Quick facts: The fuel cell market

Dana expands: Dana Corp. announced that it is expanding its global engineering network by opening new Fuel Cell Support Centers in Rugby, England, and Toyohashi, Japan. The two new support centers complement facilities in Neu-Ulm, Germany; Paris, Tenn. (U.S.A.); and Oakville, Ontario, Canada. Combined, the five centers–each with a unique area of technical emphasis–will serve as a network of specialist centers to support engineering research and high-volume production methods. Through this global network of fuel-cell technology centers, Dana is actively developing high-quality, cost-effective OEM components for the fuel-cell industry.

PolyFuel receives grant: PolyFuel, a provider of fuel cell membrane technology for portable applications, announced that it has been awarded a $2 million grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Advanced Technology Program. PolyFuel will use the funds to develop a next-generation fuel cell gas diffusion layer to be combined with its membrane technology for portable fuel cell applications.

GTI reports results: Gas Technology Institute (GTI), in a cooperative program with the Army Research Laboratory (ARL), reported that a new membrane developed by GTI for proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells has substantially improved direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) system performance. Independent testing by ARL researchers has verified that GTI’s non-fluorinated membrane outperformed the standard Nafion 117-membrane during multiple DMFC tests. ARL tested the GTI and Nafion membranes for electrical conductivity using a standard four-point conductivity test. The results indicated that the GTI membrane produced approximately 10 times greater electrical conductivity than Nafion, according to GTI.

Avista receives certification: Avista Labs has received approvals from CE and CSA for its 1 kW Independence 1000 fuel cell product. The CE mark on a product indicates that a company has met all applicable performance and safety requirements for the European Union. CSA is a leading provider of international product testing and certification services. CSA certification assures potential customers and users that a product has been evaluated by a formal process involving examination, testing and follow-up inspection, and that it complies with applicable standards for safety and performance.

Harvest has successful demonstration: Harvest Energy Technology Inc. (HET) announced the successful demonstration of its Steam Methane Reformer (SMR) fuel processor at the Canadian National Exhibition during the ‘Green Day’ event held at the Exhibition Palace in Toronto, Canada. HET’s SMR fuel processor generated the hydrogen used in the 50 kWe HySTAT(TM) combined power generator and hydrogen refueler unveiled by Hydrogencis Corp. for the event.

HET also announced that it has delivered a 50 kWe fuel processor to the Energy Center of the Netherlands, which is currently being commissioned. The 50 kWe fuel processor includes HET’s proprietary SMR technology and PROX reactor that delivers reformate meeting PEM fuel cell quality standards.

Delphi tests coal: Delphi Corp. has proven that its Solid State Energy Conversion Alliance (SECA) Generation-2 solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) can use coal-derived fuel gas for power. The feasibility study took place in June 2003 at the Power Systems Development Facility (PSDF) coal-gasification plant in Wilsonville, Ala. This effort tested whether gas produced from coal can be effectively used in a fuel cell to generate electricity. It was conducted under Delphi’s existing cooperative agreement with the DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy/National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL).

Sustainable energy expands customer base: Sustainable Energy Technologies announced that it has completed deliveries of several bi-directional, grid-interactive inverters to a leading developer of stationary fuel cell systems. The product placement is part of a larger order, with additional units being delivered over the next three months.

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