Fuel Cells Take Center Stage in Portland

Fuel Cells Take Center Stage in Portland

"Powering the Future," the 2000 Fuel Cell Seminar in Portland, Ore., had the look and feel of a trade show, with 58 booths and more than 1,900 attendees from all segments of the industry, Fuel Cells 2000 reported Tuesday.

According to Robert Rose, executive director of Fuel Cells 2000, fuel cell component suppliers, potential customers and financing and investment interests were very much in evidence.

"Even a few years ago, the biennial seminar was largely given over to technical topics. This year the talk was about pilot fleets, stock offerings and market projections. Altogether, the show was an encouraging sign of progress toward commercialization," Rose said.

Highlights from the exhibition hall and technical presentations:
  • The Taiwan Institute of Economic Research (TIER) displayed the world's first Zero Emission Scooter, ZES 1; Asia Pacific Fuel Cell Technologies of California expects to unveil a ZES 2 at the end of the month. The collaborators project that the PEMFC powered electric scooters will be introduced to buyers in 2002.
  • Manhattan Scientifics unveiled a fuel cell power charger prototype to holster cellular phones. The developers powered a Nokia 6190 cellular phone with the Power Holster for one month, producing more than twice the battery energy of the 900 mAh lithium ion battery on the Nokia phone with one ounce of fuel.
  • DOD CERL reviewed the status of the Department of Defense fuel cell demonstration, calculating that the program has so far has saved the U.S. military $4,144,645 in energy costs.
  • XCELLSIS announced that it would begin producing a new model fuel cell engine, the P5, in 2002, with production in the "hundreds per year."
  • The Alaska Mail Processing Center, powered by a 1 MW fuel cell system from International Fuel Cells, has been running seamlessly since it started operation in July 2000, IFC reported. To date, there have been 21 grid disturbances that would have normally caused glitches, but the fuel cell system has provided continuous power and prevented a shutdown of the operations due to the grid disturbances.
  • Alcatel is leading a European project that includes Deutsche Telecom, that plans to demonstrate fuel cell/PV hybrid power systems for remote telecommunications equipment.
  • Fuji's onsite PAFC has accumulated 1,627,738 hours of operating time.
  • McDermott calculated that a Planar Solid Oxide Fuel Cell/Gas Turbine combined-cycle power plant could produce power at six cents per kilowatt hour. The model calculated that, based on a 25-year plant life, the capital cost of a 726kW system would be $626/kW.
For more information on these or any of the other presentations at the 2000 Fuel Cell Seminar, please contact Jennifer Gangi at [email protected]

Fuel cells generate electricity without combustion by harnessing the energy created when hydrogen and oxygen are chemically combined. Fuel Cells 2000 is an independent, nonprofit activity dedicated to the commercialization of fuel cell technologies.

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RELATED LINKS:

Bookstore: Powering the Future: The Ballard Fuel Cell and the Race to Change the World

Event: The Business Case for Fuel Cells

Government Gateway: U.S. DOE Fuel Cell Program

Organization Directory: Breakthrough Technologies Institute