Bioenergy, Storage

Quiet Zero-emission Zinc / Air Fuel Cells are Displayed

Metallic Power, a developer of regenerative zinc/air fuel cells, has demonstrated a riding lawnmower and 2 kW portable power system that is designed for garden care. The unit was shown to the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD) in California, to fulfill a contract to develop and demonstrate zero-emission technologies for garden equipment.

CARLSBAD, California, US, 2001-12-03 [SolarAccess.com] Working in conjunction with Toro of Bloomington, Minnesota, Metallic Power incorporated its high-energy fuel cells into a Toro electric mower to show the viability of using alternative fuels to power the equipment. Metallic Power’s portable unit uses the same zinc/air technology to power a range of garden equipment, such as hedge trimmers and leaf blowers. The unit shows “the versatility of our zinc/air fuel cell technology,” explains president and CEO Jeffrey Colborn. “Its high energy density and zero emissions, coupled with the abundance of zinc, will make this an ideal power source for a number of applications from lawn and garden care to emergency backup power, to power for vehicles and more.” “New technologies such as this will help us achieve healthy air quality in Southern California without placing undue burdens or restrictions on businesses and homeowners,” adds AQMD’s Barry Wallerstein. The characteristics of the zinc/air technology will allow improvements in weight, power output, and other performance parameters that will enable a production version of the zinc fuel cell to be more compact, adds Colborn. Similar to a portable engine generator, Metallic Power’s portable power source can provide up to 2 kW of power for several hours between refueling. Unlike an engine generator, it can quietly operate indoors or in areas with limited ventilation. The power sources use recyclable zinc fuel to provide electricity with no emissions for a variety of applications, including backup power for telecommunications and networking, peak shaving and transportation. Metallic Power says its zinc/air system does not require high pressure or high temperature operating environment. The system’s use of zinc fuel, an abundant element on earth, it does not require the use of costly fuel reformers. Its fundamental simplicity will offer a safer, more cost-effective approach to renewable energy, claims Metallic Power.