Monday October 20, 2003

A briefcase-sized portable fuel cell system that provides 110v or 50 Hz AC mains supply and 12v DC battery charging has been unveiled at the Grove Fuel Cell event in London. The Voller Energy Portapack VE100 is targeted towards anyone with a need to use power tools or charge laptops, mobile telephones or other personal communications and photographic equipment in remote off-grid locations.

Designed to be hand carried, the VE100 provides a 60 Hz 110v or 50 Hz 230v AC mains supply and a 12v DC battery charging supply via standard wall socket plugs or a 'cigar lighter' type DC plug.

The advantages of the fuel cell unit over petrol or diesel generators include lower noise levels and no harmful exhaust gases.

Using hydrogen as fuel also requires appropriate precautions - it is 12 times more diffusive than Petroleum fumes and four times more than natural gas, so if it leaks it will do so quickly but is more likely burn than explode. Hydrogen is also odourless, tasteless and colour free and for this reason it's required that detection alarm systems be fitted.

UK based Voller Energy has distributors in Germany, Japan, Italy and the United States, but in Australia at present. To learn more see www.voller-energy.com.