IdaTech signs new fuel cell distribution agreement with ACME for telecoms backup

US-based IdaTech, ACME Group in India, and Ballard Power Systems in Canada have terminated their existing fuel cell system supply agreement, and replaced it with a new, more flexible distribution agreement between IdaTech and ACME for ElectraGen™ PEM fuel cell solutions for wireless telecom backup power in India.

Under the new agreement, Acme can distribute a range of IdaTech fuel cell products, focused on the natural gas fuel cell system currently under development at IdaTech. The IdaTech natural gas fuel cell product development, incorporating the Ballard FCgen™-1300 PEM fuel cell stack, continues to make good progress.

Pricing and volumes in the agreement are flexible, and based on local market conditions. Shipment of the ElectraGen hydrogen fuel cell systems, incorporating Ballard FCgen-1020 PEM fuel cell stacks, under the original supply agreement is unaffected by this change.

Under the terms of the distribution agreement, ACME and IdaTech will work together to develop the Indian telecoms market for backup fuel cell systems. In particular they will work towards large-scale deployment of the IdaTech natural gas fuel cell system, which was the focus of the original fuel cell supply agreement. The natural gas fuel cell system will incorporate the Ballard liquid-cooled FCgen™-1300 PEM fuel cell stack.

IdaTech ElectraGen products can be powered by hydrogen or by its proprietary fuel reformer system, which converts natural gas or liquid fuel into high-purity hydrogen onsite, on demand. The ability of IdaTech to provide multi-fueling options was key in the ACME decision to partner with IdaTech.

‘The distribution agreement gives both IdaTech and ACME greater flexibility, and allows the companies to continue to collaborate on a number of projects,’ says Hal Koyama, CEO of IdaTech. ‘Our new agreement is a sign of the strong interest in the large-scale market for fuel cell products in India, and the collaboration with ACME.’

Koyama adds that IdaTech has resolved a significant number of cost barriers in developing the natural gas fuel cell system, and has added significant new technology to the IdaTech portfolio. Much of this new capability will also be leveraged in the next-generation IdaTech methanol/water fueled fuel cell systems, due for launch in late 2010.

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