy and the Scandinavian Hydrogen Highway Partnership, with the purpose of deploying fuel cell vehicles and constructing and clustering hydrogen fuelling stations in a cross country infrastructure network.

From December 2011 Hynor Oslo Buss will operate 5 fuel cell buses, with hydrogen as the fuel.  The project includes the building of a hydrogen station and is part of the European demonstration project (CHIC) of fuel cell buses.

SHHP has announced that Hyundai Kia Motors and key hydrogen stakeholders from the Nordic countries, Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Iceland have signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the aim of collaborating towards market deployment of zero emission hydrogen powered fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV).   The Memorandum was signed in the Swedish Embassy in Seoul, Korea.

Following the signing of the Memorandum, Hyundai  Kia and the Nordic partners plan to collaborate on advancing the deployment of an increasing volume of FCEV’s and widespread hydrogen infrastructure in the Nordic countries, setting the scene for commercialization  in 2015, as announced by most of the key automotive players.

http://www.scandinavianhydrogen.org

HYDROGEN + FUEL CELLS 2011, CANADA

Hydrogen + Fuel Cells 2011 (HFC2011) is one of the leading international events for the hydrogen and fuel cell industry. The event will be celebrating its fifth edition and will be held from May 15 – 18, 2011. It will take place at the Vancouver Convention Centre in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

HFC2011 will feature keynote addresses from prominent industry, academic and government speakers as well as topical parallel sessions focusing on key issues in the sector. The event will also feature an extensive exhibition where hydrogen and fuel cell companies and research institutions will have an opportunity to demonstrate their latest efforts. There will be numerous opportunities to network and partner with global leaders in the business, government and scientific communities.

HFC 2011 at a Glance:

  • Canada’s premier hydrogen and fuel cell event attracts approximately 1,000 participants from countries most active in the sector, including the US, Germany, Japan, Denmark, Korea, India, China.
  • Extensive exhibition that covers technologies and services across the hydrogen and fuel cell value chain – from component supply, to fuel cell development, to hydrogen infrastructure.
  • Comprehensive, peer-review technical tracks to ensure ‘latest and greatest’ conference programming.
  • Event takes place in a spectacular setting along the downtown waterfront of Vancouver, Canada. The region is also an acknowledged hub for hydrogen and fuel cell development and deployment.

Participants in Canada’s premier hydrogen and fuel cells event will work together to foster Partnerships for Global Energy Solutions and will have the opportunity to:

  • Experience the latest in hydrogen and fuel cell products, including portable fuel cell devices, back-up power, materials handling, stationary power generation, hydrogen fueling and hydrogen powered vehicles.
  • Engage end users, purchasers and integrators of hydrogen and fuel cell products, including original equipment manufacturers, utilities, transit authorities, government purchasing agencies, fleet managers and warehouse operators.
  • Understand the latest scientific breakthroughs, commercial opportunities and policy developments from the world’s prominent hydrogen and fuel cell experts.
  • Visit pioneering companies and ground-breaking research facilities in Vancouver’s world-renowned hydrogen and fuel cell cluster.
  • Network and partner with global leaders in the business, government and scientific communities.

www.hfc2011.com

LONDON MAYOR WELCOMES HYDROGEN FUEL CELL TAXIS

Intelligent Energy has announced that their Fuel Cell Black Cabs have taken to the roads of London for the first time since being awarded Road Legal status by the UK Vehicle Certification Authority (VCA). At an event on 22nd March, one of the Intelligent Energy powered taxis travelled from Forbes House, headquarters of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and the taxi’s base for the day, to some of London’s most iconic landmarks.

The project to deliver a fleet of the zero emission taxis to the streets of London in time for 2012 is on track, with the first Fuel Cell Black Cabs covering a combined total of over 8,000 miles in road and test track testing conditions. During its first tour of London’s roads, one of the Fuel Cell Black Cabs excelled in rush-hour traffic, with smooth and responsive acceleration provided by the fuel cell and electric motors.

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, wants to make Britain a leader in fuel cell technology and has already announced plans to increase hydrogen refuelling stations around the capital. He said, “These prototype zero-emission taxis are a shining example of British ingenuity, combining revolutionary fuel cell technology with an iconic design classic. This marks an important milestone in my goal to create a cleaner cab fleet, firstly through introduction of the first ever age limits moving towards zero-emission vehicles as they come to market. Affordable and low polluting cabs are within our grasp and I urge manufacturers to accelerate efforts to produce them.”

The zero emission taxis have been developed by a consortium, led by Intelligent Energy, which includes Lotus Engineering, London Taxis International and TRW Conekt with part-funding from the UK Government’s Technology Strategy Board. The fuel cell and battery powered hybrid taxi provides a 250 mile driving range with rapid refuelling, all within the confines of the body of a conventional London taxi. Now that fully functional, validated, proven vehicles have been produced, the consortium plans to push ahead with the delivery of a fleet to London in time for 2012.

“The Fuel Cell Black Cabs are now road proven with thousands of miles of operation. Indeed, many people may have seen them as they have been driven around various parts of the UK, but we are now happy to formally announce their road legal status and that you will be seeing more of them in the coming months,” noted Dr. Henri Winand, Chief Executive of Intelligent Energy. “At a time when London will soon be demonstrating its commitment to excellence in the sporting arena, we are proud to show that the UK can also deliver world-leading zero emissions, fuel cell electric vehicle technology that will make a real difference both to lowering carbon emissions and improving air quality.”

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Chris Huhne said: “Green vehicles are taking to the streets in a big way.  High petrol prices and the desire to clean up our air quality make them the smart choice. The zero emissions London taxi looks and performs just like a conventional taxi, even over long distances.  It’s a great British innovation and I look forward to seeing them in service in London next year.”

Paul Everitt, Chief Executive of SMMT, said:  “The UK is at the heart of the global low carbon industry and is a leader for research and development into new technologies. Over the coming years the low carbon sector is set to become increasingly important for manufacturers and motorists. The Fuel Cell Black Cab is a terrific example of British engineering skills and pioneering innovation.”

INTELLIGENT ENERGY MOVES TOWARDS THE LOW CARBON ECONOMY

Suzuki Burgman Scooter Obtains Whole Vehicle Type Approval

Intelligent Energy and Suzuki Motor Corporation, have announced that the jointly developed Suzuki Burgman Fuel Cell Scooter has obtained Whole Vehicle Type Approval (WVTA) – the first time any fuel cell vehicle has achieved this level of certification in Europe. WVTA qualifies the Suzuki Burgman Fuel Cell Scooter design as safe to use on public roads without having to be inspected and tested individually, and brings zero emission motorcycles a step closer to becoming commercially available.

First exhibited at the 41st Tokyo Motor Show in October 2009, the Suzuki Burgman Fuel Cell Scooter, equipped with the latest version of Intelligent Energy’s unique, air-cooled hydrogen fuel cell system, has been participating in a UK public road testing program run by Intelligent Energy and supported by the UK Government’s Technology Strategy Board. The Suzuki Burgman Fuel Cell Scooter design has now met with specified EU performance standards meaning that the vehicle and its components are approved for production and sale within Europe.

Chris Huhne MP, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change visited Intelligent Energy and is seen here on the WVTA Certified Suzuki Burgman Fuel Cell Scooter. Also in the photograph are from left to right, Yasuhara Osawa, Managing Director of Suzuki GB, Dr. Henri Winand, Chief Executive of Intelligent Energy, and Dennis Hayter, VP Business Development, Intelligent Energy.

The Chairman and CEO of Suzuki Motor Corporation, Mr. O. Suzuki, stated: “Suzuki Motor Corporation is pleased to announce that the Suzuki Burgman Fuel Cell Scooter has become the world’s first fuel cell vehicle to earn Whole Vehicle Type Approval in the European Union.  Our aim is to make eco-friendly fuel cell scooters increasingly common in Europe, in line with the establishment of hydrogen filling stations and other necessary infrastructure.”

The city-friendly Suzuki Burgman Fuel Cell Scooter was jointly launched in Europe at London’s City Hall in February last year. At the event, the Chair of the London Hydrogen Partnership and London’s Deputy Mayor for Policing, Kit Malthouse, hailed the zero emission scooter as a “fantastic piece of kit which shows how we can combat climate change.” A fleet of the scooters will now undergo a further test program in various public road conditions at sites in the East Midlands and London.

Chris Huhne also had an opportunity to test drive the Fuel Cell Black Cab – a fleet of which is targeted to hit the streets of London for 2012. “The zero emissions London taxi, developed here in Loughborough, looks and performs just like a conventional taxi, even over longer distances,” he said.  “It’s a great British innovation and I look forward to seeing them in service in London next year.  Low carbon energy is a big growth sector and firms like Intelligent Energy, who are taking innovative ideas out of the lab and putting them into practice, are going to be the big names of the new economy.”

Earlier Dr. Winand and Rolls Royce Chairman, Sir John Rose, had briefed UK Government Cabinet Ministers, including the Prime Minister David Cameron, the Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, the Business Secretary, Vince Cable and the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Chris Huhne. The briefing followed news earlier this year that Dr. Winand had joined the Government’s new Green Economy Council, composed of senior business leaders across the industrial sector, including Ford, Centrica, and IBM.   “Ministerial visits such as these help us to convey both the significant progress Intelligent Energy is making towards the commercialisation of clean technologies on an international stage, and support our shared goal to position the UK as a leader in the deployment and manufacture of low carbon technologies,” explained Dr. Winand.     http://www.intelligent-energy.com