ITM Power may produce affordable fuel cellsJuly 29, 2012
Department of Energy initiates price target for automotive fuel cells
The U.S. Department of Energy has been working to make hydrogen fuel a viable energy option over the past year. The agency has only recently begun showing a large amount of support for the alternative energy, after having considered fuel cells to be a lackluster technology. Partly spurred by the undaunted pace of the auto industry in its adoption of hydrogen fuel cells and insistence on releasing new hydrogen-powered vehicles in the coming years, the Department of Energy has established a $30 per kilowatt-hour goal for the energy systems that are used in these vehicles. The agency believes that this goal will make fuel cells more viable in the commercial market.
ITM Power may be capable of meeting price targets in the near future
The target is similar to one established by the United Kingdom’s Carbon Trust, which is $36/kWh. The Carbon Trust has been conducting analyses of various fuel cell manufacturers in order to determine whether these companies have the capability of meeting this target. According to the agency’s analysis, ITM Power, a leading developer of hydrogen fuel cells, is one of the companies most likely to comply with the target within the next few years.
ITM Power developed new membrane technology to cut down on costs
The agency cites ITM Power’s new membrane technology as the reason behind the potential affordability of its fuel cell products. The fuel cells that are equipped with this technology have demonstrated high energy density, making them a powerful source of electricity. ITM has also taken steps to reduce the catalyst material that is used in its fuel cells in order to make them more affordable.
Second generation fuel cells expected to be released in 2017-2018
ITM Power expects to deploy its second generation fuel cells – those that make use of the company’s new membrane technology – sometime in 2017 or 2018. This will be after most major automakers introduce their hydrogen-powered vehicles to the commercial market. These vehicles are currently expected to be released between the years of 2013 and 2015.
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