Despite the fuel cell industry’s recent growth spurt, the market still looks like a pyramid. At the top, you will find the stack and system manufacturers which offer commercial products and have a clear understanding of the costs involved and the wishes customers may have. These businesses are either driven by policy, as in Japan, or the forces of a free market, like FuelCell Energy. But of the worldwide more than 200 stack and system providers, fewer than 30 have made it this far.
Taking a look at China these days, one may wonder if we haven’t already found the solution for a sustainable future in hydrogen and fuel cells. During his June business trip to the Land of the Dragon, H2-international’s stock market analyst Sven Jösting took part in the two-day German-Chinese SME Conference in Jieyang as representative of German environmental organization B.A.U.M. In front of 800 attendees, he tried to answer the question: “Will water become what coal is today?” Afterward, he visited the industrial park Metal Eco City in the east of southern Chinese province Guangdong.
The time may have come to turn a years-old vision into reality: On Aug. 30, 2016, Pininfarina announced that it would use the Green GT powertrain design in its small-batch race car H2 Speed. The Italian car designer, which was bought by the Mahindra conglomerate for USD 28 million last December, had unveiled a concept study of the powerful, high-performance and hydrogen-run Le Mans Prototype at the Geneva International Motor Show in early 2016.
Scientific studies have shown that if we want to succeed in transforming the energy market, our priority needs to be long-term storage solutions and an integration of relevant sectors. One technology with much promise for the future is Windgas. But although P2G remains crucial to Germany’s success in meeting the COP21 targets agreed to in Paris, the federal government all but ignores it. The most recent example of the lack of awareness among policy-makers is the 2017 amendment to the EEG, Germany’s renewable energy law, from which gas produced by wind and solar is virtually absent.
Researchers of the Westphalian Energy Institute (WEI) at Gelsenkirchen Bocholt Recklinghausen University of Applied Sciences (WH) have developed a pocket-size PEM unit for water electrolysis. The electrolyzer stack is based on the WEI-invented method of hydraulic compression of individual cells  through the use of a patented control system . The process allows for an alignment of hydraulic and gas pressure at the start-up of the system to achieve almost any pressure level
HYPOS has been successful in making the transition from an idea on the drawing board to a big consortium that has sparked a variety of projects. Ten years ago, almost nobody knew of the combined hydrogen expertise in mid-Germany. Now, HYPOS has amassed a network of 116 partners, 75 from business and 41 from the scientific community.
Renewably sourced hydrogen has recently gained considerable importance in several economic sectors at once. The automotive and fuel industry sees it primarily as a way to power fuel cell vehicles, whereas its main use in the natural gas industry is for grid feed-in. The diversity of applications means that different industries will employ different technological and economic strategies for utilizing hydrogen. To compare strategies and examine the combined utilization potential, the National Organization Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NOW) and the German Technical and Scientific Association for Gas and Water (DVGW) decided to join forces
As a secondary energy source, hydrogen has long demonstrated some key benefits. It has a high specific energy, good efficiency and guarantees emission-free use. But market take-up has been slow in many promising areas, often because the available storage solutions have proven too costly or had technological issues.