Hydrogen Meets Internal Combustion

Fuel cells are the main converters used to turn hydrogen into energy. But Alternate Energy Corporation (AEC) would like to see hydrogen enter the market as an energy source for internal combustion engines (ICE) first. The company has completed the first phase of its back-up power product initiative by successfully converting an ICE generator to run exclusively on hydrogen.

Over the past several months, AEC has been focused on building and demonstrating ICE and fuel cell generator sets fueled by the company’s on-demand hydrogen. “As we have powered Astris’ alkaline fuel cell in Sept, 2003, we also had a requirement to produce a demonstration unit which fueled an ICE generator set running on our low cost, on-demand hydrogen,” AEC Chairman Blaine Froats said. “This ‘proof-of-concept’ unit will be used to demonstrate that our hydrogen can fuel IC engines as well – a market that represents a quicker time to revenue than the fuel cell.” Alkaline fuel cells are used to supply on-board power for space missions, and provide drinking water to the astronauts on board. AEC had to convert the alkaline fuel cell from Astris so it could be used in a standard power situation. AEC does not intend to enter into the manufacturing of hydrogen-run IC engines, but rather to commission an existing manufacturer to build a unit that meets the company’s technology design specifications. “Now that we have a demonstrable ICE generator set in the making, we will be off to a great start in 2005,” Froats said.
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