Fuel cell stacks continue to show a critical gap in power density development along the European automotive value chain. Filling it was the objective of two EU projects, Auto-Stack (FCH-JU GA 245142) and AutoStack CORE (FCH-JU GA 325335), which received financial support from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking.
For a long time, it seemed as if alkaline fuel cells, or AFCs for short, no longer had a chance on the market. But now, some developers are set on reviving this “old” technology. GenCell, a cash-rich business from Israel, has optimized these cells to a point where they can be offered as part of a commercially available backup power system. And a successful trial run in Stade has encouraged AFC Energy to push onto the German market with its own solutions.
Following its successful launch in Sindelfingen near Stuttgart this April, a new German dual exhibition will find itself in Hanover in the next. From May 15 through May 17, 2018, it will be featured at Hanover’s show grounds in halls 19 and 20. The joint debut of the Battery Show Europe, whose organizers have termed it the continent’s premiere show on the latest in battery manufacturing and product development, and its sister event, the Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology Expo
The European Commission publishes metadata about all funding approved as part of the 7th Framework Program (FP7) and Horizon 2020, with the latter still in effect to date. Analytical tools can be used to process and sift through this data to gain valuable information, for example, about the competitive environment. This article will show which organizations have entered into collaboration as part of European support programs and what their collaborative networks look like.
Natural gas and hydrogen have much in common, but can a gas power station be adapted for hydrogen use? One organization that has been trying to answer this question since the summer is the Vattenfall energy corporation. In partnership with Gasunie, a Dutch gas infrastructure services business, and Statoil, a Norwegian oil company, it aims to examine whether a retrofit is technically feasible.
The latest technology making the rounds in the automotive world is a 48-volt system. This quadrupling of the onboard voltage from the earlier 12 volts reduces the current required for a given amount of power by a factor of 4 (P = U x I). A smaller current makes thinner cables possible. Considering the length and number of wires installed in today’s vehicles, the new approach results in a notable reduction in weight and thus fuel consumption.
A second-quarter loss of USD 1.2 million or USD 0.01 per share is one thing, but a more than 50 percent year-on-year jump in revenue to USD 26.1 million is quite another. Canadian-based Ballard (Nasdaq: BLDP) managed to push the gross margin to 38 percent, so that earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization were at positive USD 1.1 million. That’s plus USD 0.4 million through the first half year. Revenue grew by 45 percent to USD 49.2 million during the same period.
More and more news reports, talk shows and interviews with leading politicians in Germany are making explicit mention of fuel cells – sadly, most of the time only in reference to the diesel scandal among the country’s automakers. Still, it’s a clear sign that people are becoming aware of the technology’s potential. Pierre-Etienne Franc, secretary general of the Hydrogen Council, has said recently: “The years 2020 to 2030 will be for hydrogen what the 1990s were for solar and wind. It’s a real strategic shift.”
ITM Power (London: ITM) based in the UK was able to increase bookings by GBP 4.87 million to GBP 23.54 million. Projects for which contracts should be awarded soon have a combined value of GBP 16.67 million, so that the expected backlog is at around GBP 40 million. An intriguing product development is ITM’s recent showcase of a 50-megawatt electrolyzer design at the Las Vegas trade show SPI. It reportedly made it possible to produce 20 tons of hydrogen per day.
The current standard in all things transportation is China. It makes policy with which even automakers in Germany need to comply if they want to keep their foot in the door. Air pollution in many large Chinese cities is so high that politicians have been forced to take drastic measures. It is the reason why the government is providing massive amounts of subsidies to promote electric transportation, which has led to half of all electric vehicles worldwide being manufactured in China – and driven there as well.