Venture capital for P21

Venture capital for P21

NEWS Contact: MTI MicroFuel Cells Inc, Albany, NY, USA. Tel: +1 518 533 2222, www.mtimicrofuelcells.com Axane’s new product line F rench-based Axan...

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NEWS Contact: MTI MicroFuel Cells Inc, Albany, NY, USA. Tel: +1 518 533 2222, www.mtimicrofuelcells.com

Axane’s new product line

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rench-based Axane – a subsidiary of Air Liquide – showcased the first prototype of its new line of 2.5 kWe PEM fuel cell products at the recent Hannover Fair in Germany. Based on its Evopac™ modular technological platform, the integrated system meets the requirements of off-grid/stand-alone electrical supply in small stationary or portable generators. Combining the fuel cell and its fuel supply in a single integrated unit facilitates energy management, and provides an optimized ‘plug & play’ system approach. The new design, based on the proprietary Evopac technology developed by Axane, was successfully proven in spring 2002 during the Polar Ice Cap Mission by Dr Jean-Louis Etienne [FCB, March 2004]. The new product line, comprising three systems rated at 2.5 kWe, will be available in the second half of 2004. Contact: Axane Fuel Cell Systems, Sassenage, France. Tel: +33 4 7643 6047, www.axane.fr

Honda FCX with new stack in California, NY

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onda R&D Americas has begun public road tests in California of its 2005 Honda FCX fuel cell vehicle, which is equipped with the new Honda fuel cell stack with improved cold-start performance [FCB, April]. The company delivered two hydrogenpowered FCX vehicles to the city of San Francisco as part of its ongoing customer lease program, and will place a vehicle in New York in the fall. The New York test program will play a critical role in proving the cold-weather performance capabilities of the Honda FCX and the breakthrough Honda FC stack, which has the ability to start in temperatures as low as –20°C (–4°F). The US tests follow successful testing on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido last winter. The new Honda stack produces 33% more power (86 kWe) than the previous version, using a new aromatic electrolyte membrane with greatly improved durability. Honda’s experimental Home Energy Station (HES) at Torrance in California [FCB, December 2003] will supply hydrogen for the road 10

Fuel Cells Bulletin

tests there. The HES generates hydrogen from natural gas for use in FCVs, while supplying electricity and heat for the home. San Francisco joins Los Angeles as the first American cities to embrace Honda fuel cell technology; Los Angeles took delivery of its first FCX in December 2002. The addition of San Francisco as a Honda FCX customer brings to 12 the number of Honda fuel cell cars on the road in the US and Japan. Contact: Honda R&D Americas, Torrance, California, USA. Tel: +1 310 781 5500, www.hondaresearch.com

Venture capital for P21

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he German PEM fuel cell developer P21 GmbH has concluded its first round of institutional financing, with 6 million from an international consortium of leading venture capital investors. Founded in 2001 as a spinoff from the Vodafone/Mannesmann Group, Munich-based P21 plans to use the new capital to launch its fuel cell system for emergency power supply in the growing uninterruptible power supply (UPS) market, especially for mobile communication base stations. The lead investor is UK-based Conduit Ventures, which specializes in investments in the fuel cells and hydrogen technology sector. Other investment partners include Target Partners in Munich and TechFund Capital Europe and its associated fund CDC Ixis Innovation in Paris. In 2002 P21 secured 1.3 million in seed financing from a private investor, software tycoon Eberhard Färber, and tbg in Bonn. P21’s chief executive officer is Dr Günther Dietrich, who was chief technical officer at the Ballard-DaimlerChrysler-Ford joint venture Xcellsis before joining P21.

Contact: P21 GmbH, Munich, Germany. Tel: +49 89 607 45720, www.p-21.de Or contact: Conduit Ventures Ltd, London, UK. Tel: +44 20 7468 7468, www.conduit-ventures.com

US stationary fuel cells standard is first in series

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hio-based CSA America, a leading standards development organization, has published the first of 15 new leading-edge standards it is developing for the global use of fuel cells. The series will focus on facilitating the harmonization of global standards and

regulations for fuel cell applications by establishing requirements for the installation, performance and interchangeability of selected fuel cells and fuel cell power systems. The first standard to be published has been approved as a national standard in the US by the American National Standards Institute as ANSI/CSA America FC 1-2004, Stationary Fuel Cell Power Systems. The FC 1 standard includes requirements for the operation, construction and performance of stationary fuel cell power systems, and is intended to set new guidelines incorporating a wider range of fuels and technologies. The new FC 1 standard supersedes the previous ANSI Z21.83-1998, Fuel Cell Power Plants, which was also developed by CSA America. The newest standard incorporates the latest industry technologies, and includes new requirements for fuels such as hydrogen, methanol, ethanol, kerosene, diesel, gasoline, natural gas, methane gas mixtures and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). CSA America serves as the US Technical Advisory Group administrator to the International Electrotechnical Commission’s Technical Committee, IEC TC 105 on Fuel Cell Technologies. The IEC is facilitating the development of a series of international standards for the global use of fuel cells, which are also being used as seed documents for a new series of ANSI/CSA standards. CSA America is also working with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to facilitate development of an ISO standard for hydrogen generators using fuel-processing technologies. To buy a copy of ANSI/CSA America FC 1-2004, Stationary Fuel Cell Power Systems, go to: www.shopcsa.ca For more information on CSA America, go to: www.csa-america.org

Quantum wins military contract for mobile hydrogen refueler

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he National Automotive Center in the US Army’s Tank-Automotive Research, Development & Engineering Center (TARDEC-NAC) has expanded its contract with California-based Quantum Technologies to include the development of a transportable hydrogen refueler. The HyHauler Plus™ will be used to support the hydrogen fuel cell powered light-duty off-road vehicle currently being developed as part

June 2004