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Fuel Cell

The hydrogen-powered CityCat H2 that is being trialed on the streets of Basel, Switzerland

For the past couple of years, a street cleaning vehicle has been washing, brushing and vacuuming the streets of Basel in northwest Switzerland. While there’s nothing unusual about that, what is noteworthy is that the vehicle, known as the CityCat H2, is powered completely by hydrogen. The street sweeper is part of a project to practically test the feasibility of hydrogen-powered vehicles under real-world conditions and the results from the trial indicate that, although hydrogen-powered vehicles can save energy, are environmentally friendly, and technically feasible, the prices of fuel cells, pressurized storage tanks and electric drives must all drop significantly before such vehicles are cost-effective.  Read More

Apple's Maiden data center already boasts a white cool-roof and is set to add the largest ...

Following widespread criticism of its environmental record from groups including Greenpeace, Apple has made efforts to reduce the environmental impact of its products and facilities in recent years. As part of these ongoing efforts, the company has revealed plans to build the United States' largest end user-owned, onsite solar array at its Maiden, North Carolina iDataCenter.  Read More

Cutaway of Suzuki Burgman Fuel Cell Scooter

Intelligent Energy and Suzuki are to establish a joint venture company, SMILE FC System Corporation (SMILE FC), for developing and manufacturing fuel cell systems. Suzuki has already been working with Intelligent Energy for six years in the development and testing of the CrosscageFuel Cell motorcycle and Burgman Fuel Cell Maxiscooter, the latter already being approved for European roads. An extensive display of the two-wheeled FC technology in cutaway form was one of the highlights of December's 2011 Tokyo Motor Show. The press release states that the JV will produce at least one car and one motorcycle.  Read More

Another zero-emissions powerplant emerges - the Dearman Engine runs on liquid air

A new zero-emissions engine capable of competing commercially with hydrogen fuel cells and battery electric systems appeared on the radar yesterday when respected British engineering consultancy Ricardo validated Dearman engine technology and its commercial potential. The Dearman engine operates by injecting cryogenic (liquid) air into ambient heat inside the engine to produce high pressure gas that drives the engine - the exhaust emits cold air. It's cheaper to build than battery electric or fuel cell technology, with excellent energy density, fast refuelling and no range anxiety. It just might be a third alternative.  Read More

Researchers have developed a biofuel cell to enable the development of 'insect cyborgs' (I...

Research into developing insect cyborgs for use as first responders or super stealthy spies has been going on for a while now. Most research has focused on using batteries, tiny solar cells or piezoelectric generators to harvest kinetic energy from the movement of an insect’s wings to power the electronics attached to the insects. Now a group of researchers at Case Western Reserve University have created a power supply that relies just on the insect’s normal feeding.  Read More

Technical diagram from Apple's patent application for a hydrogen fuel cell system to power...

Two recent patent applications by Apple indicate the company is looking at developing a hydrogen fuel cell system to complement the rechargeable batteries in a “portable computing device” – which could refer to Apple’s range of mobile iDevices, its MacBook range of notebooks – or both. The applications say the technology could potentially power portable electronic devices for “days or even weeks,” which would be sure to silence critics and users who have long complained about the poor battery life of not just Apple’s, but all mobile computing devices.  Read More

Finnish researchers have developed a method of fuel cell production, that uses 60 percent ...

While fuel cells show a lot of promise for cleanly powering things such as electric cars, there’s something keeping them from being more widely used than they currently are – they can be expensive. More specifically, the catalysts used to accelerate the chemical processes within them tend to be pricey. Work being done at Finland’s Aalto University, however, should help bring down the cost of fuel cells. Using atomic layer deposition (ALD), researchers there are making cells that incorporate 60 percent less catalyst material than would normally be required.  Read More

From top left, the Aqua, FT-EV III, FCV-R and Fun-Vii

The world's largest automaker has been slow off the mark in the race to bring electric vehicles to market, but it is now playing catch up at a fearsome rate, and we'll see the first of its new range of electric vehicles two weeks from now at the Tokyo Motor Show. The first Toyota EV (top right) will be a four-seater based on the iQ with a range of 65 miles (100 km) and it will hit showrooms next year. It is one of several new cars set to be shown, including a smaller, cheaper plug-in hybrid named the Aqua (top left - on sale in Japan THIS year), a plug-in version of the Prius hybrid and a hydrogen fuel cell midsize sedan (bottom left) to go on sale in 2015. The most intriguing of its Tokyo exhibits is the (bottom right) Fun-Vii concept “where people, cars and society are linked”. All we know is that the two “i”s stand for interactive and internet. As many details as are known inside.  Read More

The three new concepts - the D-X (top left), PICO (bottom left) and FC ShoCase (top right)

Daihatsu is Japan's oldest car maker, celebrating its sixtieth year of production this year, having honed its skills in micro-vehicle design in an environment where space is at a premium, and the roads are as congested as any country on earth. Toyota's controlling interest looks set to pay off as the world is belatedly realising that small cars are the future. The three new concept cars it will exhibit at the Tokyo Motor Show two weeks from now point the way to the future in several ways.  Read More

Nissan yesterday revealed a new Fuel Cell Stack for Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV) tha...

Nissan Motor yesterday revealed a new Fuel Cell Stack for Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEV) that packs 85 kW-h into a 34-liter package. Through improvements to the Membrane Electrode Assembly and the separator flow path, Nissan has improved the power density of the Fuel Cell Stack to 2.5 times greater than its 2005 model, and in so doing has created a world’s best 2.5 kW.h per liter power density. Similarly, by reducing the need for platinum by 75 percent, manufacturing costs have been reduced by 85 percent.  Read More

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