Considering we are confronted with new facts almost every day, it should come as no surprise that the controversy surrounding nitrogen oxides and fine dust, blue badges and diesel bans in German cities shows no sign of letting up. Likewise, automakers are a recurrent subject on the evening news, whether they want to or not. Despite, or probably because, every news cycle delivers more information about how the industry cheated during emission tests, it has become increasingly difficult to keep up with the latest developments.
Fuel cell power plants are the top class of stationary applications. They are the most difficult systems to design and the market for them is the toughest to survive. Companies engaging in this business have often come crashing down or were saved in spectacular fashion by mere chance. But there are some which have mastered the market’s ups and downs and new entrants who are willing to try.
As part of an online survey, H2-international has asked 12 suppliers of fuel cell power plants to provide information about their product portfolio and the market. Unfortunately, only four of them filled out the questionnaire, describing four products in total. Datasheets available elsewhere were used to add more systems to the table below.
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.
This year, the hydrogen community will meet June 17 through 22 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the 22nd World Hydrogen Energy Conference. Three of the speakers who have confirmed their participation are Bart Biebuyck, Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking, Brussels; Sunita Satyapal, Department of Energy, USA; and Yoshihiro Mizutani, Ministry of the Environment, Japan.
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.
At the beginning of December, market data and analyses for the fuel cell industry were published by E4tech in The Fuel Cell Industry Review 2017. E4tech is an international consultancy that has been providing insight into the hydrogen and fuel cell industry since 2014. To prepare the review, a team at E4tech contacts fuel cell companies worldwide and aggregates their delivery figures.
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.
There were no marketing fireworks this time at the 67th International Motor Show in Frankfurt, Sept. 14 through 24, 2017. In contrast to 6 years prior, the trade show wasn’t bent on zero-emission stickers and lush green isles but focused on simple product presentations instead.
Late last November, the total number of hydrogen filling stations in Germany stood at 35, prompting a statement from NOW that the expansion of the refueling grid was making significant progress. Rhineland-Palatinate’s first public hydrogen station, which had received around EUR 900,000 from the federal transportation ministry, had just been inaugurated in Koblenz