Water electrolysis is starting to make inroads into the refinery sector. Shell has revealed plans for the construction of a 10-megawatt electrolyzer at its Wesseling refinery site in Germany. The project, called Refhyne, is supported with EUR 10 million in funds from the EU’s Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking. It will see British manufacturer ITM Power forging ahead with the design of a system
Riversimple, based in Llandrindod Wells, a Welsh town of 5,000 people, is venturing into uncharted territory. Crowdfunding a new fuel cell car is not the only thing that sets the company apart from its competitors. The small creative powerhouse will also take another route in distribution.
In late 2017, the Holthausen Group, a Dutch gas supplier based in Hoogezand, east of Groningen, unveiled a Tesla car running on hydrogen instead of battery power. More specifically, the company had replaced the battery in a Tesla Model S, owned by 18-year-old Max Holthausen, with a fuel cell and a hydrogen tank. The upgrade more than doubled the range of the vehicle
Last February, the Czech member of Singapore-based Horizon Educational Group acquired Heliocentris Academia, or at least some portion of it (see The Break-Up of Heliocentris). Other assets, or, more specifically, part of the sales, advanced manufacturing and back-office divisions, went to the group’s companies in China and the United States.
Canadian producer Hydrogenics (Nasdqaq: HYGS) and British manufacturer ITM Power (London: ITM) aren’t entirely comparable, but they use similar technologies. There are some commonalities in the form of power-to-gas projects, hydrogen stations and powerful electrolyzers to generate the gas. Their market caps aren’t as far apart as I would expect based on the number and contract value of bookings. Both stocks have experienced severe price drops.
H2 Energy, a Swiss corporation based in the Glattpark industrial area in Opfikon, near Zurich, is gradually expanding its reach. CEO Philipp Dietrich said that the company would now concentrate its efforts on the German market. In mid-January, it formed a joint venture with Global Automotive Partners. Reportedly, the new business, called H2 Energy Deutschland, will sell renewable hydrogen produced in Pliening
The Energy Storage Europe show, which took place March 13 through 15 in Düsseldorf, Germany, had more than 200 leaders in science, business, government and civil society present the latest developments in five series of parallel sessions at two co-located conferences, the 7th ESE and Eurosolar’s 12th IRES. The show no longer featured a Power-to-Gas conference, since OTTI had filed for bankruptcy protection in late 2016.
Swiss Hydrogen, a manufacturer of fuel cell systems, has a new owner. Groupe E, an energy provider based in Switzerland, announced in late 2017 that it had sold its stake in the company to Plastic Omnium, a French supplier of auto parts. The latter also acquired the shares held by others, namely entrepreneur Marco Simeoni, venture capital firm Capital Risque Fribourg and the Paul Scherrer Institute, also known as PSI.
Pajarito Powder, a catalyst manufacturer based in Albuquerque, USA, can now draw on Austrian expertise to further its business. Late last October, it announced that Hubert Gasteiger had joined the company’s technical advisory board. Webb Johnson, who also advises Pajarito, told H2-international that the manufacturer had made great progress in designing engineered catalyst support materials and entire catalysts not made from precious metals.
The good news is that fuel cells for materials handling equipment are no longer confined to a niche market. Entire warehouses in North America are currently being served by hydrogen-powered forklift trucks. This type of fuel cell application is also becoming increasingly popular in Asia and Europe, but their logistics industries will have some catching up to do.