|To: 993racer who started this subject||9/18/2000 10:48:12 AM|
|From: J. M. Burr|
Week of Sept. 16, 2000; Vol. 158, No. 12
Device ups hydrogen energy from sunlight
Here's a recipe for a cleaner, healthier planet: Take some water, add solar energy, extract hydrogen, and use it to power fuel cells for running cars and other machines. Then, collect their water emissions and start the procedure again.
One look at the list of ingredients in today's fuel cells, however, shows that this ideal isn't yet being followed. Because processes that use sunlight to extract hydrogen remain costly and inefficient, fossil fuels still supply the hydrogen in most fuel cells.
Hoping to break the fossil fuel habit, a team of Israeli, German, and Japanese scientists has created a device that boosts the efficiency of solar-powered hydrogen extraction by 50 percent.
The group placed a photovoltaic cell on top of two flat, finger-long electrodes. The combination "is very efficient in converting solar energy [into an electric current] but also provides nearly the ideal voltage for splitting water" into hydrogen and oxygen, says team leader Stuart Licht of the Technion in Haifa, Israel. A water molecule splits,
or undergoes electrolysis, at only 1.23 volts.
Licht and his colleagues describe their device in the Sept. 14 Journal of Physical Chemistry B. The gadget converts sunlight to an electrolysis current with 18.3 percent efficiency. In turn, the current creates hydrogen gas as it passes through acidic water.
The device is "showing the pathway towards higher efficiencies for direct solar-to-hydrogen production," comments John A. Turner of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colo. The newly achieved efficiency may already be high enough for commercial hydrogen generators to be feasible. "That still needs to be figured out," Turner says.
In 1998, he and Oscar Khaselev, then also of NREL, demonstrated a novel apparatus for solar-to-hydrogen conversion (SN: 4/18/98, p. 246). To achieve unprecedented efficiency, the device used multiple layers of semiconductor materials. The researchers arranged the layers to form two
active regions, or junctions, that would absorb solar photons that dislodge electrons. Some of the less energetic photons weren't captured in the first junction but passed to the second, where they generated more current.
The design gained an energy advantage by combining solar electricity and water splitting into one unit. Their cell's 12.4 percent efficiency—nearly twice that of any previous solar-to-hydrogen device—has held as the record until now.
Licht and his colleagues have improved upon that pioneering effort in several crucial ways. In one sense, the NREL device was all wet: It had to be completely immersed in water to operate. That feature forced the researchers to select semiconductors that wouldn't break down in solution.
By keeping their stack of semiconductor layers high and dry, Licht and his group were free to optimize them for both converting sunlight to electricity and water splitting. Their design permits a low electrolysis current, which also reduces energy waste. Licht and his coworkers say that besides besting the solar-to-hydrogen conversion record, their work opens the way to efficiencies not considered possible before. Using measured photoelectric efficiencies of seven semiconductor combinations not yet tested in hydrogen generation, they predict maximum solar-to-hydrogen conversion efficiencies of up to 31 percent.
Thermodynamics theory says the maximum could range above 40 percent for a two-junction converter, but no one has previously predicted better than 24 percent performance for practical devices, Turner says. Experimentally achieving the new prediction "would be an accomplishment indeed!" he adds.
From Science News, Vol. 158, No. 12, Sept. 16, 2000, p. 182.
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|To: J. M. Burr who wrote (35)||9/20/2000 1:31:16 PM|
|H Power Corp. To Supply Ball Aerospace With Fuel Cell Stacks For Use In|
Advanced Military Field Equipment
New Fuel Cell Based Portable Power Systems Will Permit Military to Operate Sensitive Electronic
Devices in Remote Locations Without Batteries
CLIFTON, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 20, 2000-- H Power Corp. (NASDAQ:HPOW - news), a leading fuel cell development company, today
announced that it has signed a ``Memorandum of Understanding'' with Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp., a subsidiary of Ball Corporation (NYSE:BLL -
Under the terms of the Memorandum, H Power Corp. will supply Ball Aerospace with proton-exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell stacks for use in Ball
Aerospace's portable hydrogen fuel cell power systems that are sold to the U.S. military and other users requiring similar highly sophisticated power sources.
H Power will provide fuel cell stacks capable of supplying between 10 and 500 watts of electricity for Ball's PPS-15, PPS-50 and PPS-100 portable power
systems. The memorandum is subject to completion of definitive documentation.
H. Frank Gibbard, chief executive officer of H Power Corp., commented, ``Our alliance with Ball Aerospace represents a significant milestone for the company and
an advance for our armed forces. H Power gets an additional high-volume customer with international recognition, and Ball Aerospace gets a source of custom,
sophisticated fuel cell stacks for their Portable Power Systems.
Rich Reinker, Ball manager of Fuel Cell Programs, said, ``Portable Power Systems based on sophisticated fuel cells are well suited for use as a primary energy
source in the military of the future.''
Gibbard continued, ``We see Ball Aerospace's military application as among the first of many that will use these versatile fuel cells to improve the way we live, work
and play. Fuel cells are safe, do not pollute, have low operating costs, low noise levels, high reliability and low maintenance. In addition to a wide range of portable
mobile products, H Power is also developing stationary cogeneration products for the remote and rural homeowner markets. Today's announcement is another step
toward our goal of powering the world cleanly with fuel cells'.''
H Power has sold fuel cell systems for stationary and portable applications to the U.S. Government, state agencies and numerous domestic and multinational
About Ball Aerospace
Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. provides imaging and communications products for commercial and government customers worldwide and is a subsidiary of
Ball Corporation, a Fortune 500 company with sales of $3.6 billion in 1999.
About H Power Corp.
H Power Corp. is a leading fuel cell development company and one of the first providers to complete a commercial sale of a proton-exchange membrane (PEM) fuel
cell system. PEM fuel cells generate electricity efficiently and cleanly from the electrochemical reaction of hydrogen and oxygen. Hydrogen is typically derived from
conventional fuels such as natural gas or propane, and oxygen is drawn from the air.
H Power's fuel cells are designed to provide electricity for a wide range of stationary, portable and mobile applications including residential cogeneration products for
rural, remote homes, and backup power units for mobile applications.
For additional information, please visit our website at www.hpower.com or www.ballaerospace.com.
Certain expectations and projections regarding the future performance of H Power discussed in this news release are forward-looking and are made under the ``safe
harbor'' provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These expectations are based on currently available competitive, financial and economic
data along with the Company's operating plans and are subject to future events and uncertainties. Management cautions the reader that the following factors,
amongst others, may cause H Power's plans to differ or results to vary from those expected, including the impact of competition, pricing, market demand and
marketplace acceptance, and other risks set forth from time to time in H Power's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including, but not limited to
the risks set forth in H Power's Registration Statement on Form S-1. H Power undertakes no obligation to publicly release the results of any revisions to
forward-looking statements, which may be made to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. The
events highlighted herein should not be assumed to be items that could affect the future performance of the Company.
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|To: Islander who wrote (36)||9/21/2000 12:50:09 AM|
|From: Hyrulean King|
|Today was another good day for HPOW. I still think that this stock is undervalued, and is still a buy below $40. Since we have passed Lehman's $30 target, I would expect renewed coverage of some sort soon. I don't know if it will go as high as PLUG, but I think there is a good chance at $50 this fall conservatively. The volume is averaging over 1mm daily, and as great as 4mm on a strong day. The outlook is very positive with HPOW. I added to my position at 30 - 32 recently.|
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