Fuel Cell Archives


August 24, 2015

SFC Energy: Growing Remote Power

by Debra Fiakas CFA

Fuel cell developer SFC Energy, A.G. (F3C.DE) recently came calling on money managers in New York City.  The company’s chief financial officer Steffen Schneider wants U.S. investors to know SFC has more going for it than simple fuel cells.  True enough the company sells fuel cell components, but it is also capable of delivering complete off-grid energy solutions and integrating full systems.

Schneider talks up SFC’s sterling customer list, including Volkswagen, Siemens, Schlumberger, Shell Oil, Arch Coal, Conoco-Phillips, and other industrial users.  Then there are government agencies such as NATO, the FBI in the U.S. and the Israeli military as well as SFC’s home country of Germany.  It appears customers have been doing more than just sampling.  Over the last five years sales have increased four times, reaching Euro53.6 in fiscal year 2014.  That translated to about US$75.0 million at currency rates at the end of the year.

A little over half of SFC’s business is with customers in the oil and gas industry, where production and distribution facilities are often located far away from electrical grid connections.  Local energy sources are vital for power controls, data acquisition equipment and other mission critical systems.  Harsh weather conditions often preclude the effective use of solar or fossil fuels.  SFC estimates the opportunity for off-grid oil and gas facility power sources is valued at US$11.5 billion, of which US3.7 billion in located in the U.S.
Other industries need power in remote locations as well, such as telecommunications, agriculture and agriculture.  Wind and solar energy producers also need power solutions for facility control functions.  Then there are the remote activities of the military and law enforcement where power is need for communications, computing and monitoring equipment.  SFC is prepared to build custom engineered solutions, but some customers can choose standard units such as the EFOY ProEnergyBox or EFOY ProCube.  There are also the EMILY and JENNY mobile solutions that give the military or government agencies lightweight and reliable energy packs for personnel deployed in remote locations.   The military and industrial markets represent just over a third of total sales.

SFC+Efoy[1].jpg The balance or about 8% of total sales is to consumers.  There is growing demand for power sources for recreational vehicles, boats or homes located far away from power lines.  SFC offers standard solutions it calls the EFOY Comfort and EFOY GO to provide lightweight, portable units for on-demand power.

SFC stands out among fuel cell developers.  The company's fuel cells use direct methane technology rather than relying on hydrogen reformed from natural gas.  SFC says this feature improves the return in investment for their fuel cell solutions, since methane is easier and cheaper to handle than hydrogen.

Besides its product technology SFC has been shrewd about its competitive positioning, using acquisitions to bolt on complementary technologies to further distinguish its power solutions.  In 2013, SFC acquired Simark Controls Ltd., a provider of instrumentation, automation power solutions for the oil and gas industry.  Based in Calgary, Alberta, Simark is well entrenched in Canada’s oil and gas industry.  Its rich experience in custom engineering is now giving SFC an edge in pitching customers in the oil and gas industry.  In 2011, the PBF Group B.V. was acquired for its electronics technology that has been critical in helping SFC properly integrate its fuel cells into established conventional electronics infrastructure and devices.
SFC has not been as successful in building profits as it has sales.  The gross profit margin has shrunk to 29.2% in 2014 from 39.1% just two years earlier.  Unfortunately, the trend has continued in the first half of 2015.  The company has yet to achieve profitability, but generated positive cash earnings in 2014, as measured by EBITDA.  The company had US$4.3 million in cash on its balance sheet at the end of June 2015, and US$11.6 million in working capital to support operations.

U.S. investors who have an interest SFC will need to acquire shares on a Germany’s Frankfurt exchange.  SFC has not registered its shares in the U.S.  That should not be a particular problem for the investor who is willing to do a bit of work.  SFC Energy is fully reporting, providing German authorities with the same sort of disclosures required in the U.S.  SFC Energy even provides English translations of its financial reports on the corporate website.  For U.S. investors an interesting feature of European financial reports is the Forecast Report section, which details management’s projects for the next fiscal year sales and earnings.
Shares of SFC Energy have drifted down over the last year after experiencing a dramatic increase in value in 2014.  The stock fell through its 50-day moving average near the beginning of the current year and has failed to lift above it since.  Dwindling trading volume suggests that the current weakness in the stock has been more the result of limited demand rather than a rush to the exits. 

Debra Fiakas is the Managing Director of Crystal Equity Research, an alternative research resource on small capitalization companies in selected industries.

Neither the author of the Small Cap Strategist web log, Crystal Equity Research nor its affiliates have a beneficial interest in the companies mentioned herein.

March 04, 2015

FuelCell Energy Rising

by Debra Fiakas CFA

Last week I was surprised to find FuelCell Energy (FCEL:  Nasdaq) on a list of companies registering a particularly bullish technical formation called an ‘Aroon’ indicator.  This measure that is designed to reveal stocks entering a new, decisive trend.  Shares of this fuel cell technology developer and producer had been in a steady decline through most of the year 2014, reaching a 52-week low price of $1.05 in January 2015.  However, since then FCEL has regained 27% from that low point.

Source:  Stockcharts.com
The turn in fortunes seemed to coincide with an announcement commemorating one year of operation at a fuel cell park operated by Dominion Power (D:  NYSE) using five of FuelCell’s Direct FuelCell power plants.  Dominion produces 14.9 megawatts from the installation, which is sufficient to power 15,000 homes.  A heat recovery element adds to the efficiency of the plant.  Then again it must be noted that several of the major small-cap indices such as the S&P 600 Index has been on the rise since about mid-January 2015.  One way or the other FuelCell may have regained its ‘mojo’ in terms of its stock valuation.

Trading volumes near 3.7 million shares per day seem impressive, but this is still only 1.5% of the 'float'  or shares outstanding and not held by insiders.   Besides relatively shallow trading volume, FuelCell has been stalked by traders with a bearish view.  The number of shares sold short is around 14% of the float.  Based on volumes at each price level, I estimate a significant portion of the short interest was established at the $2.50 price level.   If I am right in this assessment, shareholders of FCEL cannot expect a ‘short squeeze’ without further price recovery.

I do not expect to see results for the first fiscal quarter ending January 2015 until well into March.  The consensus estimate is for a loss of two pennies on $48.0 million in total sales.  If achieved these results would represent 8% top-line growth and a reduction in the bottom line loss by half.  The company has been building sales and trimming its operating losses over the past six months or so.  Any upside surprise in financial results could reinforce the new found interest in FCEL. 

Debra Fiakas is the Managing Director of
Crystal Equity Research, an alternative research resource on small capitalization companies in selected industries.

Neither the author of the Small Cap Strategist web log, Crystal Equity Research nor its affiliates have a beneficial interest in the companies mentioned herein.

January 16, 2015

Hyster-Yale's Fuel Cell Deal

by Debra Fiakas CFA

Near the close of 2014, Nuvera Fuel Cells was acquired by NACCO, an operating company of Hyster-Yale Materials Handling, Inc. (HY:  NYSE).  Nuvera sells a proprietary fuel cell stack under the brand name Orion for industrial mobility, automotive and aerospace applications.  The company also sells its PowerTap Hydrogen Station for on-site hydrogen generation (see image below).  The purchase price was not disclosed and Hyster-Yale has not provided guidance on how the deal will impact its sales and earnings in 2015. 
Nuvera PowerCell
Apparently, Nuvera’s sales and earnings are not material to Hyster-Yale in the greater scheme of things.  Hyster-Yale reported $2.8 billion in total sales in the twelve months ending September 2014, providing $109.1 million in net income or $6.59 per share.  The company’s operations generated $105.3 million in cash during the same period.

As an investment opportunity Hyster-Yale has a mixed profile.  The stock currently trades at 0.41 times sales and 10.5 times trailing earnings.  Those multiples look very interesting given that Hyster-Yale has achieved a 24.6% return on equity.   A forward dividend yield of 1.6% puts icing on the cake.  However, one of the few sell-side firms that follow HY recently downgraded the stock from speculative buy to neutral.

A closer look at a few technical indicators should give investors some help.  Money has been flowing out of HY for several months and the stock is beginning to look oversold according to both the relative strength index and commodity channel index.  Hence the depressed stock price and nominal price multiples to sales and earnings. Contrarian investors might find those circumstances perfect for an entrance to a bull case scenario in the stock.  The stock has a beta of 0.80, suggesting it would be among the least volatile stocks in a contrarian’s portfolio during the wait for the stock to pass through the current down cycle.

While fascinating for contrarian investors, those who want to take a position in the fuel cell industry may find HY less than appealing.  Hyster-Yale has invested in another quiver for its portfolio of products aimed industrial customers.  The company is one of the main suppliers of lift trucks in the U.S. and has a sizable market share worldwide.  Adding the hydrogen fuel cell products to its line helps keep Hyster-Yale at the leading edge of technologies in materials handling.  Although investors might never see the details, we would expect the new parent to jump start sales of Nuvera’s fuel cells stacks and power station by loading the new products into its worldwide sales network.

Hyster-Yale does not have the glamour of Alibaba (BABA:  Nasdaq), the supply chain company from China that made a big splash on the U.S. equity market in 2014.  However, the need for efficiency in materials handling for all the suppliers and manufacturers that participate in Alibaba’s network makes Hyster-Yale’s lift trucks an important link in the supply chain.  Thus, Hyster-Yale provides an interesting vehicle to invest in the transformation of the world supply chain to alternative energy technologies.

Debra Fiakas is the Managing Director of
Crystal Equity Research, an alternative research resource on small capitalization companies in selected industries.

Neither the author of the Small Cap Strategist web log, Crystal Equity Research nor its affiliates have a beneficial interest in the companies mentioned herein. Nuvera Fuel Cells is included in the Fuel Cell Group of Crystal Equity Research’s Mothers of Invention Index of innovative alternative energy developers.

January 15, 2015

Toyota Opens The Fuel Cell Kimono

by Debra Fiakas CFA

Last week Toyota Motor Corporation (TM:  NYSE) announced its intention to share its patented fuel cell technology with other automotive manufacturers.    Engineers from competing auto manufacturers can get a look at Toyota’s fuel cell designs up through 2020.  Toyota has taken a page from Tesla Motors (TSLA:  Nasdaq), which made its electric vehicle battery designs available to the public last year. 

Since the car business is intensely competitive, automotive manufacturers are typically quite circumspect about their innovations.  However, producers of cars powered by alternative energy sources are faced with a unique problem  -  the need to develop scale in the power supply chain.  By encouraging battery and fuel cell adoption by other car manufacturers as well as innovation in power supplies, Tesla and Toyota hope to foster an expansion of the power distribution network.  Readily available power supplies should give consumers greater confidence to adopt the new cars. 

Toyota is prepared to share over 5,000 patents with other automakers without royalty arrangements.  The patents cover fuel cells composed of membrane electrode assemblies positioned between separators.  These fuel cells are ‘stacked’ one against another to achieve the desired voltage.  Toyota’s patents cover the membrane composition, separator materials, and the stacking methods among other materials, designs and processes.  The company has also developed a unique boost converter to increase the voltage and thereby reduce the number of required fuel cells.  A drive battery, motor/generator combination and power control unit complete the system.  Toyota has also patented the three-layer design of its hydrogen tanks used to store the required hydrogen on the vehicle.  There should be a great deal to learn from pouring over the patents.

Tesla has had mixed results from its technology sharing.  So far it does not appear that any automotive manufacturer has adopted Tesla’s battery-powered drive train designs.   After only one year it might be a bit too early to suggest Tesla’s policy is a failure.  Perhaps Toyota’s gesture will not be any better received.   Honda, Hyundai and Volkswagen already have fuel cell designs.  Still, it would be beneficial if innovators in battery charging or battery swap schemes used the designs to plan an entrance to the market.     

Toyota recently introduced the Mirai passenger car at automotive trade shows as one of the first commercial vehicles in history to be powered by hydrogen fuel cells.    Reportedly the first production run for the car is only around 10,000 cars.  Most of these first units are expected to be put on the market at dealerships in California where there are at least some sources for hydrogen fuel.  To move to larger, more economic production runs, Toyota needs entrepreneurs to see the bigger picture and invest in hydrogen filling stations or at make such services available to petrol stations already in place.

Tesla Motors was apparently been the inspiration for Toyota’s magnanimous gift of fuel cell information to the public.  Surprisingly, Tesla’s celebrity CEO Elon Musk has been dismissive of fuel cell technology, referring to ‘fool’ cells.  This is not the first time Toyota has been the butt of jokes about its cars.  Two decades ago there were many naysayers when Toyota introduced the Prius as the first gas-electric hybrid passenger car.  Toyota is now selling two dozen different hybrid passenger car models and sold about 6.1 million hybrid cars in 2013.

It is doubtful Toyota would open the kimono so wide if its engineers were not highly confident in their fuel cell innovation.  Likely this confidence is supported by their experience with hybrid car technologies.  I believe the appearance of the Mirai in our midst will have the same catalytic impact on consumer choice and business strategies as did the Prius.  Cars driving down the road with hydrogen fuel cells could earn this technology much respect, Elon Musk’s comments notwithstanding.

Debra Fiakas is the Managing Director of
Crystal Equity Research, an alternative research resource on small capitalization companies in selected industries.

Neither the author of the Small Cap Strategist web log, Crystal Equity Research nor its affiliates have a beneficial interest in the companies mentioned herein.

January 12, 2015

Fuel Cells: Know Your Market

by Debra Fiakas CFA

The New Year got off to a rocky start for Ballard Power Systems (BLDP:  Nasdaq), a developer of fuel cell technologies and systems.  The company ran into some trouble with its strategy to penetrate the China market through a partner.  No one should be surprised by Ballard’s difficulties.  Fuel cell technology has been under development for more than two decades.  Frankly, technology is not the problem  -  at least any more.  Early on developers were beset by numerous challenges, not the least of which was the problem of getting fuel cells to work properly at low temperatures.  However, scientists have found solutions and the fuel cells on the market today can start cold at temperatures as low as -30 degrees Celsius.  Fuel cell designs today are durable and costs have been reduced dramatically.

According to Grand View Research, fuel cell shipments are still unimpressive at just over 50,000 units in 2013, the last year for which reliable data is available.   The majority of fuel cells sold are of the PEMFC or proton exchange fuel cells.  Most of the fuel cells sold in 2013 were put into service in North America.  Many, including myself, have pointed to the introduction of cars powered by fuel cells as a turning point for the technology.  Both Toyota and Hyundai have shown fuel cell cars at major auto trade shows in recent months and expect to begin selling these models in 2015.

Grand View Research predicts that fuel cell installed capacity will reach 665 megawatts by 2020, representing 23% compound annual growth over the next six years.  That is much more impressive.  To get there though the major players in the fuel cell market, Ballard included, will need to make some major changes in their strategies and tactics to penetrate the market.  Apparently, fuel cells are different enough from incumbent power sources that a fuel cell system is not a ‘plug and play’ option.

Thus in considering any fuel cell company, it will be imperative that investors look very closely at market penetration strategies.  Fuel cell applications fall generally into three categories:  transportation, stationary and portable.  Will the company address all three segments or attempt specialization?  How developed is the marketing and sales program?  Is the leadership experienced in the sector or related power sectors?  What partners have been lined up to aid with system design and integration?

We have already observed that Ballard Power has fallen short in the China, a market that is far less developed that North America.  In the next posts we look more closely at the marketing strategies of each of the major fuel cell suppliers.   

Debra Fiakas is the Managing Director of
Crystal Equity Research, an alternative research resource on small capitalization companies in selected industries.

Neither the author of the Small Cap Strategist web log, Crystal Equity Research nor its affiliates have a beneficial interest in the companies mentioned herein.

January 06, 2015

Ballard Terminates Azure Hydrogen Licenses; Can It Find A Better China Partner?

by Debra Fiakas CFA

Before the open of the first trading day of 2015, fuel cell developer Ballard Power Systems (BLDP:  Nasdaq) announced the termination of technology licenses to Azure Hydrogen, which was to have been Ballard’s introduction to the China market. The license agreements covered the sale of Ballard’s bus power module and telecom backup power system.  Ballard has charged Azure with breaching the agreements and the two companies have apparently not been able to come to alternative terms. 

Azure had made sales in the China and not all of the equipment had been paid.  Termination of the relationship casts some doubt on outstanding accounts receivable totaling $4.5 million.  Apparently the skepticism was sufficient to cause Ballard’s accountants to write off the full $4.5 million. 

While waiting to see that bit of bad news in the year-end financial report, investors can mull over the other consequence of the divorce from Azure  -  reduced revenue expectations.  Management reduced guidance for the December 2014 quarter by $3.0 million, but deferred a discussion of the impact on 2015 until late February when they were already planning to provide guidance for the upcoming year.

Most likely this is a temporary hiccup.  There are plenty of other players in China that would be capable of penetrating that market with fuel cells for both transportation and stationary applications.  Ballard should have plenty of options to forge another relationship.  What will be challenging is finding a credit worthy counterpart.  Ballard had required a $1 million upfront payment from Azure at the signing of the first license agreement in May 2013.  Shareholders might have thought that would have been sufficient to secure Azure’s business integrity.

Some investors might think the bad news provides an opportunity to accumulate shares of Ballard at an economical price.  BLDP gapped down in the first hour of trading following the announcement, giving up some of the gains the stock had made in the previous week.  The stock had been on a steady decline over the past several months, but the supply seemed to have been turned off with the expiration of tax-loss sales opportunities.

Ballard has managed to build revenue up to $70.4 million in the most recently reported twelve months.  The consensus among the half dozen analysts who have published estimates for Ballard is suggests the company was expected to report $73.4 million for the year.  With the termination of the Azure relationship and the elimination of that business in the fourth quarter, it appears the company is poised to report about $70 million in sales for the year.  That would suggest flat results compared to the prior year, but Ballard also has the write-off of the uncollectible accounts receivable.  Thus 2014 could be a down year in terms of sales.

Investors can expect a significant net loss in the year.  The trailing twelve month loss was $13 million through the end of September 2014.  The consensus estimates suggest few if anyone expects the company to breakeven anytime soon.  Ballard has a $32.7 million cash hoard to tide the company over.  At the present cash usage rate Ballard has about two years to ‘fire it’s engines’.  That might offer some encouragement to value investors who see the recent dip in price to pick up shares.

The implications of the license agreement termination came on a day most investors were likely taking the day off for an extended recovery from the New Year celebrations.  It is likely that there will be further reaction registered in the stock price with the rest of investors return from holiday merry making.  Then the year-end 2014 report at the end of February could evoke even further reaction as investors can see the bad news in numbers.

Ballard stubbed its toe in the final days in 2014 and waited until the first day of the New Year to give investors the good news.  Putting out the press release one day after New Year’s Day is not likely to shield Ballard from the harsh realities of the equity market.  Even more compelling buying opportunities might be ahead.

Debra Fiakas is the Managing Director of
Crystal Equity Research, an alternative research resource on small capitalization companies in selected industries.

Neither the author of the Small Cap Strategist web log, Crystal Equity Research nor its affiliates have a beneficial interest in the companies mentioned herein.

October 29, 2014

Hydrogenics: Powering Up

by Debra Fiakas CFA

In the last post on Hydrogenics, Inc. (HYGS:  Nasdaq) in April 2014, the stock seemed to be languishing on news of a potentially dilutive common stock offering.  At the time profits still seem illusive.  However, over the last few months circumstances have improved.  Shares of Hydrogenics have moved higher on the company’s recent introduction of a fuel cell power system for medium and heavy duty vehicles.  Additionally, in July this year Hydrogenics was chosen by Ontario as one of five grid storage projects.  This has turned HYGS into an interesting stock to watch.

What sets Hydrogenis apart from the rest of the fuel cell developers is the company’s innovation of low pressure, dry air stack technology.  There is no need for air compressors or humidification equipment, offering a compelling value proposition.  Hydrogenics management is confident the manufacturers of large vehicles such as buses or heavy duty trucks find its fuel cell system easy to integrate.

The company is in a good position to move on the market opportunity for fuel cell cell systems.  Hydrogenics raised approximately $14 million in new capital in May 2014, through a common stock offering.  Cash balance at the end of June 2014, was $16.7 million.  Operations still require cash support, but we expect the cash burn rate to decline in the coming quarters.

The clutch of analysts following Hydrogenics have projected the company will report its first profits in the final quarter of 2014.  In the full year 2014, the consensus estimate is for earnings per share of $0.07 on $71.9 million in total sales.  Hydrogenics is scheduled to release third quarter 2014, financial results in early November.    It is worthwhile tuning in for that report.  Management should be able to provide some clues as to whether the consensus estimate is achievable.      

Debra Fiakas is the Managing Director of
Crystal Equity Research, an alternative research resource on small capitalization companies in selected industries.

Neither the author of the Small Cap Strategist web log, Crystal Equity Research nor its affiliates have a beneficial interest in the companies mentioned herein.

October 16, 2014

Fuel Cell Follies: Off-Roading

by Debra Fiakas CFA

Consumer adoption of hydrogen-fueled vehicles could have quite a catalytic impact on the entire fuel cell industry.  Two of the public fuel cell technology companies come to mind first:  Plug Power, Inc. (PLUG:  Nasdaq), FuelCell Energy, Inc. (FCEL:  Nasdaq) and Ballard Power Systems, Inc. (BLDP:  Nasdaq).  These companies have been toiling away for years on fuel cell technologies, finding success on the periphery with industrial, campus and power generation solutions.  All three companies trade at modest prices and could look like great bargains for investors with an extended investment horizon. 

Forklift Fuel Cells

Plug Power has found considerable success by focusing on commercial and industrial users with campus or warehouse applications.  The company has packaged its flagship hydrogen fueled membrane fuel cell with central refueling stations, winning high-profile customers like Walmart in Canada, Kroger, FedEx and even Volkswagen that have fleets of materials handling vehicles.  Sales have been growing and Plug Power was able to post $35.6 million in total sales for the twelve months ending June 2014.  However, the company has yet to produce an operating profit and required $35.9 million in cash to support operations during that twelve month period.  The company reported near $168 million in cash resources at the end of June 2014.

As was noted in the article “Investor Unplugging from  Plug Power” in April 2014, the stock has been under considerable selling pressure over the last several months.  The company’s sometimes erratic investor communications could be part of the problem.  More recently the stock has been among the victims of the correction in the U.S. equity markets.  In September 2014, the stock formed what is called a ‘double bottom breakdown’ in technical parlance, signaling a bearish sentiment pervades trading in the stock.  Momentum oscillators for the stock suggest there is little to turn around the free fall in the stock price that began in early August.  There might good reason to take a long position in PLUG if your investment horizon is far off, but there could be opportunities yet to acquire PLUG at even lower prices than today.

Fuel Cell Power Plants

The stock of FuelCell Energy has been looking oversold and the slide downward that began in early September and shows little sign of stopping. Last week FCEL completed an especially bearish formation called a ‘descending triple bottom breakdown’ by technicians who use point and figure charts.  The measure was so strong it suggests the stock could fall as low as $0.25 per share.

If FCEL trades that low, it might be considered a good value. The company’s technology transforms various fuels such as natural gas or methanol or biogas to power through its proprietary fuel cell power plants.  The company has gained some traction in the market and has over 50 installations in the power generation industry, waste water treatment plants, healthcare facilities and other locations that require always-on power sources.  FuelCell reported $181.0 million in total revenue in the six months ending July 2014, and posted a net loss of $46.3 million.

FuelCell Energy’s technology successes appear to have been enough to convince a player in the energy industry to commission a study of direct fuel cell power plants.  FuelCell Energy did not release its customers name or the value of the contract.  The development revenue will be added to $3.2 million awarded by the U.S. Energy Department to study advanced materials.

Power Stronghold in the Caribbean

Ballard Power Systems is giving FuelCell Energy some competition.  Ballard has developed technology for proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells that has been commercialized for mobile and stationary power plant applications.  Ballard reported $66.8 million in total sales in the most recently reported twelve months, resulting in a net loss of $15.2 million.  Cash usage in the same period was $15.0 million.  At that cash burn rate, Ballard could last another two years or so just by relying on its cash resources that totaled $36.4 million at the end of June 2014.

Management at Ballard might not be so worried about their bank account balance.  Ballard has been supplying Plug Power with fuel cell stacks for Plug Power’s GenDrive systems deployed in forklift trucks.  A new agreement extends the supply arrangement to 2017.  Wait, there is more!  Digicell Group, a communications provider in the Caribbean and Central America, recently placed the second tranche of an order for Ballard’s ElectraGen methanol-fuel cells to be deployed around Jamaica for back-up power.  After selling these thirteen additional systems to Digicell, Ballard can boast 161 ElectraGen systems deployed and operating in the Caribbean.

The wild card in the Ballard story is new leadership.  Ballard’s chief executive officer of eight years is retiring, making room for Randy MacEwan as the new CEO.  MacEwan has industrial gas supply knowhow and extensive executive level experience in the clean energy industry.  Even with a long list of credentials there MacEwan will still have a learning curve and it is not clear if he has the ability to sketch out a road map to profitability.

It should be no surprise that Ballard shares has the same negative sentiment permeating in its trading as we have observed in PLUG and FCEL.  There appears to be little support at any price level to keep the stock from trading to below buck.  The bearish price target for BLDP is $0.75.


Three companies with recent positive fundamental developments that indicate market acceptance of their technologies and products.  Skies above these fuel cell producers are getting blue as recent developments in the automotive industry suggest a growing interest in fuel cell technologies for consumer on-road vehicle as well as commercial off-road vehicles and stationary solutions.   Three undervalued stocks with weakening trading patterns that suggest things could get worse before they get better.  For me that adds up to three stocks that should be on a watch list until the equity market finds its bottom.

Debra Fiakas is the Managing Director of
Crystal Equity Research, an alternative research resource on small capitalization companies in selected industries.

Neither the author of the Small Cap Strategist web log, Crystal Equity Research nor its affiliates have a beneficial interest in the companies mentioned herein.

June 06, 2014

Mantra's Promise of Innovation

by Debra Fiakas CFA

How often do we see the crowd rooting for the underdog?  You could hear the cheers for Mantra Energy (MVTG:  OTC) last week at the Marcum Microcap Conference in New York City.  Mantra is a developmental stage company pursuing technologies to harness carbon dioxide for energy.  Of course, the company has no revenue and therefore no earnings.  Indeed, its technologies are so unique and as yet at such an early stage some might find them almost fanciful.   Yet for some investors, a fanciful underdog is even better than another.  

Mantra sees itself as a technology incubator, building on intellectual properties the company bought from the University of British Columbia.  The company is perfecting what they call the electro-reduction of carbon dioxide.  The idea is to use electrochemistry to convert carbon dioxide to usable products such as formic acid.  A wide range of end products depend on formic acid, such as preservatives and antibacterial agents in livestock feed and materials for de-icing runways.  Another important product might be formate salts, which are increasingly being considered as chemical carriers in hydrogen storage and transportation.

Turning a waste from industrial processes  -  a nasty one at that with far reaching climatic impact  -  into a useable product could have very impressive economic attributes.  The cost of carbon dioxide capture could be partially or fully covered by sales of the commercially viable products.  Mantra management believes the economics of its carbon capture and recycling solution attractive.

At least one company has already been convinced.  Lafarge Canada (LFRGY:  OTC) has agreed to work with Mantra with a pilot project at Lafarge’s cement plant in Richmond, British Columbia.  The pilot plant will have the capacity to convert 100 kilograms of carbon dioxide per day to formate salts.

Also under development is what Mantra calls its Mixed-Reactant Fuel Cell (MRFC).  In conventional fuel cells it is necessary to incorporate expensive membranes in the design prevent the fuel and oxidant from mixing.  In Mantra’s fuel cell the fuel and oxidant are allowed to mix, eliminating the cost and weight of membranes.  A variety of fuels can be used, including the formic acid that Mantra hopes to produce from its carbon capture and recycling technology.  Manta does not expect its fuel cell to have as much efficiency a conventional fuel cells, but the MRFCs are expected to have higher volumetric power densities.

Mantra has many steps to complete before reaching revenue stage.  Even more time will probably be needed to reach profitability and positive cash flow.  Before then the stock will trade on investor’s willingness to back an underdog if not confidence in management’s ability to execute on its strategic plans.  The company recently received a vote of confidence from a group of investors who infused $1.7 million in new capital into the company.  The company is using the money to take care of a few outstanding obligations and begin assembling the pilot plant.

Debra Fiakas is the Managing Director of
Crystal Equity Research, an alternative research resource on small capitalization companies in selected industries.

Neither the author of the Small Cap Strategist web log, Crystal Equity Research nor its affiliates have a beneficial interest in the companies mentioned herein.

May 01, 2014

Mantra Energy: The Future of Portable Fuel Cell Technology?

by Lee Shane

When one thinks of fuel cells and fuel cell technology some names immediately come to mind.  Ballard Power (BLDP) went public in 1993 and was listed on NASDAQ in 1995. A company that made its debut in 1997 was Plug Power (PLUG), a joint venture between DTE Energy and Mechanical Technology Inc.  Hydrogenics (HYGS) is a company that has been around for 60 years, but more recently has gotten investor attention for their fuel cell technology.

Most of the technology produced by well-known fuel cell companies share common features…

  1. They are based on fuel cell technology that requires hydrogen gas or a reformer that makes H2 out of the fossil fuel feed. They use a very expensive, very rare catalyst, Platinum.
  2.  Portable fuel cells are based on fuel cell technology that requires a PEM, Proton Exchange polymer Membrane
  3. They have all enjoyed various levels of success, but the existing technology appears to be limited to heavy vehicles (buses / forklifts) and backup power systems for specific applications.

The reality is that most of the existing fuel cell technology has never really reached the level of portability once imagined for fuel cells.

However one new entrant in the fuel cell sector may be capable of regenerating some of the early initial excitement. They have eliminated the Achilles heel, the PEM membrane, the bipolar plates, and the platinum catalyst…

That company is Mantra Energy Alternatives (MVTG) based out of British Columbia.

Recently MVTG has revealed their patented MRFC fuel cell. It is a "membrane-less" and "platinum-free" ultra-low cost fuel cell that appears to be totally unique in the market. As mentioned previously, the PEM membrane, the bi-polar plates, and the precious metals catalyst are among the most expensive and heavy parts of any fuel cell. The PEM Membrane is also one of the degrading components of PEM fuel cells, so the MVTG MRFC fuel cell is expected to have a much longer operating life, because there is no membrane to degrade. MVTG claims to have eliminated about 2/3rds of the cost of a typical PEM style fuel cell. 


We know the significant infrastructure challenges hydrogen gas still presents for widespread commercial deployment.  It was recently reported that even now there may be less than 15 commercially accessible hydrogen fueling stations available in the U.S.  But the MVTG-MRFC fuel cell does not require hydrogen gas. MVTG has eliminated the need for H2 gas feed in their MRFC fuel cells, and instead uses non-flamable liquid formates and formic acid as fuel.  It is the H proton bonded to the back bone of a CO2-molecule (which is formic acid) that is the hydrogen fuel that the MVTG-MRFC fuel cell uses, and in that state, formate-formic acid, it is non-flammable, and is stored at ambient pressure and temperature.  The MVTG fuel cell also does not require an expensive, energy consuming, bulky, and heavy reformer like other fuel cells use to handle direct fossil fuel feeds.

MRFC 2.png

The technology is the result of an impressive R&D collaboration from multiple Universities located in Canada, Japan, and the U.S.  The potential of this new fuel cell technology makes it worthy of acknowledgment.

Lee Shane works in information technology for a Fortune 500 company, and is an individual investor with over 20 years experience.  His focus is on small to mid size technology companies that have the potential to be disruptive, or offer benefits to the sectors they are targeting that legacy technology may not currently provide.  He has a strong interest in green building concepts and alternative energy and looks for hands-on opportunities in those areas

December 22, 2013

Twelve Hydrogen And Fuel Cell Stocks

Tom Konrad CFA


While many people think first about hydrogen when they think of fuel cells, fuel cells are not limited to hydrogen.  They are a set of related technologies, many of which can generate electricity from a number of hydrocarbon fuels rather than hydrogen.  I limited my recent post on the rapid rise of hydrogen stocks to just US-listed companies involved in the production and use of hydrogen, leaving out foreign stocks and other fuel cell technologies for brevity.

In my research for that article, however, I came across fully ten publicly traded companies involved with either hydrogen or other types of fuel cells.  Here they are, along with descriptions of the technologies drawn from the Department of Energy and company websites.

PEM Fuel Cells

The most common type of fuel cell, and the one most people think if first, is the Polymer Electrolyte Membrane or Proton-Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell.  These cells run on hydrogen at fairly low temperatures around  80°C (176°F).  They have the advantage of quick start-up and good durability because of the low temperature operation.  Unfortunately, they require an expensive noble metal catalyst, usually platinum, which is particularly sensitive to impurities in the hydrogen fuel.

PEM fuel cells are primarily used for fuel cells in vehicles, but have also been used in stationary applications.  The most developed market is materials handling (i.e. forklifts used in warehouses.)  Their lack of harmful tailpipe emissions makes them suitable for indoor use, while quick fueling and longer run time make them more suitable for heavy duty cycles than similar electric vehicles.

PEM fuel cells for transportation are typically 60% efficient, although the less expensive versions typically used for stationary applications are only about 35% efficient.

Companies producing PEM fuel cells include Ballard Power (NASD:BLDP), Plug Power (NASD:PLUG), and Proton Power Systems (LSE:PPS), and ITM Power (LSE:ITM).  Ballard and Plug Power are commercial stage companies, although neither is expected to achieve profitability soon.  Ballard produces PEM fuel cells for a wide variety of markets ranging in size from 1.5kw up to 500 kW.  Plug Power has a range of fuel cell modules designed to fit in the battery compartment of existing materials handling equipment.

Proton Power is a demonstration stage company with a focus on hybrid electric-fuel cell drive trains for larger vehicles such as delivery trucks, buses.

Electrolyzers, Fueling, and Storage

Since pure hydrogen does not occur naturally, the hydrogen economy cannot run on fuel cells alone.  A number of companies are tackling the creation of hydrogen (usually by electrolysis, or using electricity to split water in to hydrogen and oxygen), as well as fueling and storage.

Hydrogenics (NASD:HYGS) is a commercial stage company that develops and sells electrolyzers for hydrogen generation.  This is often integrated with hydrogen storage and PEM fuel cells, as well as hydrogen fueling stations.  It sells into both stationary power and vehicular markets.  ITM Power (LSE:ITM) sells commercial electrolyzers for hydrogen generation in hydrogen fueling stations, for industrial use, or injection into natural gas pipelines.  Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide (NASD:QTWW) sells a number of alternative fuel vehicle drive-trains and parts including hydrogen fuel tanks, but most of its current sales come from natural gas vehicles.

One oddball company brought to my attention by a reader is HyperSolar, Inc (OTC:HYSR).  Hypersolar is a very early stage developer of a solar powered system to directly use solar power to produce hydrogen from water.  While cutting out the extra step of converting sunlight to electricity with photovoltaics before using electrolysis to split hydrogen from water may sound attractive, the company is at an extremely early development stage and does not have sufficient funding to advance its technology.  It’s also not clear if the technology is more efficient at converting sunlight to hydrogen than the combination of photovoltaics and electrolyzers would be, or what the capital costs are.   I can’t imagine any scenario where a long term stock market investor could make a profit on HyperSolar.

Fuel Cell Energy (NASD:FCEL), discussed below, is currently developing a fuel cell that can generate hydrogen as well as electricity from various hydrocarbon feedstocks.

Alkaline Fuel Cells

Alkaline Fuel Cells (AFCs) have a solution of potassium hydroxide in water as an electrolyte which allows the precious metal catalyst of PEM fuel cells to be replaced by a variety of non-precious metals.  AFCs are one of the most efficient types of fuel cell, and have demonstrated efficiency near 60% in space applications. Unfortunately, AFCs are very sensitive to exposure to carbon dioxide and require both the hydrogen and oxygen used by the cell to be purified beforehand, which is a very costly process.

AFC Energy (LSE:AFC) is a developer of alkaline fuel cells for use converting waste hydrogen from industrial processes into useful electricity.  This seems like an interesting niche market and may prove profitable if AFC’s fuel cells prove sufficiently durable.

Molten Carbonate Fuel Cells

Molten Carbonate fuel cells (MCFCs) use a high temperature salt mixture suspended in an inert ceramic matrix as an electrolyte.  The 650°C (roughly 1,200°F) at which they operate allows non-precious metals to be used as catalysts on both the anode and cathode, leading to significant cost reductions.

MCFCs are typically 45% to 50% efficient at converting fuel to electricity, but that efficiency can be increased significantly by capturing the high quality waste heat and using it to drive a turbine or in other combined heat and power (CHP) applications, where they can have efficiency as high as 85%.

The greatest advantage of MCFC’s is that they do not require an external reformer.  They can internally convert a wide range of hydrocarbons including natural gas, biogas, and propane into hydrogen for power generation.  Unlike PEMs and AFCs, they are also not vulnerable to “poisoning” by carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide.

The main downside of MCFCs is durability.   Their high operating temperatures and corrosive electrolytes can degrade components relatively rapidly.

The main public company commercializing MCFCs is Fuel Cell Energy (NASD:FCEL.)  It sells its fuel cells mostly into stationary power markets for distributed generation and CHP.  The company has sold hundreds of megawatts of its Direct FuelCell® power plants  and has a strong financial backer in Korean power producer POSCO Energy.

Ceramic/Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs) use a solid ceramic as the electrolyte.  They operate at even higher temperatures than MCFCs (approximately 1,000°C  or 1,830°F) which, as in MCFCs, allows the use of non-precious metals as catalysts and for internal reforming of fuel into hydrogen, both of which reduce costs.  SOFCs are extremely fuel-flexible.  Like MCFCs, they are not vulnerable to carbon monoxide or carbon dioxide, but they are also able to tolerate much higher concentrations of sulfur.  This flexibility allows SOFCs to use fuels made from coal, as well as cleaner hydrocarbons.
The very high operating temperatures can impair durability, and also require thermal shielding to retain heat and protect workers.  Newer, lower temperature variants which operate below 800°C for greater durability have been developed at the cost of lower power output. .

Two public companies commercializing SOFCs are Ceres Power (LSE:CWR and OTC:CPWHF) and Ceramic Fuel Cells (ASX:CFU and LSE:CFU).  Ceramic Fuel Cells markets small scale SOFC based combined heat and power units to commercial customers in Europe.  Its fuel cells have industry leading electrical efficiency of up to 60%, and the overall efficiency of the CHP units is naturally much higher. Ceres Power has developed a lower temperature SOFC which operates at 500 – 600°C, allowing the use of stainless steel components which increase durability and allow for quicker start times than other SOFCs.  Ceres is currently targeting South Korean and Japanese markets where it hopes to sell its CHP units to replace residential boilers to produce both heat and majority of a home’s electricity.


None of these companies is yet profitable, and their products are not yet cost effective except in niche markets or with significant subsidies.  That said, several have strong financial backers and have been growing revenues significantly over the last couple years.

Events such as Hurricane Sandy and Japan’s Fukushima nuclear disaster have increased public interest in the resilience of the electric grid.  With its small scale and low emissions, fuel cell technology is well suited to increasing local resilience with distributed installations.  Fuel cells’ high efficiency can also make them economical in countries dependent on expensive imported liquefied natural gas.

If these trends persist, or if fuel cell vehicles become more than a way for automakers to comply with environmental standards, some of these companies are likely to become profitable in just a few more years.  I personally would not bet on hydrogen outside of niche markets, but I think distributed combined heat and power with carbonate and solid oxide fuel cells has real potential.

Disclosure: No positions.

This article was first published on Forbes.com on December 11th.

DISCLAIMER: Past performance is not a guarantee or a reliable indicator of future results.  This article contains the current opinions of the author and such opinions are subject to change without notice.  This article has been distributed for informational purposes only. Forecasts, estimates, and certain information contained herein should not be considered as investment advice or a recommendation of any particular security, strategy or investment product.  Information contained herein has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable, but not guaranteed.

May 09, 2013

Bloom Energy's IPO Will Soar on Cheap Natural Gas

By Jeff Siegel

It was boasted as an energy breakthrough. Bloom Energy

Bloom Energy's Bloom Box paraded around the media — including a very generous piece aired by 60 Minutes as some kind of new, game-changing magical energy creation device that would change the world.

Problem is, it's not really “new.” And it's certainly not going to change the world.

But don't tell that to the folks who are looking to take the company public, perhaps as soon as this year.

Now, I'm not saying a Bloom Energy IPO would fail. In fact, based on the hype surrounding the company, I imagine it would do quite well. And as far as getting these things in the field, Bloom has been more successful than any other fuel cell company before it.

But is that enough to justify all the praise?

When Gas Heads North

Bottom line: Bloom Energy is fuel cell company, no matter how anyone tries to spin it.

Bloom Energy Servers debut at eBay headquarters in San Jose, CA. Photo by Jakub Mosur
Bloom's distinguishing advantage, however, is its fuel flexibility.

In other words, it's not dependent upon one resource, unlike most other fuel cell manufacturers that are married to hydrogen. And with natural gas so cheap these days, it certainly makes the economics of Bloom a lot more attractive.

The question is, how long can that last? Moreover, will dirt-cheap natural gas actually impede growth in the near term?

While the news keeps getting better and better for natural gas reserve numbers, the debate over decline rates continues. And the truth is no one really knows how steep the decline rates are for these shale gas wells.

But there's plenty of data that suggest it could be a lot worse than industry cheerleaders and bureaucrats are letting on...

As oil and gas expert Chris Nelder wrote last year:

... the decline rates of shale gas wells are steep. They vary widely from play to play, but the output of shale gas wells commonly falls by 50% to 60% or more in the first year of production. This is why I have called it a treadmill: you have to keep drilling furiously to maintain flat output.
In the U.S., the aggregate decline of natural gas production from both conventional and unconventional sources is now 32% per year, so 22 bcf/d of new production must be added every year to keep overall production flat, according to Canadian geologist David Hughes. That's close to the total output of U.S. shale gas, after nearly a decade of its development. It will require thousands more shale gas and tight oil wells to keep domestic gas production flat.

One way or another, natural gas prices are going to head north again — whether it's because of rapid decline rates, a transition of our trucks and buses to run on natural gas, or the export of our bounty to other nations that are wiling to pay five times as much for it.

So at the end of the day, for the sake of long-term planning, we simply can't ignore the inconvenient truth of finite resources. Or maybe we can. Certainly we've been doing it for years.

For consumers, this is a constant headache. For investors, however, it's a mentality that can make you rich.

But how does this affect Bloom's growth prospects?

When the Grid Is Down

The Bloom Box can use natural gas as a fuel, as well as a number of other fuels, including methane.

But when using cheap natural gas, Bloom's fuel cells allow us to stretch out our already abundant supply of natural gas while allowing the company to provide a more profitable distributed generation solution.

Though when we do finally see natural gas prices head north again, which I believe will be sooner than later, it will become harder for the economics to make sense, not to mention incentives that exist today won't be around forever.

Of course, from a practicality standpoint, the biggest advantage to a system like the Bloom Box is its ability to provide uninterrupted power.

You see, Bloom and other fuel cell manufacturers often make the claim that these systems serve as safety mechanisms that allow homes and businesses to operate when the grid is down — something that is going to happen more and more as the intensity and extremity of weather events become more common.

My friends, there is some real value to this.

And in an effort to combat a future of increased extreme weather events, distributed generation is a must...

Microgrids, fuel cells, rooftop solar — all of this stuff can serve as a hedge against the fallout from extreme weather events and supply disruptions. Although I have to admit, strictly from a reliable form of power generation when the grid goes down, I'm more fond of solar. The economics are better right now and there is no requirement to “feed” the system.

In comparison, the Bloom Box relies on a direct fuel source — which will most likely come in the form of a finite resource that carries with it price fluctuations. And if, for some reason, that supply is disrupted... well, you're out of luck.

That's not to say the Bloom Box doesn't have its advantages over solar. Certainly if there is no supply disruption, you get 24-hour power generation, whereas solar will leave you high and dry when it gets dark out — assuming you don't have backup storage already in place, which most don't.

In any event, I suspect fuel cell manufacturers like Bloom do have a future. In the near term, however, I'm convinced the dual threat of cheap natural gas and overall complacency on the part of individuals and governments will result in limited interest.

That being said, because Bloom is expected to hit profitability this year — and it seems to get about as much publicity as Lindsay Lohan at a strip club — I would certainly be interested in wetting my beak on the first day of a Bloom Energy IPO, then trade it a bit on hurricane and storm warnings.

As more develops on this Bloom Energy IPO, we'll keep you posted.

To a new way of life and a new generation of wealth...


Jeff Siegel is Editor of Energy and Capital, where this article was first published.

September 05, 2012

Counting Out FuelCell Energy?

by Debra Fiakas CFA

This afternoon FuelCell Energy, Inc. (FCEL:  Nasdaq) is scheduled to report results for its fiscal third quarter ending July 2012.  As its corporate name suggests the company produces fuel cells for use as power plants or grid alternatives.  FuelCell has customers, but has yet to reach profitability.  No embarrassment there.  None of the other U.S.-based fuel cell producers has delivered earnings to shareholders either and two have had to file for bankruptcy protection.

Journalists have made light of fuel cell developers as perpetually unprofitable.  Last year one even made a list of profitable companies.  It was blank.  More recently another reporter in another article spoke only of companies that have thrown in the towel on fuel cell technology.

Should investors give up on FCEL and fuel cell technology?

I think it would be premature.  U.S. investors have a tendency to make decisions from headlines, which often accentuate the negative for attention.  To reach the two newspaper articles one might assume fuel cells are a technology that is not commercially viable.  Indeed, Ballard Power Systems (BLDP:  Nasdaq) may be on the cusp of profitability as the consensus estimates published by Thomson-Reuters suggest an expectation of profit in the December 2012 quarter.  Ballard produces proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells for both stationery and vehicle power solutions and is consistently, even if slowly, winning new customers.      

Investors also often reference only U.S.-based alternative power companies.  They leave out the oft-times exceptional accomplishments of energy developers in other countries.  In the fuel cell space investors should look carefully at SFC Energy AG (SSMFF: OTC) , which reported a solid profit in the first half of 2012. SFC is an ambitious operation with direct methanol fuel cells for stationery, mobile and portable applications.

Most of the fuel cell developers have been toiling away for decades perfecting the complex chemistries that allow fuel cells to convert gases such as natural gas, coal gas or landfill methane directly to electricity.  Then they had to figure out how to insert this technology into the structures of transportation and industry without requiring a costly rework.     The combustion step that has got Earth in such trouble with global warming is completely eliminated.  Instead fuel cells “reform” the gas source into hydrogen that is then electrochemically turned into an electrical charge.    How investors could think it would be possible accomplish this feat in just a few quarters might be just a bit naive.

FuelCell management has great expectations for its own advance to profits sometime in the year 2013.  It is a milestone that has been a long time in coming.  FuelCell has been around since 1969 and did not get a commercial fuel cell off the development bench until 2003.  The company’s annual production rate based on the megawatt power capacity of its units is somewhere in the high 50s.  Management has indicated that it needs to reach a production run rate near 90 megawatts to reach breakeven.

FuelCell’s success now appears to hinge on business development.  It really is not a matter of capturing market share.  Instead FuelCell’s team needs to create a market by convincing potential customers that a fuel cell the size of a small house is a better alternative than a combustion engine and a fossil fuel supply.  The company’s website provides several customer cases, including an educational institution, a power plant and a wastewater treatment plant.  FuelCell has made some progress in better defining target markets and more effectively deploying sales and technical personnel.  Market partners may be an even better weapon.

In April 2012 South Korea’s POSCO Energy took an equity position in FuelCell (20.0 million shares at $1.50 per share).  POSCO’s previous order for 70 megawatts of fuel cells was accelerated and another 120 megawatt order tacked on the end.  FuelCell expects a base of production near 40 megawatts per year from the POSCO deal.  POSCO Energy has also licensed FuelCell’s technology and will manufacture fuel cell components in Korea at its own facility.  I believe the POSCO relationship is a major breakthrough for FuelCell and is clearly a key to securing those elusive profits.

FuelCell can also take some solace from one of the other fuel cell developers.  Neah Power Systems (NPWZ:  OTC/BB) has been struggling.  However, in June 2012, Neah won an order for one its fuel cell units from a U.S. defense contractor.  Dependence upon the U.S. electric grid is a point of vulnerability for U.S. military installations, which are responsible for rapid response in catastrophic events such as terrorist attacks or natural disasters.  Neah’s fuel cell will be evaluated for use in remote power stations, unmanned underwater and aerial vehicles

The market place is clearly more disposed to consider fuel cells as an alternative to conventional power solutions.  It is much too early to count out any of the fuel cell developers.

Debra Fiakas is the Managing Director of Crystal Equity Research, an alternative research resource on small capitalization companies in selected industries.

Neither the author of the Small Cap Strategist web log, Crystal Equity Research nor its affiliates have a beneficial interest in the companies mentioned herein.  FCEL, BLDP, NPWZ and SFC are included in the Fuel Cell Group of Crystal Equity Research’s Mothers of Invention Index.

June 19, 2012

Has the fuel-cell industry reached a tipping point?

Tyler Hamilton

200px-Ballard_Power_Systems_logo.svg[1].png There was a shareholder who stood up at Ballard Power’s annual meeting last week to share her experience with the company’s stock price. It pretty much summed up the frustration shared by most investors in the fuel-cell industry.

This investor has owned Ballard (BLDP) shares for most of 20 years. She sold in early 2000 when the stock hit $140 a share and did quite well. That was when the hype around fuel-cell powered cars was approaching its fever pitch.

Later that year she bought back into the company at about $120 a share, believing the stock was poised for another run. Bad move. The drop continued, to the point where today shares are struggling to stay above $1.

What’s a CEO to say? Ballard chief John Sheridan, who holds 500,000 or so shares himself, said he understood and felt the pain. But he emphasized, as he has in the past, that the market continues to undervalue fuel-cell companies generally and Ballard specifically.

There’s no question the industry has had a history of over-promising and under-delivering, and it continues to pay dearly for miscalculations. German automaker Daimler AG predicted a decade ago that 100,000 fuel-cell car engines would be produced annually by 2005.

Even less ambitious targets—but no less unrealistic—have been missed. Ballard told Time magazine in 1999 that fuel-cell vehicles would be economical by 2010. PricewaterhouseCoopers predicted in 2001 that sales of the vehicles would reach one million a year by 2010.

Of course, we know how that turned out. Around mid-2000 the government and auto industry began shifting attention to battery-powered vehicles. The media lost interest, tired of reporting on yet another pilot project or hydrogen-powered bus sale.

Big investors, more importantly, lost their appetite for the technology. Too much had been spent, and it was taking far too long for the promised hydrogen economy to emerge. Time to move on.

Technology analyst Brian Piccioni, most recently of BMO Capital Markets, said governments are in no mood these days to spend, let alone engage in another wave of support for fuel cell projects. And raising capital from the private sector remains a huge challenge.

Despite this tough environment, there was a true sense at Ballard’s annual meeting that the industry is nearing a tipping point.

No, I’m not suggesting that fuel-cell cars will soon be in a showroom near you. That’s still a long-term dream given existing infrastructure challenges. But fuel cells are seriously beginning to gain traction in certain sectors and for specific applications.

Volumes are building to impressive levels, costs are coming down, and some companies – Ballard among them – are flirting with profitability.

Since 2009 Ballard’s average product cost has fallen by 60 per cent. Revenue is expected to surpass $100 million in fiscal 2012, more than double 2009 results. As a result, the company is projecting it will have positive cash flow in the second half of 2012.

It also expects to hit the breakeven mark for “adjusted” earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, which is a sneaky way of measuring operating performance that excludes certain items. It does, however, hint at true profitability within reach.

“It’s a true milestone in our history and our industry as well,” Tony Guglielmin, chief financial officer of Ballard, told shareholders.

In fact, there’s a bit of a race to profitability going on in the industry, with companies such as FuelCell Energy (FCEL) and ClearEdge demonstrating that they’re closing in on that goal.

More telecommunications firms are seeing the benefits of fuel cells for providing clean back-up power. More municipalities are adding fuel cell-powered buses to their fleets, and more warehouses are ditching lead-acid batteries in favour of fuel-cell forklifts. It’s not a tsunami, mind you, but it’s also not a trickle anymore.

This isn’t just because it’s the “greener” option. Products are gaining traction because, in certain applications and geographies, they are cost-competitive and simply better.

Another growth area is the use of fuel cells for distributed power generation, either to more efficiently use natural gas or biogas to produce electricity, or to use surplus or off-peak renewable energy to make and store the hydrogen that powers fuel cells.

As more renewable energy sources are added to the power mix of grids, there will increasingly be a need to store and later retrieve that energy on a large scale. Grid stability will come to depend on it.

For that use, the hydrogen and fuel cell combo might have been too expensive five years ago, but today it fits the bill in many jurisdictions and for many companies. The outlook will only get better.

So is Ballard under-valued? Judging by the direction of its costs, sales and industry trends, there’s a good argument that it is.

We may not see the hydrogen economy that gave shareholders $140 a share 12 years ago, but the fuel-cell market is poised for growth and Ballard – after a long and painful transition – is finally in a good place.

Tyler Hamilton is editor-in-chief of Corporate Knights magazine a business columnist for the Toronto Star, and author of Mad Like Tesla.  In addition to the Clean Break blog, where this article first appeared, Tyler writes a weekly column of the same name that discusses trends, happenings and innovators in the clean technology and green energy market.

November 09, 2010

Hydrogenics Corp: Splitting Water

by Debra Fiakas, CFA

Most investors, if they have heard of Hydrogenics Corporation (HYGS: Nasdaq) at all, consider them a fuel cell producer. However, about two-thirds of the company’s revenue comes from the design and manufacture of hydrogen generation products based on water electrolysis technology - a somewhat unique, but valuable electrochemical technology that could make important contributions to the world’s future energy base.

Electrolysis or the splitting of water molecules using an electric current produces hydrogen and oxygen - two elements that have market potential in a variety of industrial and power markets. It stands in high contrast to other producers of hydrogen that begin with natural gas and rely on the so-called steam reforming process to produce hydrogen from the natural gas components.

Hydrogenics expanded its production of hydrogen and oxygen gases with the acquisition of Stuart Energy Systems in January 2005. The company now manufactures the HyStat Electrolyser for on-site or on-demand hydrogen and oxygen supplies. Hydrogenics claims they “know hydrogen and know it well,” a talent that puts them in a good competitive position in the renewable energy field.

The company is applying that considerable knowledge to the production of fuel cells which convert hydrogen and oxygen back into water to produce energy. In 2009, power products and services accounted for about a third of the company’s revenue. We expect that portion to shift higher over time as Hydrogenics’ fuel cell products penetrate the market. So far Hydrogenics has focused on the forklift, commercial fleet and urban transit bus markets with its fuel cells.

Why all the fuss about hydrogen? First of all hydrogen is estimated to hold almost three times as much energy as natural gas per pound. Second, its only emission is pure water.

Why all the foot dragging about hydrogen? It is not really a fuel. It is just a way of storing or transporting energy and it has to be concocted in the first place, if not by braking down natural gas then the electrolysis method that Hydrogenics uses. (There are also thermolysis or photoelectrolysis technologies, but we will save those for science lessons another day.) Electrolysis has a theoretical maximum efficiency of about 80% to 94%, but practically speaking actual production can fall short of such efficiency.

Even excluding the production questions, hydrogen is a bit volatile and presents all sorts of technical challenges to transport. That is why Hydrogenics’ hydrogen generation solutions are located on customer sites.

In my view, Hydrogenics management has demonstrated strong execution skills that might be missed by some investors who do not look past the net losses over the past several years. The shift from fossil fuels puts a spotlight on their hydrogen-from-water technology. Furthermore, the use of water, which can be sourced anywhere facilitates on-site hydrogen production, removing transport challenges as an obstacle to customer adoption of hydrogen alternatives.

Debra Fiakas, CFA is the Managing Member of Crystal Equity Research, LLC, an alternative research resource on small-capitalization companies. Ms. Fiakas is a seasoned investment professional with a diversified and successful track record as a research analyst and as an investment banker. Her career includes solid experience in all aspects of the equity capital markets with particular emphasis on emerging growth companies.

DISCLOSURE: Neither the author of the Small Cap Strategist web log, Crystal Equity Research nor its affiliates have a beneficial interest in the companies mentioned herein. HYGS is included in Crystal Equity Research’s The Atomics Index in the Hydrogen Electrolysis group.

March 03, 2010

What’s the Stock Play in Wake of the Over-hyped Story About Fuel Cell Developer Bloom Energy?

Bill Paul

Having been a Wall Street Journal energy and environment reporter, one of the first experts I would have called before running a story on privately-held solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) developer Bloom Energy would have been Neal Dikeman, who in addition to being a prominent alternative energy investor and the writer of an authoritative blog on clean technology, was involved in developing a fuel cell company.

But as Dikeman posted lasted week – Saving Cleantech: Bloom town Silicon Valley? – he didn’t get a call from the folks at CBS’s 60 Minutes, so the raft of legitimate technical questions Dikeman raised in his column went unanswered even as breathless 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl all-but-declared the energy crisis over thanks to Bloom.

To its credit, CBS did include an interview with a Bloom skeptic; however, he was more-or-less a prop inserted to make the story look balanced. If you read Dikeman’s list of unanswered technical questions surrounding Bloom’s technology, you realize that CBS never should have aired this piece in the first place, at least not without a lot more on-camera independent expert testimony.

But if Bloom Energy is over-hyped, investors might want to look closer at two fuel cell companies Dikeman says “are arguably shipping commercial product today,” FuelCell Energy (Symbol FCEL) and SFC Smart Fuel Cell. (Symbol SSMFF).

In announcing last week that it was initiating coverage on FuelCell Energy, Liberty Analytics noted that the company is the “world leader in the development and production of stationary fuel cells for commercial, industrial, municipal and utility customers,” and that its direct fuel cells (DFC) are generating power at over 55 locations worldwide.

Although still in the red, FuelCell Energy recently hired a seasoned senior executive in a bid to accelerate market penetration. The company is scheduled to announce its first-quarter results on March 10.

Smart Fuel is a German company that EnergyTechStocks.com has previously suggested investors might want to look at more closely. While also still in he red, the company’s losses have been narrowing significantly. The company describes itself as the market leader in fuel cell technologies for mobile and off-grid power applications serving leisure, industrial and military markets. Importantly, the company, in partnership with DuPont (Symbol DD), recently got a glowing review from the U.S. Defense Department for its lightweight power packs that soldiers can use in the field. DOD said the power pack “could offer a significant advancement in the area of soldier portable power in the field. (For more see From Small Fries to Big Shots? CBD Energy and SFC Smart Fuel Cell Look Promising.)

DISCLOSURE: No position.

DISCLAIMER: This is a news article.  Please read terms and policy.

Bill Paul is Managing Editor of EnergyTechStocks.com.

December 26, 2009

CBD Energy and SFC Smart Fuel Cell Look Promising

From Small Fries to Big Shots? (Pt. 2 of 2)

Bill Paul

Here now are two more small alternative energy companies, both of which look to be just starting to hit their stride. How far they'll go only time will tell, but each seems to warrant a closer look.

Take note: like the vast number of other pure-play alternative energy firms with intriguing growth prospects, neither of these is U.S.-based. Rule of thumb: whether you're a big institutional or small individual investor, to succeed in alternative energy, you must scour every corner of the earth.

First up: CBD Energy, an Australian renewable energy firm that trades on the Australian Stock Exchange under the symbol CBD (CBD.AX).

CBD looks to be starting down the road to becoming a fully-diversified renewable energy power producer with solar, wind and energy storage projects across Asia. It just got what the company called "strong" institutional support for a new round of capital that will go toward acquisitions, including the recently-announced purchase of eco-Kinetics Pty. Ltd., another Aussie firm that is involved in solar PV, solar thermal and wind installations, both residential and commercial. CBD also just signed to deliver wind turbines to a Chinese company, another first for the firm. CBD's share price has roughly tripled since last spring; however, it's still selling for only pennies per share. (No, CBD is not yet in the black.)

Next up: Germany's SFC Smart Fuel Cell AG (Symbol SSMFF.PK), which describes itself as the market leader in fuel cell technologies for mobile and off-grid power applications serving the leisure, industrial and defense markets.

In partnership with DuPont (Symbol DD), SFC just got a glowing preliminary review from the U.S. Defense Department for its lightweight portable power packs that soldiers can use in the field. The review isn't complete yet, but so far DOD believes that "This product and its technology could offer a significant advancement in the area of soldier portable power in the field."

SFC isn't in the black yet either, but its third-quarter loss did narrow by more than 50% vs. the year-earlier period.

Click here for Part 1 of this series - which discusses prospects for World Energy Solutions (Symbol: XWES) and Ram Power Corp. (Symbol: RPG.TO, RAMPF.PK).

DISCLOSURE: No position.

DISCLAIMER: This is a news article.  Please read terms and policy.

Bill Paul is Managing Editor of EnergyTechStocks.com.

July 09, 2009

$3 Billion For Cleantech & Alt Energy

Charles Morand

The DOE made public earlier today the amount of money that will awarded to clean power projects in lieu of the usual tax breaks: $3 billion.

This will allow project proponents to receive a direct cash grant now instead of a Production Tax Credit or an Investment Tax Credit later on. The guidance document notes the following:

"Section 1603 of the Act’s tax title, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Tax Act, appropriates funds for payments to persons who place in service specified energy property during 2009 or 2010 or after 2010 if construction began on the property during 2009 or 2010 and the property is placed in service by a certain date known as the credit termination date (described more fully below in the Property and Payment Eligibility section). Treasury will make Section 1603 payments to qualified applicants in an amount generally equal to 10% or 30% of the basis of the property, depending on the type of property."
This is the cherry on a sundae of cash handouts announced over the past few months for the alt energy and cleantech industries. Solar and wind installations - which account for the lion's share of alt energy investments - have yet to come back to life in any significant way. It is hoped by both government and industry people that this new measure will provide sufficient impetus in the near term to carry the sector through the remainder of the recession.

To be continued... 

February 03, 2008

Ten Solid Clean Energy Companies to Buy on the Cheap: #10 United Technologies

Like most conglomerates, United Technologies Corporation (UTC), (NYSE:UTX) won't be found in any of the Clean Energy indices, but its growing portfolio of clean energy businesses makes it fit well into a diversified portfolio with a clean energy tilt.  A conservative capital structure and solid earnings and cash flow, and a decades long history of constantly increasing dividends make this a company that I'm comfortable holding for the long term.  

In terms of sustainability, the company has been recognized by Dow Jones as in the top 10% of the world's most sustainable companies.  Long before it became fashionable for companies to greenwash by reducing their environmental impacts, UTC pledged in 1996 to reduce their power and water usage by 25%, and they have met these goals while growing their business.  Their long track record of reducing their energy usage gives them a significant head start against rivals who have only recently jumped on the climate change bandwagon.

Of the company's eight major business units,  UTC Power and Carrier are both crucial to how we generate electricity and how we use it.  Carrier has a history of pushing for more stringent energy efficiency and environmental standards for air conditioning, a strategy which helps their business strategy since UTC's scale and research allow them to remain on the technological forefront.

UTC Power has a large portfolio of products which will help modernize our energy infrastructure.  They supply microturbines and Solid Oxide fuel cells, as well as integrated combined cooling, heating, and power products, which I feel are likely to become much more popular as more companies seek ways to lessen their environmental impact and energy bills at the same time.

With their PureCycle binary cycle turbine, UTC introduced the benefits of volume production to geothermal power by making slight modifications to an existing line of Carrier's industrial chillers which allow them to operate in reverse.  Raser Technologies (RZ) plans to use this technology in their aggressive plans to develop a large number of lower temperature geothermal resources throughout the Southwest.  According to a personal conversation I had with a Raser employee. UTC's ability to deliver the turbines quickly, and willingness to guarantee performance was key to Raser's selection of that technology in preference to rival products.

One other technology likely to be of great interest to clean energy investors is their molten salt storage technology, which provides a rare opportunity for a US-based public investor to participate in what I consider to be one of the most promising solar technologies: Concentrating Solar Thermal Power (CSP).  The thermal storage provided by molten salt gives CSP the potential to provide power on a dispatchable basis, allowing it to compete directly with expensive electricity from natural gas turbines.

Other divisions of UTC, such as the Sikorsky helicopter division, are major military suppliers, so traditional socially conscious investors may wish to avoid UTC.  On the other hand, the short supply of helicopters needed in modern warfare (as well a a large backlog in their Otis elevator division) have propelled strong earnings growth, while even relatively efficient air conditioners could not prevent Carrier from being hurt by the housing slowdown.  Such are the benefits of diversification.

At roughly $74, and a 17.3 P/E, UTX is not currently cheap.  I currently have only some out-of the money short puts on the company, but it's one that I intend to continue writing puts on until the stock falls and I'm assigned shares.

Click here for other articles in this series.

DISCLOSURE: Tom Konrad and/or his clients have long positions in UTX, RZ.

DISCLAIMER: The information and trades provided here are for informational purposes only and are not a solicitation to buy or sell any of these securities. Investing involves substantial risk and you should evaluate your own risk levels before you make any investment. Past results are not an indication of future performance. Please take the time to read the full disclaimer here.

June 14, 2007

Micro Fuel Cell Killer - What's Next?

About 4 or 5 years ago micro fuel cells were quite a hot topic in cleantech. They were going to power our laptops, cell phones, PDAs, blackberries, hand held multimedia devices, etc.

The story ran like this:

The digital age and increasing customer demand for more power hungry features like bandwidth, multimedia, et al on mobile devices like laptops, PDAs and cellphones mean the increase in power requirements are outstripping the pace of technology of lithium ion battery - therefore the only solutions will be micro fuel cells. And since battery manufacturers are a plodding, unimaginative lot, silicon valley and smart scientists can build a company to leapfrog them.

We saw major players like Motorola, Toshiba, Intel, and others taking a look, and startups like Smart Fuel Cells, Medis and MTI Micro seeking to make their name on a fuel cell the size of a credit card (or thereabouts) .

Today, still no micro fuel cell powered devices are on the market, many of the larger players have gone quiet, and all the startups are talking up battery charger (not device power pack) products - especially for the military and first responders.

What happened? What killed the micro fuel cells? Can they come back? And is something similar lurking around the corner for solar, electric vehicles, biofuels, next generation batteries or one of today's other darlings of the cleantech sector that we can learn from?

Well . . . let's see:

The technology is actually hard - Micro fuel cell technology proved a harder nut to crack than everyone thought (at least at anywhere near the same cost point) - and the product development issues given the state of the technology proved to be a real challenge.

Rational expectations - Market reaction to the underlying drivers has been aggressive. We've got global warming and high energy prices making people like Sun, Dell, and others hell bent on designing power saving devices - which the consumer is now interested in buying as a premium product. Once the electronic product companies actually put their minds to reducing power usage - well, it turned out that you actually CAN optimize a device to save power, and still pack enough features in to sell product.

The incumbent technology - Despite high profile thermal issues, the incumbent lithium ion technology turned out not to be so bad, and has continued to keep pace (as far as us lowly consumers can tell) - Bottom line: I now carry 2 very small 4 hour battery packs for my laptop - I can last a transocean plane flight without needing to plug in.

Infrastructure, infrastructure, infrastructure - And yes, having to make infrastructure changes is very costly in anything energy-esque, whether its in fuel, entrenched distribution, or tooling. As usual, winning technologies in energy tend to be owned by businesses that find a way to work with existing infrastructure, not to try and replace it.

And in the end, the batteries (and the big battery makers) still rule the roost, for now.

Neal Dikeman is a founding partner at Jane Capital Partners LLC, a boutique merchant bank advising strategic investors and startups in cleantech. He is founding contributor of Cleantech Blog, a Contributing Author for Inside Greentech, and a Contributing Editor to Alt Energy Stocks.

November 14, 2006

New Fuel Cell & Hydrogen Resource Database

The following is an excerpt from a press release from the Department of Energy (DoE) that came out today:

"DOE’s Hydrogen Program and Fuel Cells 2000 have released a new searchable database of fuel cell and hydrogen activities in the United States. The database allows better access to information on stationary fuel cell installations, vehicle demonstrations and fueling stations – as well as state policies, initiatives and legislation aimed at advancing these technologies."

Try running some queries on the database of fuel cell and hydrogen activities. I didn't check out the website too extensively but from what I saw it looks pretty comprehensive.

September 20, 2006

The Fuel Cell: Now, and in the Future


In light of oil prices reaching 60 to 70 dollars a barrel, attention is being paid to alternative energy technology, in the hope that it might answer our problems. The major role player right now, especially in terms of replacing combustion engines in cars and trucks, is the fuel cell industry. There are many types of commercially available fuel cells, ranging from ethanol to hydrogen. However, our readers and the public sometimes find it hard to keep up with all the technological terms and the latest inventions and research. This is a simplified summary of the science behind fuel cells, the types of fuel cells, as well as obstacles we face commercializing fuel cells and what companies are doing to overcome those obstacles.

Continue reading "The Fuel Cell: Now, and in the Future" »

September 17, 2006

From Microbes to Megawatts – Watch Out for Microbial Fuel Cells

Finding the latest discoveries and the recent developments in energy research can lead to some home runs in investing. Microbial fuel cells are in their infancy today but this emerging technology shows promise to one day be the cornerstone of highly profitable companies.

What are Microbial Fuel Cells ( MFC’s )

Most of us have heard of fuel cells. In a ‘traditional’ fuel cell, hydrogen fuel is combined with oxygen to create electricity with water as a byproduct. Microbial fuel cells are biological fuel cells that use bacteria to create electric power with a sugar such as glucose being the fuel source.

In consuming the glucose fuel source, the electrons the bacteria are disposing are sent to an electrode which completes the biological circuit. Some bacteria range from 60 to 80% efficiency, in that they can transfer up to 80% of the available electrons in a glucose molecule to an electrode. Compare this to the efficiency of a combustion engine, 30% in passenger vehicles!

The Advantages of Microbial Fuel Cells

In addition to having very high fuel efficiency, microbial fuel cells produce very little pollution. They are inexpensive compared to a full metal combustion engine and they pose no explosion hazards such as the hydrogen fuel cell systems.

Continue reading "From Microbes to Megawatts – Watch Out for Microbial Fuel Cells" »

June 08, 2006

Ballard Delivers First Prototypes of Third Generation Long-Life Fuel Cell for Residential Cogeneration

ballard_logo_B.gifBallard Power (BLDP) has delivered the first prototypes of its next generation fuel cell, the Mark 1030 V3, for the residential cogeneration market to EBARA BALLARD Corporation (Ballard's Japan-based joint venture with the EBARA Corporation). The prototypes are for integration and testing in 1 kW residential cogeneration systems. Featuring increased reliability and lifetime, with significantly less weight and volume, the Mark 1030 V3 fuel cell has been designed in alignment with the 2008 Japanese government targets of 40,000 hours operation, equivalent to a system lifetime of 10 years in the home. [ more ]

Dow Invests $1.3 Million in Fuel-Cell Development Partner Millennium Cell

mcel_logo.gifMillennium Cell Inc (MCEL) said that Dow Chemical Co. bought $1.3 million of its convertible preferred stock, the latest step in their joint development agreement.

The two companies are working to develop portable fuel cell systems for use in consumer electronics and military applications. Under their three-year joint program, which began in 2005, Millennium Cell will grant stock to Dow as it achieves certain milestones, as well as give Dow the opportunity to buy more stock. [ more ]

May 26, 2006

Hoku Scientific, Inc. Reports U.S. Navy's Acceptance of Fuel Cell Systems

hoku_logo.gifHoku Scientific, Inc. (HOKU) announced that the U.S. Navy has officially accepted the first two of ten planned PEM fuel cell power plants incorporating Hoku MEA that will be demonstrated at Pearl Harbor Naval Station.

Each of the stationary fuel cell power plants, or demonstration systems, designed by IdaTech LLC and incorporating Hoku MEA, generates net electrical output of approximately 1.5 kilowatts. Hoku Scientific's contract with the U.S. Navy requires a minimum net electrical output of 1 kilowatt. The fuel cell power plants incorporate an IdaTech fuel processor that produces hydrogen from a mixture of water and methanol. The two fuel cell power plants were officially accepted by the U.S. Navy following a factory acceptance test at Hoku Scientific's facility in Kapolei, Hawaii. The additional eight demonstration systems, plus one fuel cell power plant that will not be demonstrated, are scheduled for factory acceptance over the next several weeks. [ more ]

Shares of Hoku were up almost 38% yesterday on this news.

May 19, 2006

MTI MicroFuel Cells Announces Strategic Alliance With Samsung Electronics

Mechanical Technology Inc (MKTY) announced an exclusive alliance with Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., ("Samsung"), a technology innovator in the telecommunications industry, to develop next-generation fuel cell prototypes for Samsung's mobile phone business. Mobion®, MTI Micro's patented direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) technology, has been chosen to power a series of prototypes designed for Samsung's mobile phone and mobile phone accessories. [ more ]

Samsung is going to be committing up to $1 million in development money for the project and it marks a large step forward in the future development of the micro fuel cell marketplace. I also see this as a solid win for Mechanical Technology. Under this deal the two companies will jointly research the use of methanol-based fuel-cell technologies for use in cell phones. Any patents that come as the result of the research will be assigned to Mechanical Technology.

May 09, 2006

Quantum Awarded Contract to Deliver Hydrogen Hybrid Vehicles to Norway

qtww_logo.gifQuantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide Inc (QTWW) announced that it received a purchase order for 15 hydrogen-fueled Toyota Prius hybrid vehicles from Miljobil Grenland AS, a participant and vehicle provider to the Norwegian Hydrogen Highway (HyNor). These hydrogen hybrid vehicles will be put in service in Norway in 2006 and 2007 as part of the HyNor program.

HyNor is a unique Norwegian joint public/private partnership initiative to demonstrate real life implementation of hydrogen energy infrastructure along a route of 580 kilometers (360 miles) from Oslo to Stavanger during the years 2005 to 2008. The project comprises all steps required to develop a hydrogen infrastructure and includes various hydrogen production technologies and uses of hydrogen, in all cases with an adaptation to local conditions. The overall objectives of the HyNor project are to demonstrate the commercial viability of hydrogen energy production, hydrogen's use in the transportation sector, and the development of a hydrogen infrastructure. [ more ]

May 05, 2006

Protonex Delivers Soldier Power Fuel Cell Systems to U.S. Air Force

mcel_logo.gifMillennium Cell Inc (MCEL) and Protonex Technology Corporation announced that it has delivered advanced prototypes of its P2 soldier power system to the U.S. Air Force for evaluation. This delivery marks the successful completion of the two-year Dual Use Science and Technology (DUST) program awarded to Protonex by the Air Force in April 2003. In addition, the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) has notified Protonex and Millennium Cell Inc. of its intent to award an additional $1.02 million program focusing on P2 enhancements and manufacturability and for procurement of additional systems for performance and reliability testing.

The P2 system, which can produce up to 50 watts of continuous power, combines Protonex fuel cell technology with a chemical hydride fueling subsystem based on technology licensed from Millennium Cell. Due to the system's rugged design and high energy density, it is ideally suited to meet the aggressive requirements of demanding military applications. This Protonex system is expected to replace batteries powering a range of portable military equipment, decreasing the size and weight of the power source troops carry in the field and reducing operating costs for the military. [ more ]

May 01, 2006

Hydrogenics Awarded Follow-on Order from General Motors for Fuel Cell Test Services

hygs_logo.gifHydrogenics Corp (HYGS) announced it has received a follow-on order from General Motors Corporation to provide fuel cell test services which is anticipated to be fully realized in 2006.

"We are pleased to provide test services for General Motors, a leader in the automotive sector." said Pierre Rivard, President and CEO of Hydrogenics. "We believe that our proprietary testing products assist leading Original Equipment Manufacturers such as General Motors to advance their fuel cell program." [ more ]

April 28, 2006

Hydrogenics Receives Second Order for Multiple Test Stations from Leading Korean Energy Company

hygs_logo.gifHydrogenics Corp (HYGS) announced it has received orders for three FCATS® fuel cell test stations from GS Caltex, a leading Korean energy company. Hydrogenics will provide a FCATS G300 Test Station and two FCATS G50 Test Stations with delivery expected in 2006. The test stations will be used to advance GS Caltex's activities in new and emerging energy technologies, including small stationary fuel cell applications (below 10 kilowatt) for residential use. [ more ]

April 11, 2006

Plug Power to Receive $217 Million Cash Investment From Interros and Norilsk Nickel

plug_logo.jpgPlug Power Inc (PLUG) announced that Interros, a major Russian investment firm, and Norilsk Nickel, the world's largest producer of nickel and palladium, agreed to make a $217 million cash investment in Plug Power. The investment is being made through Smart Hydrogen, a joint venture of the principal Interros investors and Norilsk Nickel, which was formed to participate in the global hydrogen economy. [ more ]

After this investment Plug Power will have approximately $285 million in cash. The shares of PLUG are up over 20% this morning in pre-market trading.

April 03, 2006

U.S. Army and Quantum Technologies Unveil the Hydrogen Escape Hybrid

qtww_logo.gifQuantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide Inc (QTWW) unveiled a hydrogen-hybrid demonstration vehicle today at the 2006 SAE World Congress in Detroit.

Using a Ford Hybrid Escape as the demonstrator platform, the Army's Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC), with its National Automotive Center (NAC), and industry partner Quantum, is working to pair hybrid electric vehicles with a hydrogen delivery and storage system. Part of the 21st Century Base Initiative, this technology has the potential to offer a cost-effective alternative to full fuel cell powered vehicles. [ more ]

March 30, 2006

Hydrogenics Warns of Production Delays

hygs_logo.gifHydrogenics Corp (HYGS) warned that due to production delays first-quarter revenue will fall below year-ago levels, and will miss Wall Street's target. The company said it expects revenue of between $4.5 million and $6.5 million, compared with the $11.3 million it posted in the prior year quarter. Analysts, on average, expect first-quarter revenue of $11.8 million. [ more ]

Shares of Hydrogenics have fell sharply over the last couple of days.

Tokyo Gas Evaluating FuelCell Energy's DFC(R) Products for Introduction to Customers of Its Energy and Industrial Gas Business Units

fcel_logo.gifFuelcell Energy Inc (FCEL) announced that Tokyo Gas has initiated a program to evaluate a Direct FuelCell® (DFC®) power plant for introducing these units to customers of its energy and industrial gas divisions.

The unit is currently located at Kawasaki Heavy Industries' factory in Akashi, Japan, where Tokyo Gas will evaluate the power plant under a variety of expected operating conditions focusing particularly on grid interconnection performance. Tokyo Gas has agreed to install this DFC300A power plant at its new R&D center in Tsurumi in the second quarter of 2006. [ more ]

March 28, 2006

Hydrogenics Provides Warning on First Quarter Revenue

hygs_logo.gifHydrogenics Corp (HYGS) warned that first-quarter revenue would be below expectations because of production delays in its OnSite Generation unit. Hydrogenics said it expects revenue of $4.5 million to $6.5 million during the quarter. The Company also anticipates that it will secure a minimum of approximately $7.0 million of new orders in the first quarter of 2006. [ more ]

March 27, 2006

ChangeWave Research Fuel Cells, Hydrogen, and Battery Technology Trends

The ChangeWave Alliance has produced a detailed look at the key trends for fuel cells and future battery technology. I have been given permission to post the abstract of this 13 page report.

Overview: This report focuses on key trends in fuel cells and hydrogen, along with battery technologies. The findings are from the Alliance's most recent alternative energy survey, completed February 10, 2006. A total of 121 members working in the alternative energy industry participated, including 25 working in companies involved with Fuel Cells.

Bottom Line: Respondents working in alternative energy believe that over the next two years the Fuel Cell sector will experience the biggest new technology breakthroughs in the industry. Moreover, when we look out five years, respondents also believe that Fuel Cells will experience the most rapid economic growth of any alternative energy sector.

We asked industry respondents to identify the fastest growing mid-tier companies within Fuel Cells for the next 12-24 months. We also asked respondents who work exclusively in Fuel Cells, to identify the company they believe will have the biggest market impact over the next 1-3 years. In both cases, the same three leaders were identified:

Fuel Cell Energy (FCEL)
Energy Conversion Devices (ENER)
Ballard Power (BLDP)

We note that respondents also think Energy Conversion Devices (ENER) will have the biggest market impact in Hydrogen Storage/Distribution and in Battery Technology.

What are the biggest barriers to more rapid adoption of Fuel Cells technology? Three-in-five who work in the Fuel Cell sector say 'The Cost of Fuel Cells is Too High vs. Other Energy Sources.' High Cost was also cited as the biggest barrier to more rapid adoption of hydrogen-related technology.

Where will Fuel Cells have the greatest economic impact over the next 3-5 years? More than half (52%) of respondents who work in Fuel Cell companies believe that it will have the greatest impact in Stationary Power for Buildings.

Here's a further look at additional key findings:

(A) Fuel Cells

  • Reasons for Rapid Growth. Respondents who think Fuel Cells will experience the most rapid growth over the next 5 years cited Technology Advances (37%) as the top reason why - followed by Cost of Energy/Short Supply (23%).
  • Palladium Seen As Alternative to Platinum. Respondents cited Palladium (28%) as the most viable alternative to the platinum catalysts needed for fuel cell reactions.

(B) Hydrogen Technology

  • Leading Hydrogen Packaging Technologies - Metal Hydride Tanks. In terms of packing large quantities of hydrogen in low-weight, low-volume systems, Metal Hydride Tanks (28%) are seen as having the best chance of succeeding in the marketplace over the next 3-5 years.
  • Electrolysis of Water vs. Steam Reformation. By a 2-to-1 margin, respondents also believe Electrolysis of Water (50%) will be the number one trend in hydrogen production for the next 3-5 years, with Steam Reformation of Methane/Natural Gas (24%) ranked second.

(C) Battery Technology

  • Lithium-Ion Polymer - Tops in Battery Technology. Fuel cell industry respondents rank Lithium-ion polymer (32%) and Lithium-ion (12%) as the battery technologies that will experience the highest growth rate over the next 3-5 years.

Summary of Key Findings

Fuel Cell Sector Well Positioned for Future Growth

Which Sector will Experience Biggest New Technology Breakthroughs in Next 12-24 Months?
Fuel Cells (27%, up 5-pts), Hybrid/Electric (27%, unchanged)

Which will Experience Most Rapid Economic Growth - Next 5 Years
Fuel Cells (25%), Solar (22%), Hybrid/Electric (20%)

Reasons for Rapid Growth in Fuel Cells
Technology Advances (37%), Cost of Energy/Short Supply (23%)

Where Will Fuel Cells Have Greatest Economic Impact in Next 3-5 Years?
Stationary Power for Buildings (52%), Aerospace/Military (24%), Automobiles (16%)

Fastest Growing Fuel Cell Areas
Proton Exchange/ PEM (44%), Solid Oxide (20%), Direct Methanol (16%)

Biggest Barriers to Rapid Adoption
Cost of Fuel Cells Too High vs. Other Energy Sources, Complexity of Technology/ Too Many Technical Hurdles Still Ahead

Leading Companies

Fastest Growing Fuel Cell Companies - Next 2 Years
Fuel Cell Energy (33%), Energy Conversion Devices (17%), Ballard Power (14%)

Biggest Market Impact - Next 3 Years

Fuel Cells
Fuel Cell Energy (28%), Energy Conversion Devices (24%), Ballard Power (24%)

Energy Conversion Devices (24%), Ballard Power (11%)

Battery Technologies
Energy Conversion Devices (45%)

Plug Power and GE Terminate Joint Venture

plug_logo.jpgPlug Power Inc (PLUG) announced that it is terminating a distribution joint venture with a unit of General Electric Co. and said a GE executive had resigned from its board.

Plug Power said it and GE MicroGen Inc. would terminate the GE Fuel Cell Systems joint venture. As a result, Plug Power can now sell its products to anyone without obligation to General Electric, the company said in a regulatory filing. [ more ]

Shares of Plug Power are down 1% in pre-market trading.

March 22, 2006

Hydrogenics Awarded Contract to Supply Hydrogen Generators to China's Largest Energy Companies

hygs_logo.gifHydrogenics Corp (HYGS) announced that it has received orders to supply electrolysis-based hydrogen generator plants to two of China's largest energy companies.

China Electric Power Energy Group and China National Power have each purchased a HySTAT-A Hydrogen Plant, capable of producing 10 Nm3/h of high purity hydrogen at a pressure of 25 bar. In both cases, the hydrogen produced will be used to cool the generators in a coal-fired power plant. Delivery of both orders is expected to take place in 2006. [ more ]

March 17, 2006

Quantum Delivers Hydrogen Hybrid Vehicles to Burbank

qtww_logo.gifQuantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide Inc (QTWW) announced the delivery of five hydrogen-fueled Toyota Prius hybrid vehicles to the City of Burbank, California. This is part of a larger South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) program to develop and demonstrate 30 hydrogen hybrid vehicles to fleets in Southern California. The formal delivery will take place during a ceremony to be held today at the City of Burbank's Public Works Yard.

Under contract to the AQMD, Quantum engineered a state-of-the-art OEM-caliber hydrogen fuel system, optimized the performance of the vehicle system, completed accelerated long-term durability testing, and performed crash testing, to verify the design of the vehicles. [ more ]

Ovonic Hydrogen Hybrid Vehicle Begins Fleet Testing at South Coast AQMD

ecd_logo.gifEnergy Conversion Devices Inc (ENER) has now started fleet testing at the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) in Diamond Bar, California.

A project of Ovonic Hydrogen Systems LLC, a subsidiary of ECD Ovonics, the advanced vehicle is a high-profile test bed designed to prove that hydrogen hybrids can be practical in daily life. The high-tech vehicle also serves to showcase Ovonic® solid metal hydrogen storage technology. Based on a production gasoline-electric hybrid model, it is part of a five year, $7 million multi-vehicle hydrogen hybrid demonstration at AQMD. [ more ]

Plug Power Announces New Agreements With Honda for Next Phase of Home Energy Station

plug_logo.jpgPlug Power Inc (PLUG) announced two new agreements with Honda R&D Company, Ltd. of Japan to continue expanding the companies' collaborative efforts.

The first of the new agreements covers the fourth consecutive phase of joint development of the Home Energy Station. The Home Energy Station is a fuel cell system that provides electricity and heat to a home or business, while also providing hydrogen fuel for a fuel cell vehicle. The companies completed the previous phase in November 2005 with the successful commissioning of the third-generation Home Energy Station at Honda R&D Americas' facility in Torrance, Calif. This third-generation system is 30 percent smaller in size than its predecessor, with 25 percent more power output, more hydrogen storage capacity, higher efficiency and significantly faster startup time. [ more ]

March 15, 2006

Plug Power announces S. Korea distribution for GenCore fuel cells

plug_logo.jpgPlug Power Inc (PLUG) announced agreements with LoganEnergy Corp. and Pacific Telepoint Inc. to distribute its GenCore product line to customers in the United States and South Korea, respectively.

These new distributors will be targeting customers in the telecom, utility and public sectors, where the need for reliable, extended-run backup power is critical. [ more ]

February 27, 2006

FuelCell Energy Selected by U.S. Department of Energy to Develop a Coal-Based Multi-Megawatt Solid Oxide Fuel Cell System

fcel_logo.gifFuelcell Energy Inc (FCEL) announced it has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as a prime contractor of a third project team to develop a coal-based multi-megawatt solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) system. The total project award for the 10-year, three-phase Fuel Cell Coal-Based System program is approximately $85 million. The project is subject to negotiation of a final agreement.

The program's goal is to develop a multi-megawatt SOFC power system, 100 megawatts and larger, with at least 50 percent overall efficiency in converting energy contained in coal to grid electrical power. This compares to today's average U.S. coal-based power plant with an electrical efficiency of approximately 35 percent. Other program goals include capturing 90 percent or more of system's carbon dioxide emissions and meeting a cost of $400 per kilowatt (exclusive of coal gasification unit and carbon dioxide separation subsystems). [ more ]

FuelCell Energy and Capstone Achieves Record in Electrical Efficiency

fcel_logo.gifFuelcell Energy Inc (FCEL) and Capstone Turbine Corp (CPTC) announced that its patented Direct FuelCell/Turbine® (DFC/T®) achieved a record-setting performance -- establishing a mark of 56 percent electrical efficiency in the sub-megawatt (sub-MW) class for 800 continuous hours during initial testing.

This significantly exceeds the electrical efficiency of other distributed generation technologies of similar size. For example, gas engines have an electrical efficiency of 30 to 42 percent, low temperature fuel cells have an electrical efficiency of 30 to 35 percent and microturbines have an electrical efficiency of 25 to 30 percent. [ more ]

I always love when these small companies get together and build something that is better than their indvidual efforts alone. The system they have built takes directs the excess heat that is generated by the fuel cell and powers a modified Capstone microturbine.

February 22, 2006

Hydrogenics Delivers Fuel Cell Backup Power Generator to Bell Canada Telecommunication Site

hygs_logo.gifHydrogenics Corp (HYGS) announced the successful delivery and commissioning of a hydrogen fuel cell backup power generator at a Bell Canada telecommunication site in Burlington, Ontario.

The backup power generator, developed in collaboration with Emerson Network Power, a business of Emerson (EMR), uses Hydrogenics' 8 kW HyPM® XR fuel cell power module. This project, announced in 2005 as part of Toronto's Hydrogen Village initiative, was made possible through an investment from the Government of Canada's 'Hydrogen Early Adopters' program (h2EA). [ more ]

February 16, 2006

Millennium Cell and Jadoo Power Form Strategic Alliance

mcel_logo.gifMillennium Cell Inc (MCEL) announced that it entered into a strategic development and licensing agreement with Jadoo Power Systems Inc., a leading supplier of portable fuel cell power systems. The agreement will allow Jadoo to license Millennium Cell's Hydrogen on Demand® technology for development and commercialization within Jadoo's current line of product offerings. [ more ]

February 09, 2006

Enova's Hybrid Drive Systems Helping Power Ford Fuel Cell Vehicles and Wrightbus Transit Buses

Enova Systems Inc (ENOV) announced that its components are currently being used in thirty (30) Ford Focus Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vehicles and six (6) Wrightbus Electrocity hybrid transit buses.

The Ford Focus is one of the industry's first hybridized fuel cell vehicles looking to combine the improved range and performance of hybrid technology with the overall benefits of a fuel cell. Enova's 120kW Hybrid Drive System has been installed in six (6) Wrightbus Electrocity vehicles that are now in service in London. [ more ]

February 01, 2006

FuelCell Energy Selected by DoE to Advance High Temperature Polymer Exchange Membrane Technology for Power Generation Applications

fcel_logo.gifFuelcell Energy Inc (FCEL) announced that it has been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for a five-year, $2.1 million cost-shared project to develop a high temperature membrane for low humidity operation of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cells, subject to final negotiation of an agreement. FuelCell Energy was awarded one of 12 competitively bid projects that will receive a total of $19 million in federal funding for polymer membrane research. The overall goal of this research is to advance membrane durability and extend shelf-life, while simultaneously bringing down its cost. The project includes the development of a composite membrane for high temperature (120(degrees)C) PEM fuel cell operation. The composite membrane is intended to have the mechanical strength and water retention capability required for efficient operation and reduced system cost. [ more ]

Bush's State of the Union

"America is addicted to oil, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world"

Thanks to Mr. Bush's state of the union address last night, we should see some nice gains across the board in the Alternative Energy sector.

Some of the big winners may be the Ethanol companies like Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) and Pacific Ethanol, Inc. (PEIX).

The EnergyStockBlog.com has a nice write up on the potential for ADM. [ more ]

GreenCarCongress.com has a nice summary of the important parts of the speech.

In his State of the Union 2006 address, President Bush announced the Advanced Energy Initiative�a 22% increase in clean-energy research at the Department of Energy (DOE).

The Initiative is intended to focus on providing breakthroughs in two areas: power for homes and businesses; and transportation. [ more ]

Update: Well the market is now open and shares of ADM and PEIX are trading down. But shares of Fuel Cells and Solar companies are up.

January 31, 2006

Medis Technologies Ltd. Ships 200 Fuel Cell Power Packs to General Dynamics

mdtl_logo.gifMedis Technologies Ltd. (MDTL) announced that it has shipped 200 fuel cell Power Pack products to General Dynamics C4 Systems for testing in preparation for delivery of commercial units to its customer base. The aim of this program is to determine the products' response to a broad range of very rigorous tests relating to its ability to meet other military and civilian specifications. Medis plans to deliver an additional 100 Power Packs to its contract manufacturer Celestica in the next few weeks for a parallel testing program. [ more ]

January 26, 2006

Maxwell Technologies Provides Ultracapacitors for General Hydrogen

Maxwell Technologies (MXWL) announced that General Hydrogen Corporation, a leading developer of hydrogen fuel cell-based power systems for electric forklifts, has placed a 200,000 unit, three-year, purchase order for BOOSTCAP® ultracapacitors to enhance performance and energy management in its Hydricity® Pack technology.

The purchase order is part of a strategic supply agreement through which General Hydrogen will source ultracapacitors exclusively from Maxwell and receive strategic pricing if volume thresholds specified in the purchase order are reached. [ more ]

Quantum Delivers First Vehicles of Hydrogen Hybrid Fleet to Santa Ana

qtww_logo.gifQuantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide Inc (QTWW) announced the delivery of five hydrogen-fueled Toyota Prius hybrid vehicles to the City of Santa Ana, California. This is part of a larger South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) program to develop and demonstrate 30 hydrogen hybrid vehicles to fleets in Southern California. The formal delivery took place during a ceremony held today at the City of Santa Ana's vehicle fleet yard.

In March 2004, the AQMD awarded Quantum a contract to engineer a state-of-the-art OEM caliber hydrogen fuel system, perform accelerated long-term durability testing, including crash testing. The complete hydrogen internal combustion engine fuel system, including both the injection system and hydrogen storage system, was developed by Quantum at its Advanced Vehicle Concept Center in Lake Forest, CA. [ more ]

January 25, 2006

FuelCell Energy Announces Sale of Its First 1MW Power Plant for Sharp Electronics

fcel_logo.gifFuelcell Energy Inc (FCEL) announced that its Asian distributor, Marubeni Corporation, has sold a one megawatt (MW) Direct FuelCell® (DFC®) power plant to provide electric power and high-quality heat for a Sharp Corp. production facility in Japan that manufactures advanced flat-screen TVs.

The DFC power plant will provide Sharp's Kameyama manufacturing facility with a portion of its base load electricity needs and supply heat byproduct for air conditioning by means of absorption chilling. [ more ]

This sale represents the first international installation of Fuel Cells megawatt sized products and the partnership with Marubeni has become a critical asset to their continued growth in Asia.

January 20, 2006

Hoku Posts 3Q Profit

hoku_logo.gifHoku Scientific, Inc. (HOKU) posted earnings of $202,000, or a penny per share, reversing a year-ago loss of $650,000, or 11 cents per share. Service and license revenue surged to $1.7 million from $75,000 in the 2004 quarter, fueled by contracts with auto manufacturer Nissan Motor Co., Sanyo Electric Co. and the U.S. Navy. [ more ]

Hoku is one of the few Alternerative Energy stocks that is actually profitable. Excluding certain items, earnings were 3 cents a share, above First Call's mean analyst estimate of 1 cent. They blew away estimates this quarter and the stock is trading up over 15% in pre-market trading this morning.


January 17, 2006

Hydrogenics to Supply Hydrogen Refuelling Station to Basin Electric for Wind Hydrogen Project

hygs_logo.gif Hydrogenics Corp (HYGS) announced that the company was awarded a contract by Basin Electric Power Cooperative, to supply an electrolyzer-based hydrogen refuelling station for installation in Minot, N.D. In addition to the core electrolyzer module, Hydrogenics is supplying compression, storage and dispenser equipment as part of the contract. The station is one of the first United States-based hydrogen fueling stations to use electricity from a wind power resource to produce hydrogen from water, in this case using electricity generated by wind resources either owned or contracted by Basin Electric. The hydrogen produced will be used to refuel hydrogen-powered vehicles, demonstrating a linkage between wind power and vehicle refueling. [ more ]

January 12, 2006

Plug Power and Ballard Power Systems Awarded $2M Program to Develop Advanced PEM Fuel Cell System

plug_logo.jpg ballard_logo_B.gif
Plug Power Inc (PLUG) and Ballard Power (BLDP) announced they have been awarded a $2M program by the U.S. Department of Defense to develop an advanced prototype PEM fuel cell system to support Defense Continuity of Operations (COOP).

Under this program, Plug Power and Ballard will jointly develop a next-generation prototype PEM fuel cell power solution to be used in backup power applications. Plug Power will act as the systems integrator, using a Ballard® fuel cell stack for evaluation and potential use in COOP programs for the U.S. Department of Defense and Department of Homeland Security. [ more ]

PLUG opened up over 3% this morning and BLDP is up over 2% on the news.

MTI Micro Signs Agreement With Satellite Services SES AMERICOM

MTI MicroFuel Cells Inc. (MKTY) announced that in December it signed a Market Development Agreement with SES AMERICOM Inc. As part of the agreement, MTI Micro will work with SES AMERICOM to determine and evaluate the use and integration of MTI Micro's Mobion® technology into AMERICOM products that may benefit from alternative energy sources such as fuel cells. [ more ]

January 11, 2006

Millennium Cell Programs Allocated $1.7 Million for Soldier Fuel Cell Power Systems

mcel_logo.gif Millennium Cell Inc (MCEL) announced that its soldier power program has been allocated $1.7 million of funding in the fiscal year 2006 Defense Appropriations Bill. The soldier power program is a joint effort with Protonex Technology Corporation which is funded by the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Army. The defense bill funding will support the procurement of Protonex 30-watt portable soldier power systems ("P2") for use in reliability and field testing to be conducted by the U.S. military throughout 2006. The Protonex P2 power system utilizes chemical hydride fuel cartridges with Millennium Cell's Hydrogen on Demand® technology which are integrated with Protonex' advanced fuel cell technology. [ more ]

MCEL opened up this morning with a nice 8% gain on this news.

January 06, 2006

Quantum Programs to Receive $6.95 Million Department of Defense Funding

qtww_logo.gifQuantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide Inc (QTWW) announced that its Alternative Mobility Vehicle (AMV) and Mobile Hydrogen Infrastructure (MHI) programs are allocated to receive a total of $6.95 million in funding under the fiscal year 2006 Appropriations Bill for the Department of Defense, signed into law by President Bush on December 30, 2005. These programs follow on Quantum's successes with the U.S. Army, wherein Quantum developed and demonstrated the "Aggressor AMV," a high performance light-duty off-road fuel cell hybrid vehicle, and the recently completed "HyHauler MHI," a transportable hydrogen refueling station designed for rapid refueling of military vehicles and silent watch power generators. [ more ]

IdaTech Unveils ElectraGen(TM)3 Critical Backup Power Fuel Cell System

idacorp_logo.gifIdaTech (IDA) announced the ElectraGen(TM)3 fuel cell system. The ElectraGen(TM)3 is a hydrogen-based proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell solution capable of producing up to three kilowatts of clean, reliable backup power. This announcement marks a significant addition to the IdaTech backup power fuel cell product offering and highlights IdaTech's position in the industry as the only company offering this wide range of backup power solutions.

Like its bigger brother, the ElectraGen(TM)5, the ElectraGen(TM)3 product is a CE certified fuel cell system designed for critical backup power needs ranging from 1.5 to 3 kilowatts. By offering improved system reliability and more predictable performance in a broad range of climates the ElectraGen(TM)3 system is a cost-effective replacement to valve-regulated lead acid (VRLA) batteries and other traditional electricity generating methods. Developed specifically to address the needs of telecommunications and uninterruptible power systems (UPS) backup power needs, units in the ElectraGen(TM) family are designed to provide 10 years of service. [ more ]

December 23, 2005

Hydrogenics Signs Deal with GM and Receives a $8 Million Order from Military

hygs_logo.gif Hydrogenics Corp (HYGS) has issued two press releases today.

First they have received a series of purchase orders from General Motors Corporation for fuel cell test services anticipated to be delivered in 2006. HYGS gave GM common share purchase warrants as part of an agreement in 2001. The proceeds for the new testing contract were used to re-purchase these warrants back from GM. [ more ]

HYGS also announced that it has been awarded a US$8 million Fuel Cell contract for multiple units of its HyPM® 500 Series Fuel Cell Power Modules from a world leading military OEM. The power modules, representing in aggregate over 600 kW of power capacity, will be delivered over a two year period starting in 2006. The modules will be used for an undisclosed application. [ more ]

The GM news will not really affect the bottom line profits for the company, but I view this action as a inventive stock buyback plan. I'm always happy when a company is willing to purchase their own stock. The news regarding the $8 million is also very good for the company, albiet it is a little vague on details. If they are selling to an undisclosed foreign military that the world community is not happy with (i.e. North Korean, Iran, etc.), then this could cause some major grief in the future.

The markets also like this news this morning. The stock is currently trading up over 14% pre-market.

December 15, 2005

FuelCell Energy Beats Earnings Estimates

fcel_logo.gifFuelcell Energy Inc (FCEL) reported 4th Quarter earnings of a net loss of $0.40 per share. This is $0.02 better than estimates. However the revenues for the year are 10% less than expected.

The focus for the next year is continue to penetrate into markets where they currently have business.

FuelCell Energy and its distribution partners continue to penetrate repeatable markets worldwide. The Company believes initiatives already underway establish a strong platform for heading into Fiscal Year 2006. In developing repeatable markets, the Company has installed or in backlog approximately 23 megawatts that extend across key industry sectors and important geographic regions.

Megawatts installed or in backlog in significant geographic markets:
-- Japan/Korea -- 8.25 MW
-- California -- 7.00 MW
-- Europe -- 4.25 MW
-- Other U.S. -- 4.50 MW

Megawatts installed or in backlog in key repeatable market applications:
-- Wastewater Treatment -- 4.25 MW
-- Hotels/Hospitality -- 2.75 MW
-- Manufacturing-- 2.25 MW
-- Government/Institutional -- 2.25 MW

Focus for 2006

FuelCell Energy's product availability and performance, meeting of customer expectations, growing repeatable business, continuing cost reductions and strong financial condition position the Company to increase sales to these growing markets. [ more ]

The stock is currently flat in pre-market trading, but I would not be surprised to see it trade down on the news due to the miss on revenue estimates. The company has been working hard to reduce expenses and it looks like they have been successful by reducing their losses. But they still need to concentrate on getting new customers and installations. The stock has been trending down recently but has some support at the $8 level. I may add to my position in this stock if we see some weakness in the stock today.


December 13, 2005

Hydrogenics Sells Hydrogen Refueler to Korean Gas Technology

Hydrogenics Corp (HYGS) announced that it has sold a hydrogen reformer and refueling system to Korean Gas Technology Corporation (KOGAS-Tech). The reformer will generate hydrogen by reforming natural gas and will be installed at the Korea Gas research and development facility in Incheon, near Seoul. The hydrogen produced will be used for refueling vehicles.

The reformer will be able to generate 65 kilograms of hydrogen a day, which is enough to refuel approximately 20 fuel cell powered vehicles. The reformer and refueling system is anticipated to be delivered and installed by June 2006. [ more ]

December 02, 2005

Millennium Cell Awarded U.S. Army Hydrogen Battery Contract

Millennium Cell Inc (MCEL) announced that it has been awarded a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research Program contract by the U.S. Army Tank-automotive and Armaments Command. The Company will assess the feasibility of operating its hydrogen battery technology in conjunction with a 5kW PEM-based fuel cell using water containing a variety of impurities. Preliminary tests conducted by Millennium Cell suggest salt water and other non-potable water may be adequate for use with the Company's Hydrogen on Demand® technology. [ more ]

November 30, 2005

Proton Receives 1.9 Million for Hydrogen Filling Station Development

prtn_logo.gifDistributed Energy Systems Corp (DESC) announced that they received its third award from the University of Nevada Las Vegas Research Foundation (UNLVRF) to continue its work on hydrogen fueling stations for automobiles and other motor vehicles.

The fueling station's design is expected to incorporate a high-capacity electrolyzer, capable of generating up to 12 kilograms per day of hydrogen -- enough to fuel at least two fuel cell light duty vehicles. [ more ]

November 28, 2005

Hoku's Commercialization Strategy Seen On Target

hoku_logo.gifHoku Scientific, Inc. (HOKU) maintained an "outperform" rating and $12 target price from a Piper Jaffray analyst.

"Hoku will continue to record substantial revenue growth driven by accelerated technology development in preparation for commercial markets," Piper analyst Jesse W. Pichel wrote in a recent report. [ more ]

I'm still waiting for Marketocracy to add this ticker to the stock universe so I can buy it for the mutual fund. If I had additional money in my personal portfolio, I would purchase more at this level.

Ballard Powered Mercedes-Benz Citaro Fuel Cell Buses Roll Onto Roads in China

ballard_logo_B.gifBallard Power (BLDP) Chairman and Interim President and Chief Executive Officer, John Sheridan, was in Beijing, China today, along with representatives from Ballard's Alliance partner, DaimlerChrysler, and Chinese industry and government officials, to attend the launch of three Mercedes-Benz Citaro fuel cell buses. The buses, powered with Ballard® heavy-duty fuel cell engines, will enter revenue service in the city as part of a two-year demonstration project being led by the Chinese Ministry of Science & Technology, with support from both the Global Environment Facility and the United Nations Development Program. [ more ]

This is the latest in a series of fuel-cell powered bus demonstrations that Ballard has been performing all over the globe. They estimate full commercialization of the fuel cell automotive solution to be viable by 2010. You can read more about their demonstration projects and commercialization time line on their website. [ more ]

November 16, 2005

Shares of Mechanical Technology and Medis Technology Purchased

I purchased shares of Mechanical Technology Inc (MKTY) and Medis Technologies Ltd. (MDTL) this morning for the mutual fund and also my personal portfolio.

Both of these companies are working on the miniaturization of liquid fuel cells so that they can power portable electronic equipment like cell phones and laptop computers. Both companies have also secured contracts from the military to research portable fuel cells for military applications. Both companies announced earnings recently and still show no signs of becoming profitable in the near future. However, they have both made progress on trimming their losses. I feel that one of these companies will strike it big in the future so I’m buying both and hedging my bet. Both of these stocks will not see substantial gains until they start producing equipment that makes it out of the beta stage in the next few years.

Both companies are starting to trade at the lower end of their recent trading ranges and are entering the lower risk entry point.

Medis should be a good buy at this price level since it is now sitting on some firm support.


Mechanical Tech is currently sitting on some light support at the $3 level but could trade lower from here down to the $2.50 level and I would buy more that that point.


I purchased a 1/3 holding in each for the mutual fund and a full holding for my personal portfolio.

MDTL was purchased at an average price of $14.93
MKTY was purchased at an average price of $3.04

DISCLAIMER: I am not a registered investment advisor. The information and trades that I provide here are for informational purposes only and are not a solicitation to buy or sell any of these securities. Investing involves substantial risk and you should evaluate your own risk levels before you make any investment. Past results are not an indication of future performance. Please take the time to read the full disclaimer here.

November 11, 2005

Shares in Hoku Scientific Purchased

hoku_logo.gifThis morning I purchased shares in Hoku Scientific, Inc. (HOKU) for my personal portfolio and an average price of $9.47. I was unable to purchase shares in this stock for the mutual fund since it is a recent IPO that came to the market in early August.

Hoku is a fuel cell membrane manufacture that is based out of Hawaii. They have strategic partnerships created with Sanyo Electric and Nissan. This company also has the honor of being one of the select few companies in this sector that is actually profitable. Another amazing aspect of this company is that all of the officers of the company are in their early 30's.

The company is currently working hard to increase manufacturing capacity and should have a new production line fully operational soon.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a registered investment advisor. The information and trades that I provide here are for informational purposes only and are not a solicitation to buy or sell any of these securities. Investing involves substantial risk and you should evaluate your own risk levels before you make any investment. Past results are not an indication of future performance. Please take the time to read the full disclaimer here.

Shares in Altair Nanotechnologies Purchased

I purchased shares in
Altair Nanomaterials (ALTI) this morning for both my personal portfolio and also the mutual fund. ALTI is a holding company that specializes in nanomaterials and also contains a life sciences division. The materials company has research in high performance batteries, fuel cells, and photovoltaics.

Altair announced earnings today and the stock is up on the morning trading.

Revenue Increases 68 Percent for Third Quarter and 230 Percent for Nine-Month Period
"An increase in revenue of 230 percent for the first three quarters of 2005 is representative of the significant progress Altair has made over the last nine months," said Altair Nanotechnologies Chief Executive Officer and President Alan J. Gotcher, Ph.D. "We are experiencing solid business development progress and opportunities in both our Performance Material and Life Sciences divisions in several target markets. We expect these opportunities to mature and to produce recurring and sustainable revenues." [ more ]

Today they reported a net loss of $0.04 which is compared to a net loss of $0.03 for the comparable quarter. The increase in this loss is attributed to an increase in investments for new contract R&D projects. The company has been performing well and the number of these new R&D contracts has been increasing.

I started a 1/3 position in ALTI today with an average purchase price of $2.54.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a registered investment advisor. The information and trades that I provide here are for informational purposes only and are not a solicitation to buy or sell any of these securities. Investing involves substantial risk and you should evaluate your own risk levels before you make any investment. Past results are not an indication of future performance. Please take the time to read the full disclaimer here.

November 10, 2005

Fuel Cell Companies Purchased for Portfolio

I placed several trades for the mutual fund this afternoon to start building a position in some of the fuel cell companies. This sub-sector has been under pressure the last couple of months but seems to be building a nice base of support at the current levels. I feel this entire sub-sector is ready for a nice up move and the stocks have been behaving nicely the last week or so. The one stock I seriously considered not adding was Quantum. The stock has been in a steady decline and there is no sign that it’s going to slow down. I'm betting that the general area of support for all the companies in this sub-sector will help to provide some support to this stock. There are also some smaller stocks in this sub-sector that I'm watching as well and may add them soon.


I took a 1/3 position in the following companies for the mutual fund portfolio.
Ballard Power (BLDP) at the average price of $5.03
Fuelcell Energy Inc (FCEL) at the average price of $9.13
Millennium Cell Inc (MCEL) at the average price of $1.63
Plug Power Inc (PLUG) at the average price of $5.91
Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide Inc (QTWW) at the average price of $2.72

I also took a position in Millennium Cell Inc (MCEL) as well in my personal portfolio.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a registered investment advisor. The information and trades that I provide here are for informational purposes only and are not a solicitation to buy or sell any of these securities. Investing involves substantial risk and you should evaluate your own risk levels before you make any investment. Past results are not an indication of future performance. Please take the time to read the full disclaimer here.

Congress to Fund $2.5 Million in Energy and Water Development Appropriations for Altair Nanotechnologies' Nanoscience Research

Altair Nanomaterials (ALTI) has been designated to receive an additional $2.5 million in Federal grant funding during 2006-2007 for the continued development of nanotechnology, nanosensors, and nanomaterials research, development and deployment. The $2.5 million funding was included in the Congressional Energy and Water Development Appropriation for Fiscal Year 2006, which was passed by the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives on November 8, 2005. We anticipate the appropriation will be signed by the President within the next week. [ more ]

ALTI had a nice 10% jump in the price yesterday on this news.

U.S. Army Awards Quantum Follow-On Contract for Hydrogen Refueler

qtww_logo.gifQuantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide Inc (QTWW) announced that it received a contract from the U.S. Army's National Automotive Center (NAC) for an additional HyHauler Plus(TM) transportable hydrogen refueling station. This contract represents an expansion of Quantum's Mobile Hydrogen Infrastructure program with the U.S. Army that will demonstrate "in-time" solutions to meet emerging hydrogen fuel demand as fuel cell technologies are deployed throughout the military as part of the 21st Century Base initiative. [ more ]

As you may have noticed from my Firefox tip yesterday, I'm starting to take a serious look at the Fuel Cell stocks again. All of these stocks have been under pressure recently and they are all trading at lows. Many of them have been building some nice bases of support and are looking very attractive at these price levels.

October 17, 2005

Manhattan Scientifics Receives Micro Fuel Cell Patent in Japan

Manhattan Scientifics Inc (MHTX) announced that it has received its first micro fuel cell patent in Japan.

Marvin Maslow, CEO of Manhattan Scientifics, said, "Though our micro fuel cell is not yet commercially feasible, we continue our effort to complete the development. Our goal is to create future revenue as a result of ownership of key protective patents. [ more ]

Earlier this year micro fuel cells were everywhere. You saw articles in tech magazines, gadget websites, and slashdot. There has been very little news about it recently. It seems that all the big ticket energy producers have taken a front seat due to the recent hikes in oil and natural gas. The lack of attention has caused a sharp decrease in the stocks of both MHTX and also MKTY over the last couple of months. The hype an promotion about the future of this technology has left the stock market and these companies are now valued where they should be. I don't expect any movement from both of these companies until the product starts to hit the consumers. That is when we will see a double (or triple) in the stock price. Both of these companies are on my watchlist and I want to enter them at these lows. Estimates are they will not produce the first shippable products till next year. So I will continue to watch for now.

October 12, 2005

Starwood Hotels Expands Reliance on Fuel Cells

Starwood Hotels & Resorts has expanded it use of fcel_logo.gifFuelcell Energy Inc (FCEL) Direct FuelCell power plants with an installation at the Westin San Francisco Airport Hotel.

"Our use of fuel cells at Sheraton hotels has successfully reduced our energy costs while offering us quality power with strong environmental benefits, and we are eager to begin applying this formula to our Westin and other brand hotels," said John Lembo, Director of Energy for Starwood. "With DFC installations at hotels on both coasts of the U.S., we are fulfilling our pledge to be the best business neighbors with a commitment to helping our environment while providing the highest quality of service to our guests." [ more ]

There is a great deal of interest in large corporations looking for efficient and reliable onsite power generation. The use of clean technologies is also helpful in securing additional financial and regulatory support. FCEL has been doing a good job of going after this type of repeat business with existing customers. The various contracts with Starwood is a great example of this business practice.

October 03, 2005

Navy Extends Fuel Cell Project with Hoku and IDA Corp


The US Navy officially exercised its two options in the PEM fuel cell demonstration contract with Hoku Scientific, Inc. (HOKU). The total amount of the options is $2.5 million in addition to the $2.1 million already under contract.

"Since the initial contract was awarded in March 2005, Hoku Scientific has met the development milestones for its membrane electrode assemblies on-time and as-expected," said Charles Combs, director of renewable energy programs for the U.S. Navy's Naval Air Warfare Center -- Weapons Division at China Lake, California, who is the program manager for the U.S. Navy's contract with Hoku Scientific. "We are eager to move forward with the demonstration of Hoku Scientific's MEA products in fuel cell systems stationed throughout the Pearl Harbor Naval Station." [ more ]

idacorp_logo.gifHoku is currently using IdaTech (IDA) as a sub-contractor on this project.

Shares of Hoku are up sharply today with a greater than 16% gain on the news. IDA is up slightly.

September 29, 2005

Distributed Energy Systems profile on Forbes.com

prtn_logo.gifDistributed Energy Systems Corp (DESC) has been profiled on Forbes.com.

Kenneth Reid, editor of Spear's Security Industry Analyst, recommends buying shares of Distributed Energy Systems. The Wallingford, Conn.-based company creates and delivers a variety of products for the alternative and decentralized energy markets.
. . .
The story of Distributed Energy and other alternative-energy players is a long-term one, say bulls like Reid. With the surge in oil prices this year, the story is resonating with investors. Distributed Energy shares are up 333% in the past year, trading around $8 after hitting a 52-week (intraday) high of $8.09 on Sept. 27. [ more ]

Forbes also has a short DESC video that gives some additional information about this stock.

My take on DESC is that it is a great company to own. I have owned it in the past and sold it with a nice profit in early August. I purposely tried to liquidate the majority of my positions in August in anticipation of blogging about all my portfolio purchases. Many of the names I owned are back on my watchlist and I have been looking for a good re-entry point for a long term hold on this stock. It is currently sitting at a 52 week high and it showing signs that it getting over bought. The Forbes profile hit the net early this morning, and DESC is currently trading above $8 pre-market. Right now I will continue to watch the stock and it is one my short list for purchase. I just want to wait a couple of days to see how the stock price action behaves.

September 26, 2005

Shares of IDA Corp. Purchased

idacorp_logo.gif The fears of Rita have fallen away and the market is finally moving to the upside again this morning. I have been watching IdaTech (IDA) for purchase for a couple of weeks and I had previously mentioned I have been looking for a good entry point on this stock.

IDAcorp is an Idaho power utility with electrical generation using Hydro, Natural Gas, and Coal. They also own IDATech which manufactures fuel cell solutions. I'm waiting on this one until the technical picture of the chart improves. I would be a buyer if we can either get a retest of the recent $29 support level or a break out to the upside above $33.

I may be jumping the gun on this one in anticipation of a bounce from here so I determined to purchase a starting position. I determined a fixed amount of money of the mutual fund I would be willing to invest in this name. I then decided I will take 1/3 of that total and invest it at this point. Shares of IDA were purchased at a price of $30.11.

IDA is a solid company with good financials and also pays a 4% dividend. I feel that this is one of the safer investments in this sector. The 3 year chart shown below shows a nice uptrend for the last 3 years and it is currently sitting at the lower end of the upward trading channel.


I also purchased some additional shares of Calpine Corp. (CPN) today for the mutual fund and also opened a position in my personal portfolio at a price of $2.61. I used a similar 1/3 approach for Calpine when I made my first purchase. This is my second third of the total amount I'm willing to invest in this name. This brings my average cost down to $2.98 for CPN in the mutual fund. This is still a very risky investment and you should use caution with this one.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a registered investment advisor. The information and trades that I provide here are for informational purposes only and are not a solicitation to buy or sell any of these securities. Investing involves substantial risk and you should evaluate your own risk levels before you make any investment. Past results are not an indication of future performance. Please take the time to read the full disclaimer here.

September 16, 2005

Shares of Hoku Scientific on Fire

hoku_logo.gifHoku Scientific, Inc. (HOKU) is a recent addition to my stock watchlist. HOKU designs and manufactures membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs) and nonfluorinated membranes for proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells. Basically they are developing the next generation of proton exchange membranes. They have strategic relationships with Sanyo Electric and Nissan Motors and are based in Hawaii.

The company received some good news from some financial analysts this week and the company is up over 50% in the last two days.

Piper Jaffray analyst Jesse Pichel said Hoku is one of the best-positioned component suppliers to the emerging fuel cell industry. Pichel said its proprietary technology has the potential to enable lower cost and better performing fuel cells, thus improving commercial viability. The analyst estimates Hoku is working in a stationary and automotive fuel cell market worth around $150 million in 2005, rising to around $2.6 billion by 2012. [ more ]

I'm not ready to commit money to this name right now. I feel that a 50% move like this in 2 days needs some time to digest in the marketplace. I would feel very comfortable buying this name if it can fill the gap back down to the $7 level. It is also interesting that I have heard about this company from 3 different sources in a 1 week time period, so it has hit the radar of many investors recently. For right now, I'm just watching.

September 09, 2005

Quantum Fuels Loss Widens

qtww_logo.gifQuantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide Inc (QTWW) is currently down over 11% today on the release of its Q1 earnings reports. The loss of 15 cents a share was greater than expected and almost double its last years quarter loss of 8 cents a share.

In yesterdays earnings press release the company attributes the shortfall to lower sales and the incorporation of the recent acquisition of Tecstar Automotive.

Although we reported significant revenue growth during the first quarter due to the Tecstar acquisition, we did experience a shortfall in development program revenue. The costs of revenues, particularly on the development programs, were higher than expected and this impacted our overall operating results. The activity on hydrogen-related development programs remains strong and we are optimistic that these programs will result in increased hydrogen fuel system product sales during the second half of fiscal 2006, compared to the first half of fiscal 2006. [ more ]

The stock has been trading down for since November '04 and it doesn't look like this news will be helping its future prospects.


I will keep my eye on this stock for future entry points, but would like to see if it can build a base and these new lows. I would also like to see some good news coming from the company in the way of new sales and contracts to help the fundamentals as well.

Shares of Hydrogenics Purchased

Hydrogenics Corp (HYGS) is a developer of fuel cell technology and hydrogen generation. They are also working with wind farm technology in the generation of hydrogen. Back in January of this year they successfully completed the purchase of Stuart Energy which compliments their product portfolio.

Shares of the stock have been under pressure for the last couple of months due to missed expectations on Q1 revenue results. There is also some major concern about an increase in product backlog.


In August, HYGS issued their most recent quarterly earnings and are attempting to reassure the shareholders that they are making great strides in incorporating the Stuart Energy division and also working on fulfilling the backlog of orders.

"We believe that the increase in revenues, combined with synergies derived from the Stuart Energy acquisition, will accelerate our path to profitability," continues Rivard. "All in all, we believe we are delivering on the commitment we made at the beginning of the year to achieve renewed financial performance for our shareholders by applying discipline and sound business fundamentals." [ more ]

I have successfully owned this name in the past with some nice gains in one of my trading portfolios. Right now I feel it is poised to move to the upside for a long term uptrend and I purchased shares in both my personal portfolio and my Marketocracy mutual fund portfolio at an average price of $4.00. The stock is currently sitting right against some resistance at the $4.00 and I think it has the momentum to take it out to the upside. The stock has some nice support at the $3.50 level and I would be willing to average back down if it comes back down to this price level.

There are also some other Marketocracy gurus adding this stock to thier portfolios as well, which may (or may not) be a good sign. [ more ]

For those of you that are adventurous, the HYGS MAR 2006 5 Calls look good here if you can get a fill in the $0.50-$0.60 range. There is very little open interest for options on this stock and getting a fill at a decent price may be difficult.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a registered investment advisor. The information and trades that I provide here are for informational purposes only and are not a solicitation to buy or sell any of these securities. Investing involves substantial risk and you should evaluate your own risk levels before you make any investment. Past results are not an indication of future performance. Please take the time to read the full disclaimer here.

July 12, 2005

U.S. Army Selects IdaTech to Continue Development of Portable Power Systems

idacorp_logo.gifIdaTech (IDA) announced it has entered into a new contract with the U.S. Army to continue the development of a portable fuel cell system for military applications. This contact was signed 11 months after one signed in 2004, further establishing IdaTech's advanced portable power systems and integrated Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell system as a potentially key technology for meeting the unique field energy supply requirements of the military. [ more ]

Quantum Added to the Russell 2000(R) and Russell 3000(R) Indexes

qtww_logo.gifQuantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide Inc (QTWW) announced that the company has been added to the Russell 2000® and Russell 3000® indexes. The newly reconstituted Russell indexes became effective at the close of the U.S. markets on June 24, 2005. Quantum is one of approximately 31 technology companies added to the index this year. [ more ]

June 24, 2005

Ballard Signs Agreement to Sell German Subsidiary to DaimlerChrysler and Ford

ballard_logo_B.gifBallard Power (BLDP), DaimlerChrysler AG, ("DaimlerChrysler") and Ford Motor Company ("Ford") have signed an agreement for the previously announced sale of Ballard's German subsidiary, Ballard Power Systems AG ("BPSAG"), to DaimlerChrysler and Ford. This deal will give Ballaard some much needed cash and will allow them to focus on research and fuel cell development. [ more ]

FuelCell Energy 'Ultra-Clean' Power Plant Selected to Improve Security, Reliability and Power Flexibility for Critical Federal Training Facility

fcel_logo.gifFuelcell Energy Inc (FCEL) announced the sale of a 250-kilowatt DFC300MA(TM) power plant to improve availability of reliable electricity to help a U.S. training center meet security requirements and cope with fluctuating power needs that can triple from one season to the next. The U.S. Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center (MCAGCC), at Twentynine Palms, Calif., provides year-round instruction to ensure continued readiness of trainees from all branches of the armed forces. [ more ]

June 20, 2005

Plug Power Announces Sale of 12 GenCore(R) Fuel Cell Systems to Florida Department of Environmental Protection

plug_logo.jpgPlug Power Inc (PLUG) announced the sale of twelve GenCore® backup fuel cell systems to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).

The 5kW hydrogen-fueled GenCore fuel cell systems will be integrated with uninterruptible power supply (UPS) equipment to provide critical backup power to DEP offices throughout the state of Florida. Plug Power was chosen for its ability to deliver a total fuel cell system solution that includes training, service, hydrogen delivery, and a system durable enough to endure extreme weather conditions. [ more ]

FuelCell Energy Dedicates Manhattan's First High Temperature Fuel Cell at Starwood's Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers

fcel_logo.gifFuelcell Energy Inc (FCEL) dedicated a DFC300A power plant to provide electricity and hot water for the Sheraton brand's flagship property of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT - News), part of Starwood's commitment to green energy practices.

The environmentally-friendly 250-kilowatt Direct FuelCell® (DFC®) power plant will provide approximately 10 percent of the hotel's electricity and hot water and supply back-up electricity for a segment of the 1,750-room Sheraton New York Hotel & Towers in midtown Manhattan. [ more ]

Hydrogenics Supplying Fuel Cell Power Modules for American Power Conversion's New InfraStruXure'TM' with Integrated Fuel Cells System

Hydrogenics Corp (HYGS) announced it is supplying fuel cell power modules to American Power Conversion Corporation (APCC), a leading global supplier of high availability systems for network-critical physical infrastructure (NCPI), for its new InfraStruXure(TM) with Integrated Fuel Cells System. [ more ]

June 08, 2005

Medis Technologies Signs Cooperation Agreement with Major U.S. Mobile Operator

Medis Technologies Ltd. (MDTL) announced that it has entered into a Cooperation Agreement with one of the largest mobile operators in the United States, for the purposes of market testing and introduction to the market of Medis' fuel cell Power Packs as a secondary power source for portable electronic devices offered by the mobile operator. This mobile operator has a customer base of over 50 million subscribers. [ more ]

FuelCell Energy Introduces Modular Sub-Megawatt Direct FuelCell Power Plant

fcel_logo.gifFuelcell Energy Inc (FCEL) announced it has successfully incorporated design changes to the 250-kilowatt (kW) Direct FuelCell® (DFC®) power plant resulting in a 25 percent cost reduction as previously announced. This is part of FuelCell Energy's rolling three-year cost-out program that targets a 20-25 percent cost reduction per year.

In addition to reduced capital costs, the DFC300MA power plant -- the new name for the sub-megawatt unit -- is expected to result in lower routine maintenance expenses thanks to its modular three-piece design. This modular architecture, with separate skids for the mechanical balance of plant, electronic balance of plant and the DFC module, is expected to enhance serviceability due to greater accessibility for each component. [ more ]

May 31, 2005

Hydrogenics Signs Contract to Provide Fuel Cell System for U.S. Army Armoured Vehicle

Hydrogenics Corp (HYGS) announced that it has signed a contract to manufacture a self-contained regenerative fuel cell power system that will be used to provide auxiliary power for a U.S. Army Stryker Light Armoured Vehicle (LAV). This is a collaborative government project whereby Radian Inc. has entered into a contract with the United States Army (TACOM/TARDEC), and Hydrogenics has signed a defence industrial research contract with Defence R&D Canada, an agency of the Canadian Department of National Defence. [ more ]

May 11, 2005

FuelCell Energy Power Plant to Generate Electricity, Provide Heat and Hot Water, at State University of New York's Syracuse Campus

fcel_logo.gifFuelcell Energy Inc (FCEL) announced the sale of a 250-kilowatt Direct FuelCell® (DFC®) power plant to generate onsite electricity and provide residual heat for domestic hot water and heating at the State University of New York's College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) in Syracuse.

The transaction, arranged by Milton Cat Inc., the Caterpillar® Inc. dealer representing the Syracuse area, includes site engineering and installation of the DFC300A power plant and related equipment. Caterpillar and FuelCell Energy have an alliance agreement to distribute and develop ultra-low emission fuel cell power generation products for industrial and commercial use. [ more ]

Air Products Selects Proton Energy Systems as Preferred Supplier for Electrolysis-Based Hydrogen Fueling Stations

Air Products and Chemicals Inc (APD) announced the signing of a supply agreement with prtn_logo.gifDistributed Energy Systems Corp (DESC) as the preferred supplier for its electrolysis-based hydrogen energy stations.

"From a PEM (proton exchange membrane) standpoint, Proton is a leader in this technology," said Ed Kiczek, senior business development manager, Future Energy Solutions at Air Products. "When you combine Proton's PEM electrolysis with our hydrogen compression, storage and dispensing technology, you have a fully comprehensive hydrogen fueling station with zero emissions at the site." [ more ]

NanoLogix Study Confirms Early Success Of Hydrogen Bioreactor

Infectech Inc (IFEC) announces that preliminary data and results of a study which confirms laboratory proof-of-concept measurements have shown it possible to generate hydrogen in high yields via the use and adaptation of its intellectual property. In this study, the bioreactor produced biogas consisting of 50% hydrogen by volume, without any trace of methane.

Recently, NanoLogix, Inc. (formerly Infectech, Inc.) signed a feasibility study with the Department of Environmental Science and Engineering of Gannon University in Erie, PA to develop a bioreactor which utilizes NanoLogix's patented bacterial culturing methods in order to produce hydrogen inexpensively. [ more ]

May 04, 2005

FuelCell Energy Power Plant Running on Waste Byproduct to Generate Stable Electricity Source for Showcase Eco-Community in Kyoto, Japan

fcel_logo.gifFuelcell Energy Inc (FCEL) announced that one of its 250-kilowatt Direct FuelCell® (DFC®) power plants, sold by its Asian distributor Marubeni Corporation (TSE:8002 - News), will supply power as part of the electric grid servicing a school, a hospital, apartment buildings and city hall in a planned, renewable energy community on the western coast of Japan.

In keeping with the Kyoto Eco-Energy organization's desire to balance intermittent power generated by sources such as wind and solar, a 250 kilowatt DFC plant will efficiently convert waste from a food processing plant into high quality electricity. Heat energy produced by the power plant also will be used to warm water flowing into the food waste digestion process, thus increasing overall system efficiency. [ more ]

Proton Energy Systems and Airgas Sign Agreement to Market On-Site Hydrogen Generators to Utilities, Others

prtn_logo.gifAirgas, Inc. (ARG) has announced a three-year agreement for its regional companies to market and distribute Proton Energy Systems Inc.'s proprietary HOGEN® on-site hydrogen generation systems to customers in the United States. Proton Energy Systems is a subsidiary of Distributed Energy Systems Corp (DESC). [ more ]

May 03, 2005

Enova Systems Continues Major Role in Fuel Cell Vehicle Sector

Enova Systems Inc (ENVA) announces that it continues to gain momentum in the fuel cell vehicle markets with the addition of three new or ongoing projects in these sectors. The latest program teams Enova with Concurrent Technologies Corporation (CTC), an independent, nonprofit, applied research and development professional services organization that provides management, integration, and technology-based solutions to a wide array of clients. Enova will supply its 120kW HybridPower(TM) drive system and its fuel cell power management suite to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Fuel Cell Test and Evaluation Center (FCTec), which is operated by CTC. These components will be integrated into an MB-4 aircraft tow tractor by CTC and Enova. This vehicle will be used in fuel cell demonstrations at select Air Force Bases and civil airports in the United States, in conjunction with the United States Air Force Advanced Power Technology Office, Warner-Robins AFB, Georgia. [ more ]

Millennium Cell Announces Closing on Joint Development Program with The Dow Chemical Company

Millennium Cell Inc (MCEL) announced the successful initial closing of its previously announced joint development program with The Dow Chemical Company (DOW). The development program will combine Millennium Cell's novel technology with Dow's strengths in materials, engineering and operational excellence to accelerate product commercialization. [ more ]

April 26, 2005

Magnetek Reorganization Centers on Alternative Energy Products

MAG_logo.gifMagnetek Inc. (MAG) announced a reorganization of the Company's operating structure to accelerate growth in alternative energy markets. "Alternative energy products currently account for less than 5% of our quarter-billion-dollar annual revenue," said Magnetek chief executive Andrew Galef. "But that revenue has the potential to increase exponentially over the next few years, based on double-digit growth rates in alternative energy markets and proprietary power conversion products that we are now introducing for solar and wind power markets." [ more ]

Pacific Fuel Cell Corp. Announces Acquisition of Intellectual Property for Prototype

Pacific Fuel Cell Corp (PFCE) announced that it has acquired certain rights to a new Carbon Nanotube Membrane Electrode Assembly (MEA) for hydrogen and methanol fuel cells and has filed a provisional patent application in the name of the co-inventors. This new technology uses 75% less platinum while significantly exceeding the performance of current state of the art MEA's for direct methanol fuel cells. [ more ]

Hydrogenics and PEI Energy Corporation Partner to Develop Prince Edward Island Wind-Hydrogen Village Project

Hydrogenics Corp (HYGS) announced that Hydrogenics and Prince Edward Island Energy Corporation will lead a consortium of industry and government partners to develop Canada's first wind-hydrogen village demonstration - the Prince Edward Island (PEI) Wind-Hydrogen Village Project. This multi-faceted initiative will demonstrate, in real-life and in real-time, how wind energy and hydrogen technologies can work together to offer clean and sustainable energy solutions across a wide range of applications. [ more ]

April 13, 2005

Millennium Cell Awarded Five-Year, $3 Million Contract from U.S. Department of Energy

Millennium Cell Inc (MCEL) announced today that it has executed a Cooperative Research Agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as part of Center of Excellence for Chemical Hydrogen Storage. Total funding to Millennium Cell will be $3 million over a five-year period. With the receipt of this funding, the Company has begun its collaboration with Pacific Northwest National Lab to develop hydrogen generation systems that meet the DOE's hydrogen storage efficiency targets. As part of this program, the Company is also working with Los Alamos National Lab, Rohm and Haas and others to evaluate lower cost sodium borohydride manufacturing methods. Millennium Cell's objective for this program is to develop cost-effective, energy-efficient hydrogen storage systems that will enable longer-term markets for the Company's technology. [ more ]

SiliconBeat interviews Jadoo Power Systems

SiliconBeat.com caught up with Jadoo's chief executive, Larry Bawden, last week who said Jadoo is one of the few companies actually shipping hydrogen-converting fuel cell technology to customers. [ more ]

It is good to see that VC's are starting to put some capital in the AltE marketplace.

April 11, 2005

U.S. Army Unveils MP HYBRID Vehicle Platform at SAE 2005 World Congress

qtww_logo.gifThe U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC)'s National Automotive Center (NAC), in conjunction with Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide Inc (QTWW) and California Motors LLC, today unveiled the MP Hybrid vehicle platform at the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) 2005 World Congress. The MP Hybrid is a modular, easily configurable light duty vehicle platform designed to support a variety of homeland defense, military and commercial missions. This dual use military/commercial platform will reduce overall costs by providing a common base system and maximum commonality of other non-automotive components required to meet mission needs. [ more ]

April 04, 2005

'Power Engineering' Magazine Reports On-Site Hydrogen Units Cool Generators Better, Producing Large Cost Savings

prtn_logo.gifDistributed Energy Systems Corp (DESC) is highlighted in the current issue of Power Engineering, a leading electric utility industry publication. The article, entitled, "On- Site Hydrogen Production Means More Than Convenience," gives background on the efficiencies and cost savings that are driving growing power plant industry acceptance of Proton's HOGEN® Proton Exchange Membrane system for on-site hydrogen generation. [ more ]

March 30, 2005

Modine and ChevronTexaco Team Up to Create New Approach for the Distributed Production of Hydrogen

modi_logo.gifModine Manufacturing Co (MOD) presented today along with ChevronTexaco Technology Ventures, a ChevronTexaco subsidiary, a paper based on proprietary research and development regarding a new approach to increase the efficiency, and reduce the cost and complexity of hydrogen generation for distributed energy stations. The Modine and ChevronTexaco team is presenting the paper on advanced steam methane reforming (SMR) at the National Hydrogen Association conference.

ChevronTexaco is working to develop and commercialize fuel-processing technologies that leverage existing energy infrastructures and convert a variety of feedstocks such as natural gas, into hydrogen. This is a critical step to enable the practical application of hydrogen in both transportation and distributed power generation. [ more ]

Commercially Viable Fuel Cell Stack Technology Ready by 2010

ballard_logo_B.gifBallard Power (BLDP) states that a commercially viable fuel cell stack technology for hydrogen-powered vehicles can be demonstrated by 2010, according to a Technology "Road Map" released today. The "Road Map", announced to coincide with the start of the National Hydrogen Association's Annual Hydrogen Conference in Washington, D.C., comprises four technology trendlines and targets for fuel cell stack durability, cost, freeze start and volumetric power density. It is widely agreed that demonstrating the ability to meet the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) targets for these four performance attributes is key to the successful commercialization of automotive fuel cell technology. [ more ]

BOC to Sponsor National Hydrogen Conference

BOC Group PLC (BOX) is sponsoring the National Hydrogen Association (NHA)'s 16th annual conference and Hydrogen Expo in Washington DC.

BOC is a sustaining member of NHA and a member of the group's board of directors and executive committee. The NHA is composed of industry, university, research and small business members leading the transition to a hydrogen-based energy infrastructure. This forum is designed to promote the role of hydrogen in energy independence, environmental stewardship, and economic prosperity, focusing on critical issues in the development of hydrogen technologies. [ more ]

Millennium Cell Delivers Stationary Hydrogen Energy System for Military and Industrial Applications

Millennium Cell Inc (MCEL) announced that it has delivered a five (5) kW Hydrogen on Demand® system for testing at the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Fuel Cell Test and Evaluation Center operated by Concurrent Technologies Corporation (CTC). These systems were designed and developed under Millennium Cell's subcontract from CTC announced on October 8, 2004. [ more ]

March 25, 2005

Hydrogenics Signs Agreement with Hitachi Zosen to Collaborate on Fuel Cell Technology

Hydrogenics Corp (HYGS) announced that is has signed an agreement with Japan's Hitachi Zosen Corporation (Hitz) to develop hydrogen fuel cell-based power products. The agreement will see Hydrogenics combine its expertise in hydrogen fuel cell power systems with Hitz' power technology and experience with Japanese power markets.

The collaboration between Hitz and Hydrogenics will focus on stationary power applications, but will also investigate markets for transportation and hydrogen generation. [ more ]

March 23, 2005

Medis Technologies Responds about Stock Price

Medis Technologies Ltd. (MDTL) issued a statement about its recent decline in stock price.

"... As you know on March 16th we held the conference at which we demonstrated the operating Power Packs running cell phones, MP3 devices, electronic games and PDA's among other devices. We left the conference thinking that it was a huge success, showing for the first time in history actual working fuel cell products, which are far ahead of anything ever seen before.

As best I understand what happened, the share decline started with an attack on our shares by short sellers, even as the conference was going on..." [ more ]

I still feel confident about MDTL's future and still own shares in the company and plan on adding more to take advantage of this sharp decline. The stock is up over 7% in todays trading.

Green energy seen as $100 billion market in decade

Renewable energy like wind and solar power and hydrogen fuel cells could blossom into a $100 billion a year global market in less than a decade as technology costs fall, according to a study.

The combined market for "green" sources of energy has already grown 68 percent since 2002 to more than $16 billion last year, according to Clean Edge, a research and publishing firm based in California. [ more ]

You can view and download the complete Clean-Energy Trends report at the following link. [ more ]

March 22, 2005

Millennium Cell Receives Notification of Allowance for Two U.S. Patent Applications

Millennium Cell Inc (MCEL) announced that it has received notices of allowance from the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office for U.S. Patent Application Publication Number 2003/0037487 A1 entitled "Portable Hydrogen Generator" and U.S. Patent Application Publication Number 2004/0067195 A1 entitled "Self-Regulating Hydrogen Generator." [ more ]

March 21, 2005

ENER1 to Turn Florida's Tourism Waste and Citrus Peel Waste into Renewable Energy

ener1_logo.gifENER1 INC (ENEI) announced that it had received an award of $550,000 from the Florida Hydrogen Initiative to develop a renewable energy source that will power a rest area on an interstate highway. ENER1's 10 Kilowatt (KW) fuel-cell based energy source uses methanol created from Florida's two largest industries -- food waste from theme parks and orange peels from citrus processing.

The project, known as the HyTech Rest Area, is an example of Florida's commitment to developing its hydrogen infrastructure. To be completed in 18 months, it will provide not only a demonstration and test-bed for the technology, but will also act as a sustainable energy "road show" for tourists and commuters and as a briefing center for state agencies and local government entities looking to deploy this technology for their own projects. [ more ]

March 16, 2005

IdaTech Signs Strategic Partnership Agreement With Rittal for Backup Fuel Cell Products

idacorp_logo.gifIdaTech (IDA) has signed a strategic partnership agreement with Rittal Corp. at CeBit in Hannover, Germany.

IdaTech's ElectraGen(TM)5 fuel cell system was unveiled at the CeBit electronics show last week by Rittal, a global supplier of enclosure systems for industrial, electronic, telecommunication, and data communication equipment. The system's backup power features are on display at the show -- one of the world's leading events for showcasing new information and telecommunications technologies, and supporting software and services. The IdaTech and Rittal partnership is worldwide and includes integration of the IdaTech fuel cells technologies with Rittal's telecommunications and information technology systems to provide the end customer with highly reliable and seamless backup power solutions. The partnership also includes integrated packaging, sales and marketing of the companies' products. IdaTech's newly developed ElectraGen(TM)5 (five kWe) 48VDC backup power system incorporates highly modular and scalable design features. It targets telecommunications and other critical power applications for replacement of their traditional backup power systems that depend upon lead acid batteries or battery/generator combinations. [ more ]

Distributed Energy Systems' Operating Units to Engineer and Install Hydrogen Fueling Station in Vermont

prtn_logo.gifDistributed Energy Systems Corp (DESC) announced today that its wholly owned subsidiaries, Northern Power Systems and Proton Energy Systems, will build an advanced hydrogen fueling station through a partnership with EVermont, a non-profit organization that supports cleaner and more energy-sustainable vehicles. The grid-connected system will utilize locally generated renewable energy. This was made possible by a nearly $1 million Department of Energy (DOE) grant secured by Congressman Bernie Sanders (I-VT). The grant will be administered by the DOE's Hydrogen, Fuel Cell, and Infrastructure Technologies Program. [ more ]

March 14, 2005

Quantum Subsidiary Awarded Major Contract for Expanded OEM Parts Distribution

qtww_logo.gifQuantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide Inc (QTWW) announced that its subsidiary, Tecstar Automotive Group, was awarded a contract for expanded parts distribution that will potentially generate up to $60 million in revenues over the next twelve months. [ more ]

March 11, 2005

FuelCell Energy to Provide Direct FuelCell Power Plant for Pepperidge Farm Bakery in Connecticut

fcel_logo.gifFuelcell Energy Inc (FCEL) announced today that they are providing a 250-kilowatt Direct FuelCell® (DFC®) power plant for the Pepperidge Farm bakery facility in Bloomfield, Conn. Opened in 2003, the facility is the newest of Pepperidge Farm's eight bakeries in the U.S. Pepperidge Farm is a unit of the Campbell Soup Company. This project was made possible through the support of the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF).

The fuel cell power plant is expected to provide about 20 percent of the facility's base load power, with the heat byproduct being used for process steam for the bakery. PPL will own the unit and sell the electricity and heat to Pepperidge Farm under a power purchase agreement. FuelCell Energy will provide maintenance under its long-term master service agreement with PPL for its fleet of DFC power plants in North America. Delivery is expected in the third calendar quarter of 2005. [ more ]

Protonex and Millennium Cell Deliver 'Industry First' to U.S. Air Force

Millennium Cell Inc (MCEL) announced that they have delivered to the U.S. Air Force the industry's first fully-integrated 30 Watt portable fuel cell power system fueled by chemical hydride cartridges.

This portable power system, (referred to as P1), is the first deliverable under a previously announced U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, Dual Use Science and Technology (DUST) contract awarded to Protonex. The system integrates Millennium Cell's hydrogen energy system into Protonex's PEM fuel cell platform to provide a fuel cell power source for soldiers on extended field missions. [ more ]

March 09, 2005

Hydrogenics Reports Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2004 Results

Hydrogenics Corp (HYGS) announced its unaudited financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2004.

"While 2004 proved to be a challenging year, we begin 2005 poised for significantly improved financial performance," stated Pierre Rivard, President and CEO of Hydrogenics. "To improve the performance of our test system business, we implemented changes in management and staffing levels, product design and business processes. We believe the acquisition of Stuart Energy reduces our risk profile, significantly expands our product offering, strengthens our global presence, and accelerates our pathway to profitability." [ more ]

February 28, 2005

Millennium Cell and the Dow Chemical Company Announce Joint Development Program

Millennium Cell Inc (MCEL) announced that they have entered into a joint development program to collaborate on the development and commercialization of portable fuel cell systems for use in consumer electronics and military applications. These energy systems will be based upon Millennium Cell's patented Hydrogen on Demand® technology in conjunction with Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cells. [ more ]

Air Products' Fueling Station Technology to Provide Hydrogen in California for VTA Zero-Emission Buses

Air Products and Chemicals Inc (APD) new fueling station technology, featuring faster-fill hydrogen fueling advancements for fleet buses, will provide hydrogen for three Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) buses in San Jose, California. The three-year program to test the viability of zero-emissions bus (ZEB) technology was officially commissioned today at a kick-off event, as the first VTA zero-emission fuel cell buses were welcomed into operation. [ more ]

February 24, 2005

Millennium Cell to Power Laptop with Hydrogen Energy System at Intel Developer Forum

Millennium Cell Inc (MCEL) announced that it will demonstrate a next generation product prototype to power a notebook PC at the Intel Developer Forum from March 1st through March 3rd at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco.

Improving upon the previous system demonstrated at the Intel Developer Forum last fall, this system combines Millennium Cell's portable hydrogen fuel source technology with a PEM fuel cell to power an IBM X40 ThinkPad notebook PC. The fuel supply is contained in a sealed, single use cartridge similar in size and shape to a traditional battery pack, and the flat-panel passive (high efficiency) fuel cell affixes to the back of the PC's screen. [ more ]

February 22, 2005

First Chevron Hydrogen Energy Station Unveiled

ChevronTexaco Technology Ventures LLC (CTTV), a subsidiary of ChevronTexaco Corp. (CVX), unveiled its first Chevron Hydrogen energy station today at the Hyundai-Kia America Technical Center in California. [ more ]

ChevronTexaco is working with United Technologies Corporation (UTX) UTC Fuel Cells' equipped demonstration vehicles. At today's grand opening ceremony, racing legend Mario Andretti drove a Hyundai Tucson, equipped with a UTC Fuel Cells' 80-kilowatt, all-weather proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell power plant, to the new hydrogen fueling dispenser. [ more ]

February 17, 2005

Ballard Power Systems Announces Significant Advances in Fuel Cell Stack Technology

ballard_logo_B.gifBallard Power (BLDP) announced significant progress in three areas crucial to the commercialization of automotive fuel cell stack technology- freeze start capability, durability and cost reduction - without compromising performance. Ballard scientists and engineers have demonstrated a stack design that can start repeatedly from -20 degrees C (-4 degrees F) and operate for more than 2,000 hours at a substantially reduced cost with no performance tradeoff. [ more ]

Starwood Enters into Agreement with FuelCell Energy and Alliance Power Joint Venture for Hotel Fuel Cell Power Plants

fcel_logo.gifFuelcell Energy Inc (FCEL) and Alliance Power have formed a joint venture, Alliance Star Energy LLC, which has entered into a Master Energy Services Agreement (MESA) with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. The MESA provides the framework for fuel cell power plant projects for Starwood's hotels and will streamline the process for business opportunities between Starwood and Alliance Star Energy. Initial focus will be in California, but the MESA is open to all of Starwood's hotels and resort properties.

The first project under this MESA is to provide one megawatt of fuel cell power to the Sheraton San Diego Hotel & Marina, the fourth hotel employing FuelCell Energy's 'ultra-clean' Direct FuelCell® (DFC®) technology. Four 250-kilowatt DFC power plants will supply base load electricity for the 1,044-room hotel. The heat byproduct will be used for the hotel's Lagoon Pool. Delivery is expected in the fourth calendar quarter of 2005. [ more ]

February 15, 2005

Quantum Awarded U.S. Patent for Transportable Hydrogen Refueling Stations

qtww_logo.gifQuantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide Inc (QTWW) announced that it was awarded a United States patent for portable and transportable hydrogen refueling systems. Quantum's patent covers portable and transportable hydrogen refueling systems that incorporate self-contained hydrogen producing subsystems or accept low pressure hydrogen from external sources, and are capable of compressing and dispensing at either 5,000- or 10,000-psi (35 or 70 MPa). Transportable hydrogen refueling stations play a major role in developing a hydrogen refueling infrastructure, for both commercial and military applications. [ more ]

February 09, 2005

AEC Completes Final Testing of its Demonstration Hydrogen Production Unit

Alternate Energy Corp (ARGY) announced the completion of the second phase of its backup power initiative with the final testing of its beta version demonstration HPU (Hydrogen Production Unit). Last week, the HPU successfully powered the Company's recently converted internal combustion engine (ICE) with its low-cost, on-demand hydrogen.

Over the past several months, AEC has been focused on the building of ICE and fuel cell generator sets to demonstrate to investors and potential customers AEC's hydrogen fuel production capability. AEC's Chairman, Blaine Froats, stated, "AEC's demo unit will prove that an ICE generator can produce electricity using safe, portable and most of all - affordable hydrogen. The ICE generator will use our hydrogen as fuel throughout the demonstration, produced on the spot by AEC's HPU." [ more ]

February 08, 2005

Budget backs coal, hydrogen, nuclear

The Bush administration's budget for fiscal 2006 would provide more dollars to advance the production of domestic energy from coal, hydrogen and nuclear sources.

The president's Hydrogen Fuel Initiative would receive an additional $35 million in funding in fiscal 2006, bringing total funding to $260 million. In 2003, Bush proposed $1.2 billion over five years to further the development of technologies to produce hydrogen and store hydrogen energy.

The budget would also provide $3.6 billion in tax incentives through 2010 to spur renewable energy, as well as hybrid and fuel-cell vehicle purchases. [ more ]

February 07, 2005

Hydrogen Storage Project Moves Ahead as BOC Invests in HERA

Hydrogen Storage Systems Inc. ("HERA"), today announced a significant demonstration of support in its technology with the addition of BOC Group PLC (BOX) as a new shareholder in the Company. HERA is a leading developer of solutions based on its proprietary hydride technology for automotive, transportation and hydrogen distribution applications including hydrogen storage. [ more ]

February 04, 2005

GM, Hydrogenics Demonstrate No-emission, No-compromise Hydrogen-powered Forklift

General Motors of Canada Limited and hygs_logo.gif
Hydrogenics Corp (HYGS) demonstrated that commercially viable hydrogen-powered industrial vehicles are closer to the market than many people think.

Hydrogenics is leading a consortium of partners to develop, demonstrate and move fuel cell-powered forklifts toward commercialization. This is the first time a fuel cell vehicle supported by an onsite hydrogen fuelling station has been demonstrated at a GM facility. This project is being partially funded with a $1.45 million contribution from Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC). SDTC is a foundation created by the Government of Canada that operates a $550 million fund to support the development and demonstration of clean technologies that address issues of climate change, clean air, water and soil quality.

January 27, 2005

Protonex and Millennium Cell to Demonstrate Portable Power System at the Tactical Power Sources Summit in Virginia

Millennium Cell Inc (MCEL) announced that they will be displaying a prototype 30 Watt portable power system at the Tactical Power Sources Summit Conference. The conference is being held from January 31st through February 2nd at the Sheraton National in Arlington, Virginia.

This integrated power system will be the first deliverable under a previously announced U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, Dual Use Science and Technology ("DUST") contract awarded to Protonex. Under this program, Protonex and Millennium Cell are integrating Millennium Cell's hydrogen energy system with Protonex's PEM fuel cell system to provide an integrated fuel cell power source to provide critical soldier power for extended field missions. The prototype system is scheduled to be delivered to the Air Force in February of 2005. [ more ]

January 22, 2005

Infectech, Inc. Signs Deal With Gannon University to Build Hydrogen Bioreactor for Affordable Alternative Energy Source

Infectech Inc (IFEC) has signed a feasibility study with the Department of Environmental Science and Engineering of Gannon University in Erie, PA to develop a bioreactor which utilizes Infectech's patented bacterial culturing methods in order to produce hydrogen inexpensively.

Infectech believes the most likely method for low cost production of massive quantities of hydrogen as an alternate energy source is hydrogen combustion using Clostridia bacteria, which produces hydrogen as a by-product. Infectech has ascertained through its patent counsel that there are eleven relevant U.S. patents concerning the database containing the terms "Clostridia" and "Hydrogen Production." Infectech presently owns five of these eleven issued patents. [ more ]

January 21, 2005

Astris Energi to Unveil New E7-Powered Golf Car at Vancouver Investment Conference

astris_logo.gifAstris Energi Inc. (ASRNF) announced that it will be debuting Freedom II, its second generation AFC-powered Golf Car at the Vancouver Investment Conference on January 23 and 24.

The new, faster Freedom II is powered by Astris' recently completed 1.8kW, Model E7 AFC Generator, with more than double the power of the original model, which was the world's first alkaline fuel cell powered golf car using hydrogen. The new, silent running, emission-free E7 Generator contains two 900W Astris' POWERSTACK(tm) MC250 alkaline fuel cell stacks which provide the unit with 1.8kW nominal power with the capability to deliver a 20% overload factor that provides more than sufficient power for peak loads such as acceleration and hill climbing. [ more ]

January 19, 2005

Distributed Energy Systems Ends 2004 With Strong Fourth Quarter Revenues and Solid Backlog; Summarizes Progress on Business Development

prtn_logo.gifDistributed Energy Systems Corp (DESC) announced preliminary estimated full-year 2004 revenues of approximately $21 million, and preliminary estimated fourth quarter revenues of approximately $10 million. The Company also announced that its backlog of signed project and product commitments at year-end is approximately $25 million. This figure represents signed contracts covering energy projects for commercial and industrial clients, as well as in-house manufactured systems, including hydrogen generators and wind turbines. [ more ]

Hydrogenics to Supply 10kW Fuel Cell Power Module and Test Equipment to Japan Automobile Research Institute

Hydrogenics Corp (HYGS) announced that the Japan Automobile Research Institute (JARI) in Tsukuba, Japan, has purchased a Hydrogenics HyPM® 10 power module with associated test stand to be used as part of JARI's mandate to establish standards for Fuel Cell Power Module Testing, a program sponsored by Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) and the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO). The combined delivery will be made in the first quarter of 2005. [ more ]

Astris Energi Delivers First E8 Fuel Cell Generator to Alternate Energy

astris_logo.gifAstris Energi Inc. (ASRNF) announced that it has delivered and completed the customer training on the first Model E8 Portable Power Generator covered by its value added reseller (VAR) agreement signed in May 2004 with Alternate Energy Corporation (ARGY).

The E8 Generator is the latest in a series of Astris power generators driven by Astris' AFC technology. Nominally rated at 2.4kW and providing 48 VDC power at 50 amperes of current, the E8 is targeted at stationary applications such as uninterrupted power supply, backup applications for commercial and military users, and emergency site power. Its electrical efficiency is greater than 50%, a figure unequalled by any other device in its class, and several times higher than the efficiency of conventional gas generators. The E8 Generator contains two 1200W fuel cell stacks and is the first generator powered by Astris' POWERSTACK(tm) MC250 fuel cell modules. [ more ]

January 18, 2005

Plug Power to Install GenSite(TM) Hydrogen Generators Under Recently Awarded NYSERDA Programs

plug_logo.jpgPlug Power Inc (PLUG) announced that the company intends to install two GenSite(TM) hydrogen generators under two recently awarded programs sponsored by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

Plug Power will partner with award winner American Honda Motor Co., Inc., Air Products and Chemicals Inc (APD) and Homeland Energy to provide the refueling infrastructure necessary for fuel cell vehicles, including two Honda FCX's recently leased by the State of New York. [ more ]

Hydrogen Cars Are Almost Here, But...

BusinessWeek Online has published an interesting article that discusses the January Auto Show and the future of H2 cars.

When it comes to hydrogen vehicles, most car companies are counting on little under-the-hood chemical refineries known as fuel cells. Trouble is, a fuel-cell system powerful enough for a car would add roughly $100,000 to sticker prices today. And then there's an even tougher problem: Where would drivers get the fuel? Fewer than 100 filling stations in the whole world now pump hydrogen. So it could be a couple of decades before fuel-cell cars become popular enough to make a dent either in pollution or in petroleum consumption. [ more ]

January 14, 2005

Proton Receives University of Nevada, Las Vegas Research Foundation Phase II Contract Award for Hydrogen Filling Station

prtn_logo.gifDistributed Energy Systems Corp (DESC) announced a contract award valued at nearly $1.2 million with the University of Nevada, Las Vegas Research Foundation, or UNLVRF. This is a follow-on to the Phase I contract under which Proton and the UNLVRF team are developing a hydrogen filling station capable of operating on solar power for installation in Las Vegas, Nevada. [ more ]

January 11, 2005

Ener1 to Acquire Giner Electrochemical's Fuel Cell Business

ener1_logo.gifENER1 INC (ENEI) announced it has signed letters of intent to acquire Giner Electrochemical Systems, LLC (GES), a privately held company located in Newton, Massachusetts, that specializes in the development of fuel cell technologies and products. GES is currently owned by Giner, Inc. and General Motors Corp.(GM). GES will maintain its existing GM multi-year contracts (totaling several million dollars) and its broad research and development relationship with GM going forward. [ more ]

January 06, 2005

Hydrogenics Corporation Succeeds In Bid for Stuart Energy Systems Corporation

Hydrogenics Corp (HYGS) announced that it has been successful in its offer to acquire Stuart Energy Systems Corp (SRNYF). 31,382,226 Stuart Energy shares, representing approximately 86% of the issued and outstanding Stuart Energy shares (80% on a fully diluted basis), have been deposited to the Offer. The Offer was made at an exchange ratio of 0.74 Hydrogenics shares for every Stuart Energy share. [ more ]

December 21, 2004

Plug Power Receives Contract to Provide Hydrogen at DTE Power Plant

plug_logo.jpgPlug Power Inc (PLUG) announced today a contract award to provide on-site hydrogen generation to The Detroit Edison Company's Saint Clair Power Plant. The hydrogen will be used to provide cooling to six generator units currently in operation at the Saint Clair facility.

Under the terms of the contract, Plug Power will install a GenSite(TM) hydrogen generator at the St. Clair Power Plant located in East China, Michigan. The GenSite system has already been shipped to the Saint Clair facility and is expected to be fully operational early next year. The Plant is located on 1,700 acres south of the city of Saint Clair and produces approximately 1,400 megawatts of power for the Detroit Edison system, which serves 2.1 million customers in southeast Michigan. [ more ]

Alternative Energy Gets Real

BusinessWeek has written an article about the investment opportunities available int he Alternative Energy marketplace.

Renewable energy is booming. The use of solar power has been growing by more than 30% a year and, except for a hiccup in 2004 -- when Congress delayed renewing a tax credit -- so has wind power. Ethanol is heading for record production levels. And there's no end in sight, given high oil and gas prices, an increasing number of government mandates and incentives, and the first real steps toward tackling global warming. Clean Edge Inc., a research and strategy consultant, predicts that the total clean-energy market will grow to $92 billion by 2013, about seven times its current size of $13 billion. "The investment community is starting to see real opportunities," says Ron Pernick, co-founder of Clean Edge. [ more ]

This article mentions many of the stocks followed on this website.

December 17, 2004

Millennium Cell Awarded GSA Federal Supply Schedule Contract

Millennium Cell Inc (MCEL) announced today it has received a U.S. General Services Administration ("GSA") Federal Supply Schedule contract. This contract gives U.S. Federal agencies, including the Department of Defense, as well as state and local government agencies the ability to purchase Millennium Cell's products and related services in a streamlined manner at negotiated rates. [ more ]

This is important news for this company. The government now has a direct purchase pipeline to MCEL's products and services. The stock is up over 27% this morning on this news. I'm also back to break even on this stock, so that makes me happy as well.

DaimlerChrysler and Ford to Invest CDN $55 Million in Ballard Power Systems

ballard_logo_B.gifBallard Power (BLDP) announced it has exercised its right to call a CDN $55 million investment from its Vehicular Alliance partners, DaimlerChrysler AG and Ford Motor Company, pursuant to a Call Agreement entered into by the parties on December 31, 2003. DaimlerChrysler will purchase 2,431,388 common shares of Ballard at CDN $12.34 per share, for an aggregate purchase price of CDN $30 million. Ford will purchase 2,026,157 common shares of Ballard at CDN $12.34 per share, for an aggregate purchase price of CDN $25 million. Under the Memorandum of Understanding between the parties dated July 8, 2004, if Ballard did not call the investment before year end, the share price would have reset to market price. The transaction is expected to close the first week of January 2005. [ more ]

BLDP is up over 8% at the open on this news.

Manhattan Scientifics Receives Important Fuel Cell Patent

Manhattan Scientifics Inc (MHTX) has been issued U.S. Patent No. 6,808,834 Koschany -- Fuel Cell Stack With Cooling Fins and Use of Expanded Graphite in Fuel Cells.

Invented by Dr. Arthur Koschany, the NovArs fuel cell has been successfully demonstrated in a number of prototype pre-commercial situations. Smaller than a brick and weighing less than two pounds, the hydrogen-powered NovArs fuel cell is intended to power a bicycle or a motor scooter for several hundred miles without having to refuel depending on type of use, weight of rider, road conditions and the size of the fuel tank. Manhattan's early prototype vehicles have already demonstrated approximately 100-mile drive ranges." [ more ]

Astris Energi Doubles Golf Car Power With New E7 Alkaline Fuel Cell Generator

astris_logo.gifAstris Energi Inc. (ASRNF) announced today that it had completed work on Freedom II, its second-generation golf car. The new, faster golf car is powered by Astris' recently completed 1.8kW, Model E7 AFC Generator, which gives Freedom II double the power and double the acceleration of the original model which was the world's first alkaline fuel cell powered golf car using hydrogen. [ more ]

You may wonder who cares about fuel cell golf carts? Well this technology can be applied to other industrial uses like fork lifts, electric wheel chairs, and other electric powered vehicles.

December 15, 2004

ZAP Signs Exclusive Fuel Cell Distribution Agreement With Anuvu

zap_logo.gifZAP (ZAPZ) announced that it has signed a purchase order with privately held Anuvu Incorporated of Sacramento, California for its patented Power-X(TM) hydrogen fuel cell engine systems.

"I believe that this is the largest order ever for PEM fuel cell engines," said Anuvu National Sales Director Craig Newhouse, PhD. "We look forward to working with ZAP to make reasonably priced zero emission fuel cell powered vehicles available for both consumers and fleet buyers." [ more ]

December 14, 2004

FuelCell Energy Reports Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2004 Results and Accomplishments

fcel_logo.gifFuelcell Energy Inc (FCEL) reported a net loss for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2004 of $20.8 million or $0.43 per basic and diluted share, compared to a net loss of $15.4 million or $0.39 per basic and diluted share in the same period of the previous year. Net loss from continuing operations was $0.37 per basic and diluted share. Revenues for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2004 were $8.9 million compared to $7.3 million in the same period a year ago. Net cash used during the quarter was $17.0 million, which included $1.5 million used in our discontinued Canadian operations. [ more ]

  • Received New Orders of 7.5 Megawatts During the Fiscal Year and Expanded Target Market Segments
  • Shipped 6 Megawatts and Increased Commercial Product Financial Backlog to $26.3 Million
  • Reduced DFC300A Product Cost by 25 Percent; Block Two Changes to be Implemented in Summer 2005
  • Strengthened Global Distribution Network
  • Improved Financial Position with Net Proceeds of $93.5 Million from Preferred Stock Offering

This announcement is better than expected and the loss of $0.37 is $0.07 better than consensus estimates.

Big on micro fuel cells

Forbes.com has an article about Mechanical Technology Inc (MKTY) micro fuel cell technology. They are currently providing the power source for Intermec Technologies hand-held RFID reader. [ more ]

There is also news from MKTY on this annoucement from the following press release link. [ more ]

Medis Technologies Demonstrates Historic Performance of Fuel Cell Products to General Dynamics

Medis Technologies Ltd. (MDTL) announced that during the first week of functional demonstrations, the fuel cell Power Pack products it made available to General Dynamics C4 Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics (GD), to provide power to General Dynamics' rugged PDA have achieved new levels of performance, to its knowledge never achieved before in micro fuel cells. The Power Packs have provided five watts and five volts, operating for a period of many hours with each refueling, operating in every orientation, all without generating any discernable heat. The fuel cell cartridge system has operated effectively to refuel the fuel cell Power Packs. In Medis Technologies' fuel cell technology, the cartridges only need to refill the fuel cell and can then be discarded, unlike the DMFC technology used by most other fuel cell companies where the cartridges must stay connected to the fuel cell all the time to drip highly concentrated methanol into the fuel cell. [ more ]

Hydrogenics to Design and Build a Hydrogen Generation System for ChevronTexaco Technology Ventures' Project with California Transit System

Hydrogenics Corp (HYGS) announced that the Company has undertaken a second work order with ChevronTexaco Technology Ventures LLC under the master services agreement signed between the two companies earlier this year.

Hydrogenics' contract is for the provision of engineering and product- related services to integrate a fully packaged hydrogen generator based on proprietary natural gas reforming technology being developed by ChevronTexaco. Plans for the facility include ultimately having the capacity to generate 150 kg/day of hydrogen to serve the fueling needs of a fleet of fuel cell demonstration buses at AC Transit in Oakland, California. The station is under construction and scheduled for completion in the Fall of 2005. [ more ]

December 10, 2004

Quantum Fuel Misses Earnings Expectations

qtww_logo.gifQuantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide Inc (QTWW) fell as much as 10% after the company posted second-quarter results that fell below expectations. They posted a loss of 10 cents a share on sales of about $5 million vs. a loss of 9 cents a share on sales of $6.7 million a year ago. Analysts were expecting a loss of 6 cents a share on sales of $8.6 million. The company said the sales decline was due to lower product sales in its fuel cell systems segment. Shares are now trading off the lows and are currently only down 6%.

Plug Power Energizes Holiday Tree in London's Trafalgar Square

plug_logo.jpgPlug Power Inc (PLUG) announced that its GenCore® 5T hydrogen fuel cell product is currently providing electricity for the holiday tree located in London at Trafalgar Square. The GenCore 5T fuel cell system is currently providing up to 5kW of power to the tree 24 hours a day. This year the lights only require approximately 4.5kW of power which is a significant reduction over last year due to the introduction of new low voltage bulbs that are more energy efficient. [ more ]

December 09, 2004

DaimlerChrysler Doubles Fuel Cell Cars

DaimlerChrysler AG (DCX) reported Thursday that it doubled the number of fuel cell powered vehicles it manages in the United States in December. The company said it is preparing 19 vehicles for customers in California and Michigan. The vehicles include the Mercedes F-Cell passenger car and medium-duty Dodge Fuel Cell Sprinter van. [ more ]

Astris Energi Markets New E7 Power Generator With Double The Power Of Predecessor

astris_logo.gifAstris Energi Inc. (ASRNF) announced that it has commenced marketing of its new, silent-running, emission-free, Model E7 AFC Generator.

The E7 is an advanced version of the Model E6 power unit that has successfully powered Astris' Freedom Golf Car for the past three years. The E7 is built with two 900W Astris' POWERSTACK(tm) MC250 alkaline fuel cell stacks giving the unit a 1.8kW nominal power rating with the ability for maximum power output to reach 2.15kW, a 20% overload factor. The Model E7 is designed as a direct replacement for existing traction batteries used in a wide variety of mobile applications such as golf cars, neighborhood electric vehicles, and forklifts. [ more ]

December 07, 2004

Fuel Cell Stocks Slump on Ratings

Fuel cell company stocks slumped Tuesday afternoon after Smith Barney Citigroup initiated coverage of FuelCell Energy Inc. and Mechanical Technology Inc. with conservative ratings. The firm rated FuelCell Energy shares at "Sell," and Mechanical Technology at "Hold." Both companies received a $7 target price. [ more ]

Medis Technologies Announces Delivery of Advanced Fuel Cell Power Packs to General Dynamics for Testing

Medis Technologies Ltd. (MDTL) announced that yesterday it made available functional prototype fuel cell Power Packs and fuel cartridges to General Dynamics C4 Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE:GD - News) for testing in connection with an advanced, rugged personal digital assistant (PDA) being developed for the U.S. Department of Defense. Each Medis Power Pack is currently capable of delivering five watts and five volts of continuous power. The Medis technical team will work closely with General Dynamics to evaluate the ability of the Power Packs and cartridges to meet extended mission requirements and military environmental specifications. Medis will incorporate product enhancements in future designs. One of the program objectives is to successfully demonstrate that one Power Pack with six cartridges can provide the power density necessary to sustain a typical seventy-two hour mission for special operations forces. It is anticipated that the testing program could take up to nine months. [ more ]

December 03, 2004

Fuel Cell Supply Chain Market to Hit $1 Billion by 2012

The automotive fuel cell industry now stands out as a glimmering beacon in the supply chain's vertical landscape. Driven by factors ranging from homeland security to diminishing natural resources, the fuel cell supply chain market will explode to somewhere between $1 billion and $2 billion by 2012, according to analysts at ABI Research. [ more ]

December 02, 2004

Pacific Fuel Cell Corp. Announces Acquisition of Intellectual Property

Pacific Fuel Cell Corp (PFCE) announce that it has acquired rights to a new Methanol Resistant Cathodic Catalyst for Direct Methanol Fuel Cells and has filed a provisional patent in the name of the co-inventors, Professor Yushan Yan and Dr. Xin Wang. This new catalyst should eliminate the mixed potential problem at the cathode, and thus significantly increase the fuel cell efficiency. [ more ]

Mobion(TM) Fuel Cell Power Product Receives UL and CSA Safety Certifications

Mechanical Technology Inc (MKTY) announced today that it has received required safety certifications from Underwriter's Laboratories Inc. (UL) and CSA International (CSA) for its micro fuel cell MTI Micro's Mobion(TM) power packs for military and industrial markets. It is targeted for shipment by the end of 2004 for use in logistics and warehousing applications (such as RFID tag readers) where shorter run-time and re-charge maintenance of traditional batteries can reduce worker productivity. [ more ]

December 01, 2004

BOC-led Team Wins U.S. Dept. of Energy Hydrogen Energy Award

BOC Group PLC (BOX) has been awarded a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) grant for a 3-year, $3.8 million project to develop an advanced hydrogen generation and delivery system.

BOC, as the project leader, is partnering with Canada-based Membrane Reactor Technologies (MRT) and HERA Hydrogen Storage Systems Inc. (HERA) to develop and demonstrate advanced hydrogen generation and delivery systems that integrate MRT's membrane reactor and HERA's thermal hydride compression into a single package. The companies are working to develop a solution for the economic and technical challenge of delivering low-cost, high-purity hydrogen to industrial users, vehicles and stationary/mobile power plants. [ more ]

Chevron Energy Solutions to Install FuelCell Energy Power Plant at U.S. Postal Service's San Francisco Mail Processing Center

fcel_logo.gifFuelcell Energy Inc (FCEL) announced today that Chevron Energy Solutions, a ChevronTexaco (NYSE: CVX - News) subsidiary and FuelCell Energy distribution partner, has sold a 250-kilowatt Direct FuelCell® (DFC®) power plant to the U.S. Postal Service's (USPS's) San Francisco Processing and Distribution Center (P&DC).

Chevron Energy Solutions will develop, engineer and construct the project over the next year and provide a turn-key on-site generation solution to the facility. FuelCell Energy will provide the DFC300A power plant, technical support and system commissioning services. [ more ]

Dow and GM Launch Phase II of World's Largest Industrial Fuel Cell Program

The Dow Chemical Company (DOW) and General Motors Corp. (GM), launched the second phase of their joint project to prove the viability of hydrogen fuel cells for motor vehicles and possibly for distributed power generation. The project has now expanded from a single GM test cell, installed in February 2004, to a multi-cell pilot plant at Dow's Texas Operations in Freeport, TX.

"In the first phase of this project, we collectively learned a lot about generating power from byproduct hydrogen via fuel cell technology, and now we're ready to build on what we've learned," said Gordon Slack, Dow's Global Business Director for Energy and Climate Change. "Dow is excited to contribute to this important project. It represents another step in the search for cost-effective fuel alternatives, with the potential to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions." [ more ]

November 30, 2004

Plug Power Expands GenCore Product Line

plug_logo.jpgPlug Power Inc (PLUG) introduced three new product configurations designed specifically for the electric utility substation backup market.

The hydrogen-fueled GenCore® 5-kilowatt fuel cell system, designed to provide extended run backup power, is now available with floating ground in 48Vdc, 108Vdc and 120Vdc outputs to meet the unique requirements of electric utility distribution and transmission substations. The Company is accepting orders for the floating ground systems and expects to begin shipments next month. These new configurations complement the 24Vdc positive ground and 48Vdc positive and negative ground GenCore® systems currently available. [ more ]

November 24, 2004

Quantum to Acquire Starcraft Corp.

qtww_logo.gifQuantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide Inc (QTWW) announced that it has entered into an agreement whereby Quantum will acquire all of the outstanding shares of Starcraft Corporation (STCR) in a stock-for-stock exchange valued at approximately $185 million

The combined company will have an extensive range of operational expertise in areas such as vehicle systems design, powertrain engineering, systems integration, validation, assembly and service readiness for traditional vehicles, alternative fuel platforms, and hydrogen-based fuel cell vehicles. [ more ]

QTWW is trading down in the pre-market and STCR is trading up, which is typical when these types of events occur. I will probably use this brief downturn opportunity to purchase more QTWW.

November 23, 2004

Air Products to Expand Texas Plant to Supply Additional Hydrogen to ExxonMobil at Baytown

Air Products and Chemicals Inc (APD) announced today that it will expand its Baytown, Texas facility to produce 70 million standard cubic feet per day of hydrogen. A portion of the hydrogen produced will be supplied to the adjacent ExxonMobil Baytown Refinery under a long-term agreement, with the remainder transported through the Air Products West Gulf Coast hydrogen pipeline system to other customers. [ more ]

Currently this increased production will primarily be used by ExxonMobil for petro-based fuels. The excess will be shipped out to APD's hydrogen pipeline system which could be used for future hydrogen needs.

November 22, 2004

Hydrogenics Awarded Custom Test Equipment Contract by QuestAir Technologies

Hydrogenics Corp (HYGS) announces that its wholly owned subsidiary, Greenlight Power Technologies, received a test station contract from QuestAir Technologies to supply three specialized test rigs to support the development of QuestAir's advanced pressure swing adsorption (PSA) products for refinery, petrochemical and industrial applications. PSA technology is utilized by a wide range of industrial applications for purification of such gases as hydrogen, oxygen and helium. Greenlight's test equipment contract, valued at US$615,000, is scheduled for delivery to QuestAir by the end of the first quarter 2005. This contract was included in the backlog cited in Hydrogenics' recent third quarter earnings report. [ more ]

IdaTech Receives U.S. Department of Energy Award for Development of Off-Road Fuel Cell System

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has selected idacorp_logo.gifIdaTech (IDA) for a $1.4 million award to conduct a three-year program of fuel cell system research and development targeting off-road vehicle applications. This is the second DOE award granted to IdaTech in the past 14 months. [ more ]

IDA maybe one of the safest ways to enter the AltE stock market. They have a diversified product line and also a nice dividend which is currently 3.75%.

Hydrogenics Receives Contract From German State to Develop and Demonstrate Fuel Cell Hybrid Bus

Hydrogenics Corp (HYGS) announces that it has been contracted by the Ministry for Transport Energy and State Planning of the State North-Rhine-Westphalia (NRW), Germany, to develop a fully operational electric hybrid 'midi-bus'. The propulsion system of the 17 foot European-manufactured bus platform will be based on Hydrogenics' high performance fuel cell hybrid design that integrates HyPM® power module technology. Also under the terms of the contract, Hydrogenics will supply full scale testing and select demonstrations in NRW. The contract is a cost share arrangement in which NRW will fund 50% of the project cost up to euro 566,000 (approximately $US 735,000). [ more ]

Fuel Cell Firm Guns For Military Money

An article written by David Redstone at Forbes.com discusses mdtl_logo.gif
Medis Technologies Ltd. (MDTL) and its plans to work with General Dynamics to supply portable fuel cells to the military market. David believes investors in Medis Technologies will be rewarded with gains of 25% in the next 12 to 24 months. [ more ]

November 18, 2004

Fuji Keizai Publishes Fuel Cell Technology and Market Report

Market researcher Fuji Keizai announced November 16 that it has published a report on fuel cell technologies and future development of the full cell market.

The report, forecasts that demand for PEFC (PEM fuel cells) for automobiles, SOFC (solid-oxide fuel cells), and micro fuel cells will reach $8.50 bil, $1.89 bil, $283.0 mil, respectively, in 2020. Including PAFC (phosphoric-acid fuel cells) and MCFC (molten carbonate fuel cells), the fuel cell market is expected to reach $2.67 bi in 2015 and $11.32 bil in 2020.

The market growth forecasts provided in the report take such factors into account as environmental issues and the Japanese government's measures to promote fuel cell development. [ more ]

GE Global Research to Lead DOE Projects in Production Of Hydrogen; Projects are Part of $75 Million Research Effort Announced by DOE to Support the President's Hydrogen Fuel Initiative

GE Global Research, the centralized research organization of the General Electric Company (GE), announced that it was selected by the Department of Energy (DOE) to lead $11 million of research projects in the development of hydrogen as a fuel source. The programs are focused on near and long term solutions for the production of hydrogen with sustainable, clean technologies. GE Global Research will contribute approximately $2.5 million to the projects with the balance coming from DOE and other industry partners. [ more ]

This project plans to study the creation of hydrogen from solar water splitting, naturual gas/bio production, and next generation electrolyzer technologies to make more efficent fuel cells.

Nuvera Delivers Fuel Cell System to Toro

Privately held Nuvera Fuel Cells, Inc., based in Italy, announced it has delivered an H2e(TM) power module to The Toro Company. Toro plans to evaluate Nuvera's hydrogen powered fuel cell system for its potential use in professional grounds and turf care equipment.

Nuvera is developing hydrogen fuel cell power modules for the industrial vehicle and equipment market. Toro is assessing fuel cell technology as an emerging energy alternative that is clean, quiet, and reliable power for different types of grounds maintenance equipment. [ more ]

I can't wait to ride my new fuel cell powered lawn tractor.

November 17, 2004

Astris Energi Receives First E8 Generator Orders From Alternate Energy Corp.

astris_logo.gifAstris Energi Inc. (ASRNF) announced they had received a purchase order from Alternate Energy Corporation (ARGY) for the first Model E8 Portable Power Generator covered by the value-added reseller (VAR) agreement they signed in May 2004. As well as the initial unit to be delivered in a few weeks, the purchase order included five additional Model E8s to be delivered in stages later in 2005.

The E8 Generator is the latest in a series of Astris power generators driven by Astris' AFC technology. Nominally rated at 2.4kW and providing 48 VDC power at 50 amperes of current, the E8 is targeted at stationary applications such as uninterrupted power supplies, backup applications for commercial users, and emergency site and worksite power. Its electrical efficiency is greater than 50%, a figure unequalled by any other device in its class, and several times higher than the efficiency of conventional gas generators. The E8 Generator contains two 1200W fuel cell stacks and is the first generator powered by Astris' POWERSTACK(tm) MC250 fuel cell modules. [ more ]

UTC Fuel Cells and Toshiba Agree To Rearrange Fuel Cell Partnership

UTC Fuel Cells, a business of United Technologies Corporation (UTX), today announced changes to its long-standing relationship with Toshiba. Under the terms of the agreement, UTC Fuel Cells will purchase Toshiba's 10 percent ownership interest in UTC Fuel Cells, and Toshiba will purchase UTC Fuel Cells' 49 percent interest in Toshiba International Fuel Cells (TIFC).

UTC Fuel Cells manufactures the PureCell 200(TM), a phosphoric acid fuel cell (PAFC) stationary power unit, and develops proton exchange membrane technology (PEM) fuel cells to power cars and buses. UTC Fuel Cells also is developing PEM for stationary power plants. Toshiba is focused on developing and selling small PEM-based fuel cell power plants for residential use. Joint technology development of PEM by the two companies will continue under the new agreement, which includes a cross-licensing arrangement. [ more ]

November 16, 2004

Honda and Plug Power Announce Experimental Operation of Second-Generation Home Energy Station (HES II)

honda_logo.gif   plug_logo.jpg

Honda Motor Co (HMC) and Plug Power Inc (PLUG) announced that they have began successful operation of the second-generation Home Energy Station (HES II) located at Plug Power's corporate headquarters in Latham, New York.

HES II is the further evolution of a joint development effort by Honda and Plug Power to produce a home refueling unit that provides hydrogen from natural gas for vehicle refueling, heat for domestic hot water use and electricity for the home. Testing of the HES II system will be done in conjunction with demonstration of Honda's 2005 FCX fuel cell car on public roads in the Northeastern U.S. [ more ]

November 15, 2004

Caterpillar, FuelCell Energy and Westerville, Ohio Use Ultra-Low Emissions Fuel Cell To Feed Power to Local Distribution System

Caterpillar Inc. (CAT), Fuelcell Energy Inc (FCEL) and the city of Westerville, Ohio have reached an important milestone, bringing on-line one of the first utility-scale fuel cell power plants in North America that will feed power to consumers from a substation.

The 250-kilowatt (kW) DFC power plant creates the hydrogen it needs from a readily available fuel, natural gas. The unit is manufactured by FuelCell Energy and distributed by Caterpillar through its dealer Ohio Cat. The fuel cell power plant is located at Westerville's electric substation #2, and when fully operational it will produce enough energy to power approximately 180 homes in Westerville. [ more ]

NASA Buys Hydrogenics Light Weight Fuel Cell Stack to Test for Potential Uses in Space

Hydrogenics Corp (HYGS) has sold a light weight 5kW hydrogen/oxygen Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell stack to the NASA Glenn Research Center, which will use it in an experimental closed cycle hydrogen-oxygen regenerative fuel cell. This type of system can be used for energy storage in places where oxygen is not easily available, such as very high altitude, space or underwater environments. NASA will use this stack as part of its research program to understand how the regenerative fuel cell will operate in future aerospace applications. [ more ]

November 10, 2004

Honda Delivers Hydrogen-Powered FCX Fuel Cell Car to City of Chula Vista

honda_logo.gifHonda Motor Co (HMC) announced the delivery of a Honda FCX, the world's most advanced hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicle, to the city of Chula Vista.

The city of Chula Vista will lease the vehicle for a period of two years and will operate the FCX on a regular daily basis as part of their normal operations. The FCX will be refueled at a publicly accessible hydrogen station already operated by the city on their property. The placement of this FCX in tandem with the public accessibility of hydrogen fuel expands the geographical range for some of Honda's existing FCX customers, including the city of Los Angeles, city of San Francisco and California's South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD). [ more ]

Hydrogenics Secures Order for 25 Fuel Cell Power Modules from Global Back-up Power Company

Hydrogenics Corp (HYGS) announced that it has secured a follow-on order for 25 Fuel Cell Power Modules. These HyPM® 10kW power modules will be incorporated into back-up power products for one of the world's largest suppliers of uninterruptible power. Hydrogenics expects to deliver two units in 2004 and the remainder throughout 2005. [ more ]

More positive news from HYGS. As we head towards the close today HYGS is still down about 8% on 10x normal volume because of the takeover news. I did purchase more this morning.

Air Products' Hydrogen Fueling Technology Now in Operation in Washington, D.C. at Shell Retail Vehicle Filling Station

Air Products and Chemicals Inc (APD) hydrogen fueling technology was an integral part of an historic event today as Shell Hydrogen officially opened North America's first-ever hydrogen filling station at an existing retail gasoline site in Washington, D.C. The Benning Road demonstration project makes Shell the first energy company in North America to provide the environmentally friendly fuel at a consumer retail site, alongside conventional fuels. Initially, it will provide fuel for six GM Hydrogen 3 fuel cell vehicles participating in this Shell-General Motors partnership demonstration project. [ more ]

Hydrogenics Corporation to Acquire Stuart Energy Systems Corporation

Hydrogenics Corp and Stuart Energy Systems Corp (SRNYF) announced today that they have entered into an agreement whereby Hydrogenics has agreed to make a share exchange take-over bid to acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Stuart Energy at an exchange ratio of 0.74 Hydrogenics shares for every one Stuart Energy share. This offer represents an indicative price to Stuart Energy shareholders of approximately Cdn.$4.14 per share based on the November 9, 2004 closing share price on the TSX of Cdn.$5.59 per Hydrogenics' share. The total transaction value is expected to be approximately Cdn.$155 million (approximately US$129 million). The offer represents a 32% premium based on the 20-day volume weighted average price of the shares of both Stuart Energy and Hydrogenics. [ more ]

This is very exciting news and a good sign to see some consolidation in this sector. I like both companies and feel that they will make a great match. Obviously they feel the same since it's a friendly takeover. Investors are taking a cautious outlook on the deal and HYGS is currently trading down 9% at the open. I currently own HYGS and may take this opportunity to purchase more shares.

November 09, 2004

Marubeni Announces Siting of Direct FuelCell(R) Power Plant at Tokyo 'Super Eco Town'

fcel_logo.gifFuelcell Energy Inc (FCEL) announced the siting of a 250-kilowatt Direct FuelCell® (DFC®) power plant to operate on anaerobic digester gas from a food recycling facility at the Tokyo "Super Eco Town" Project in Japan. Marubeni, Asian partner of fuel cell developer FuelCell Energy, will supply the power plant to Bioenergy Co. of Japan who will own and operate the unit. The DFC power plant will provide approximately 50 percent of the facility's base load electricity requirements, and the heat will be converted to process steam for the recycling operations. Shipment is expected in the first half of calendar 2005. [ more ]

Scientific American 50 Names MTI Micro 'Business Leader In Energy'

Mechanical Technology Inc (MKTY) has been named Business Leader in the Energy category for pioneering work commercializing its Mobion(TM) micro fuel cell technology for the portable electronics market. The Mobion(TM) cord-free rechargeable micro fuel cell is based on a number of MTI Micro breakthrough discoveries, covered by numerous patents (either granted or in application), enabling effective miniaturization of a greatly simplified fuel cell system of high energy density. MTI Micro's proprietary Mobion(TM) power pack technology is being designed to deliver extended run-time and instant re-charge benefits for powering a broad array of future portable electronic devices. [ more ]

November 08, 2004

Fuel cell scooter gets investment partner

Plans to produce the first consumer-ready fuel cell scooter got a significant boost Thursday when Parker Hannifin Corp., which makes industrial and aerospace systems and products, said it is investing in Vectrix Corp., a maker of electric scooters. [ more ]

Parker already had a 50% ownership stake in the company back in March of 2003. The terms of this new investment have not been disclosed. The Vectrix scooter was last mentioned here during its debut back in August.

NanoDynamics Introduces First Nanotechnology Enabled Portable Solid Oxide Fuel Cell; Revolution 50 Unveiled At 2004 Fuel Cell Seminar Exhibition In San Antonio, TX

Privately held NanoDynamics announced that the company introduced its ground-breaking new portable solid oxide fuel cell at the 2004 Fuel Cell Seminar Exhibition in San Antonio, Texas earlier this week.

"We are very excited to have introduced the Revolution(TM) 50 at this conference," commented David Bothwell, Director of NanoDynamics' ND Energy. "For the past two years, the Company has been working to create a powerful combination of nanomaterials and novel cell design to demonstrate the power of nanotechnology. The resulting fuel cell system is lightweight, portable, compact and can be operated using conventional hydrocarbon fuels, such as propane. The selective use of advanced nanotechnology and nanomaterials results in state-of-the-art power density and specific power output. It was clear from the reaction we received that the market is ready for a product with these novel performance and fueling features." [ more ]

November 05, 2004

MTI Micro Receives Certification Agency Approval For Shipment of Methanol Fuel Cartridges

Mechanical Technology Inc (MKTY) announced today that it has received United Nations (UN) Packaging Certification and is now in United States Department of Transportation (DOT) Compliance for shipment of its methanol fuel cartridges, supporting its initial product launch planned by year-end. With this UN and DOT recognition in place, authorized shippers can now conveniently transport MTI Micro's fuel refills by ground, sea and air, both domestically and internationally.

"MTI has emerged as a leader in the development of safe and reliable methanol fuel cartridges and packaging," said John Lynn, President and CEO of the Methanol Institute, the global trade association for the methanol industry. "This is a significant achievement in the acceptance of methanol shipments, and will hasten the eventual widespread market adoption of micro fuel cell technology." [ more ]

November 03, 2004

UTC Power Introduces New Brand Name for Fuel Cell Power System

United Technologies Corporation (UTX) has renamed the PC25(TM), the industry's foremost 'workhorse' fuel cell power system, to the PureCell(TM) 200. UTC Power has been producing the on-site power plant since 1991. The system generates 200 kW of clean, reliable electricity and 900,000 BTUs of usable heat suitable for co-generation applications. With a five-year continuous duty cell stack durability and 85 percent efficiency, the PureCell(TM) 200 sets the standard for fuel cell reliability and efficiency. The PureCell(TM) 200 technology has been installed in 19 countries on five continents, ranging from a New York City police station to a science center in Japan. [ more ]

Hydrogenics Expands Line of HyPM(R) Fuel Cell Power Modules

Hydrogenics Corp (HYGS) announced two additions to its HyPM® product line at this week's 2004 Fuel Cell Seminar in San Antonio, Texas. The two additions are the HyPM 7 (kW) unit and the HyPM 65 (kW) unit, both with which the Company will strategically access additional early market opportunities that exhibit long-term potential, specifically in light mobility and backup power applications. [ more ]

BOC Helping to Fuel Canada's Hydrogen Highway

BOC Group PLC (BOX) is helping design and construct a hydrogen fueling station located along Canada's Hydrogen Highway(TM) in Vancouver, British Columbia.

BOC is working with Canada's National Research Council (NRC) and the Canadian Transportation Fuel Cell Alliance - a Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) initiative - to jointly fund and build the station, located at NRC's Institute for Fuel Cell Innovation on the campus of the University of British Columbia (UBC). The equipment installation is to begin in November, with full system commissioning expected in the first quarter of 2005. [ more ]

U.S. Army to Exhibit Quantum's Aggressor AMV Fuel Cell Vehicle at SEMA Show

qtww_logo.gifQuantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide Inc (QTWW) announced that the U.S. Army TARDEC's NAC (Tank-Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center's National Automotive Center) will exhibit a high performance, fuel cell off-road vehicle at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas from November 2 -- 5, 2004. The "Quantum AMV(TM)" (Alternative Mobility Vehicle), nicknamed the "Aggressor," is a fuel cell vehicle designed and manufactured by Quantum at its California operations for the U.S. Army under contract with the NAC. [ more ]

IdaTech Unveils Portable Fuel Cell System at 2004 Fuel Cell Seminar

idacorp_logo.gifIdaTech (IDA) unveiled a scalable 100W to 500W portable fuel cell system prototype to be introduced to the U.S. market at the 2004 Fuel Cell Seminar. The liquid fuel system with on-board reformer, is part of a portfolio of multi-fuel solutions that IdaTech will showcase during the event.

The system being shown at the four-day event is a prototype of a system that will be delivered to the U.S. Army for use as a field battery charger in order to help solve the traditional logistical problem of getting power to troops in the field. The entire fuel cell system, including reformer and hydrogen purification module is about the size of a large lunch box, measuring about 12-by-8-by-6 inches. Its fuel is a prepackaged methanol-water mixture, which provides a highly compact and long lasting source of power. The power output of the prototype being shown is about 150 watts, while the unit delivered to the Army will be 250 watts in approximately the same size package. [ more ]

October 29, 2004

Proton Energy Systems, Inc. Receives Two Connecticut Clean Energy Fund Contract Awards for Regenerative Fuel Cell Projects

prtn_logo.gifDistributed Energy Systems Corp (DESC) announced the receipt of two additional Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF) awards for Regenerative Fuel Cell (RFC) demonstration projects in Connecticut. Through the support of CCEF, Proton is deploying two RFC demonstration units for the Town of Wallingford Electric Division and the Mohegan Sun Casino.

For Wallingford Electric, Proton intends to provide a 15 kW UNIGEN® RFC Backup Power unit for use in their control room battery system. The unit is designed to operate 24 hours a day and to provide more than eight hours of backup power at the rated load in the event of a power outage. [ more ]

October 26, 2004

Quantum Ships First Fuel Cell Vehicle to U.S. Army

qtww_logo.gifQuantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide Inc (QTWW) and the U.S. Army TARDEC's NAC (Tank-Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center's National Automotive Center) unveiled a high performance, fuel cell off-road vehicle at the annual meeting of the Association of the U.S. Army in Washington, DC. The "Quantum AMV(TM)" (Alternative Mobility Vehicle), nicknamed the "Aggressor," is a fuel cell vehicle designed and manufactured by Quantum at its California operations for the U.S. Army under contract with the NAC. This vehicle provides significant advantages to U.S. troops for high mobility in stealth operations. [ more ]

FuelCell Energy Teams with Chevron Energy Solutions to Sell Its First One Megawatt DFC1500 Unit in California to Alameda County

fcel_logo.gifFuelcell Energy Inc (FCEL) announced today its first one-megawatt Direct FuelCell® (DFC®) power plant sale in California to Alameda County for the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, Calif. This is the first fuel cell project with its North American distribution partner, Chevron Energy Solutions.

FuelCell Energy will provide Alameda County a DFC1500 power plant and related operating and maintenance services. Chevron Energy Solutions will act as overall project manager and integrator, providing design, engineering, construction, and installation services to Alameda County. The DFC1500 power plant is expected to provide 90 percent of base load power requirements for the Santa Rita Jail. [ more ]

MTI Micro to Present at 2004 Fuel Cell Seminar

Mechanical Technology Inc (MKTY) is scheduled to speak at the 2004 Fuel Cell Seminar at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas on Friday, November 5, 2004 at 9:35 a.m. (CDT).

Dr. Gottesfeld will discuss MTI Micro's development and commercialization efforts for direct methanol micro-fuel cell power sources for hand held electronic devices. MTI Micro will also have a booth at the conference where concept models of a PDA/smart phone and a hand-held entertainment system integrating Mobion(TM) technology will be shown. [ more ]

October 20, 2004

Carbon nanotubes tapped for portable fuel cell plan

Carbon nanotubes play a pivotal role in a three-company effort to create small-scale fuel cells for portable electronics. The project, which recently received $3.6 million in funding from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, looks to establish a low-cost manufacturable hydrogen fuel cell based on proton-exchange membranes, or PEMs. The work is being conducted by Carbon Nanotechnologies, Motorola Labs and Johnson Matthey Fuel Cells. [ more ]

Dana Corporation Showcases Fuel-Cell Advancements at Convergence 2004 Automotive Electronics Show

Dana Corporation (DCN) unveiled a number of new fuel-cell advancements at the Convergence 2004 automotive electronics show in Detroit. The advancements are featured on a fuel-cell scooter developed with Dana partners. One of just three in the world, the scooter is making its North American debut at Convergence. [ more ]

Caltech Researchers Make Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Breakthrough

For several years now the Department of Energy (DOE) has been urging the fuel cell community to solve a major problem in the design of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs): heat.

Sossina Haile, an associate professor of materials science and chemical engineering at the California Institute of Technology, is an expert in fuel cells, and she has been whittling away at the heat problem for years. Now she and her colleagues have not only solved the problem, they've smashed it. They've brought the temperature down to about 600 degrees Celsius (1100 degrees Fahrenheit), while achieving more power output than others are achieving at the higher temperatures--about 1 watt per square centimeter of fuel cell area. [ more ]

FuelCell Energy to Combine Its Canadian Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Operations into Versa Power Systems

fcel_logo.gifFuelcell Energy Inc (FCEL) announced that it has entered into an agreement to combine its Canadian solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) operations into Versa Power Systems (Versa). In exchange, FuelCell Energy will receive stock in Versa, increasing its ownership position in Versa from 16 percent to 42 percent. Consolidating SOFC technology development into a single entity provides a greater opportunity to commercialize SOFC products under the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) 10-year, $139 million Solid State Energy Conversion Alliance (SECA) Program. The closing is expected to take place on November 1, 2004. [ more ]

MTI Micro Receives Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Contracts From the Marine Corp Systems Command and the Army Research, Development and Engineering Command

Mechanical Technology Inc (MKTY) announced that it has received two contracts to demonstrate energy density advantages and to quantify potential logistical advantages of its direct methanol micro fuel cells (DMFCs) and fuel refill systems for the United States Armed Forces. [ more ]

October 19, 2004

MTI Micro Receives Frost & Sullivan's 2004 Technology Innovation Award

Mechanical Technology Inc (MKTY) announced that it has been awarded the 2004 Frost & Sullivan Technology Innovation Award for its Mobion(TM) micro fuel cell technology. The Award will be presented to MTI Micro at Frost & Sullivan's 2004 Best Practices Awards Banquet on October 20, 2004 in Rancho Mirage, California. [ more ]

October 15, 2004

Fuel-cell developers see bottom line improve

A survey of 18 fuel-cell developers around the world found none of them was profitable last year, although their combined revenues rose 20 per cent to $243 million US, accounting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) said. [ more ]

Arotech's Battery Division Receives CECOM Military Battery Research Contract

artx_logo.gifArotech Corporation (ARTX) announced today that its Battery and Power Systems Division has received a new research and development contract from the US Army Communications and Electronics Command (CECOM). The 3-phase program will focus on developing a new, fourth generation Electric Fuel Zinc Air cell for use in military batteries.

The new portable Zinc Air battery pack will be 12 or 24 Volt and have a total capacity of approximately 400Wh. Battery Energy Density will be above 300Wh/kg. The second and third phases of the program are optional. [ more ]

FuelCell Energy, Inc. Receives a Gold Connecticut Quality Improvement Award Innovation Prize

fcel_logo.gifFuelcell Energy Inc (FCEL) announced that it received a gold Connecticut Quality Improvement Award (CQIA) Innovative Prize for increasing sales of its 'ultra-clean' Direct FuelCell® (DFC®) power plants. The innovative feature of the Company's DFC products is the ability to electrochemically produce electricity from readily available fuels such as natural gas, wastewater treatment gas and coal gases. [ more ]

October 13, 2004

Volkswagen Says It Will Develop Fuel-Cell Vehicles in China

Volkswagen AG, Europe's biggest carmaker, said it agreed to develop fuel-cell vehicles in China, as part of global efforts to invest in low-polluting cars.

Volkswagen signed an agreement with Tongji University and German engineering company IAV to produce a model fuel-cell vehicle, the German carmaker said in an e-mailed statement. Wolfsburg-based Volkswagen will provide the body and Tongji will contribute fuel cells and high-power batteries, it said. [ more ]

October 11, 2004

Fuel cell stocks charge higher

The U.S. Senate agreed Sunday to vote as early as Monday on a corporate tax bill that would include the "Green Building" program, something that Adams Harkness analyst John Quealy said will be a "positive catalyst for the fuel cell industry."

The bill calls for the issuance of tax-exempt bonds to fund the construction of energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly buildings.

"What we find especially noteworthy is language in the current Chairman's Mark of the Conference Committee report that requires using at least 25 megawatts of fuel cell energy generation, in aggregate, in order to qualify for such tax-exempt financing," Quealy said in a recent note to clients. [ more ]

FuelCell Energy, Marubeni and Kawasaki Finalize Agreement to Build and Market Direct FuelCell Power Plants in Japan

fcel_logo.gifFuelcell Energy Inc (FCEL) and its partner in Japan, Marubeni Corp., announced today that they have finalized their agreement with Kawasaki Heavy Industries (KWHIY) to become a packager of Direct FuelCell® (DFC®) power plants in Japan. As part of this agreement, Kawasaki will purchase a DFC300A power plant from Marubeni, to be installed at the Kawasaki Akashi Works near Osaka, Japan, where it will undergo evaluation and testing for the development of a Kawasaki-branded carbonate fuel cell power plant. [ more ]

Millennium Cell Awarded Subcontract for DoD Work by Concurrent Technologies Corporation

Millennium Cell Inc (MCEL) announced that it has been awarded a subcontract to develop hydrogen storage systems for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). The prime contractor is Pennsylvania-based Concurrent Technologies Corporation (CTC), which operates the DoD's Fuel Cell Test and Evaluation Center (FCTec) in Johnstown, Pennsylvania.

Millennium Cell's contract is part of first-year activities under the DoD contract to develop Common Core Power Production (C2P2) technology for the Air Force's Advanced Alternate Power Technology Transformation Office (A2PT2O). The C2P2 Program is based on utilizing fuel cell systems as interchangeable power sources for military equipment. Millennium Cell will develop and provide Hydrogen on Demand(TM) (HOD) system design and key components, which will be fabricated and tested at FCTec. The five (5) kW HOD system will be capable of providing hydrogen for refueling mobile devices and powering stationary apparatus, among other military applications. [ more ]

October 05, 2004

Company said to develop improved fuel-cell factor

pf_logo_sm.gifPolyFuel plans to announce that it has achieved a breakthrough in fuel-cell membranes by using an alternative material: a hydrocarbon that it says costs only about half as much per square meter as the conventional material.

Compared with the fluorine compounds that are the most commonly used for membranes in fuel cells now under testing, PolyFuel says that hydrocarbon membranes allow production of more electricity per square centimeter of membrane. That could mean that a fuel cell could produce the same power as a fluorine-membrane version, but would be smaller and lighter, according to the company. [ more ]

PolyFuel is currently privately held.

FuelCell Energy Receives New Direct FuelCell(R) Component Order from MTU CFC Solutions GmbH for 3 Sub-Megawatt Carbonate Fuel Cell Power Plants

fcel_logo.gifFuelcell Energy Inc (FCEL) announced that its European strategic partner, MTU CFC Solutions, GmbH (a subsidiary of DaimlerChrysler), placed a new order for the Company's Direct FuelCell® (DFC®) components for 3 new sub-megawatt carbonate fuel cell power plants. Delivery is expected in late calendar year 2004 and early calendar year 2005. Announcements of individual power plant sites utilizing these DFC stacks will be forthcoming, with each customer's request and authorization.

MTU's branded carbonate fuel cell power plant, the HotModule®, is based on FuelCell Energy's Direct FuelCell technology and utilize fuel cells manufactured by FuelCell Energy's Connecticut manufacturing facility. MTU is currently operating eight Hot Modules in Germany and Spain, and two additional German units completed their field trial programs. [ more ]

October 01, 2004

Sugar fuel cell developed

A FUEL CELL that runs on sugar rather than methanol is in development by Matsushita, according to a report in today's Nihon Keizai Shimbun.

Practical applications could be as a source of power for heart pacemakers, using blood sugar to create electricity. [ more ]

Japanese mobile network operator NTT DoCoMo announced on Thursday that it has developed a prototype micro fuel cell that will recharge a third-generation mobile phone

The device, manufactured by Fujitsu Laboratories, generates power by combining methanol and hydrogen. DoCoMo claims that development of the cell could be completed by the end of 2005.

"The micro fuel cell is aimed at meeting user demands for more convenient handsets with greater power capacity, as well as reduced environmental impact," DoCoMo said in a statement. [ more ]

BTU International Receives Order for World's First Fully Integrated Fuel Cell Manufacturing Line

BTU International, Inc. (BTUI) announced the receipt of an order, valued at approximately $2 million, for an integrated manufacturing line for solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) manufacturing. The order is from one of the largest European-based, global leaders in fuel cell technology.

This order for a turnkey production line for manufacturing solid oxide fuel cells features multiple Convection Heat Treat drying systems and BTU's unique Elevator Hearth System for high temperature sintering. The order also includes multiple screen-printing systems, a laser marking and bar code reading system as well as the automated handling equipment to fully automate the process. [ more ]

ABI Research Revises Fuel Cell Vehicle Market Growth Estimates Downwards

ABI Research has just published "radically revised" forecasts for the growth in numbers of vehicles powered by hydrogen fuel cells.

The main stumbling block is the lack of a viable network of hydrogen refueling stations. Without that, no practical deployment of fuel cell vehicles can proceed. [ more ]

This is one reason why I like Hydrogenics Corp (HYGS) and Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide Inc (QTWW). These infrastructure companies are the ones that will be asked to build these stations and provide the hydrogen storage.

September 29, 2004

Ballard Powers First Ford Production Fuel Cell-Powered Focus

ballard_logo_B.gifBallard Power (BLDP) to Power More Than 50 percent of Announced Demonstration Fleets Under U.S. Hydrogen Economy Initiative.

The first production vehicles powered with Ballard® fuel cells and built by Ford Motor Company for customer use under the U.S. Department of Energy demonstration program were unveiled in Detroit today. Ballard Power Systems together with its Alliance partners, DaimlerChrysler and Ford, continue to lead the industry in fuel cell development, as they place the largest fleet of fuel cell vehicles in the hands of customers, further advancing the path to commercialization. Nearly half of the Department of Energy's announced fleets under the Hydrogen Economy Initiative will be Ford and DaimlerChrysler vehicles, all powered with Ballard® fuel cells. [ more ]

Big Firms Positioned in Alternative Energy Field

TheStreet.com has a good write up about the new potential growth opportunities that are available in the Alternative Energy marketplace.

"With oil recently passing the $50 mark -- and expected to stay high -- some investors feel freshly tempted by alternative energy stocks. They view fuel cells and sunshine and windmills as ultimate replacements for diminishing supplies of fossil fuels. Thus, they tend to look past the alternative fuel industry's current losses and focus on future possibilities instead." [ more ]

The following companies are mentioned in this article:
Ballard Power (BLDP)
FPL Group Inc (FPL)
Fuelcell Energy Inc (FCEL)
Plug Power Inc (PLUG)

September 28, 2004

The Connecticut Clean Energy Fund and Proton Energy Systems Embark on a Fuel Cell Demonstration Project

prtn_logo.gifThe Connecticut Clean Energy Fund has agreed to provide funding to Proton Energy Systems, Inc., a subsidiary of Distributed Energy Systems Corp (DESC) to design, build and conduct a 24-month demonstration of a 5kW Regenerative Fuel Cell (RFC) for a telecommunications site in southwestern Connecticut.

The project proposal from Proton is consistent with the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund's mandate to support projects that promote the commercialization of fuel cells and illustrate their importance as a clean, reliable distributed energy source. [ more ]

Hydrogenics Sells Fuel Cell Test Stations to Asahi Glass

Hydrogenics Corp (HYGS) announced the sale of two FCATS G50 fuel cell test stations to Asahi Glass Co. Ltd., a leading fuel cell component maker. The stations are expected to be delivered before the end of the year.

The FCATS G50 is specifically designed to offer accuracy and reliability for fuel cell testing in low power ranges, at an attractive price. The 'G' Series test stations offer superior reliability and maintainability as a result of thorough in-house testing, selection of high quality components and well-designed accessibility to the test station's internals. [ more ]

Ballard to Demonstrate Fuel Cell Technology in Three Distinct Backup Power Generation Applications

ballard_logo_B.gifBallard Power (BLDP) announced it will demonstrate three distinct applications utilizing Ballard® fuel cells for backup power in cooperation with the Government of Canada under the h2 Early Adopters (h2EA) Program. The h2EA Program will fund Cdn. $2 million of the $4 million program with the balance of funding to be provided by the program participants. Field demonstrations such as this support the Canadian Government's aim to accelerate the development of a hydrogen economy by encouraging innovation, expanding industrial capacity, and meeting climate change objectives. [ more ]

September 27, 2004

Hydrogenics to Work with Toronto Waterfront Corporation to Identify Green Pilot Projects and a Green Zone on the Waterfront

Hydrogenics Corp (HYGS) and the Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation (TWRC) are announcing the signing of a memorandum of understanding today at the Hydrogen and Fuel Cells 2004 Conference in Toronto. Together the two organizations will explore ways in which hydrogen fuel cell technologies and hydrogen production can support and build on the sustainable development goals of the TWRC.

"Toronto is uniquely positioned to leverage Canada's strong leadership position in fuel cell technology and commercialization," said Pierre Rivard, President and CEO of Hydrogenics Corporation. "By engaging the local expertise we can enhance and accelerate the development of a roadmap for sustainability for this city. We are excited by the opportunities that working with the TWRC might provide Hydrogenics and the entire Canadian hydrogen fuel cell industry." [ more ]

Stuart Energy Awarded Funding From Government Of Canada For Phase 1 Engineering Of Three Hydrogen Fueling Stations

stuartenergy_logo.gifStuart Energy Systems Corp (SRNYF) announced that it has been awarded approximately $300,000 in funding from Natural Resources Canada, through the Canadian Transportation Fuel Cell Alliance (CTFCA) program, for the preliminary engineering of three electrolysis-based hydrogen-fueling stations.

These stations, when built, are intended to support demonstration projects involving hydrogen-powered shuttle buses. The targeted locations for these projects are in Ottawa and Toronto, Ontario, and in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. These projects will develop market familiarity and consumer acceptance for hydrogen-powered vehicles and hydrogen fueling infrastructure, and ultimately facilitate the commercialization of these technologies. Phase 1 of the project contemplates the project engineering study. Deployment of the fueling stations will be dependent upon the availability of the hydrogen-powered shuttle buses. [ more ]

September 24, 2004

BMW Unveils World's Fastest Hydrogen-Powered Car

bmw-h2.jpgGerman luxury carmaker BMW unveiled the world's fastest hydrogen-powered car at the Paris auto show on Wednesday, dubbed the H2R, capable of exceeding 300 kilometers (185 miles) per hour.

"Our drive toward the future is called hydrogen," BMW management board member Burkhard Goeschel said before the tarp slowly slipped off the teardrop-shaped body of the sleek race car. [ more ]

September 23, 2004

Distributed Energy Systems Awarded SBIR Phase II Contract for Advanced Regenerative Fuel Cell Development

prtn_logo.gifDistributed Energy Systems Corp (DESC) announced today the award of a Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) Phase II contract from the U.S. Army Missile Defense Agency (MDA) to continue development of lightweight regenerative fuel cell technology for high altitude airships.

The goal of this 2-year, $749,999 contract is to demonstrate a multi-kilowatt-capable closed-loop hydrogen-oxygen regenerative fuel cell and is a continuation of work completed in Phase I of this project. This regenerative fuel cell can generate pressurized hydrogen and oxygen electrochemically, without mechanical compression. MDA plans to apply this technology for energy storage for high altitude airships, which will be used as platforms for sensors and communications vital for missile defense and homeland security. [ more ]

Astris Energi Announces North American Debut of Model E8 Portable Generator

astris_logo.gifAstris Energi Inc. (ASRNF) announced today that the North American premiere of its 2.4 kW Model E8 Portable AFC Generator will take place at the Hydrogen and Fuel Cells 2004 Conference and Trade Show, to be held in Toronto from September 25 to September 28, 2004.

The E8 is the latest in a series of self-contained, portable generators that are powered by Astris' alkaline fuel cell. The quiet, emission-free E8 uses the latest generation POWERSTACK(tm) MC250 fuel cell modules to deliver 48 V DC at 50 amperes of current and will handle overload up to 60 amps. The generator has a total electrical efficiency of more than 50%, a figure unequalled by any other device in its class, and several times higher than the efficiency of conventional generators fuelled by gasoline. [ more ]

BOC Showcases Hydrogen Fuel Cell Capabilities at Toronto Exposition

BOC Group PLC (BOX) will display a full range of supply, safety and other fuel cell technology support services during the Hydrogen and Fuel Cells 2004 Conference and Trade Show at the Sheraton Center, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, September 25-27.

BOC has a solid track record of delivering hydrogen production and supply solutions tailored to meet our customers' needs. BOC is supplying its full range of products and services to emerging hydrogen energy markets across the globe, participating in high profile demonstration projects, supporting the development of new technology, creating innovative customer solutions, and investing in new ventures. [ more ]

September 22, 2004

Fuel cell converts waste to power

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin at Madison have found a way to use the carbon monoxide to produce more energy in a reaction that can take place at room temperature.

The method could eventually be used in portable systems that use renewable fuel produced from plant matter, said James Dumesic, a professor of chemical and biological engineering at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. The process could also be used to treat wastewater and contaminated gas streams, he said. [ more ]

September 21, 2004

Tyco Electronics Power Systems Signs Distribution Agreement for Plug Power's GenCore Fuel Cell System

plug_logo.jpgPlug Power Inc (PLUG) announced today an agreement with Tyco Electronics Power Systems, Inc., under which Tyco Electronics will market and sell Plug Power's GenCore®5T fuel cell systems for telecommunication backup applications throughout the United States and Canada.

Under the agreement with Plug Power, Tyco Electronics will market, promote and sell the GenCore product through its direct sales force, under both the Tyco Electronics and Plug Power brands. The distribution agreement formalizes a working relationship between the companies that has been actively addressing technology, marketing, reliability and certification for more than a year, and is complemented by a previously announced nationwide service and installation agreement between Plug Power and Tyco Electronics Installation Services Inc. [ more ]

September 20, 2004

Energy stocks for the conscience-driven

The CS Monitor has a good article about the investment potential of Alternative Energy stocks.

"You can't ride off into the sunset with a hydrogen-powered SUV - or to a middle-class solar home. But as the decades-long transition away from oil begins to take shape, some ethical investors sense a bonanza. " [ more ]

September 16, 2004

Honda Showcases Its Zero Emission FCX Fuel Cell Vehicle at California Fuel Cell Partnership's 'Cruisin' Southern Cal' Road Rally

honda_logo.gifHonda Motor Co (HMC) industry-leading
current generation FCX fuel cell vehicles will be key participants in a
showcase rally that will drive some of the cleanest and technologically
advanced vehicles in the world through some of the smoggiest regions in the USA. [ more ]

FuelCell Energy And Department Of Energy Finalize Phase 1 Award For Solid State Energy Conversion Alliance Program

fcel_logo.gifFuelcell Energy Inc (FCEL) announced today that it has finalized its award with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for the three-year first phase of its Solid State Energy Conversion Alliance (SECA) program. Phase one is a $24 million Cooperative Agreement cost-shared by the DOE and the FuelCell Energy team, which includes Versa Power Systems, Materials and Systems Research Inc., Gas Technology Institute, University of Utah, Electric Power Research Institute, Dana Corporation and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Finalizing the award resolves open budget, scope and schedule issues.

The goal of the SECA program is to accelerate the development of low-cost solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC), a key element of DOE's commitment to developing clean, efficient, reliable and affordable power generation for virtually all markets. [ more ]

September 15, 2004

Volkswagen Selects IdaTech for Automotive Diesel Fuel Cell Fuel Processor System

IdaTech (IDA) has been selected by automobile manufacturer Volkswagen of Germany to design and manufacture an integrated fuel processor system operating on diesel fuel to be used in an automotive application: Auxiliary Power Unit (APU).

The agreement, part of a vehicle demonstration project at Volkswagen, marks a first for IdaTech to be working directly with a major European automotive company on vehicle fuel cell systems. IdaTech was selected for its technical performance in diesel fuel reforming. The fuel processing system will be a highly efficient, custom design for vehicular applications and will incorporate IdaTech's patented metal membrane hydrogen purification system, a key component to any compact, liquid fuel proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell system. [ more ]

Stuart Energy Signs Exclusive Global Distribution Agreement

stuartenergy_logo.gifStuart Energy Systems Corp (SRNYF) and Purification Equipment Research Institute of CSIC (PERIC), a Chinese-based developer of water electrolysers, have entered into a master supply and distribution agreement. Under the agreement, Stuart Energy is the exclusive global distributor for large-scale hydrogen generation plants based on water electrolysis technologies jointly developed by PERIC and Stuart Energy. In addition, Stuart Energy is the exclusive distributor in certain territories for PERIC's existing, commercial large-scale hydrogen generation plants. [ more ]

ZAP Signs $100 Million Exclusive Agreement for Apollo Fuel Cell Technology

zap_logo.gifZAP (ZAPZ) announced that its automotive distribution subsidiary Voltage Vehicles has signed an exclusive agreement with Apollo Energy Systems of Pompano Beach, Florida for its fuel cell technology.

Under the contract, ZAP's Voltage Vehicles subsidiary has agreed to purchase up to $100 million in Apollo's propulsion systems. Apollo has developed a patented Alkaline Fuel Cell and Tri-Polar Lead-Cobalt battery technology that is expected to revolutionize the auto industry. According to Apollo, the new fuel cell is ready for production, years before similar propulsion systems are expected to be available. [ more ]

ZAPZ was up over 15% today on this news.

September 14, 2004

Canadian Group Produces Hydrogen from Water Using Solar Energy

Solar Hydrogen Energy Corporation (SHEC) of Saskatoon, SK, Canada demonstrated a technology Monday in Tempe Arizona that can split hydrogen from water using solar energy input.

The keys to the process are in a patent pending catalyst that facilitates the liberation of hydrogen from water in the presence of heat, and the patent pending solar collector collector that can hold the heat during brief intermittent sun situations often encountered by solar arrays. [ more ]

FuelCell Energy's DFC1500 Power Plant Certified as the Largest Fuel Cell System to Meet 2007 California Emissions Requirement

fcel_logo.gifFuelcell Energy Inc (FCEL) announced today that its megawatt-class Direct FuelCell® (DFC®) power plant is now state-certified to meet the California Air Resources Board's (CARB) stringent distributed generation emissions standards for 2007. By meeting this standard, the Company's DFC1500 qualifies as an 'ultra-clean' technology, exempting it from air pollution control and air quality district permitting requirements by CARB (http://www.arb.ca.gov). In addition, this certification qualifies the Company's products for preferential rate treatment by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) including the elimination of 'exit fees' and 'standby charges' for customer electric generation. [ more ]

September 09, 2004

Hydrogenics Wins Contract to Provide Fuel Cell Power Module for Aircraft Tow Tractor Demonstration

Hydrogenics Corp (HYGS) announced today that it has won a contract to supply a 65 kilowatt hydrogen fuel cell power module to the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Fuel Cell Test and Evaluation Center (FCTec) operated by Concurrent Technologies Corporation (CTC). The power module will be integrated into an Aircraft Tow Tractor by CTC and will be used in fuel cell demonstrations at select Air Force Bases and civil airports in the United States, in conjunction with the United States Air Force Advanced Alternate Power Technology Transformation Office, Warner-Robins AFB, Georgia. The fuel cell system will be delivered in December 2004. [ more ]

September 08, 2004

Maryland to test fuel cell vehicle

Maryland will lease a fuel cell-powered minivan from General Motors and will pursue plans for a hydrogen refueling station in the state. General Motors has partnered with Shell Hydrogen to open what will be the first hydrogen dispenser at a retail gas station in Washington this fall. [ more ]

NUVERA Fuel Cells Launches Plan for Hydrogen Test Facility

Privately held Nuvera Fuel Cells, Inc., announced plans to establish a hydrogen test facility with RIVOIRA S.p.A., and the SIAD Group, both of which partner with Praxair, Inc. (PX), a leading U.S. multinational in the industrial gas sector. The plan calls for expanding SIAD's facility located in Osio Sopra, (Bergamo) Italy for the purpose of demonstrating hydrogen-based fuel cell systems.

According to the agreement, the new facility will comprise approximately
180 m2 of space and will be dedicated to testing Nuvera's hydrogen products in the 5.5 kW to 25 kW power range, including its H2e(TM) fuel cell power module (for industrial equipment applications), FORZA(TM) power module (for industrial hydrogen recovery applications in the 120 kW size), and Andromeda(TM) fuel cell stack(for automotive applications). [ more ]

Millennium Cell Demonstrates Technology at Intel Developer Forum Fall 2004

Millennium Cell Inc (MCEL) announced that it is demonstrating a prototype hydrogen fuel cell system to power a notebook PC at the Intel Developer Forum from September 7th through September 9th at the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco. The system is on display in the Intel Pavilion in the technical showcase.

The system consists of a disposable Millennium Cell Hydrogen on Demand(TM) ("HOD(TM)") fuel system combined with a hydrogen fuel cell. In this initial demonstration, the battery pack has been removed from a Dell C400 notebook PC and the computer is directly powered by the HOD and a Proton Exchange Membrane ("PEM") fuel cell system. The sealed, disposable cartridge containing the HOD system is similar in size and shape to a traditional battery pack. Also on display, will be the Company's vision of the next generation HOD and fuel cell system and how it will be integrated into a notebook personal computer without any loss of portability or functionality of the device. [ more ]

Kainos Energy Corporation Receives Grant from the National Science Foundation

Privately held Kainos Energy Corporation, a developer of nanotechnology to reduce cost and improve performance of fuel cells, announced that it was awarded a Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The Phase I award supports a project entitled "Innovative Laser-Based Process for Commercially Viable Nanostructured Solid Oxide Fuel Cells." [ more ]

"Significant cost and performance barriers continue to hinder fuel cell commercialization. Our technology will overcome these barriers, lead to advanced cell and stack designs, and enable mass commercialization of a variety of powerful fuel cell applications," noted Sami Mardini, vice president of business development at Kainos Energy.

September 07, 2004

Plug Power's GenCore Fuel Cell Supports Digital Switching Gear at Rural Telephone Company

plug_logo.jpgPlug Power Inc (PLUG) announced today that the Company's GenCore®5T48, a 5-kilowatt backup fuel cell system, is providing backup power to the Oneida County Rural Telephone network.

"This program is another example of our efforts to keep the communities we serve on the cutting edge of technology," stated James McCarthy, Vice President of Oneida County Rural Telephone. "We have considered using alternative backup power in support of our network infrastructure in the past, and fuel cells are an attractive alternative to batteries. Fuel cells offer a clean, cost-effective solution for our backup power needs." [ more ]

September 04, 2004

Peugeot's Quark fuel-cell four-wheeler for the road

3153_01_tn.jpgPeugeot has unveiled a futuristic prototype open air, two-seater, four-wheel drive vehicle designed to showcase its fuel cell technology. The Quark comes with some interesting technologies most notably a removable interactive interface, which looks to be a PDA on steroids. The unit serves the same purpose as an ignition key and is used in conjunction with an instrument panel. Positioned in its housing, it provides information concerning the traction system and the fuel cell, vehicle speed, satellite navigation, etc... Protected by a small transparent and waterproof cover, it allows the vehicle to be started when in place and immobilises it after removal by the driver, as in the case of an ignition key. [ more ]

Daimler fuel cell guru shares his vision

DaimlerChrysler AG (DCX) Just imagine filling up your car at the windmill down the road. That’s what Andreas Truckenbrodt dreams of, but DaimlerChrysler’s director of fuel cell and alternative powertrain vehicles knows there are still hurdles to clear before the zero-emission cars become kings of the road. [ more ]

September 03, 2004

Hydrogenics Awarded Contract by The Toro Company to Provide HyPM Technology for Fuel Cell Program

Hydrogenics Corp (HYGS) reported today that it has been awarded a contract by The Toro Company (TTC) to supply a HyPM fuel cell power module for integration into the company's development work in grounds maintenance equipment. This contract is part of Toro's ongoing strategic alternative energy research and development initiative for turf care equipment. [ more ]

September 01, 2004

Contrarian Opinion on Alt Energy Stocks from Motley Fool

Rich Smith, writer for the Motley Fool, has written an article with a contrarian opinion about investing in alternative energy stocks. Specifically he refers to the Fuel Cell stocks.

"The old test of a person's optimism is to show him a glass of water, filled to 50% of capacity, and ask whether it is half empty or half full. Shown such a glass, I have full confidence that investors in hydrogen fuel-cell pioneers such as Plug Power Inc (PLUG), Ballard Power (BLDP), or Fuelcell Energy Inc (FCEL) would declare the glass half full." [ more ]

While he rails about "these companies burn a lot of cash but produce precious little energy in doing so" is based in truth. The reason why I'm investing in these companies NOW is because I feel that in 5-10 years these companies will be raking in the cash.

I would much rather be buying low at these prices than paying 5-10x the price in the future.

RNC convention hikes alternative energy stocks

Alternative energy companies saw a market boost Tuesday after the U.S. energy secretary reiterated the president's support for alternative energy.

"In the first year of that program, we've had tremendous success," Abraham said in an interview on CNBC. "We've bought international support to this effort and we're moving as fast as we believe the research can move." [ more ]

Companies that saw a bounce from Abraham's comments included Fuelcell Energy Inc (FCEL), Beacon Power Corp (BCON), Plug Power Inc (PLUG) and Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide Inc (QTWW). Beacon Power saw the biggest percent jump of 29.4 percent, up to 44 cents.

August 31, 2004

ZAP Unveils Hydrogen Fuel Cell Breakthrough

zap_logo.gifZAP (ZAPZ) announced today a breakthrough electric propulsion system that uses a new hydrogen fuel cell and lead-cobalt battery design developed by Apollo Energy Systems.

Apollo has developed and patented an Alkaline Fuel Cell, an improved version of the early Alkaline Fuel Cells used by NASA in the Apollo Moon Mission. Apollo calls its Alkaline Fuel Cell the "Rolls Royce" of fuel cells, with a higher voltage, higher efficiency, and greater reliability than other types of fuel cells. Alkaline fuel cells have been the fuel cell of choice for space programs in the U.S., Europe and Russia. [ more ]

FuelCell Energy, Marubeni and Kawasaki to Build and Market Direct FuelCell Power Plants in Japan

fcel_logo.gifFuelcell Energy Inc (FCEL) and its partner in Japan, Marubeni Corp., will enter into an agreement with Kawasaki Heavy Industries to become a packager of Direct FuelCell® (DFC®) power plants in Japan. Discussions for conclusion of the agreement are in the final stage. As part of this agreement, Kawasaki will purchase a DFC300A power plant from Marubeni, to be installed at the Kawasaki Akashi Works near Osaka, Japan, where it will undergo long-term evaluation and testing. [ more ]

This news and anticipation of earnings later this afternoon has FCEL up over 7% today with above average volume.

Ballard Announces $3.6 Million Follow-on Contract with Major Automaker

ballard_logo_B.gifBallard Power (BLDP) announced a $3.6 million contract with a major global automaker covering expanded technology benchmarking and evaluation activities. As part of this agreement, the automaker will evaluate the performance and capabilities of Ballard's current and advanced fuel cell technologies. This contract builds on the experience gained by the automaker from its initial purchase of Ballard® fuel cell products in 2003. [ more ]

Ballard has existing deals with DaimlerChrysler, Ford, Honda, Mitsubishi and Nissan. There is no indicatication which vendor they won the contract with.

Plug Power Expands GenCore Fuel Cell Product Offering

plug_logo.jpgPlug Power Inc (PLUG) announced the availability of GenCore®5T24, a 24-volt, 5-kilowatt backup fuel cell system that will be marketed to wireless service providers. The GenCore 5T24 complements the Company's other available products within the GenCore platform; the 5B 48-volt for industrial applications and the 5T 48-volt for wireline/wireless applications, which began shipping late last year. [ more ]

August 30, 2004

Department of Energy to Announce Over $77 Million for Hydrogen Research Projects

Acting Undersecretary of Energy David K. Garman will speak at the World Renewable Energy Congress and Expo in Denver, CO on Monday, August 30, 2004to outline a program that will invest over $77 million in Hydrogen research projects around the country. These projects support President Bush's Hydrogen Fuel Initiative, as outlined in the National Energy Policy.

President Bush has called on DOE to pursue the promise of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to decrease America's dependence on foreign oil. These hydrogen research projects willrepresent another part of the President's Hydrogen Fuel Initiative that adds to the recent competitive proposals announced in fuel cells, hydrogen storage, hydrogen education, and in the national vehicle/infrastructure "learning demonstration". [ more ]

Today shares of many Fuel Cell companies were up big in anticipation of this announcment. Ballard Power (BLDP) was up over 11% today.

Newsweek Special Report

"Experts generally agree that our current reliance on fossil fuels is unsustainable. Already oil is near $50 per barrel, and the great millions of Chinese and Indians destined to take to the road in the next decades have not yet gotten behind the wheel."

This week Newsweek has written several special reports about alternative energy in all its forms. All of these reports can be found at the following link. [ more ]

August 27, 2004

UPS puts fuel cell vans on the road

UPS on Thursday announced it was deploying three delivery vans that run on non-polluting hydrogen and fuel cells, and said it hopes to some day have zero-emission engines for its entire fleet of 88,000 vehicles.

The three vans will be used in Los Angeles, Sacramento, Calif., and Ann Arbor, Mich. [ more ]

Once again, these Fuel Cell trucks are made by DaimlerChrysler AG (DCX) and are using Ballard Power (BLDP) for the cell stack.

Dodge Fuel Cell Sprinter Includes the Latest DaimlerChrysler Fuel Cell Vehicle Technology

Based on the production Sprinter Van, the new fuel cell powered Dodge Sprinter has the latest advancements in DaimlerChrysler fuel cell vehicle expertise, and fuel cell technology from its Fuel Cell Alliance partner, Ballard Power (BLDP). The entire Ballard fuel cell system is housed in the floor, leaving full use of the cargo space. [ more ]

August 25, 2004

Modine Awarded Subcontract on Department of Energy Fuel Cell Mine Loader Project

modi_logo.gifModine Manufacturing Co (MODI) announced today that it has been awarded a contract with Vehicle Projects, LLC of Denver to supply thermal management hardware for a U.S. Department of Energy vehicle development and demonstration project. The nearly $8.6 million project will develop, manufacture, and demonstrate a mine loader powered by a fuel cell, along with associated metal-hydride storage and refueling hardware.

The group will develop a 23 metric-ton, 160 kW fuel cell-battery hybrid mine loader. In the course of this three-and-a-half year project, Vehicle Projects and its subcontractors, including Modine, will manufacture this fuel cell/battery hybrid mine loader that will eventually be used in various North American mines. The mine loader will be used in tight spaces, up to one thousand feet underground. Fuel Cell technology is appealing in this instance because it is emission-free and environmentally friendly, producing only water. [ more ]

August 24, 2004

Hydrogenics Unveils Toronto's First Hydrogen Refueling Station

Hydrogenics Corp (HYGS) unveiled the first of four Hydrogenics' projects to be part of Toronto's Hydrogen Village. The unveiling of the Company's HyLYZER(TM) hydrogen refueler took place at the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) as part of the CNE's Green Day event. Hydrogenics also announced it has received a CDN $4.25 million strategic investment from the Government of Canada's Hydrogen Early Adopters (h2EA) program that will help in establishing the four unique projects in which Hydrogenics will lead a consortium of partners. The total value of the projects is over CDN $10 million. [ more ]

Honda Makes Scooters With Hybrid Engines, Fuel Cells

honda_logo.gifHonda Motor Co (HMC) said it has built scooters powered by fuel cells and gasoline-electric engines, extending the technology for the first time to two-wheeled vehicles.

The automaker developed a scooter with a fuel cell-power plant the size of a normal 125 cubic centimeter gasoline engine as well as a so-called hybrid two-wheeler with a 50cc engine, Honda President Takeo Fukui told reporters at the company's research center in Tochigi Prefecture, north of Tokyo. [ more ]

August 23, 2004

General Dynamics C4 Systems to Develop Wearable, Fuel-Cell Driven Tablet Computers for U.S. Air Force

General Dynamics C4 Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics (GD), announced today it has been awarded a contract by the United States Air Force (USAF) to develop and deliver 10 prototype tablet computers powered by direct liquid fuel cells for evaluation as a potential replacement for the department's current ground air traffic control computers. The program will combine commercial-off-the-shelf computer equipment with privately-developed fuel cell technology, and could enable extended field operations that will reduce the USAF's reliance on centrally-located recharging apparatus and spare batteries. [ more ]

Medis Technologies Ltd. (MDTL) is a sub-contractor on this project and will be providing the direct liquid fuel cell systems. They are now currently up over 10% on this news.

Stuart Energy Secures Record Year-To-Date Industrial Orders

stuartenergy_logo.gifStuart Energy Systems Corp (SRNYF) announced that it has secured record year-to-date industrial orders valued in excess of $12 million from its global customers.

"During the first 4 and a half months, we exceeded our expected order intake for industrial sales. The increased demand is a result of strong market growth, coupled with continued adoption of our product offering," commented Robert Campbell, Vice President, Sales and Marketing. "With the bulk of these orders scheduled to ship this fiscal year, we remain committed to our aggressive target for revenue growth. Our year-end order backlog - an important metric as we look to fiscal 2006 revenue - continues to grow." [ more ]

August 19, 2004

Astris pilot production facility on schedule

astris_logo.gifAstris Energi Inc. (ASRNF) reports that construction of phase one of the pilot production plant designed to produce the new alkaline fuel cell POWERSTACK(TM) MC250 is on schedule. The pilot production plant is being built in the Czech Republic and should be complete within two weeks with production trials planned for September. [ more ]

Plug Power's GenSys Product Meets California's New Emissions Requirement

plug_logo.jpgPlug Power Inc (PLUG) announced today that the Company's GenSys(TM)5C fuel cell system has been certified by the California Air Resources Board as meeting the 2007 distributed generation emission standards requirement. [ more ]

August 18, 2004

Schroeder Gets DaimlerChrysler Fuel-Cell Car for Chancellery

German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder took delivery of a fuel cell-powered Mercedes A-Class vehicle, the F-Cell, from DaimlerChrysler AG (DCX) for the Chancellery's car pool. The company plans to have 60 of the cars on the road around the world by the end of this year. [ more ]

Mitsubishi Heavy Eyes Smaller Fuel Cell for Home

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. , which has developed the world's smallest fuel cell system for supplying power to households, intends to make its system even smaller before commercialization, the company's top engineer for the system said in a recent interview with Jiji Press. [ more ]

Air Products Selected for Three Hydrogen Fueling Station Projects by California's South Coast Air Quality Management District

Air Products and Chemicals Inc (APD) has been selected for three demonstration projects by the California South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) for fueling stations to be placed in Burbank, Riverside and Santa Ana in 2005. Air Products will be collaborating with Proton Energy Systems, Inc. (DESC) on two of the fueling stations. Each city will operate its station following fueling process and safety training by Air Products. [ more ]

August 17, 2004

FuelCell Energy to Provide Direct FuelCell Power Plant to the U. S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center/Construction Engineering Research Laboratory

fcel_logo.gifFuelcell Energy Inc (FCEL) has entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the U. S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center/Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (ERDC-CERL) and will provide a 250-kilowatt Direct FuelCell® (DFC®) power plant to the Department of Defense (DoD) Fuel Cell Test and Evaluation Center (FCTec) for evaluation in a combined heat and power application. This distributed generation fuel cell system will supply electricity, and the byproduct heat will be coupled with an adsorption chiller. [ more ]

August 16, 2004

Toyota Considering Making Diesel-Electric Hybrid Vehicles

Toyota Motor Corp (TM) are developing a hybrid drivetrain system that can be used for gasoline, diesel, natural gas and fuel-cells. [ more ]

Solid Hydrogen Storage Powers a Practical Hydrogen Hybrid Vehicle

ecd_logo.gifEnergy Conversion Devices Inc (ENER) and ChevronTexaco Technology Ventures LLC, is demonstrating the use of its metal-hydride hydrogen storage system in a modified hydrogen-electric variant of today's best-selling hybrid sedan.

The modified hydrogen hybrid will be available for test drives at the South Coast Air Quality Management District's "Hydrogen - Fueling the Clean Air Future" conference today and tomorrow, August 16 and 17, at the J.W. Marriott Desert Springs Resort in Palm Desert, Calif. [ more ]

August 13, 2004

Stuart Energy and AQMD Celebrate Grand Opening of the First Hydrogen Highway Network Fueling Station in Southern California

stuartenergy_logo.gifStuart Energy Systems Corp (SRNYF) attended the grand opening ceremony held at the Air Quality Management District (AQMD) Diamond Bar headquarters. Hydrogen fuel-powered vehicles from Honda, Toyota, and DaimlerChrysler were fueled at the grand opening ceremony.

The AQMD's facility is among the first of 13 hydrogen-fueling stations co-funded by AQMD and slated for construction throughout Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. These stations will provide fuel for hydrogen-powered fuel cell and internal-combustion engine vehicles used in fleet demonstrations throughout the region. [ more ]

DaimlerChrysler Announces its First Fuel Cell Vehicle Customer in California

DaimlerChrysler AG (DCX) announced its first fuel cell vehicle customer in California today -- the Air Quality Management District (AQMD). The government agency will use a DaimlerChrysler F-Cell in daily use, based at its new hydrogen refueling station, the first station to be open to the public. [ more ]

Just a reminder, DaimlerChrysler is in partnership with Ballard Power (BLDP) to provide the fuel cell stacks.

Hydrogenics Awarded New Contract by General Motors to Supply Test Stations and Testing Services

Hydrogenics Corp (HYGS) announces that its wholly owned subsidiary, Greenlight Power Technologies (Greenlight), received a multi-million dollar test station contract from General Motors (GM). The highly customized test stations will be delivered to GM's Fuel Cell Activities research facility in Honeoye Falls, New York. In addition to the test station contract, General Motors has also awarded Hydrogenics with a new multi-million dollar contract to provide testing services in support of General Motors' fuel cell stack development program. [ more ]

ECD Ovonics Announces Strategic Business Restructuring

ecd_logo.gifEnergy Conversion Devices Inc (ENER) announced that they are going to be focusing on accelerating the commercialization of its products. The Board of Directors has unanimously approved Management's business restructuring plan to take full advantage of the favorable battery settlement agreement announced on July 7, 2004 and the increasing market interest in solar energy systems and hybrid electric vehicles. [ more ]

August 12, 2004

Astris Energi Pays Down Debenture -- Now Debt Free

Astris Energi Inc. (ASRNF), the world's leading alkaline fuel cell (AFC) technology company, announced today it has paid down an existing debenture thus eliminating Astris' only long-term financial liability. [ more ]

August 10, 2004

Ford to test Fuel Cell vehicles in October

Ford Motor Co. will begin testing hydrogen fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) in October in California, Florida, Michigan and British Columbia, Canada, the firm said yesterday. [ fuelcelltoday.com ]

August 09, 2004

Sumitomo Corporation Obtains Approval for Hydrogen Storage System Built by QTWW

Sumitomo Corporation has announced that is has obtained Japan's first certification for a 700-bar (10,000psi) pressurized hydrogen storage system for fuel cell vehicles in collaboration with Suzuki in July 2004. [ more ]

qtww_logo.gifThe hydrogen storage system that Sumitomo is using is produced by
Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies Worldwide Inc (QTWW). This is the third country where Quantum hydrogen storage system has been approved for use.

August 04, 2004

Vectrix Fuel Cell Scooter Debut

dev_fuel_cellsm2.jpgVectrix debut their fuel-cell-equipped prototype at the Fuel Cell Seminar in Miami Beach, Fla. in November of this year. They plan to bring this new scooter to market by 2006. [ more ]

Vectrix is 50% owned by Parker Hannifin Corp (PH).

Hannifin provides the compressor that is twice as efficient and twice as durable as competing technologies. Parker Hannifin engineers say that it could serve as a cathode air compressor or as a hydrogen recirculation pump on all kinds of fuel cells, both in vehicles and stationary power applications. [ more ]

gpbatteries_logo.gifThey are also utilizing battery technology from GP Batteries, a division of Gold Peak Industries Ltd (GPINY).

August 02, 2004

Ballard Power Posts Narrower Loss in 2Q

ballard_logo_B.gifBallard Power (BLDP) has announced that second-quarter losses narrowed year-over-year to post better-than-expected results, but revenue declined across many business segments on lower volumes and decreased demand.

Revenue fell to $21.2 million from $29.1 million for the same period in 2003, primarily due to lower product revenue as a result of completing deliveries of heavy-duty bus engines to the European Fuel Cell Bus Project in 2003. The significant decline in engineering service revenue in the latest quarter was due to the development phase of the current generation light-duty fuel cell engine program nearing completion and the next generation light-duty fuel cell engine program being in the early stages. [ more ]

July 31, 2004

‘Hydrogen economy’ is a ruse—all hype, no hope

An editorial article from South Carolina's TheState.com expresses concern for funding for Fuel Cell research. The guess columnist expresses his concerns and feels that they would be better served looking at Biomass alternatives.

An abstract of this opinion article is show below, with a link to the full story.

A growing group of distinguished scientists sees the “hydrogen economy� as a ruse � a distraction from the much more viable alternative of biofuels. Nor has the hydrogen illusion escaped the notice of astute investors, as the major fuel-cell companies have seen their share prices drop by half over the past four months from what were already severely depressed values. [ full story at thestate.com ]

Since we are investing in both, we are still not concerned about a move towards Biomass alternatives. He is also missing one point in his editorial. These Biomass fuels can also be used to generate Hydrogen for our fuel stacks.

July 30, 2004

Honda to Launch New Fuel Cell Car in N. America Late 2004

hondafcx.jpgJapan's Honda Motor Co. said Thursday it will start sales of a fuel cell vehicle equipped with a cell stack capable of operating at subzero temperatures in North America in the second half of this year. [ full story at fuelcelltoday.com ]

The Honda fuel cells utilize the Ballard Power (BLDP) fuel cell stacks for their fuel cell equipped vehicles.

July 29, 2004

Clean Electricity From Sugar Cane Using Fuel Cell Technology

intelligent_energy_logo.jpgIntelligent Energy Inc., a leading energy solutions business, today announces that it has successfully completed trials of its ethanol based fuel cell technology system. These trials show that sufficient electricity can be generated for a rural home from equipment little larger than a shoebox, using fuel derived from sugar cane. [ full press release ]

Kerry's High-Wattage Energy Plan

BusinessWeek.com discusses John Kerry's plan to increase alternative energy usage for the country.

John Kerry's blueprint for energy independence doesn't suffer from lack of ambition. In early August, he'll unveil an energy plan that he says can break America's addiction to foreign oil, revitalize the U.S. auto industry, help farmers and coal miners, fight global warming, and create jobs -- all for just $2 billion per year. "We can live in an America that is energy independent," Kerry promises. [ full story at businessweek.com ]

July 28, 2004

Hydrogenics Signs New Agreement With John Deere to Advance the Commercialization of Fuel Cells

Hydrogenics Corp (HYGS) announced that it has entered into a five-year agreement with Deere & Company (DE) to continue research and development efforts in the use of hydrogen and fuel cells in commercial vehicles. The five-year agreement incorporates both qualitative and quantitative commitments, and builds on the success of earlier joint projects involving the integration of Hydrogenics' HyPM(TM) fuel cell power module technology into Deere vehicles. [ more ]

FuelCell Energy and LOGANEnergy to Sell Direct FuelCell(R) Power Plants

fcel_logo.gifFuelcell Energy Inc (FCEL) and LOGANEnergy Corp have joined forces to develop and sell commercial fuel cell power plants, with a focus on megawatt-class systems.

The two companies have signed a Market Development Agreement whereby FuelCell Energy will provide the power plants along with related engineering and technical support. LOGAN will contribute its expertise in developing fuel cell power plants for commercial and industrial customers, along with site-specific duties such as permitting, utility interconnections and power plant installation. [ more ]

July 26, 2004

ReliOn Selects Fuel Cell Product Manufacturer

relion.jpgReliOn, the leading provider of high reliability fuel cell solutions for backup power applications, announced that Celestica Inc (CLS), a world leader in electronics manufacturing services (EMS), will serve as EMS provider for ReliOn's fuel cell products going forward. [ more ]

ReliOn is a privately funded Washington corporation. However, as their business grows, their OEM partners will grow as well.

July 21, 2004

Pacific Fuel Cell Corp. Announces United States Department of Energy STTR Award

Pacific Fuel Cell Corp (PFCE)announced that it has been selected by the United States Department of Energy for a Phase I STTR (Small Business Technology Transfer) grant. The intended start date is September 1, 2004. [ more ]

I can't seem to find a website for Pacific Fuel Cell corp. I can't believe a publicly held company doesn't have a website. Post a comment if you can find it.

Medis Technologies Awarded New Fuel Patent for Fuel Cell Products

mdtl_logo.gifMedis Technologies Ltd. (MDTL) announced today that it has been issued a new patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (U.S. Patent #6,758,871 "Liquid Fuel Compositions for Electrochemical Fuel Cells") for its proprietary fuel. This is the third U.S. patent issued with respect to the fuel used in Medis' proprietary fuel cell technology and this patent relates to the composition of that fuel. Additional patents that cover other aspects of the fuel and its use in Medis' fuel cell are still pending. [ more ]

July 14, 2004

SatCon Receives over $1.0 Million in New Fuel Cell Electronics Orders

satcon_logo.gifSatCon Technology Corporation(R) (SATC), a manufacturer of electronic power control systems, today announced that its Power Systems division in Canada received new purchase orders this month totaling in excess of $1.0 million for its fuel cell Power Conditioning Units (PCU's). Delivery of the units is scheduled during this calendar year. [ full story ]

Satcon currently trades at 4x book value and is currently testing a key support level around $2.00.

Ford Research Vehicle Points the Way Towards Viable Fuel Cell Technology

Ford engineers have equipped the Ford Focus C-MAX with a prototype hydrogen internal combustion engine (H2 ICE). The vehicle was unveiled on July 12th at the Research Conference of the German Car Manufacturer Association (VDA) in Stuttgart, which was attended by the German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder. [ full story at fuelcelltoday.com ]

The Ford fuel cell team has been using the Ballard Power (BLDP) fuel cell stacks for their line of fuel cell cars.

July 08, 2004

Chrysler, Ford Boost Investment in Fuel-Cell Maker (Update4)

ballard_logo_B.gifBloomberg.com has the following article on Ballard Power (BLDP)

DaimlerChrysler AG and Ford Motor Co. agreed to invest $100 million in Ballard Power Systems Inc., the biggest maker of fuel cells for automobiles, and restructure their alliance with the money-losing company to speed up development of the alternative energy devices. [ full story ]

In the article there is an interesting quote from Ballard's CEO.

"We think we have a line of sight now to a commercial product in the early part of the next decade... There no question that fuel cells will replace piston engines."

FuelCell Energy to provide 250-kilowatt Fuel Cell Power Plant for Democratic National Convention

fcel_logo.gifFuelCell Energy, Inc. (FCEL), a leading manufacturer of stationary fuel cell power plants for distributed generation, today announced that it will be providing a 250-kilowatt Direct FuelCell(R) (DFC(R)) power plant as part of a temporary distributed generation micro-grid for the Democratic National Convention to be held at the Fleet Center in Boston July 26-29, 2004. The Company's DFC300A power plant will operate on natural gas supplied by Keyspan Energy and will be combined with generators to provide power for the Fleet Center and media stations. FuelCell Energy's DFC power plant, which generates electricity electrochemically and without combustion, will produce 99.9 percent less harmful air pollution and 59 percent less carbon dioxide than traditional combustion-based fossil fuel power plants, and will use half as much fuel per kilowatt hour of electricity than conventional power plants. [ more ]

July 06, 2004

IdaTech Signs Italian Agent for Fuel Cell Systems

idacorp_logo.gifIDACORP (IDA) is a holding company that has businesses in electrical generation, financial services, and telecommunications services. The IdaTech division that focuses on production of fuel cell systems has recently signed an Italian firm to represent them in the Italian market.

Press Release Monday June 28, 8:00 am ET
IdaTech has entered into an agency agreement with Italian energy engineering firm, RENCO S.p.A (RENCO) for the market development and distribution of IdaTech's fuel cell systems and hydrogen generation products. [ more ]

IDA is a well run utility paying a 4% dividend. They have recently crossed back over their 50 day moving average and they are currently trading at book value. Even though this company is not 100% in the Alternative Energy space, they have a firm footing for future growth and the backend holdings help to keep the stock's value as you wait. The dividend doesn't hurt either. This company is currently on my watch list for purchase in the near future.

$18.4 Million Funding Round Positions PolyFuel for Portable Fuel Cell Market Launch

pf_logo_sm.gifPolyFuel announced additional funding for their portable fuel cell technology. They are currently a privately held company backed by several venture capital firms. I'm keeping this company on my radar screen because these venture firms will eventually want to take this company public.

Here is an excerpt from this most recent PR announcement. Click the link to read the full press release.

PolyFuel, Inc., the world leader in membrane technology for portable fuel cells, today announced it has closed an $18.4 million, third round of funding, bringing total investment in the 5-year-old startup to approximately $40 million. This round, led by CDP Capital - Private Equity includes existing investors Mayfield, Ventures West, Technology Partners, Intel Capital, and Chrysalix Energy as well as new investors Conduit Ventures Limited, KTB Ventures, Hotung Venture Partners, Yasuda Enterprise Development, and BiNEXT, a part of the Daesung Group. [ full press release ]

July 01, 2004

How Fuel Cells Work

Before you invest in a technology, you should learn how that technology works. You can learn about Fuel Cells at the excellent How Stuff Works website using the following link: How Fuel Cells Work

They also have a good description of How Fuel Processors Work.

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