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Fuel Cell Suppliers
UTC Fuel Cells

UTC Fuel Cells, an operating unit of UTC Power and a division of Dow 30 component United Technologies, is the world leader in fuel cell development and production for commercial, transportation, residential, and space applications.  In the 1960's, UTC Fuel Cells designed, developed, qualified and manufactured the fuel cell power plants for NASA's Apollo, Apollo-Soyuz, and Skylab programs.  These were the world's first operational fuel cells, and used the Bacon (molten KOH) technology. A complement of three 28-volt power plants provided all the onboard electrical power to the Apollo Command and Service Modules. UTC continues to produce the fuel cell power plants for NASA's Space Shuttle Orbiter and is working with NASA and aerospace companies to evaluate fuel cells for future applications.  Fuel cells are critically important to manned space missions.  Their high-energy density -- of five better than batteries -- reduces launch weight, and the H2O they generate provides drinking and cooling water for the spacecraft.

UTC Fuel Cells is partnering with major automobile manufacturers Nissan, Hyundai and BMW, as well as with the U.S. Department of Energy, in developing fuel cell technology for cars.  In 2000, UTC began a partnership agreement with Hyundai Motor Company to produce demonstration fuel cell vehicles.  UTC integrated its fuel cell technology into the Hyundai Santa Fe and Tucson sports utility vehicles as their main power plants. In April 2004, UTC teamed with ChevronTexaco and Hyundai on a five-year project that includes building hydrogen fueling stations, primarily in California.  UTC’s partnership with Nissan began in February 2002, with the signing of a joint development agreement.  UTC provided fuel cells for both the 2002 and 2003 Nissan X-TRAIL fuel cell hybrid vehicles.  In partnership with BMW since 1999, UTC has developed and delivered PEM fuel cell auxiliary power units (APUs).  The unit was demonstrated at the Frankfurt Auto Show in 1999 in a BMW 7 series car.  The APU unit provided energy for all of the car's on-board electrical needs, including climate control – even when the engine was off.  This five-kilowatt unit runs on pure hydrogen, which means that it is completely pollution-free.

United Technologies automotive fuel cell.

In addition, UTC Fuel Cells was one of the first companies to incorporate fuel cells into buses. Working with the U.S. Department of Transportation and Georgetown University, UTC in 1998 integrated a 100-kilowatt phosphoric acid fuel cell system into a full-sized bus.  The bus, capable of running on a number of fuels including methanol and compressed natural gas, operated as a student shuttle service on the Georgetown campus and accumulated more than 8,000 hours of operation.  Building on that success, UTC incorporated its proprietary PEM fuel cell technology into city buses.  In 2000, UTC signed partnership agreements with Thor Industries, the largest maker of midsize buses in the United States, and Irisbus, one of the largest European makers of buses.  A Thor bus powered by a UTC power plant and integrated by ISE was the first fuel cell hybrid bus to enter into passenger service in California.  The 30-foot ThunderPower bus was operated by SunLine Transit Agency in Palm Springs and was later operated by AC Transit in Oakland, California, exceeding its design life by 50%.

UTC Fuel Cells subsequently worked with ISE and Belgian bus manufacturer Van Hool to install next-generation, 120 kW fuel cell power plants into hybrid buses.  In 2006, ISE completed a program to install the UTC fuel cells into four 40-foot buses supplied by VanHool.  Since mid-2006, all four buses have been in revenue service -- three with AC Transit and one with Sunline Transit.  These buses are achieving significantly greater fuel efficiency than any other fuel cell buses of this size, combining the advantages of UTC’s fuel cells with ISE's advanced hybrid drive technology. In 2007, a fifth Van Hool bus using this fuel cell and ISE's hybrid drive technology was entered into service in Hartford, CT.

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