11-04-27 The Industry Shift Towards Commercialisation

The Industry Shift Towards Commercialisation

Date publishedFormat
27 Apr 2011PDF (323 kb)

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I have been attending fuel cell trade fairs for five years now, and over that time I have seen noticeable changes in the exhibitors and attendees.

What I have seen is the gradual disappearance of certain fuel cell companies, ones I consider to be well established in the field. These companies have not ceased trading, but have shifted focus from fuel cells themselves and are now directly targeting their end-users.

In my opinion this is another indicator of how successful and commercially viable fuel cell technology is. If I had a viable end product, I certainly would rather show it to potential customers than to potential competitors. So where can we go to find these companies?

Scanning through trade fairs where fuel cells are on show and competing with well-established alternative technologies, I found quite a diverse selection and I’d like to share a few of these below.

Fork lift trucks are ubiquitous around the world, enabling logistics companies to efficiently prepare goods for transport, and at ProMat 2011, an international materials handling show held in Chicago during March, four booths demonstrated fuel cell technology, including Plug Power, Nuvera Fuel Cells, Yale and the US Department of Energy. Industrial gas companies such as Air Products and Praxair were also present demonstrating their refuelling solutions for hydrogen powered fork lifts.

Also in the niche transport sector, SFC Energy has a busy show schedule this year exhibiting its DMFC technology, either with a partner or on its own. At Transport 2011 SFC partnered with Awilco Multiplex and at Nufam 2011, another commercial vehicle fair, had its own booth. It has also visited a leisure fair in Scandinavia with partner Mastervolt and plans to visit the Dutch Marine Equipment Trade Show (METS 2011) in November this year.

Stationary fuel cell systems are garnering increasing exposure too, and later this year at the International Telecommunications Energy Conference, Intelec 2011, fuel cell tutorials and round table discussions form part of the technical programme. Nedstack CTO Frank de Bruijn is speaking about the use of fuel cells for both backup and continuous power in telecomms applications.

Finally, not forgetting the portable sector, Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies continues to promote its range of fuel cell recharging devices and toys at more than 30 consumer electronics shows, teacher conferences and toy fairs around the world; with far too many shows in its schedule for me to cover here, it’s best to check Horizon’s website if you want to track its sales reps down!

I have run out of room to talk about other companies showcasing fuel cells at end-user trade shows around the world, but am very interested to know if any of you have plans along these lines. We are always interested in the latest developments here at FCT, so would be happy to learn more about the successes fuel cells and hydrogen are enjoying!

Dan Carter     Manager

dancarter@fuelcelltoday.com

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Tel: +44 (0) 1763 256326

Dr Dan Carter
Fuel Cell Today
Gate 2, Orchard Road
Royston, SG8 5HE
Hertfordshire, UK


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