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Clean Energy Perspectives:
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Clean Energy Perspectives

Hydrogen, Driving the Future

January 16, 2014
Hydrogen, Driving the Future

Hydrox holding may have unlocked the secret to cheap clean renewable energy

Fill up a tank with some water, flip the switch, and within minutes you have created enough hydrogen energy to power your vehicle, house, and any other peripheral devices for days to come.

Hydrox Holdings, a company out of South Africa, has reinvented the way hydrogen fuel is developed, and if it has its way, its new invention will create a world without power cables stretching over vast distances.  Instead, we will have power on demand.

Hydrox Holdings’ process differs from conventional hydrogen fuel cell technology in that they have done away with the membrane. 

“There is no membrane, the resistance is gone. The big thing is the cost of the membrane, they are made from noble metals that have inherent problems, like clogging, they don’t last long and cannot take high heat,” Corrie Dejager, Hydrox Holding’s founder and an attorney by profession, told CCTV.

With one of these devices, one will be able to create hydrogen on demand.  There will be no need for vast pipe lines, or other transporting mechanism since you can create hydrogen where it is needed.

Dejager envisions a world where every household has one of these devices.

“It must be inexpensive, less than $5,000 US, and you make your own hydrogen.  You don’t have to go to a filling station.  This will open up the hydrogen era,” said Dejager.

The next step for Hydrox Holdings is to find a company that can take it to the next level and commercialize the technology.

For the original information, please click here.

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Toyota eyes California hydrogen station network

January 08, 2014
Toyota eyes California hydrogen station network

Toyota Motor Corp., which is getting ready to sell Camry-size sedans powered by fuel cells in the U.S. next year, plans to help create a network of hydrogen stations that may include pumps at car dealers and even trash dumps.

The world’s largest automaker showed its hydrogen-fueled FCV sedan, a concept version of the car Toyota will sell in the U.S. and Japan next year, at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Monday. Along with cutting costs to make the vehicles, Toyota will do “whatever we can” to get more fuel stations set up, Bob Carter, Toyota’s U.S. group vice president, said in an interview.

“We’re throwing everything against the wall,” Carter said Monday in Las Vegas. “We know we have to push the infrastructure.”

Toyota, Hyundai Motor Co. and Honda Motor Co. have announced plans to sell hydrogen cars and crossovers initially to drivers in California, where strict state rules require increasing numbers of zero-emission vehicles be sold each year through 2025. Currently, the state has about 10 public hydrogen fuel pumps, although the number is set to rise from this year, with a target of 100 more within a decade.

California committed last year to spending as much as $200 million to expand its fueling network by 2024. Toyota is working with the University of California at Irvine and state officials to identify ideal sites for future fuel pumps. Only 68 stations are needed to ensure most California drivers have a place to refuel, Carter said.

While hydrogen for fuel and industrial uses is produced mainly by steaming it out of natural gas, Toyota is exploring alternative sources, including methane emitted from waste-treatment plants, trash dumps and landfills, and agricultural sources, Craig Scott, the carmaker’s U.S. national manager for advanced technologies, said in an interview in Las Vegas.

Toyota is exploring how to work with other companies to set up pumps dispensing hydrogen from such sources, Scott said, without elaborating.

Some Toyota dealers in California may also install hydrogen pumps, Carter said.

Concrete steps by Toyota to set up stations will come within a few months, Carter said. “We’re going to do what we can to help kick-start the construction of convenient hydrogen refueling infrastructure.”

Fuel-cell autos are similar to battery-only models such as Nissan Motor Co.’s Leaf hatchback and Tesla Motors Inc.’s Model S sedan in avoiding tailpipe pollution from burning gasoline.

Battery models carry electricity in their lithium-ion battery packs, while fuel-cell vehicles make electricity on board in a chemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen, with only water vapor as a byproduct. While hydrogen vehicles have a range comparable to gasoline vehicles and need only a few minutes to refuel — compared with hours for most battery autos — there are few hydrogen pumps currently open to the public.

For the original article, please click here.

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PowerDisc Announces New Chairman of the Board

January 08, 2014
PowerDisc Announces New Chairman of the Board

Dr. Andreas Truckenbrodt Will Accelerate Growth of Fuel Cell Company

Vancouver, British Columbia - PowerDisc Development Corporation, a Vancouver-based fuel cell company, today announced that Dr. Andreas Truckenbrodt has been appointed as Chairman of the Board of Directors. He replaces John Morgan who has led the Board since 2010 and will remain as a Director.

"I am honored and proud to welcome such a distinguished professional as Dr. Andreas Truckenbrodt to Chair the PowerDisc Board," said David Leger, President and Chief Executive Officer and founder of PowerDisc. "Dr. Truckenbrodt is an accomplished executive and strategic decision maker, and he brings an extensive understanding of the fuel cell, energy and automotive industries that will help lead us into the future. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank John Morgan for his significant contribution to the advancement of the company as Chairman of the Board for the last three years."

Dr. Truckenbrodt joins the PowerDisc Board of Directors as Chairman after more than 12 years of experience in the fuel cell industry and over 25 years in the automotive sector. Dr. Truckenbrodt is currently Chief Executive and Chief Technical Officer for the Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation(AFCC), a joint-venture of Daimler AG and Ford Motor Company. Previously, Dr. Truckenbrodt was responsible for the DaimlerChrysler Hybrid Development Center following a number of high level executive positions within DaimlerChrysler including the head of the company's Fuel Cell and Alternative Powertrain Vehicles. Dr. Truckenbrodt has also worked with Ballard Power Systems, Daewoo and BMW.

Dr. Truckenbrodt has been instrumental in collaborating with organizations around the world to promote the commercialization of fuel cell vehicles and help improve the environment, including eight years as a member of the Steering Committee (and past-Chairman) of the California Fuel Cell Partnership, a collaboration of auto manufacturers, energy providers, government agencies and fuel cell technology companies.

As Chairman of the Board for PowerDisc, Dr. Truckenbrodt will oversee the strategic direction of PowerDisc and work closely with company management as it seeks to build its position as a leading clean energy provider specializing in fuel cell and hydrogen products.

"I am delighted to be joining the PowerDisc team," said Dr. Truckenbrodt. "The fuel cell market is undergoing rapid growth, fueled by increased demand for clean energy solutions. The outlook for PowerDisc products is very promising, in particular because of their durability, performance, and cost benefits. This allows PowerDisc to compete with internal combustion engine solutions, which is needed for ongoing commercial success. When it comes to levelized cost of energy, we've got a strong business case. I look forward to joining such a professional team and contributing to the advancement and long-term sustainability of the organization."

Dr. Andreas Truckenbrodt joins existing PowerDisc Board members David Leger, Ron Sturm, Lee Rogers, Ian Robertson, and John Morgan.

About PowerDisc

PowerDisc Development Corporation is an alternative energy company that designs, develops and markets fuel cell technology solutions in a number of global markets for a range of applications including stationary, back-up power, transportation, material handling and portable applications. The company's technologies enable fuel cell developers and integrators to optimize product performance, improve durability, eliminate costly components, and accelerate down the cost curve earlier than anticipated. Research and development facilities are based in Vancouver, Canada - the worldwide hub for fuel cell research and development - at the National Research Council of Canada located at the University of British Columbia. For further information, visit www.powerdisc.ca.

Contact Information

Debby Harris
PowerDisc Development Corporation
Tel: 778-386-4333
Email: debby.harris@powerdisc.ca

For the original press release, please click here.

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Milestone Year for Fuel Cell Energy Installations

December 16, 2013
Milestone Year for  Fuel Cell Energy Installations

Bloom Energy's big-name corporate clients have helped it install more than 100 megawatts of electricity generation capacity in th past 12 years. One of eBay's new data centres even relies on the company's Energy Servers as its primary energy source.

But one of Bloom's competitors, FuelCell Energy, apparently has sold triple that capacity - 300 megawatts, which are installed or in "backlog". That includes the world's biggest fuel cell "park", a 59-megawatt installation nearing completion in South Korea. (It's supposed to go online before the end of December.)

"We installed our first commercial fuel cell plant in 2003 and announced 1 billion kilowatt-hours of ultra-clean power production in January 2011, which is a time span of eight years", said Chip Bottone, President and CEO of FuelCell Energy. "We generated the second billion kilowatt-hours in just under two years, and the next billion is expected to be generated in less than one year as a 15-megawatt fuel cell park is nearing completion in Bridgeport, Conn., and a 59-megawatt fuel cell park, the world's largest, is nearing completion in South Korea."

For perspective, 2 billion kilowatt-hours of energy is roughly the amount of power that it takes to run about 181,000 average size U.S. homes for one year.

Just to drive things home even more. The entire generation capacity installed by fuel cell technology vendors in 2012 was 120 megawatts, almost three times the amount installed in 2011, according to data from Navigant Research.

The number of companies in the sector generating revenue of more than $1 million almost doubled last year: from 24 to 42.

"Previously, the very survival of the industry was in question," said Kerry-Ann Adamson, research director with Navigant Research. "Today, in a number of ways, the fuel cell sector is stronger and healthier than ever."

FuelCell Energy's technology, called Direct FuelCell power plants, uses natural gas or renewable biogas (from sources such as wastewater treatment of food processing) to generate electricity. The technology is being used in 50 locations globally, bu businesses that are seeking an alternate power source - either to meet some sort of renewable energy portfolio goal or just to hedge bets against grid power failures.

The market segment targeted by Bloom and FuelCell Energy is for stationary equipment. Both are attempting to position their technology as appropriate for primary power in business or industrial settings, as well as for back-up applications.

Other companies attempting to reach the same spaces include AFC Energy (from the United Kingdom), Altergy Systems (U.S.), Ballard Power Systems (Canada), ClearEdge Power(the U.S. company that bought some the United Technologies fuel-cell division in mid-2013), and Electro Power Systems (Italy).

For the original article, please click here.

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Ballard Fuel Cell Systems to be Used in Telecom Continuous Power Pilot at India Cellular in India

December 11, 2013
Ballard Fuel Cell Systems to be Used in Telecom Continuous Power Pilot at India Cellular in India

VANCOUVERDec. 10, 2013 /CNW/ - Ballard Power Systems (NASDAQ: BLDP)(TSX: BLD) will be supplying ElectraGen™-ME fuel cell systems for a pilot project in Idea Cellular's India telecom network. The fuel cell systems will be utilized in combination with solar technology to generate continuous power at five wireless base station sites. Funding for a feasibility study as well as the pilot project has been made available through a grant from the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA).

This project will support Idea Cellular's efforts to find clean energy solutions to replace the use of diesel generators in its network throughout India. The trial is scheduled to take place in early 2014 utilizing Ballard ElectraGen™-ME 2.5 kilowatt methanol-based fuel cell systems, which will be deployed in combination with solar power technology the five Idea Cellular tower sites.

"Idea Cellular, an Aditya Birla Group Company, has been a pioneer in renewable energy technologies deployment to power telecom sites in India, for the past several years," said Mr. Himanshu Kapania, Managing Director at IdeaCellular. "The grant offered by USTDA will further spur our efforts towards reducing carbon emissions from telecom infrastructure in the country."

Karim Kassam, Ballard's Vice President of Business Development added, "We are certainly pleased to expand our relationship with Idea Cellular in India with this opportunity to showcase our methanol-fuelled systems in a continuous power application."

Idea Cellular is India's third-largest mobile services operator, with 128 million subscribers, and has been powering telecom base stations in the region of Nadga, Madhya Pradesh with Ballard's ElectraGen™-H2 direct hydrogen systems since early 2012. These systems utilize by-product hydrogen from a nearby chemical product plant as a low-cost fuel source.

Increasingly, telecom network operators in India are looking to fuel cell technology to meet government regulations concerning deployment of renewable energy systems. India's Department of Telecommunications has mandated that at least 50% of all rural towers and 20% of urban towers be powered using clean energy systems by 2015. The regulation is targeted at reducing the country's reliance on diesel generators, which currently power 60% of all wireless base station sites.

Telecom Backup Power solutions based on fuel cell technology deliver a number of advantages over conventional batteries and diesel generators. These include higher reliability across a wide range of operating conditions, lower maintenance costs, longer operating life as well as reduced size, weight, installation footprint, noise signature and environmental impact.

Ballard's ElectraGen™-ME methanol-fuelled systems are particularly well suited for 'extended runtime' backup power needs. These systems are designed for high reliability, long life and minimal preventive maintenance. They include a fuel reformer that converts HydroPlus™ (a methanol-water liquid fuel mixture) into hydrogen gas to power the fuel cell.

The pilot project is subject to completion of final documents, currently in discussion between the parties. The USTDA press release announcement is available here -http://www.ustda.gov/news/pressreleases/2013/SouthAsia/India/IndiaCleanEnergyTelecomTowers_120213.asp.

About Ballard Power Systems
Ballard Power Systems (TSX: BLD) (NASDAQ: BLDP) provides clean energy fuel cell products enabling optimized power systems for a range of applications. Products deliver incomparable performance, durability and versatility. To learn more about Ballard, please visit www.ballard.com.

This release contains forward-looking statements concerning market developments for our products and corresponding value propositions for our customers. These forward-looking statements reflect Ballard's current expectations as contemplated under section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Any such forward-looking statements are based on Ballard's assumptions relating to its financial forecasts and expectations regarding its product development efforts, manufacturing capacity, and market demand.

These statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause Ballard's actual results to be materially different, including general economic and regulatory changes, detrimental reliance on third parties, successfully achieving our business plans and achieving and sustaining profitability. For a detailed discussion of these and other risk factors that could affect Ballard's future performance, please refer to Ballard's most recent Annual Information Form. Readers should not place undue reliance on Ballard's forward-looking statements and Ballard assumes no obligation to update or release any revisions to these forward looking statements, other than as required under applicable legislation.

Guy McAree +1.604.412.7919, media@ballard.com or investors@ballard.com

SOURCE Ballard Power Systems Inc.

Image with caption: "Ballard ElectraGen™-ME methanol fuel cell backup power system installed at a telecom base station site (CNW Group/Ballard Power Systems Inc.)". Image available at:http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20131210_C9484_PHOTO_EN_34808.jpg

For further information:

Guy McAree +1.604.412.7919, media@ballard.com or investors@ballard.com

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Hyundai Will Debut The Intrado Fuel Cell Concept At The 2014 Geneva Motor Show

December 11, 2013
Hyundai Will Debut The Intrado Fuel Cell Concept At The 2014 Geneva Motor Show

It appears that Hyundai will be launching a new fuel cell vehicle in the near future. 

Hyundai has recently released a teaser and rendered drawing of the Intrado vehicle concept, current speculatation indicates that the powertrain is lighter and smaller that that of the ix35 Fuel Cell.

The Intrado will be making it's first appearance at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show. 

More information regarding the details can be found on the autoblog.

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Hydrogen Cars Showcased At Los Angeles Auto Show Could Be Future Of Transportation

November 25, 2013
Hydrogen Cars Showcased At Los Angeles Auto Show Could Be Future Of Transportation

DETROIT (AP) — Cars that run on hydrogen and exhaust only water vapor are emerging to challenge electric vehicles as the world's transportation of the future.

At auto shows on two continents Wednesday, three automakers unveiled hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to be delivered to the general public as early as next spring.

Hyundai Motor Co. will be the first to the mass market in the U.S. It unveiled a hydrogen-powered Tucson small SUV at the Los Angeles Auto Show that will be leased to consumers. Honda also revealed plans in Los Angeles for a car due out in 2015. Earlier, at the Tokyo Motor Show, Toyota promised a mass-produced fuel cell car by 2015 in Japan and 2016 in the U.S.

Hydrogen cars are appealing because unlike electric vehicles, they have the range of a typical gasoline car and can be refueled quickly. Experts say the industry also has overcome safety and reliability concerns that have hindered distribution in the past.

But hydrogen cars still have a glaring downside — refueling stations are scarce, and costly to build.

Consumers can expect costs in line with some luxury models. In Tokyo, Toyota promised a price of $50,000 to $100,000, and as close to the lower figure as possible. That's comparable to its Lexus luxury sedans, but a range that makes the once space-age experiment with fuel cells more credible.

Hyundai said it will lease the Tucsons for $499 per month for three years with $3,000 down. And Hyundai is offering to pay the hydrogen and maintenance costs. The company will start leasing in the Los Angeles area, where most of the state's nine fueling stations are located. California lawmakers have allocated $100 million to build 100 more. Honda wouldn't reveal any pricing details.

Even as battery-powered and hybrid-electric cars took on conventional gasoline models in the past decade, automakers continued research into hydrogen fuel cells, said Paul Mutolo, director of external partnerships for the Cornell University Energy Materials Center. Manufacturers now are limited only by costs and the lack of filling stations, he said.

Hydrogen cars, Mutolo said, have an advantage over battery-powered electric cars because drivers don't have to worry about running out of electricity and having to wait hours for recharging. "It's very similar to the kind of behavior that drivers have come to expect from their gasoline cars," he said.

Hydrogen fuel cells use a complex chemical process to separate electrons and protons in hydrogen gas molecules. The electrons move toward a positive pole, and the movement creates electricity. That powers a car's electric motor, which turns the wheels.

Since the hydrogen isn't burned, there's no pollution. Instead, oxygen also is pumped into the system, and when it meets the hydrogen ions and electrons, that creates water and heat. The only byproduct is water. A fuel cell produces only about one volt of electricity, so many are stacked to generate enough juice.

Hydrogen costs as little as $3 for an amount needed to power a car the same distance as a gallon of gasoline, Mutolo said.

Manufacturers likely will lose money on hydrogen cars at first, but costs will decrease as precious metals are reduced in the fuel cells, Mutolo said.

Toyota said its new fuel cell vehicle will go on sale in Japan in 2015 and within a year later in Europe and U.S.

Toyota's fuel cell car is a "concept" model called FCV that looks similar to the Prius gas-electric hybrid.

Honda, which has leased about two-dozen fuel cell cars since 2005, took the wraps off a futuristic-looking FCEV concept vehicle in Los Angeles. It shows the style of a 300-mile range fuel cell car that will be marketed in the U.S. and Japan in 2015.

Stephen Ellis, manager of fuel cell marketing for Honda, also wouldn't say where vehicle will be marketed in the U.S. But he expects hydrogen fueling stations to be abundant first in California, and then Northeast states. He predicts it will take five years for the stations to reach significant numbers outside California, and up to 25 years to go nationwide.

Hyundai wouldn't say how many fuel-cell Tucsons it expects to lease. The company believes that fuel cells will power the next generation of cars, appealing to affluent, environmentally conscious customers because affordable battery technology has not advanced enough.

"This is the sort of technology that makes batteries look old-fashioned," says North American CEO John Krafcik.

But skeptics say hydrogen fueling stations are more expensive than electric car charging stations, partly because electricity is almost everywhere and new and safe ways for producing, storing and transferring hydrogen will be needed.

Carlos Ghosn, chief executive of Nissan Motor Co., which has bet heavily on electric vehicles for its future, is one vocal skeptic.

"Having a prototype is easy. The challenge is mass-marketing," he told reporters. He said he did not see a mass-market fuel cell as viable before 2020.

For the original article, please click here.

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World’s first mobile hydrogen fuel cell charger, Upp, unveiled

November 20, 2013
World’s first mobile hydrogen fuel cell charger, Upp, unveiled

article-title

Hydrogen fuel cells could be the future of power. They use hyrdogen mixed with oxygen to produce energy with a by-product of water. In the case of Intelligent Energy’s Upp it uses a replaceable hydrogen cell to charge mobiles, smartphones, tablets or whatever needs power, delivered at the same speed as a wall charger.

Initially the Upp will launch in Africa as a means of providing sustainable, eco-friendly power. One hydrogen cell will provide five full charges of a(25Wh capacity per cell). And the only by-product produced is water vapour. A USB ytpe A socket means it will charge most USB devices with a 5V, 5W, 1000mA output.

The Upp also comes with an accompanying and Android app which can provide predictive usage statistics as well as user profile information to enable better management of fuel levels. The Upp itself has an Intelligent Auto Shutoff feature that conserves energy and protects the battery of what it’s charging.

“We are delighted to launch Upp, which represents a new category of energy device, and are excited about the transformational implications for the portable electronics market and the consumer,” said Henri Winand, CEO of Intelligent Energy. “With the growing demand for portable devices, mobile and cloud services, consumers want the energy independence to keep their devices connected and powered-up all the time.

"Upp is evidence that fuel cells are not just rocket science; the Upp fuel cell personal energy device has the power to extend your everyday life experiences and untether you from the wall socket, while making sure you stay connected.”

Upp will roll out in December. Pricing and international availability have not yet been announced.

For the original article, please click here.

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Air Products joins hydrogen fuel program from AFC Energy

November 20, 2013
Air Products joins hydrogen fuel program from AFC Energy

AFC Energy, a leading developer of hydrogen fuel cells, has announced that Air Products, a producer of industrial gases, has become its new strategic partner in the Power Up program. The program involves AFC Energy producing a significant quantity of electrical power using surplus hydrogen fuel that is produced at a major chemical plant in Europe. This electricity will be produced by fuel cells developed by the company and the project itself involved AFC Energy installing one of the world’s largest alkaline fuel cell systems at the chemical plant itself.

AFC Energy fuel cells heading to Germany

With Air Products now a strategic partner in the Power Up program, the chemical plant that will be used for the initiative will be located in northern Germany. Air Products operates a major industrial gas processing facility in this region and has access to nearby hydrogen fuel production operations managed by Dow Chemical. AFC Energy began work on the fuel cell system associated with the Power Up program in April of this year. The company expects to install its alkaline fuel cell system at the German facility at some point in 2014.

Fuel cells to produce 500kW of electricity during initial phase

The system is expected to produce approximately 500 kilowatts of electrical power during the initial stages of its operation. This energy capacity will be increased slowly over time in order to avoid any technical problems that could arise. The program is expected to help draw more attention to the capabilities offuel cells and how they can be used as a reliable energy source. AFC Energy has plans to commercialize its alkaline fuel cells in the near future and the program could add significant momentum to this initiative.

Fuel cells are gaining ground as residential energy systems

Fuel cells have managed to capture a great deal of attention for their uses in transportation, but these energy systems are not only used to power vehicles. Hydrogen fuel cells have been gaining more notice as residential energy systems due to their ability to produce electricity independent of an energy grid as well as their capability to produce a significant amount of heat. Fuel cells have also been quite popular in various industrial sectors for several years.

For the original article, please click here.

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