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.
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 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.
“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