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Hydrogen- Fuel Cell Technologies Hydrogen is the most abundant gas element on earth. When hydrogen gas burns in air, it forms water. Fuel cells silent reactions produce an electric current. Fuel cells are almost endlessly rechargeable. The cells run on hydrogen, which reacts with oxygen from the air in such a way that a voltage is generated between two electrodes; the reactions occur in a chemical mediator known as an electrolyte. Compared with conventional fossil-fuel power sources, fuel cells are exceptionally clean and efficient.

Zero-Emission Cars

Hydrogen is the most abundant gas element on earth. When hydrogen gas burns in air, it forms water. Fuel cells silent reactions produce an electric current. Fuel cells are almost endlessly rechargeable. The cells run on hydrogen, which reacts with oxygen from the air in such a way that a voltage is generated between two electrodes; the reactions occur in a chemical mediator known as an electrolyte. Compared with conventional fossil-fuel power sources, fuel cells are exceptionally clean and efficient.

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Old 09-04-2009, 05:47 AM
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Default Zero-Emission Cars

Q'Orianka Kilcher has never pumped a gallon of gasoline into her car. Never. Then again, she's never owned a car that needed gasoline. You could say she is at ground zero of the ZE, or zero-emission, vehicle future.

A 19-year-old actress living in Santa Monica, Calif. (she played Pocahontas in the 2005 movie The New World), Q'Orianka (pronounced Quor-ee-anka) is on her second hydrogen-fuel-cell car, a Honda FCX Clarity, a four-door with a 200-mile range. "I don't think I will ever buy a gas car," she says. "I can go everywhere I want to go with this. Plus, it's a guy magnet." (See the history of the electric car.)

Auto-marketing gurus take note: the brave new world of ZE cars is here, ready or not, and please make them sexy.

"ZEs are an entirely different paradigm," says Stephen Ellis, manager of fuel-cell-vehicle marketing for American Honda Motor Co. in Torrance, Calif. Ellis manages the rare $600-a-month leases (including free hydrogen fill-ups) for the FCX Clarity. "Knowing how to integrate these new technologies into existing lifestyles and then building new infrastructures to make it work is the trick," says Ellis. "It took a hundred years to create the gasoline infrastructure; this will be much faster."

There are three types of zero, or near zero, emission cars: electric plug-ins, hybrid plug-ins and hydrogen fuel cells (which create power by having oxygen and hydrogen pass over electricity-generating electrodes). But each major automaker has its own take on which advanced technology will win 10 years down the road. (See the video "Charge Your Car for 60 Cents.")

Nissan, for example, is pedal-to-the-metal with pure electric cars, having skipped fuel-cell technology altogether. It considers "interim hybrid technology," like Toyota's successful Prius, a mere passing phase. "The market-share winner will be the one that offers affordable, mass-market, zero-emission vehicles with a zero payback period for premium technologies," says Mark Perry, director of the product planning and strategy group for Nissan North America.

The automaker's first electric, the Nissan Leaf, was launched last month and is touted as the world's first affordable ZE. No price has been announced (the Leaf is still 14 months away from being available), but it's estimated to come in under $30,000. It seats five adults, goes 100 miles on a charge with V6 performance, offers advanced electronics and will reach 90 m.p.h. Nissan says it will produce 50,000 electric cars globally by 2010, and it's scaling up plants. At full capacity, its Tennessee plant will produce 150,000 ZE vehicles and 200,000 battery packs. But like all new technologies, the Leaf will have some marketing challenges, not all of which have been test-driven, according to Perry. (See "Aptera Electric Car in Best Inventions of 2008.")

"It's a very different sales process, especially with the inherent infrastructure challenges, like electric charging stations and in-home charging," he says. "It will be more of a consultative sale at the dealer level, and for some people, it may not be the right purchase."

"You'd never think of training consumers on how to fill up a gasoline-powered car," says Honda's Ellis. "But it's the very first thing we show them."

See the 50 worst cars of all time.

See the most exciting cars of 2010.

Dealers will ask prospective buyers some strange questions too, such as "Do you own a garage, for in-home refueling?" If the answer is no, an old-school, fuel-efficient Civic might be a better choice. And if your commute is more than 40 miles, well, you might want to kick the tires on a nifty hybrid. If, like Q'Orianka, you want a fuel-cell car, but you're not living in the Southern California hydrogen-fueling cluster, sorry. Only a dozen hydrogen-fueling stations exist, all in a 60-mile stretch between Newport Beach and Santa Monica.

According to Ellis, such customer research is necessary "to filter out customers so the experience is a positive one." Ellis has only 10 people on fuel-cell leases but is hoping for 200 next year.

In contrast to Nissan, Honda has passed up pure electrics, preferring instead to bank on lower-cost hybrids (Civic and Insight) and hydrogen fuel cells. Ellis, however, claims no distinction should be made between "FCs" and electrics, since a fuel-cell car is basically an electric car powered by hydrogen-created electricity.

Then there is Toyota, the 800-pound hybrid gorilla. Toyota has yet a third route to success: muscling up on its hybrid strength.

"We believe in not being first to market but being best to market," says Mary Nickerson, who is in charge of advanced-vehicle marketing at Toyota Motor Sales, also in Torrance. Last year, Toyota reached the 1 million sales mark with its Prius hybrid (gas-powered with fuel-saving electric technology).

"Our strategy is to be the hybrid masters, no pure electrics, and to explore fuel-cell technology," says Nickerson. "We feel it's going to take a lot more than one technology to make this new market work." Toyota began testing fuel cells in 2002. (Read "The Chevy Volt: GM's Huge Bet on the Electric Car.")

Toyota is investing heavily in its hybrid platform, offering more models, both larger and smaller. In 2010 it will start a demo program for plug-in hybrids with an "eco mode," or a downtown-use option, in which the vehicle will run for 20 miles on electricity before the gas engine kicks in.

Toyota's intrepid Prius customers are ripe for the next big thing, says Nickerson, noting research shows that a high percentage of Prius owners are likely to consider pure electrics or hybrid plug-ins. "Prius owners are people very comfortable trying new technologies because of their positive experience with Prius," she says. (Read "Nissan's New Leaf: An Electric Car and Charging Stations Too.")

But this same internal research shows some big inconveniences too. Some 21% of consumers will not consider a pure electric car because of the need to plug-in at home, according Nickerson. "We believe that 10 years out, the winners will be all new technologies, but hybrids will be the largest winner of them all."

Then again, as Honda's Ellis says, "It all depends on the price of gas.

Zero-Emission Cars: A Battle Among Technologies - Yahoo! News
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Old 09-04-2009, 05:53 AM
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Default Re: Zero-Emission Cars

LATHAM, NY - August 27, 2009 - Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG), a leader in providing clean, reliable energy solutions, today announced receipt of a purchase order from GENCO Supply Chain Solutions for 136 GenDrive(TM) fuel cell power units. The order consists of 100 class-3 pallet jack units and 36 class-2 standup reach truck units. In turn, GENCO will provide the units to Wegmans at its distribution facilities for conversion of lift truck fleets in their produce and grocery buildings. At Wegmans' Pottsville, Pennsylvania facility, the GenDrive units will be placed into Crown lift trucks provided by Lift Inc.

The funding for the fuel cells is part of a $6.1 million award made to GENCO in April, 2009 by the US Department of Energy (DOE) through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The DOE intends this funding to accelerate the commercialization and deployment of fuel cells and create jobs in fuel cell manufacturing, installation, maintenance and support services.

The Wegmans project will consist of various phases through 2012. The first phase includes a 59 unit fleet conversion of the produce building. Subsequent phases will allow Wegmans to expand its use of the GenDrive solution at its facilities.

GenDrive fuel cell units will provide Wegmans with increased productivity and decreased operational costs due to the elimination of lead-acid batteries at its facility. Lead-acid batteries lose charge and operational performance over an entire shift. Also, specialized labor, equipment and additional time is needed to change, charge and maintain the toxic power source. By replacing lead-acid batteries with GenDrive fuel cells, Wegmans will be able to run their equipment at full speed for an entire shift, thereby maximizing efficiency. Refueling with hydrogen is safe and takes up to one minute.

At the same time, hydrogen fuel cells reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Conversion of the produce building alone allows Wegmans to reduce its carbon emissions in an amount equivalent to removing 134 cars of the road each year. Over the lifetime of the project, 4,064,445 kWh of energy will be off-set.

"Customers across the United States understand the immense impact hydrogen fuel cells have on material handling operations. GENCO and Wegmans are acting as leaders in this revolution," said Andy Marsh, CEO at Plug Power. "This installation is strongly aligned with the DOE's intent of transforming the energy market and accelerating the use of hydrogen fuel cells for significant economic impact and creation and retention of U.S.-based green jobs."

"We are excited about this project with Wegmans and the opportunities it will present. GENCO is committed to advancing technologies, alternative energy sources and environmental sustainability," said Bob Simon, program manager and Six Sigma Master Black Belt. "The DOE award makes it possible for us to move forward with these initiatives and present our customers and partners with value solutions."

About Plug Power Inc.

Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG), an established leader in the development and deployment of clean, reliable energy solutions, integrates fuel cell technology into motive and continuous power products. The Company is actively engaged with private and public customers in targeted markets throughout the world. For more information about how to join Plug Power's energy revolution as an investor, customer, supplier or strategic partner, please visit Plug Power.

About GENCO Supply Chain Solutions

GENCO Supply Chain Solutions is North America's second largest and a Global Top 50 third-party logistics provider and the recognized leader in Reverse Logistics. The company manages over 130 operations and 37 million square feet of warehouse space throughout North America for a diverse range of retail, manufacturing and government customers. The company provides initial and ongoing value through a complete range of solutions, including contract logistics, transportation logistics, parcel negotiation and audits, reverse logistics, damage research, product liquidation, pharmaceutical services, government solutions and technology solutions. For more information, visit GENCO Supply Chain Solutions: The second largest 3PL in North America.

Media Contact:
Katrina Fritz Intwala
Plug Power Inc.
Phone: (518) 782-7700 ext. 1360
Company Information:
Name: Plug Power
Address: 968 Albany Shaker Rd.
City: Latham
State: NY
ZIP: 12110
Country: USA
Phone: 518-782-7700
Plug Power
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Old 09-04-2009, 05:54 AM
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Default Re: Zero-Emission Cars

Thu Sep 3, 3:01 am ET
At the forthcoming Grove Fuel Cell Symposium, taking place on 22-24 September 2009 at Westminster's Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, the prestigious Grove Medal will be awarded to the Honda Motor Company in recognition of their achievements in producing the FCX Clarity hydrogen powered passenger vehicle.

Oxford, UK (PRWEB) September 3, 2009 -- The Honda FCX Clarity is a fully practical and road-worthy car with room for four passengers and their luggage. Significantly, the FCX Clarity more than double the fuel economy than its petrol equivalent and one-and-a-half times that of a petrol-electric hybrid, whilst emissions consist only of water. Huge interest has resulted from it being made available commercially to the public in the U.S.A., and it is hoped that fuel cell vehicles will rapidly become more widely adopted throughout Europe.

The Grove Fuel Cell Symposium is a major international conference, and provides a European forum to encourage the commercialization of all types of fuel cells and promote collaboration in their development and application. It will again be held at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre, Westminster, London from 22 - 24th September, and is the eleventh symposium in the series. The first, held in 1989, commemorated the 150th anniversary of the invention of the fuel cell in 1839 by Sir William Grove.

The first Grove Medal was awarded to an Englishman, Francis (Tom) Bacon for his pioneering development of the fuel cells which were developed into the Apollo spacecraft power sources, enabling Man to land on the moon forty years ago this year. A US President congratulated him, saying "Without you, Tom, we wouldn't have gotten to the Moon". Subsequently, Grove Medals have been awarded to many other world leading figures and organizations developing fuel cells including United Technologies Corporation, (suppliers of the Apollo and Space Shuttle Orbiter fuel cells), Fuji Electric Company, Fuel Cell Energy, the California Environmental Protection Agency, Haldor Topsøe A/S, Ballard Power Systems and DaimlerChrysler AG. The recipients are chosen by an international body, the Grove Symposium Steering Committee and the medals are sponsored by Elsevier, organizer of the event and world-leading publisher of scientific, technical and medical information products and services.

Hydrogen is seen as a sustainable and secure energy vector which can be easily generated, transported and stored, and is capable of being generated from renewable energy or converting waste materials. As such, it will form the basis of environmentally friendly stationary generators, as well as vehicle propulsion. The sustainable generation and storage of hydrogen will be addressed at the Symposium by speakers including Professor Tim Mays of Bristol University and Rupert Gammon of Bryte Energy, while the development of a hydrogen infrastructure and vehicle developments will be reported by Catherine Dunwoody of the California Fuel Cell Partnership. Progress will be reported on stationary systems, including those operating on renewable energy sources. These will become increasingly important as waste streams from industries such a brewing and water treatment are used to generate electric power.

While the United States, Japan and Germany are presently leading the way in demonstrating fuel cells, a series of developments could lead to Britain becoming a major player in fuel cell powered electric vehicles. A coordinating body, UK HyNet will be launched at the Grove Symposium. This is intended to promote a hydrogen vehicle refueling network and to make the United Kingdom the preferred location for development and demonstration of passenger cars and service vehicles such as buses, taxis and delivery vans and includes Nissan as a partner. Organisations such as HyNet, SUPERGEN (Sustainable Power Generation and Supply) and the Regional Development Agencies are making the UK a major player in developing fuel cell systems and infrastructure. Many British companies and organisations already participate in European research and development programmes, as well as producing fuel cells and components which are sold world wide.

Other topics of major current interest will also be covered in the Eleventh Grove Fuel Cell Symposium including combined heat and power systems in buildings, electricity generation and transmission, electronic and portable fuel cell systems, including the latest technical developments in these fields. These also emphasize the importance of fuel cells as a clean energy technology.

The symposium provides a forum for customers as well as fuel cell manufacturers to meet and discuss their joint aims in this important and rapidly moving field, while the accompanying Exhibition provides a showcase of some of the latest technology.

This year's event, taking place at Westminster's QEII Conference Centre, London, promises to provide the latest information in fuel cell technology, from the use of fuel cells in buildings, to hybrid vehicles and portable applications.

Join us this September to discover developments from around the world and learn about the latest technologies and developments.

For further information or to register for your free visitor place at the Eleventh Grove Fuel Cell Symposium please visit Eleventh Grove Fuel Cell Symposium

As the world's leading publisher of science and health information, Elsevier serves more than 30 million scientists, students, and health and information professionals worldwide.

We are proud to play an essential role in the global science and health communities and to contribute to the advancement of these critical fields. By delivering world-class information and innovative tools to researchers, students, educators and practitioners worldwide, we help them increase their productivity and effectiveness. We continuously make substantial investments that serve the needs of the global science and health communities.
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Old 09-04-2009, 06:10 AM
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Default Re: Zero-Emission Cars

Mercedes-Benz BlueZERO E-CELL PLUS: Battery-Powered Electric Drive with Range-Extending Engine

STUTTGART, GERMANY – September 3, 2009: The near-series Mercedes-Benz Concept BlueZERO E-CELL PLUS electric car combines environment-friendly electric mobility in the city with unrestricted suitability for long-distance driving. This is made possible by the combination of the battery-electric drive with a combustion engine. The range extender gives the BlueZERO E-CELL PLUS a total range of up to 600 kilometres, with 100 kilometres thereof solely under electric power and thus free of local emissions.

The BlueZERO E-CELL PLUS is part of a family of modularly constructed electric cars, which will enable Mercedes-Benz to meet all customer requirements for sustainable mobility in the future.

In this variant of the concept vehicle, the electric motor of the purely battery-powered BlueZERO E-CELL is combined with an additional three-cylinder, turbocharged petrol engine. Putting out 50 kW, the compact combustion engine is installed in the area of the rear axle and can charge the battery while the car is being driven.

The CO2 bonus for the battery-electric driving mode reduces the vehicle’s emissions to only 32 grams of CO2 per kilometre. The range extender enables the BlueZERO E-CELL PLUS to drive for up to 600 km, of which up to 100 km can be driven in electric mode with zero local emissions.

The long combined range makes the BlueZERO E-CELL PLUS fully suitable for everyday use and assures that the customer will reach his or her destination even with a depleted battery. After all, the car can be refuelled quickly and easily at any normal filling station.

Battery with superior lithium-ion technology
During rapid charging with a charging capacity of 20 kW, the high-performance, 18 kWh lithium-ion battery of the BlueZERO E-CELL PLUS can store enough power within around 30 minutes for a 50 kilometre cruising range. The complete electric range of 100 kilometres requires a charging time of somewhat more than an hour. Charging time with a standard charge cycle at a conventional household outlet with 3.3 kW is approximately 6 hours. Special on-board electronics support the intelligent charging stations and billing systems used by electric fuelling stations. Advantages of lithium-ion batteries compared to other battery technologies include their compact dimensions, high output and energy density, high charge efficiency and long service life.

Concept BlueZERO - the triad of electric mobility
Mercedes-Benz is showing the way to environmentally compatible electric mobility with the near-series Concept BlueZERO. The vehicle’s intelligent modular concept enables a single vehicle architecture to be used to create three models with different drive system configurations.

The BlueZERO E-CELL PLUS is equipped with an electric drive and a supplemental combustion engine with an electrical generator (range extender). The car has a total range of up to 600 kilometres, of which up to 100 kilometres can be covered solely on electricity.
Originally presented in Detroit at the beginning of the year, the BlueZERO E CELL is propelled exclusively by a battery-powered electric drive that allows the car to travel up to 200 kilometres on a single battery charge and completely free of local emissions.
The third drive version is the fuel cell powered BlueZERO F-CELL, with a range of about 400 km on electric power and therefore also without any local emissions. All three BlueZERO models feature front-wheel drive, which is typical for this class of car. The drive components have been modularly organised by the Mercedes engineers and can be combined as needed. These include state-of-the-art liquid-cooled lithium-ion batteries with up to 35 kWh capacity, and a compact electric motor with a maximum output of 100 kW (sustained output: 70 kW).

The maximum torque of 320 Nm is available from the electric motor’s first revolution, and it surpasses the value attained by today’s V6 petrol engines at 2,500 rpm. Like its two sister models, the BlueZERO E-CELL and the BlueZERO F-CELL, the BlueZERO E-CELL PLUS can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in less than eleven seconds. To ensure optimum range and energy efficiency, the top speed is electronically limited to 150 km/h.

"The Concept BlueZERO offers a triple demonstration of the technical maturity of alternative drive systems from Mercedes-Benz,” says Prof. Herbert Kohler, Head of E-Drive and Future Mobility and also Chief Environmental Officer at Daimler AG.

“Electric vehicles with battery electric or fuel cell drive systems will not truly be on an equal footing with today's combustion engine drive systems until the customers are confident that there is a sufficient infrastructure of electricity and hydrogen refuelling stations.”

Concept BlueZERO: Modular architecture for flexibility and efficiency
The three BlueZERO variants were developed on the basis of the unique sandwich-floor architecture known from the A-Class and B-Class. The advantage of the enhanced design is that the key drive components are installed in the vehicle’s underbody in such a way that they take up little space, ensure a good centre of gravity, and have maximum protection.

The BlueZERO models therefore differ considerably from conventionally designed electric cars, which have heavy and voluminous storage batteries installed in the boot, for example, or in the area of the backseat.

All three BlueZERO variants share key technological components and have identical designs and vehicle dimensions. Even though they have compact exterior dimensions, the 4.22-metre-long BlueZERO models have a spacious and versatile interior and cargo space. The vehicles’ five full-size seats, approximately 450 kilograms of payload, and more than 500 litres of cargo capacity make them suitable family cars.

“Our modular system permits different drive configurations for each customer requirement,” says Dr. Thomas Weber, the Daimler Board of Management Member responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development.

“The improved sandwich floor platform serves as the perfect basis for a diverse range of vehicles with electric drives. We are currently developing an additional platform for future compact models that have drive systems using optimized internal combustion engines.

“The smart linking of both architectures will allow us to expand our product range in an extremely flexible and efficient manner. Beginning in 2009, we will manufacture the first small batch of Mercedes fuel cell cars. In 2010, they will be followed by a small batch of Mercedes-Benz vehicles that run solely on electric power supplied by a battery. Thanks to these measures, we are excellently positioned for the future.”

Electric powered vehicles are fun to drive
Mercedes-Benz vehicles will continue to combine environmental awareness and driving fun in future.

One way in which the Mercedes-Benz designers have emphasised this aspiration is by introducing paint finishes in three new ALU-BEAM colours.

Each of the three variants makes its individual mark: Confident ALU-BEAM Copper was chosen for the BlueZERO E-CELL PLUS. The BlueZERO E-CELL is painted a fresh ALU-BEAM yellow; the BlueZERO F-CELL appears in ALU-BEAM green.

Mercedes-Benz feels it won’t be just one technology that paves the way to sustainable mobility in the future, however. Instead the company is responding with solutions that are every bit as varied as the demands.

The individual technologies are being used in specific applications where they can provide the greatest advantage with respect to optimal consumption and emission values.

Mercedes-Benz views the development of electric cars with battery and fuel cell drives for local zero-emission driving as a means of supplementing the extremely clean and economical BlueEFFICIENCY and hybrid vehicles already available today. However, the unrestricted and convenient operation of electric cars still faces a series of challenges, including high system costs, insufficient infrastructure and short cruising ranges. Advanced diesel and petrol engines will remain the driving force for automobiles for a long time to come - not only for individual mobility in passenger cars (especially over long distances), but, more importantly, for freight transport in trucks. Despite all the progress that Mercedes-Benz has once again so emphatically documented with the Concept BlueZERO, electric cars will not be replacing vehicles with combustion engines any time soon.

The electrification of modern, high-tech engines will, however, play an increasingly important role in the drive system mix of the future.


Electric powered concept car with a battery-electric range of up to 100 kilometres

A combustion engine that serves as an electrical generator (range extender) extends the range to up to 600 kilometres (total)

The concept vehicle can be recharged simply and conveniently at a common household outlet

With a charging capacity of 20 kW, the Concept BlueZERO E-CELL PLUS can be recharged within around half an hour for a 50 kilometre range

The liquid-cooled lithium-ion batteries used as an energy source have an energy content of up to 17.50 kWh

Front-wheel drive

Mercedes-Benz BlueZERO E-CELL PLUS: Battery-Powered Electric Drive with Range-Extending Engine
"People are not remembered by how few times they fail, but how often they succeed."
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