Fuel Cells as Pollution Solution

Airports have long been known as sources of localized pollution, and fuel cell tests could point the way to cleaner run way air. Fuel cell manufacturer Hydrogenics has contracted with the U.S. Department of Defense to supply a 65 kW hydrogen fuel cell power module Fuel Cell Test and Evaluation Center operated by Concurrent Technologies Corporation (CTC). The power module is meant for a CTC aircraft tow tractor, and the machine will be used in fuel cell demonstrations at select Air Force Bases and civil airports in the United States.

Toronto, Canada – September 10, 2004 [] “We are excited to be working with the DoD and CTC to demonstrate the advantages fuel cell technology brings to airport ground support vehicles,” said Pierre Rivard, President and CEO of Hydrogenics. “(The company) has secured some interesting patents around vehicle-to-grid power distribution and this contract represents an excellent opportunity to showcase the off-board power capabilities as a key attribute of fuel cells.” Airports have been targeted for specific pollution reduction measures supported by the U.S. Hydrogen Initiative and Clean Air Act. Demonstration projects such as the tow tractor allow the fuel cell and aviation industry to explore pollution reduction measures and expand their operational knowledge of fuel cell systems. CTC will monitor, trend, and report on the operating and maintenance parameters of the aircraft tow vehicle. The tow vehicle will provide the platform to study the use of fuel cells for different applications including mobility power and auxiliary power. The project will also experiment in the area of interconnection with existing power systems with a vision to potentially offset utility grid requirements at commercial airport installations in the future.