The fifth and final day of the Hannover Fair 2007, and the last chance to talk to exhibitors and find out general market progress and prospects.
First up was H-tec, a producer of fuel cell education products since 1997, who announced yesterday that they had sold 10,850 educational units over the course of last year. The company has established a reputation over the past decade for high-quality, cost-competitive fuel cell education products for schools, universities and demonstration purposes. Their main markets are Japan, the USA and Germany.
The German Centre for Aerospace and Institute for Thermodynamic Technology (DLR) are working with Airbus on developing a fuel cell system to replace aircraft Auxiliary Power Units (APUs). APU's are typically used to power the, so called, hotel loads which include air conditioning, in-flight entertainment, and catering facilities. Replacing engine-powered APUs with fuel cell-powered units would go some way to reducing emissions and improving the efficiency of aircraft.
In the past year IdaTech, the developer of fuel processors and fuel cell systems for portable and backup power, were bought by UK investment company Investec. Their new owners are supportive of IdaTech's long-term pursuit of niche markets for portable, backup and remote power applications in the telecommunications, utilities and military sectors.
Like many fuel cell companies, Proton Motor is in transition from being a project based company to a product based company. To date, Proton Motor has successfully completed 2 demonstration projects in buses and has another demonstration project underway. Next year they have another bus demonstration project planned which will incorporate their now market ready 50 kW PM Package. Proton have also completed one forklift trial, with another planned this year and are developing a 150 kW boat propulsion system for the City of Hamburg.
Nedstack, was spun-off from Akzo Nobel in 1998 to develop fuel cell technology developed over the preceding 9 years. Nedstack's primary target market is the chlor-alkali industry, where substantial quantities of by-product hydrogen is generally flared or vented.