Fuel Cell Corridor News
Fuel Cells Market Exceeds $1.3 Billion in Worldwide Sales
The market for fuel cells is growing, exceeding $1.3 billion in worldwide sales during 2013, according to a recently released report from the Fuel Cell Technologies Office (FCTO). The 2014 "Business Case for Fuel Cells" report, written and compiled by Jennifer Gangi and Sandra Curtin of Breakthrough Technologies Institute (BTI) with support from FCTO, provides an overview of fuel cell installations at businesses and municipal buildings or facilities run by non-profit organizations or institutions. These include wastewater treatment plants, government buildings, universities, military bases, hospitals, and other sites. Read more.
NASA is catalyst for hydrogen technology
NASA answered a call to help the world's largest aerospace company develop a better way to generate electricity for its aircraft. Instead, it wound up helping a very small technology company to thrive.
Here's what happened.
Aerospace mega-giant Boeing approached NASA with the idea of using fuel cells to provide electricity for its planes instead of the onboard generators commonly in use. Those generators run on the same jet fuel that powers a plane's flight, but burning jet fuel to drive a small generator is inefficient.
If a small, lightweight system were developed to extract hydrogen and carbon monoxide from the jet fuel (a process known as "reforming") and use those gases in a solid-oxide fuel cell, much less jet fuel would be required to generate the same amount of electricity—a win-win for Boeing (which would save money on fuel) and the environment (which would see less carbon dioxide blown into the atmosphere). NASA agreed to help. Read more.
OFCC receives $450,000 for Clean Energy Supply Chain and Manufacturing Competitiveness Analysis for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies
EERE Announces up to $2M for Clean Energy Supply Chain and Manufacturing Competitiveness Analysis for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies
The Energy Department has selected three projects to receive up to $2 million in new funding for analysis of the hydrogen and fuel cells domestic supply chain and manufacturing competitiveness. Funded in part by the Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative, this funding opportunity supports the Department's broader effort to boost U.S. competitiveness in the manufacturing sector.
The projects selected will support activities that facilitate the development and expansion of the domestic supply chain of components and systems necessary for the manufacturing and scale-up of hydrogen and fuel cell systems in the United States. Awardees will also conduct competitive analysis of global hydrogen and fuel cell manufacturing aimed at quantifying trade patterns and identifying key drivers of U.S. competitiveness. Developing a robust supply chain to support mass production of these systems can enable the market for these technologies to grow.
Ohio Fuel Cell Coalition (OFCC) of Elyria, Ohio, will receive $450,000 to develop a robust supply chain for fuel cell and hydrogen systems that will accelerate mass production, reduce cost, and improve performance and durability. They plan to establish an integrated network of four Regional Technical Exchange Centers to increase communication between OEMs and hydrogen and fuel cell component suppliers and to establish a nationwide, web-accessible database containing inputs from suppliers and OEMs along with a supplier contact list. OFCC will also assemble a working group to tackle component and subsystem standardization. Read more.
Japan Promotes Home Fuel Cell on Path to Hydrogen Society
Japan is working on doing for the hydrogen fuel cell what it accomplished with computer chips and cars in the last century, slashing costs to make them more appealing to consumers.
As fuel-cell technology finds its way into factories and commercial buildings, Japanese manufacturers including Panasonic Corp. (6752) are working to make them small and cheap enough for the home. The country has set a goal of installing them in 5.3 million homes by 2030, about 10 percent of all households.
With 100,000 already installed, residential fuel cells fit into Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s vision of a “hydrogen society,” using the most abundant element in the universe as an alternative to nuclear power and fossil fuels. The systems produce electricity through a chemical reaction that also generates heat, which is captured to make hot water for homes. Read more.