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.
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.
Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle visits Department of Energy
Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman test drove the Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell vehicle when the car made an appearance at the Department of Energy headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Fuel cells have the potential to replace internal-combustion engines in vehicles and provide power in stationary and portable power applications because they are energy-efficient, clean, and fuel-flexible.
Led by the Fuel Cell Technologies Office, DOE works closely with national laboratories, the private sector, universities, and industry partners to overcome critical technical barriers to fuel cell commercialization. Currently, R&D focuses on the development of reliable, low-cost, high-performance fuel cell system components for transportation and building applications.
From researchers to project managers to technical experts, there are dozens of EERE staff dedicated to supporting the research, development, and deployment of fuel cells. Thus, we were excited to test drive the Hyundai Tucson Fuel Cell vehicle when the car made an appearance at the Department of Energy headquarters in Washington, D.C.
The vehicle is the first commercially leased fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV), beyond the demonstration scale. The Tucson Fuel Cell vehicle, developed by Hyundai, is powered by a 100 kW fuel cell that runs on hydrogen. With a driving range of 265 miles, the Tucson Fuel Cell takes less than 10 minutes to refuel.
The Tucson Fuel Cell has passed numerous on-road tests conducted over an accumulated distance of 2 million miles Dozens of Department of Energy employees took a break from their workdays to check out the FCEV and a few even took it for a test drive. Among the eager participants was Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman, who enjoyed a test ride of the vehicle.
"As part of the President's all-of-the-above energy strategy, the Department funds research, development and demonstration activities that are helping to put fuel cell electric vehicles like the Tucson on the road," said Deputy Secretary Poneman. "The efforts of the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy have helped cut fuel cell costs in half and double durability in the last several years, supporting the emerging domestic fuel cell electric vehicle industry and enabling the development of technologies that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions."
To learn more about the Fuel Cell Technologies Office and DOE's efforts in hydrogen and fuel cells in vehicles, homes and buildings, manufacturing, education, and technology, visit the website.