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ClearEdge Power Buying UTC Power

January 25, 2013 in Biomethane, Companies, Electric Drive, Hydrogen by Rich Piellisch  |  No Comments

Disposition of Transportation Fuel Cells Business Is Uncertain,
Separately, AC Transit Is to Resume Operation of Its UTC Buses

Oregon’s ClearEdge Power has disclosed the pending acquisition of UTC Power from United Technologies, but the fate of UTC’s PureMotion fuel cell business for transportation is likely to remain unknown until after the purchase closes – “early in 2013,” ClearEdge says.

UTC Power’s new Puremotion 150 fuel cell module is to be more powerful than the PureMotion 120 units in service today, yet will weigh far less – just over 1,200 pounds as compared with nearly 2,000 pounds – and be smaller.

Separately, Northern California’s AC Transit and its supplier Linde have re-started the Emeryville hydrogen station shut down after a venting and minor fire incident this past spring. “All the systems are running and everything’s going well,” says Jaimie Levin, AC’s director of environmental technology and fuel cell program manager. Hydrogen is produced via a Proton Onsite electrolyzer that’s partially solar-powered.

“Fueling buses will start on Monday,” he told F&F. The agency’s fleet of 16 buses with PureMotion 120 fuel cell modules from UTC Power will resume service as drivers are retrained over the next two weeks, Levin adds.

AC Transit’s hydrogen buses with UTC Power fuel cells are to resume revenue service in the coming weeks.

AC is going ahead with a sister hydrogen station at its larger yard in Oakland. “It’s a mirror image” of the Emeryville station, Levin says – with the exception of two bus dispensers instead of one, and no private automobile fueling. The Oakland’s station’s electrolyzer for splitting water into hydrogen will get its electricity from a biomethane-powered stationary fuel cell unit. The facility is to open in August.

A More Puissant PureMotion

UTC Power, meanwhile, continues work on its 150-kilowatt PureMotion 150 fuel cell module, successor to the 120-kilowatt PureMotion 120 modules in the Van Hool buses with Siemens electric drivelines operated by AC. Despite being 25% more powerful, the 150s are smaller and weigh less. In development with U.S. Department of Energy support, they are to be ready for market next year.

PureMotion 120 fuel cell module from UTC Power in a Van Hool bus operated by AC Transit

“The business is being sold in its entirety to ClearEdge,” a UTC spokeswoman told F&F Friday.

“We are excited about the strategic combination of ClearEdge Power and UTC Power to address the demand for clean, continuous, distributed power solutions,” said ClearEdge Power president and CEO David Wright said in a release.

‘Wealth of Talent’ – for Future Vehicles?

“The wealth of talent, intellectual capital, and technology platforms enables us to provide highly innovative product and service solutions to our customers,” he said – with no mention of the transportation fuel cell business.

“The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions; closing is expected early in 2013,” ClearEdge said.

The firm’s plans for the PureMotion product line will be publicized at that time, says ClearEdge sales and marketing VP Neal Starling.

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Source: ClearEdge Power with Fleets & Fuels follow-up


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