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deutsch My thoughts about hydrogen
filling stations
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February 2019  
english NEW! Hans-Olof Nilsson's Off-The-Grid Hydrogen House near Goteborg, Sweden  
english Visit to NOORo I to III
in Ouarzazate, Morocco as part of the SolarPACES 2018 conference  
english The Hydrogen Energy Summit 2018
Chiang Mai, Thailand (via Skype)
english Arno's Interview
 @ Hannover Messe 2017
deutsch 1. Klimaschutzkongress
auf der Insel Sylt
Arno's and Juan's Interview
@ Hannover Messe 2014
Arnos und Juans Interview
@ Hannover Messe 2014
Interview with Arno: This book is the crowning of my life's work
Interview mit Arno: Dieses Buch ist der krönende Abschluss meines Lebenswerks
About "Our" Energy- Infrastructure on the way to Energiewende
Arnos Vortrag:
Sind wir noch zu retten?
kulturstudio: Klartext No 50 - Arno A. Evers - Energiewende auf der Erde
Arno's EnergieGedanken
jetzt auch auf YouTube!
Fernseh-Sendung zum Thema Wasserstoff und Brennstoffzellen
Open Letter to Angela Merkel, Federal Chancellor of Germany, the founder and to all members of the German Ethics Commission "Secure Energy Supply"
Offener Brief an Angela Merkel, Bundeskanzlerin, die Gründerin und alle Mitglieder der Ethikkommisson "Sichere Energieversorgung"
Carta abierta al Angela Merkel, Canciller Federal de Alemania, fundador y miembros del Comité de Ética Alemán convocado por la Canciller de Alemania para “Asegurar el abastecimiento de energía”
Invitation to WORKerence
Visits at MagneGas™
Arno was invited speaker at WREC World Renewable Energy Congress XI
in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates,
September 25-30, 2010
Arno's Activities on LinkedIn
Arno's Blog
Arno received the Hydrogen Award
for his Lifetime Contribution to Hydrogen Energy...
It`s all about Energy:
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Objective and unbiased
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1. Energy Balances
1.1 World Energy Balance
1.2 Energy Balance in Germany
2. Production of hydrogen
2.1 Hydrogen from direct solar
2.2 Hydrogen from renewable energies
2.3 MagneGas™ from renewable energies
2.4 Hydrogen from fossil fuels
2.5 Hydrogen from nuclear energy
3. Production of electricity
3.1 Electricity from hydrogen
3.2 Electricity from renewable energies
3.3 Electricity from fossil fuels
3.4 Electricity from nuclear energy
4. Hydrogen and Fuel Cells on their way to commercialisation
4.1 A proposal to future energy supplies
Your Personal Power Provider (3P+)
4.2 Virtual Power Plant
5. Four steps to a new Energy Supply
5.1 Revolution in the garage
5.2 The cars are the keys
6. Energizing the world
6.1 Energy Efficiency
6.2 Global Energy Consumption
6.3 Digital Technologies and Consumer Electronics
6.4 Exampl. from Aircraft/Mining Industries
7 The 15 biggest global players
About Arno A. Evers FAIR-PR
Arno A. Evers FAIR-PR Team
Our Philosophy
Our Projects 1990-2019
Contact
HANNOVER FAIR 1995 - 2019
HANNOVER FAIR 2019
HANNOVER FAIR 2018
HANNOVER FAIR 2017
Arno's Forum Interview 2017
HANNOVER FAIR 2016
HANNOVER FAIR 2015
HANNOVER FAIR 2014
HANNOVER FAIR 2013
HANNOVER FAIR 2012
HANNOVER FAIR 2011
HANNOVER FAIR 2010
Arno's Forum Interview 2010
HANNOVER FAIR 2009
Arno's Video during HF 2009
Arno's Forum Interview 2009
HANNOVER FAIR 2008
Arno's Forum Interview 2008
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Arno's Forum Interview 2007
HANNOVER FAIR 2006
Daily Networking evenings
HANNOVER FAIR 2005
Daily Networking evenings
International Commercial Visitors 2005
HANNOVER FAIR 2004
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HANNOVER FAIR 2003
International Commercial Visitors 2003
HANNOVER FAIR 2002
HANNOVER FAIR 2001
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VIP Guest 1995 - 2006
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2006 - 2009
Konferenzen und Webseiten Dokumentation -Zusammenfassung-       
 
2006 - 2009
Background Information
Articles by Arno A. Evers
H2/FC Links
Visits and Workshops
Hans-Olof Nilsson's Off-The-Grid Hydrogen House near Goteborg, Sweden
Visit at the Italian demonstration plant of MagneGas™ on February 7th and 8th, 2011
Hydrogen Plant of Emirates Industrial Gases Co. Ltd ( EIGC) at Dubai, UAE
Huerta Solar en Tabernas, Spain, October 2009
Andasol, Spain, October 2009
Antares DLR H2, Stuttgart, Germany, September 2009
German Aerospace Center (DLR) Deutsches Zentrum für Luft-und Raumfahrt eV, Stuttgart, Germany, Institute of Technical Thermodynamics (ITT) Institute of Vehicle Concepts Stuttgart, Germany, June 2009
Brennstoffzellen-Boote für den Freizeitbereich, Hochschule Konstanz, Konstanz, Germany June 2009
AFCC Automotive Fuel Cell Cooperation, Burnaby, BC, Canada June 2009
Powertech Labs Inc., a: "... wholly owned subsidiary of BC Hydro (a Crown corporation of the Government of British Columbia), Surrey, BC, Canada June 2009
Plataforma Solar de Almería, Spain
Observations
How Airbus conquered the
US market in the 70s
The Arecibo Observatory
Arecibo, Puerto Rico
Hat Creek Radio Observatory,
Hat Creek, CA, USA
National Radio Astronomy Observatory, Green Bank, WV, USA
Wright Brothers National Memorial, Kitty Hawk, NC, USA
Fuel Cell Bus Trial, Perth, Australia
California Hydrogen Highway, USA
SPACEFEST 2009, San Diego, USA
Impressions from worldwide Conferences, which we attended to promote the commercialisation of Hydrogen and Fuel Cells:
2020
#116 2020 6th International flag
Conference on Environment and Renewable Energy (ICERE 2020), 24-26 February 2020, Hanoi, Vietnam
2019
#115 4th Annual ASEAN Solar + flag
Energy Storage Congress & Expo 2019 14- 15 Nov, 2019 The Bellevue Manila, Philippines
#114 SFERA-III 1st Summer School &flag
Doctoral Colloquium at CNRS-PROMES in Odeillo, France
September 9th-13th, 2019
#113 Starmus V, June 24 – 29, 2019flag
Zurich, Switzerland a global festival of science communication and art
2018
#112 Visit to NOORo I to III in flag
Ouarzazate, Morocco as part of the SolarPACES 2018 conference, October 6, 2018
#111 The Hydrogen Energy Summit flag
2018 Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand Arno's presentation: Off the Grid – Unveiling new ways for our Energy supply January 26, 2018
2015
#110 1. Klimaschutzkongress auf der
Insel Sylt
25. September 2015 Vortrag von Arno A. Evers: Eine „Insel- Lösung“ für Sylt? Neue Wege zur Energieversorgung der Insel Sylt
2014
#109 6. Hamburger Klimawoche
29. August 2014 Vortrag von Arno A. Evers: Physikalische und Gesellschaftliche Rahmenbedingungen der Energiewende
010
2012
#108
MesseKongress RegioEnergie+++ flagDreieich 2012
9. September 2012
Vortrag von Arno A. Evers: Sind wir noch zu retten?
2010
#107 WREC World Renewable Energy Congress XI
September 25-30, 2010

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Oct 2010
#106 18th World Hydrogen Energy Conference WHEC 2010,
May 16 - 21

Essen, Germany

Jun 2010
2009
#105 "Bright Horizons 6" - A Journey
to the Edge of the Cosmos

Eastern Caribbean

Dec 2009
#104 2009 Fuel Cell Seminar & Exposition
Palm Springs, CA, USA

Nov 2009
#103 Fuel Cell Technologies:
FUCETECH 2009
Mumbai (Bombay), India
Nov 2009
#102 f-cell
Stuttgart, Germany
Sep 2009
#101 SolarPACES 2009
Berlin, Germany
Sep 2009
#100 5th Annual Hydrogen Implementation Conference
Charleston, WV, USA

Aug 2009
#99 Intersolar North America
San Francisco, CA, USA

Jul 2009
#98 European FUEL CELL FORUM 2009
Lucerne, Switzerland

Jun 2009
#97 HFC2009
Vancouver, Canada

Jun 2009
#96 telescon 2009
Vienna, Austria

May 2009
#95 Hydrogen Works
San Diego, CA, USA

Feb 2009
#94 ICEPAG 2009
Newport Beach, CA, USA

Feb 2009
2008
#93 HTE-HI.TECH.EXPO 2008
Milan, Italy

Nov 2008
#92 Fuel Cell Seminar & Exposition
Phoenix, AZ, USA

Oct 2008
#91 H2Expo
Hamburg, Germany

Oct 2008
#90 f-cell
Stuttgart, Germany

Sep 2008
#89 INTELEC 2008
San Diego, CA, USA

Sep 2008
#88 2008 Formula Zero Championship
Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Aug 2008
#87 HyForum 2008
Changsha, P.R. China

Aug 2008
#86 WREC X 2008
Glasgow, Scotland, UK

Jul 2008
#85 KMCM 2008
Vancouver, BC, Canada

Jul 2008
#84 Lucerne FUEL CELL FORUM 2008 Switzerland
Lucerne, Switzerland
Jun 2008
#83 17th World Hydrogen
Energy Conference (WHEC) Australia
Brisbane, Australia
Jun 2008

The role of the young generation ...
#82 Renewable Energy Asia
Bangkok, Thailand Thailand
Jun 2008
#81 Selected Hydrogen Fueling Stations in California, USA USA
Apr 2008
#80 NHA Annual Hydrogen Conference 2008USA
Sacramento, CA, USA
Mar / Apr 2008
#79 FC EXPO 2008 Japan
Tokyo, Japan
Feb 2008
#78 Der 4. Deutsche Wasserstoff Germany
Congress 2008
Essen, Germany
Feb 2008
#77 ISEPD 2008 Korea
Changwon, Korea
Jan 2008
2007
#76 20TH World Energy Congress & Exhibition Italia
Rome, Italy
Nov 2007
#75 World Hydrogen Technologies Convention (WHTC) Italia
Montecatini Terme, Italy
Nov 2007
#74 2007 Fuel Cell Seminar & ExpositionUSA
San Antonio, Texas, USA
Oct 2007
#73 KOREA ENERGY SHOW 2007 Korea
Seoul, Republic of Korea
Oct 2007
#72 Tenth Grove Fuel Cell Symposium GB
London, UK
Sep 2007
#71 Solar Tech India 2007 India
New Delhi, India
Sep 2007
#70 SES-Fachtagung
MYTHOS STROMLÜCKE Switzerland
Zurich, Switzerland
Aug 2007
#69 HFCE 2007 China
Shanghai, P.R. China
Jul 2007
#68 IHEC 2007 Turkey
Istanbul, Turkey
Jul 2007
#67 KMCM 2007 Germany
Düsseldorf, Germany
Jul 2007
#66 Kick Off Meeting zur Leitinnovation Mikrobrennstoffzelle Germany
Munich, Germany
Jun 2007
#65 Hydrogen and Fuel Cells 2007: International Conference &
Trade Show
Vancouver, BC, Canada

April / May 2007
#64 GENERA - Energy and Environment International Fair
Madrid, Spain
Feb / Mar 2007
#63 World Renewable Energy Congress [WREN]
Fremantle, Australia
Feb 2007
#62 Environment 2007
Exhibition & Conference UAE
Abu Dhabi, UAE
Jan 2007
2006
#61 2nd Annual Fuel Cells Durability & Performance 2006 USA
Miami Beach, FL USA
Dec 2006
#60 EDTA Conference & Exposition USA
Washington, DC, USA
Nov 2006
#59 The Fuel Cell Seminar USA
Honolulu, Hawaii, USA
Nov 2006
#58 Fraunhofer Symposium
Mikroenergietechnik
POWER TO GOGermany
Berlin, Germany
Oct 2006
#57 Renewables to Hydrogen Forum USA
Albuquerque, NM, USA
Oct 2006
#56 Alternative Transport Energies Conference Australia
Perth, Western Australia
Sep 2006
#55 Power-Gen Asia China
Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Sep 2006
#54 World Renewable Energy
Congress IX and Exhibition Italy
Florence, Italy
Aug 2006
#53 R&D in the field of Hydrogen and Fuel Cell in Germany and Europe Germany
Clausthal, Germany
Jul 2006
#52 Lucerne Fuel Cell Forum 2006 Switzerland
Lucerne, Switzerland
Jul 2006
#51 16th World Hydrogen Energy Conference (WHEC) France
Lyon, France
Jun 2006
#50 NHA Annual Hydrogen Conference
Long Beach, CA, USA
Mar 2006
#49 FC EXPO 2006
Tokyo, Japan
Jan 2006
#48 Wasserstoff und Brennstoffzellen im Automobil
Essen, Germany
Germany
Apr 2006
2005
#47 Fuel Cell Seminar
Palm Springs, USA

Nov 2005
#46 Internationale ASUE-Fachtagung
Essen, Germany

Nov 2005
#45 EHEC 2005
Zaragoza, Spain

Nov 2005
#44 Fuel Cell Summit:
A Road Map to Commercialization
Uncasville, CT, USA

Oct 2005
#43 2005 Grove Fuel Cell Symposium
London, UK

Oct. 2005
#42 WHTC 2005 World Hydrogen Technologies Convention (WHTC) Singapore, Singapore
Oct. 2005
#41 f-cell 2005, Stuttgart, Germany
Sep. 2005
#40 The 27th International Telecommunications Energy Conference - intelec '05
Berlin, Germany

Sep. 2005
#39 IHK Nord Wasserstoff – Tagung
Lübeck, Germany

Sep. 2005
#38 ICHS - International Conference on Hydrogen Safety , Pisa, Italy
Sep. 2005
#37 IHEC-2005
International Hydrogen
Energy Congress & Exhibition

Jul. 2005
#36 93. Bunsen Kolloquium
Jun. 2005
#35 European Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Platform (HFP)
Brussels, Belgium

Mar. 2005
#34 Cairo 9th International Conference on Energy & Environment
Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt

Mar. 2005
#33 1st International Fuel Cell Expo
Tokyo, Japan

Jan. 2005
 
2004
#32 H2PS: The 2004 Hydrogen Production and Storage Forum,
Washington, DC, USA

Dec. 2004
 
#31 Impressions from Shanghai
Nov. 2004
 
#30 Renewable Energies China incl. Hydrogen + Fuel Cells
Shanghai, PR China

Nov. 2004
#29 Michelin Challenge Bibendum 2004
Oct. 2004
#28 Energy Asia 2004
Oct. 2004
#27 Hydrogen and Fuel Cells 2004
Conference and Trade Show
Toronto, ON, Canada

Sep. 2004
#26 Meetings in Singapore,
Sep. 2004
#25 Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Futures Conference, Perth, Australia
Sep. 2004
#24 Exhibiting at World Renewable Energy Congress VIII
Denver, CO, USA

Sep. 2004
#23 Arno presenting at ACS National Meeting Philadelphia, PA, USA
Aug. 2004
#22 Promotion of FP6, for European Union, Delegation of the European Commission, Shanghai
Jul. 2004
#21 IHK Energy-Podium 2004
Jul. 2004
#20 15th World Hydrogen Energy Conference (WHEC15)
Yokohama, Japan

Jun. 2004
#19 Impressions from the
Energy Forum 2004
Varna, Bulgaria

Jun. 2004
#18 Impressions from HYFORUM
May 2004
#17 Impressions from Dubai
United Arab Emirates

May 2004
#16 Impressions from Argentina
May 2004
#15 Promoting Hydrogen Production from Patagonia, Argentina
May 2004
#14 Impressions Zhuozheng Garden
in Su Zhou

Mar. 2004
2003
#13 H2PS: The 2003 Hydrogen Production and Storage Forum
Washington, D.C., USA

Dec. 2003
#12 Impressions from
Washington, D.C., USA

Dec. 2003
#11 Shanghai International Industry Fair (SIF), Shanghai, P.R. China
Nov. 2003
#10 Energy Asia 2003
PTC Asia 2003
CeMAT Asia 2003
Factory Automation Asia 2003
Shanghai, P.R. China

Nov. 2003
#9 2003 WATER KOREA
Nov. 2003
#8 NESC 2003 - 6th Int'l Conference on New Energy Systems & Conversions
Nov. 2003
#7 Impressions from Busan
South-Korea

Nov. 2003
#6 2003 Fuel Cell Seminar
Miami Beach, Florida, USA

Nov. 2003
#5 Impressions from Shanghai, Beijing, P.R. China
Nov 2003 - Jul. 2004
#4 f-cell forum, Stuttgart, Germany
Sep. 2003
#3 Hypothesis V, Porto Conte, Italy
Sep. 2003
#2 1st European Hydrogen Energy Conference, Grenoble, France
Sep. 2003
#1 Cooperation for Energy Independence of Democracies in the 21st Century
Jerusalem, Israel

Aug. 2003
Shanghai International
Industry Fair (SIF) 2004

International Meeting Point with Conference, Renewable Energies China, incl. Hydrogen + Fuel Cells, Shanghai, China  
In memoriam: Daniela Peschka
In memoriam: Ludwig Boelkow
Corporate Information
home
 
 

Daily News by Fuel Cell Today
edited by: Kerry-Ann Adamson and Dr. David Jollie

Day Five, April 15, 2005
At the start of the fifth day, you can see the strain on the faces (and the feet) of many of the exhibitors. The smiles are still there but you get the feeling that people are looking forward to the weekend.

However, there is plenty of activity here still to report on. First of all, simply flicking through the Messe Daily newspaper shows up two fuel cell and hydrogen related stories. IMM’s (Institut fuer Mikrotechnik Mainz) mobile/portable reformer made the news. Designed to reform methanol, using selective oxidation, the apparatus is perhaps the size of a matchbox, a fairly impressive piece of engineering.

The second story came from Hall 11. In Hall13, you can see several systems designed to provide back-up or emergency power from the likes of Idatech or in the marketing materials of Hydrogenics. However, Rittal GmbH also has a system for sale elsewhere at the fair. This is designed for outdoor use and the big selling point is the housing of the unit, protecting it from the weather, and potentially opening another market. In fact, the system looks perhaps not attractive but chunky and well-protected. Idatech supplies the 5kW fuel cell inside and Rittal the housing. Although it was good to see a back-up power unit with a fuel cell amongst the other more conventional technologies, it was the only one represented there, showing that we still have some way to go.

Looking around the stands back in the Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Exhibit, I was interested to see the hy-fly (represented by Fachhochschule Wiesbaden student Christof Kunze). This metre-wide or so flying wing has previously flown (in its striking Fuel Cell Today orange colours!) powered by a battery but will hopefully have its fuel cell fitted and will fly more successfully than other aeronautical efforts to date (namely the Helios). For more information, visit www.hy-fly.de.

There were also some more conventional vehicles around the exhibition (although not that conventional in many cases). Outside, Forschungszentrum Juelich did its best to prevent Germany’s youth hitting each other with green foam tubes (being given out by one exhibitor at the Messe) by allowing them to ride its Ju-Move direct methanol quad bike (inside H-Tec was also entertaining its fair share of German schoolkids with its fuel cell demonstration units). Inside the hall, there was a small Pios fuel cell airship, following on from the hydrogen bike of the last few years. Nordrhein-Westfalen had two type of vehicle on its stand, in the form of a small, slightly quashed-looking bus, powered by a Hydrogenics stack and a bicycle (three actually) built in conjunction by Masterflex. Umicore, the MEA and catalyst manufacturer also had a small one person car with a really quite bizarre design on show. This was built by the Berner Fachhochschule, presumably including Umicore components in the stack. And, as well as all this, there was also a fork-lift truck form Proton Motor, Still and Linde.

Looking slightly away form our usual area, I found some of the hydrogen generation equipment on display interesting. I spoke to two companies in particular. Accagen, a Swiss company (working with German firm Zebotec) is using its expertise in hydrogen generation by electrolysis to work with hydrogen as an energy vector. Proving that there really is noting new under the sun, it uses alkaline electrolysis technology that is probably a hundred years old. Updated with some improvements to the electrodes, it means that switching on and off and cycling causes many fewer problems than might be expected meaning that this technology should be able to work well in conjunction with fuel cells. Some refuelling stations have already incorporated this product but there will be some interesting projects coming up soon, where it will be integrated with renewable energy sources and perhaps fuel cells or conventional engines. We hope to bring you more information on this as we hear more.

Second was Questair, a company I have met with before. What I hadn’t done before was to see their product in all its glory. After last year’s Hannover Messe they received queries as to whether the pressure swing adsorbtion technology for hydrogen generation could be scaled down and this is exactly what they have done. What was most impressive for me though was one of the other changes made. Where the different adsorbent beds were previously simply plumbed in, the valve feeding them now rotates, meaning cheaper construction costs and a simpler design in the long run (you now have one connection in for the feedstock and one output for the gas). In the longer term, some creative thinking may see them rotating the beds around the valve instead. I don’t know enough about the technology to really understand the benefits that might bring but it is a fascinating example of the sort of creative thinking that might be able to bring benefits to the fuel cell industry.

It is good to see new companies arriving in the fuel cell industry and one such represented at the fair was Riesaer Brennstoffzellentechnik. Recently formed, it has taken work from a number of Universities and institutes in the Berlin and Freiberg region and put them together to produce a 4kW stack, suitable for a small number of domestic households or for powering an office perhaps. It runs off natural gas, using steam reforming technology developed by the Technical University Bergakademie Freiberg. The system here, although still large and expensive is an improvement on previous prototypes and looks quite pretty in an industrial-design way. Hopefully, cost will come down as will size over the longer term (although it would be unfair not to point out that other fuel cell companies face exactly the same challenges).

The show also provided the opportunity for a new fuel cell pursuit. Having read through our report, I noticed the absence of a lot of the component manufacturers present from our comments. In part this is understandable: for instance, I spoke with Tanaka the Japanese precious metal company which makes fuel cell catalysts. However, my electrochemistry is not god enough to really explain to you what they are doing this year that is better than last (suffice it to say that the catalysts are better). There is the same issue with graphite plate manufacturers and many other components. But the challenge now is this: at every fuel cell event, we will try to put together a theoretical fuel cell from the components on display. So, from Hannover 2005, we have a PEM fuel cell with Tanaka catalysts, a 3M membrane electrode assembly, Graftech carbon plates. I think the stack should be made by Nedstack, the Dutch manufacturer. Apologies to those we have missed out but there is always next year!

Finally for this report, what were the overall impressions? Well, we will take the weekend to get our thoughts in order before really answering this question. However, as my own temporary conclusion, I think the show has been worthwhile. I have seen some new fuel cell products and also seen a few that have been around a little longer but I have never previously spotted (like the Astris E8 alkaline portable generator). There were, though, perhaps fewer fuel cells and fuel cell companies than I had hoped. However, there were new names and a lot of new components (and testing equipment) on display. Hopefully that is a sign that fuel cells and hydrogen are still interesting enough to bring in the crowds!

Day Four, April 14, 2005
After the Fuel Cell Today team change, I (David Jollie that is) decided to spend some time sitting in the forum which runs alongside the exhibit. Here the exhibiting companies (and a few others) get twenty minutes to explain to the passing visitors all about their organisation.

First up on Thursday was Carmen Rangel, Head of Electrochemistry of Materials Unit of INETI. This organisation is supported by two Portuguese ministries to research into various areas, including fuel cells. Three years ago it exhibited a 140Watt prototype stack using its own catalyst but it seems that the number of areas of interest has increased since then with work on basic materials being carried out and sodium borohydride fuels also of interest. However, what seems to be the most important activity (at least in INETI’s view) is its work on developing codes and standards.

Vahe Odabashian of Armenia’s only fuel cell company, H2 ECOnomy spoke on his company’s activities. It is mainly involved in research and development of PEM cells and components. Current projects see it working with American and Russian partners on a US DoE-funded question, looking at improving components, particularly on bipolar plates and stack assembly. H2 ECOnomy is also installing a 1kW unit at a local university, to work in conjunction with electrolysis and be grid-independent. The electrolyser and stack are already built but the rest of the system has yet to be built. However, as well as working on R&D, it does have some commercial ambitions, having developed and sold fuel cell stacks up to 100W (one of which was on show). A typical customer is a university or school. There are also slightly larger stacks, up to 500 Watts in power, for sale if anyone is interested. MEAs, stack assembly, bipolar plates, engineering and control and power electronics are all under examination, showing no lack of ambition.

Between these two presentations, the DWV (German Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association) gave an update on the position of the German fuel cell industry. Much of the commercial activity is already well-known but what was less well-known to me at least, was how similar the activities are in Germany to elsewhere (particularly Britain) in trying to garner government support. The current step is trying to assemble a roadmap which can push everyone forwards in the right direction.

Following Armenia’s only fuel cell company, we were treated to an interview with (as far as I am aware) Hawaii’s only fuel cell company (which should get some good visibility at the 2006 US Fuel Cell Seminar!). Scott Paul, Vice President of Business Development, even explained why it is based in Honolulu. Put simply, it is still in the USA, with access to US funding but positioned closer geographically to potential customers, which they expect to be in Asia. Hoku’s focus is on non-fluorinated membranes and integrating these into membrane electrode assemblies. Cost and ease of processing are apparently the main benefits. Talking turkey, they believe that they can reduce membrane cost by 90 per cent from where it is with current technology and that their MEAs can be 50 per cent cheaper than what can be seen today, even at today’s volumes. Durability is not all it might be but is already at several thousand hours and Hoku recently broke ground on a 2 acre site for its new factory, which should be operational this year.

Of course, not all of the fuel cell activity at the fair is in the Hydrogen and fuel cell exhibit (although most is). I took the opportunity to wander off to Hall 15 which was mostly focusing on nanotechnology. Nanofibres was one area of relevance to fuel cells: often in terms of electrodes. However, to put the fuel cell industry in its place, it became clear that fuel cells are not the main focus of any of these companies. However, potential growth areas like this are always of interest to industrial companies and I noticed the stand of Ametek which promoted its fuel cell work well. Test equipment and motors seemed to be the speciality here but I was slightly surprised to see the range of Ametek’s fuel cell work. Its powder metallurgy experience allows it to provide materials for solid oxide fuel cell interconnects; it works in gas analysis and in fuel cell testing and also provides blowers and pumps to the market, some of the less-fashionable components that are nonetheless vital.

Test equipment seemed to have a high profile throughout the event. Companies like Magnum were present with their testing equipment and I also spoke with Arbin Instruments, which provides testing equipment. In Arbin’s case, it has experience of providing testing solutions for the battery and capacitor industries and has moved the relatively short distance to providing the same type of equipment for fuel cells. A lot of the hardware is the same (such as the test loads) but obviously gas flows have to be managed and the customer’s needs vary greatly in terms of power of the cells to be tested, testing conditions etc. Although the Arbin products are at least built around a central design, it seems that the ability to adapt this for individual consumers is one of the key selling points.

Back at the forum, in the afternoon, Arcontronics showed off its AirGen-lookalike Electrum system and talked about the fuel cell vehicle that it has built. The 15kW PEM cell charges a battery and also provides some primary battery power under some circumstances. Reforming of hydrocarbons to hydrogen is another area of interest, a focus simply because of the high cost of hydrogen and of the challenges of buying it today.

Day Three, April 13, 2005
After last nights annual, and now legendry, networking event the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Stand started the third day a bit subdued! Lots of coffee was a very popular option alongside the talking.

I kicked off the day by going to see Fideris, which alongside its plug and play test bench SOFCF kit, have on display the most artistic picture of a stack that I have ever seen! Apart from the photo Fideris is here to show its equipment, which they are targeting at universities and company’s who want to undertake SOFC research. The entire unit, including a stack and the testing equipment is being marketed for 29,500 euros, with a one year warranty, and has a footprint of less that one cubic metre.

Webasto are a company with a long tradition in the power sector but are fairly new to the fuel cell arena. Due to an aggressive to market policy this company aims to an SOFC APU unit in the market by 2008, aimed specifically at provided power for cabin technologies in articulated trucks. The unit is designed to provide 1-2 kW electric power or 2.5 kW cooling with a current 17% efficiency. By 2008 it aims to have the efficicney up to 25%. In terms of emissions performance the product is already at 5% of the Euro V levels of emissions. The Euro V are seen as very stringent and will be difficult for trucking companies to reach. In terms of money Webasto are aiming at SECA cost targets.

Following on from the Hydro presentation yesterday today I had the opportunity to discuss the project further with one of the managers heavily involved in the project. This certainly is one of the most innovative projects currently under way, though if the Scottish Western Isles have anything to go by a new very exciting project might on the horizon.

The other FCT, Fuel Cell Technologies of Canada, have one of its 5kW units on show at the Fair. The unit, which employs Siemens technology, has already attracted a number of customers, with an expected 20-30 more units to be shipped this year. Unlike a number of other big name companies Fuel Cell Technologies already have a large scale manufacturing capability, up to 5000 units per year, for its low maintenance product.

MTU CFC’s Hotmodule has certainly made an impact in Germany and with the announcement at the start of the week of a ramp up in production, to be completed by the end of 2007, we could soon be seeing a significant number more of these units in the market. Costs are expected to be around 1250 euro per installed kilowatt, with a stack replacement after 5 years. The stack currently represents around 30% of total costs.

There are a number of new companies exhibiting here this year, amongst them are the German / British firm Hipas which is strating to manufacture braking resistors, for use in the fuel cell vehicle industry. The coolant based units take the excess energy from the “engine”, turning it into heat energy that can then either be dissipated into the atmosphere or used to provide heat for the carbin etc. Hipas expect products from the 3rd Quarter of this year to be going into customer hands – many of which are very well known names in the fuel cell industry.

Last but by know means least for today Nuvera have a number of its on the market products on display, happy to discuss with everybody who goes over to its stand what they are doing and why. The Nuvera stand is in the prime location in the hall as it is located by the cafeteria, ensuring a constant flow of interest. Battery replacement is a phrase often spoken during the exhibit, with Nuvera going one step further and teaming up with an American battery group, which is repackaging the Nuvera fuel cell for “drop-in” applications are battery pack replacements, such as those in forklifts.

As today is my last day at the Fair I would like to finish todays piece with some thoughts about the last few days. The main thing that constantly impresses me about this industry the friendliness of the people involved. Companies representatives, from the CEO, are happy to take time to show you its products and talk about where its sees early market, even when it is obvious, as in my case, that you were not there to help fill their order books. In general the exhibit has, so far, been very upbeat with a genuine feeling that the early markets are close by, something that has been missing up until now. There has been a constant stream of visitors to the exhibit with many coming, looking for and getting the information on the market that helps to create a level of confidence that has been missing in previous years. Finally I would like to say thank you to the Fair-PR team for inviting Fuel Cell Today, and me, to come over and cover the event.

Day Two, April 12, 2005
Overnight with a cold beer and a chance to think one thing that I realised that had not been apparent during the day, to me at least, was the lack of fuel cell cars at the show. Bikes and forklifts were on display, both areas that are gaining increasing publicity as early markets for fuel cells, but the big hitters, such as Ford, GM and Honda with its representative products are missing. In fact PEM technologies in general are under represented, with SOFC being the dominant technology on display. Alongside SOFC manufacturers, notably most of which are at least talking about medium to large order books now, there was an increase in fuel cell system testing companies, a necessary group if fuel cells are to reach the mass market.

Day two of the fair has seen an increase in foot fall at the stands, as well as the international conference “Hydrogen and Fuel Cells on their way to commercialisation”. This conference highlighted examples of what government support can achieve and examples of early markets. Before the first speaker Arno A. Evers, the driving force behind Fair-PR, announced the launch of the Hydrogen Ambassadors competition (www.HydrogenAmbassadors.com). Small teams have the chance to enter their new or innovative ideas for the implementation of fuel cells and hydrogen, with the prize for the winning team being a free booth at next years Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Stand at the Hannover Fair.

This conference again highlighted the power of the Asian market with presentations from Korea, Japan and China, each very different presentations but all three coming back to what can be achieved with strong focused central government support.

Korea’s Samsung SDI vision of being a “total mobile energy provider” brought to the debate an area that is often not discussed – fuel cells are not a one horse race for mobile power. Although battery development has stagnated over the last decade, research is being undertaken into increasing power density and also super capacitors also represent an interesting future option. As well as other potential technological solutions to the issue of battery life airlines and trains are now providing power points for laptops and mobiles, helping to address issues of longevity of the power packs.

In the development of fuel cell and hydrogen technology China is catching up fast and the presentation from a representative of the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) outlined why and when they plan to develop a hydrogen economy. Similar to Japan it is a three step process:

· Until 2020 technology development phase,
· By 2050 market penetration phase,
· Beyond 2050 fully developed market and infrastructure phase.

With 40% of the total energy research budget over the last five years being used in electric vehicles, hydrogen and fuel cell research, results and development is showing impressive returns on investment.
Japan is well known for its strong support, both in terms of R&D costs and target setting, in this area and now, from the presentation from Technova, this support extends into subsidies for stationary applications. Taking information directly from the slide in terms of subsidies for 1kW stationary units:

2005 6 million yen / unit for a maximum of 400 units, (cost target = 8–10 mill. yen)
2006 3 million yen / unit for a maximum of 1,000 units,
2007 2 million yen / unit for a maximum of 5,000 units (cost target = < 1 mill. yen)

With the strength of support that is being shown by these three governments development will happen and probably at a far faster pace than in areas, such as Europe, where support is much more diffuse.

Utsira and Iceland are two communities that are developing their own hydrogen economies, both are rightly proud of their achievements and listening to the presentations on the projects you get a sense of what the future might hold for more mainland communities if they also get the opportunity to break the more traditional energy mould. Following on from my comment yesterday regarding a new found openness with costs and prices Knut Harg, Senior VP of Hydro, revealed that the cost of the Utsira project was in the region of 5 million euros – significantly less than some had thought. This cost included everything in the project, as well as shipping and installation.

Dr Hugo Vandenborre waved the Canadian flag talking about the demonstration projects that will be happening in the near future in Canada. The Hydrogen Village, Hydrogen Highway TM (the Canadian version), and the Vancouver Fuel Cell Vehicle Programme are all designed to showcase the seriousness that Canadians are taking hydrogen and fuel cells. It would be interesting to know if there are plans at any point to link the Canadian Hydrogen Highway and it’s neighbouring Californian Hydrogen Highway.

Fuel Cell Energy wrapped up the conference with a company based presentation of its commercialisation plans.

The attention is now shifting to tonight when their will be a more relaxed session where the conference attendees will join their colleagues at an evening reception – hopefully creating a more active debate than what happened during the official part of the conference!

Day One, April 11, 2005
This years Hannover Fair kicked off with a few hundred person deep queue to enter Hall 13. This security issue was caused by both President Putin and Chancellor Schroeder both visiting the Russian Energy delegation and the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell group exhibit. After all the invited guests, press and visitors were able to pass through security Hall 13 quickly filled up with the volume raising.

As usual Fair-PR’s Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Group exhibit is laid out covering nearly half the hall with stands and a forum area enabling meeting and networking. The initial footfall certainly seems busy with most stands having small groups of people knotted in conversation. Interestingly there is already a big difference over previous years in the types of questions that are being asked. This year the questions are a lot more direct, regarding dates for commercialisation and costs. These When and How Much issues are something that some of the companies no longer seem to be avoiding and are a lot happier to address, with companies such as Hexion and MTU CFC being open about costs.

Ceramic Fuel Cells with its newly opened office in Chester, UK, are one such company that are happy to talk about timelines. Its fuel cells are on display in glass cases and to be honest at first glance they appear to be coloured paper dollies. These though are in fact fuel cell plates that can be put together, sandwich style, to form a high efficient (current 35% but the aim is 40-45% once parasitic losses have been addresses) SOFC stack. The difference between these stack and many others is the capability to internally reform Natural Gas. The current 1kW demonstration stacks are currently being used in a programme in New Zealand with the aim to develop other programmes in different countries. At present Ceramic is offering a complete product but the overall aim, which they think is not too far in the future will be to provide the boiler industry with the stacks which they then integrate and provide to the consumer.

Intelligent Energy’s ENV bike has been the subject of many, many headlines recently and today I was lucky enough to talk to one of the designers that is intimatley involved with the project. The bike, currently back in the UK after a trip to Monaco, is innovative in a number of aspects, not least from it powerpack – the CORE module. Intelligent suggested that one of its short term aims is to develop a production method for hydrogen on demand. This alongside, further development of the technology, is on the slate for Intelligent, alongside dealing with all the mails on the ENV bike!

As would be expected from an exhibition of this size, and reputation, the geographical diversity is high, with the number of different countries being represented growing annually. This year 2 booths have are showcasing Chinese talent, with the government agency responsible for the R&D funding, MOST, taking up another. During an interview with Mr Shi Dinghaun, the President of the China Society for Solar Energy, he made the comment that 90% of all fuel cell and hydrogen R&D in China is sponsored by the government. He was also able to provide an update on the beleaguered UNEP project with contracts being signed with DamilerChrysler for 3 fuel cell buses to be delivered to Shanghai by the end of this year.

Hexion, a producer of hydrogen reformer technology in the Netherlands, are one of the companies open to discuss actual costs today. It’s 5m3/hr HGS-V system is now on the market for 120,000 euros (about 0.15 euro cents per cubic metre of hydrogen). This system, with a footprint of 3.2 by 0.8 by 2 metres, is targeted for use in a mini-grid system. The energy can not only be used for transportation applications but also to supply hydrogen to around 5 houses with 1kW fuel cell systems. Hexion are planning a “big brother” for the HGS-V, producing 50 cubic metres of hydrogen per hour and it is expected that this unit will cost around 300,000 euros. The Hexion stand was also promoting a future city “Hot Spot”, Arnhem in the Netherlands whose Mayor has announced that they want to be the first fuel cell city in the Netherlands and one of the main centres of use in Europe. More information on Arnhem’s plans can be found by contacting H2@arnhem.nl.

One of the highest profile product releases at the Fair is the “Galileo” unit from Sulzer. This unit which takes over from the HXS 1000 Premier is one step closer to commercialisation for the company that is looking for true series production in two to five years time. The Galileo unit incorporates a number of innovations, with the key step forward being the development and incorporation of a single-plate design. By employing this plate, which looks like a ridged CD, is placed in a series stack, has enabled the unit size to be decreased and the cost effectiveness to be increased. Sulzer expects around 100 of these units to be produced and distributed, mainly in Germany, Switzerland Austria, in the Autumn this year.

Throughout the day the Forum has held mini-interviews with key industry players. These have included MTU CFC, which announced small series production of its HotModule in the next couple of months.

Tomorrow alongside the main exhibition and forum is the International Conference “Hydrogen and Fuel Cells on the Way to Commercialisation”, and if today is any indication it will not only be well attended but also packed full of more announcements highlighting that finally this market seems to be on the move!

Click here for Daily News by Fuel Cell Today 2004

 

 
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