Fuel Cells - The Year Ahead
Posted on January 4, 2013
2012 was an exceptionally busy year, however, with the New Year already underway, we wanted to look ahead and to share with you (with the help of our friends at Fuel Cell Today), some developments to look forward to in 2013.
A number of automotive companies will continue their plans for commercialisation:
- The GreenGT H2 will become the first fuel cell vehicle to enter the Le Mans 24 hour race, taking place on 22nd and 23rd June 2013
- Hyundai will increase the number of its ix35 FCEV available for projects and demonstrations; the Korean automaker has said it will make up to 1,000 of the vehicles available before a full commercial launch in 2015
- The UKH2Mobility programme will announce its 'end of phase 1' achievements in the form of an external report - more details to follow
With a focus on meeting the global demand for cleaner and more environmentally friendly products, there is growing interest in hydrogen energy storage (see - Research report from the IGEM - Hydrogen: untapped energy?), to enable greater integration of renewables within the grid.
- Set to begin operating in 2013, E.ON has developed a pilot energy storage plant in Falkenhagen in the northeast of Germany. The facility will convert wind power into hydrogen that can be stored in the country's gas grid for use when needed
- The same concept is being undertaken by the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association and discussed in other countries around the world.
Apple is due to double the number of fuel cells it will use to power its $1 billion data center in North Carolina, making it the largest non-utility fuel cell installation in the U.S. This will eclipse eBay's own expansion announced earlier in the year at its data center in South Jordan, Utah.
Elsewhere, America's largest utility fuel cell installation will come online towards the end of 2013; FuelCell Energy (FCE) is providing a turn-key 14.9 MW fuel cell power park in its home state of Connecticut.
Closer to home, IE-CHP, the joint venture between Intelligent Energy and Scottish and Southern Energy, announced the appointment of Mr. Colin Gardner as Managing Director. Gardner will be responsible for driving the market expansion and commercialisation of the low-carbon combined heat and power (CHP) systems technology and products from IE-CHP in 2013.
Finally, we expect to see a number of fuel cell powered portable devices come to fruition - new product launches at CES 2013 and MWC 2013 will be ones to watch!
To read Fuel Cell Today's full overview, please click here.