domingo, marzo 04, 2007

Fueling Tomorrow

GE has announced a $13 million research partnership with the Federal Transit Administration, Ballard Power Systems and A123 Systems to develop a lightweight, battery dominant zero emissions hybrid fuel cell bus.
The research will be led by GE’s Global Research Center in Niskayuna, where researchers can leverage a long history in hybrid vehicles and expertise in battery chemistry.

"Advancements in hybrid propulsion systems and battery chemistry offer tremendous promise for enabling cleaner, more affordable transportation alternatives that will reduce reliance on fossil fuels and promote a cleaner, healthier environment,” said Mark Little, Senior Vice President and Director of GE Global Research. “At Global Research, we will be leveraging nearly three decades of experience in hybrid systems and battery chemistry research to help pave the way to commercialization.
“This project is another illustration of GE’s commitment to drive and develop cleaner technology solutions in the marketplace through our company-wide ecomagination initiative,” Little added.
Launched in May 2005, ecomagination is GE’s company-wide initiative to aggressively develop and bring to market new technologies that help our customers meet their most pressing environmental challenges. Under the initiative, GE has pledged to more than double its level of investment in the development of cleaner energy technologies, from $700 million to $1.5 billion during the next five years.
Today’s announcement was highlighted during a visit to the Research Center by U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton from New York, who met with GE research officials to discuss clean energy and toured the Center’s alternative energy labs in wind and solar energy.
Sen. Hillary Clinton said, “GE’s Global Research Center in Niskayuna is a tremendous asset for New York and the state’s burgeoning Tech Valley corridor. GE researchers are at the center of many exciting projects to promote cleaner energy alternatives. The hybrid fuel cell bus project is a great example of the important work they are doing. The project also illustrates how government and companies like GE can effectively partner together on cutting edge technology research that has a positive impact on the world.”
It is expected that the hybrid fuel cell bus being designed and built will be completely emissions free, have a range of 200 miles with accessories operating, and an improved fuel cell life and cost. The focus of the research partnership will be to reduce fuel cell power requirements and improve energy storage technologies, which would help to increase the commercial viability of the technology.
Hydrogen fuel cells and electric vehicles offer a viable solution for zero-emission transit bus operation. Both are in use today, but come with high expense, complex infrastructures, and range limitations. GE’s research effort will be aimed at reducing these costs to affordable levels.
Beyond the transit bus, the technologies developed under this project could be leveraged to support other clean energy priorities. Technology and techniques developed for the bus can be applied to uninterruptible power supplies, renewable energy production and many other applications. The energy storage components can further enable new products for emerging markets such as plug-in hybrid vehicles and electric grid management.
The research partnership is part of $49 million in funding announced last week by U.S. Federal Transit Administrator James Simpson under its hydrogen fuel cell bus research and development program. GE Global Research, and its industrial partners, will contribute approximately half of the $13 million in funding for the project. The Federal Transit Administration, through the Northeast Advanced Vehicle Consortium, will fund the other half.

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