A Canadian company has purchased a 10,000 ft2 manufacturing facility to start full-scale production of its portable 1.3 kilowatt alkaline fuel cell unit.
ORILLIA, Ontario – GreenVOLT Power Corp. will purchase the building, located on a 1.6 acre lot in an industrial park in Orillia, Ontario. Terms of the cash purchase were not disclosed. “The purchase of this facility, which was tailor made for our purposes, provides unique advantages for GreenVolt as we enter the next important phase in the company’s development,” says president and CEO Thomas Faul. “Equally important is the fact that the property has received Phase II environmental site certification from Rubicon Environmental indicating it is one hundred percent free of contamination.” GreenVolt recently announced that it expects to introduce a commercial 1.3 kilowatt alkaline fuel cell unit in the third quarter of 2001. A pre-production model of a 5 kW fuel cell, with a modular design that would allow it to supply up to 350 kW of electricity, is expected to be unveiled during the second half of 2001. The 1.3 kW fuel cell unit is designed to provide an uninterrupted power supply to users that cannot tolerate a disruption in electric grid power. Potential customers include hospitals, financial institutions, government facilities, data processing centers and users in remote locations. Enhancements to the Orillia building include an air purification system to provide a dust-free atmosphere and the best conditions for manufacturing alkaline fuel cell units, a separate welding room with a dedicated exhaust system, a computer infrastructure with wiring and telephone lines shielded by steel tubing, a testing room reinforced by armor-plated walls and shatter-proof glass, and a double-alarm system fortified by eight-foot fencing around the perimeter. Fuel cells are electrochemical devices that enable the chemical energy of fuels to be converted directly into electricity, avoiding the fundamental loss of efficiency and emission of air pollutants associated with traditional power sources. They are based upon a concept first demonstrated in 1839 and were used by NASA in alkaline fuel cells that began with the 1965 Project Gemini. GreenVolt is developing frost-proof and emission-free modular alkaline fuel cell systems that will generate DC electric power for use in stationary and portable power applications without pollution. The company has a three step testing program that involves a mini-jeep, a recreational off-road vehicle, and a highway vehicle application.