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.
NOW has established a new organization to support the fuel cell industry in Germany. Wolfgang Axthammer, one of the company’s two managing directors and head of its Special Markets program, confirmed that the first general meeting of the Clean Intralogistics Net, a network of fuel cell businesses
By now, it should be glaringly obvious that times are changing: Mercedes-Benz is exiting the German Touring Car Championship and entering the Formula E in 2019, alongside Audi, BMW and Porsche. Electricity is also increasingly driving Formula 1. The fossil fuel to electric power transition is in full throttle. Technologies that used to be visions (see also Eco-marathon) are becoming reality.
The conversion of waste heat into electrical energy could very well make an important contribution to CO2 and GHG emissions reduction and improve energy efficiency. A typical process chain will be based on a thermodynamic cycle, such as organic Rankine, a Stirling engine or a thermoelectric generator. A relatively new method uses pyroelectricity to advance both water electrolysis and power generation.
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.
The deal with Amazon – which basically acquired a stake in Plug Power (Nasdaq: PLUG) through warrants and, at the same time, placed orders to have its forklift trucks retrofitted – may be the reason why Walmart has agreed to a change in the terms for its large Plug booking, which will improve the situation for the latter. Walmart was the first big Plug customer to request forklift conversions and an H2 refueling infrastructure at its logistics centers.
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.”
Hydrogenics (Nasdaq: HYGS) has a full schedule with USD 151.2 million in backlog for several types of fuel cell applications, from truck conversion kits (Scania in Norway) to bus stacks in China to H2 refueling stations and power-to-gas systems. A loss of USD 5.7 million (minus USD 0.45 per share) in the second quarter can be considered a temporary slump, as the company said that some shipments had been moved to the third. Hydrogenics intends to stick to the forecast it had published for the entire year.