11-03-16 Developments from the Tokyo FC Expo 2011

Developments from the Tokyo FC Expo 2011

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16 Mar 2011PDF (334 kb)

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I have very mixed emotions while writing this edition of our fortnightly newsletter, having only just returned from Japan, where I was lucky enough to extend my stay after the FC Expo and enjoy a short holiday in the country with my wife. Leaving as we did on Friday, my shock and sadness at hearing news of the earthquake and tsunami is difficult to convey. My sincerest condolences go to those directly affected by this tragedy.

Coming as it did off the back of an extremely successful FC Expo, I left Tokyo feeling highly optimistic for the future of the fuel cell industry, not only in Japan, but worldwide. All of the major world regions in the fuel cell industry were represented, none more so than the host nation.

The success of the Ene-Farm residential project was clear to see with both Tokyo Gas and Eneos showing their latest models and introducing the next generation of CHP units, including PEM and SOFC units intended for release later this year. Hopes were for significant sales volumes in the thousands of units and, being aimed at the region around Tokyo and further south, I would think these targets would still be achievable despite the recent events.

The major vehicle manufacturers and hydrogen infrastructure companies were also well represented by the Japan Hydrogen & Fuel Cell Demonstration Project (JHFC). One of my favourite exhibits was the full size cut-away model of Nissan’s X TRAIL FCV showing how the 90 kW fuel cell and 70 MPa hydrogen storage tanks integrate seamlessly into the vehicle; this also seemed popular with many other Expo visitors.

As Marge and I reported in our second day report from the FC Expo other world regions from across Europe, Asia and North America also had a strong showing at the show. Europe was represented with group exhibits by companies from France, Germany and Finland who were showcasing developments from all aspects of the fuel cell supply chain. The Taiwanese exhibit saw Nan Ya displaying a DMFC unit manufactured using all local components, demonstrating the diversity of their domestic industry. Canada and the USA were also strongly represented as you would expect, with leading companies such as Hydrogenics, Ballard and UTC all keen to expand their overseas markets. From the research organisations and raw material suppliers, right through to stack manufacturers, integrators and infrastructure developers, the holistic approach shown in countries like these is vital to the success of fuel cell adoption.

Elsewhere in the news, for those of you interested in motorsport it will be well worth tuning into the 2011 Honda Grand Prix, taking place in St Petersburg, Florida from 25th to 27th March where an FCX Clarity will be operating as the pace car for several of the races that weekend. Wouldn’t it be great one day to see fuel cell cars in the races themselves competing with internal combustion engines? It would be quite a step-up from the formula zero championship, but we can dream.

Staying on the subject of transport, this past fortnight also saw the launch in the UK of ITM Power’s Hydrogen On Site Trials (HOST), with a high-profile event held at London Stansted Airport. British motoring journalist Quentin Willson, who has long been an advocate of hydrogen and fuel cell technology, attended and co-hosted the event. Marge was also there on behalf of FCT and her report can be found in the news section on our website if you would like to read more.

The next major event in the FCT calendar will be the Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Group Exhibit at the Hannover Messe in Germany in April, so if you are attending we look forward to seeing you there!

Dan Carter     Manager

dancarter@fuelcelltoday.com

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