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Newsletter 05, November 2014

48th Executive Committee Meeting – Seoul, South Korea, June 2014

National updates from South Korea, Mexico and Germany

48th Executive Committee Meeting – Seoul, South Korea, June 2014

The 48th Executive Committee (ExCo) Meeting was held at the Korean Institute for Science and Technology (KIST) in Seoul, South Korea on the 13–14 June 2014. The event was well attended with representatives from Austria, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Sweden, Switzerland, the USA and Korea. The event also included guest representatives from Canada and China.

An introduction and welcome to KIST and to South Korea was given by Dr Tae-Hoon Lim. An excellent video presentation was given of the history of KIST and its focus today: KIST currently concentrates on research, but is shifting to a more research and development (R&D) focus, and to provide help to small and medium-sized entreprises (SME). In addition to its main site in Korea, KIST also has a site in Germany.

It was announced at the ExCo that the new Annex 29: Modelling has recently begun activities, with Professor Dr Steven Beale from Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH becoming the Operating Agent.

The Hyundai ix35 FCEV-SUV test driven during the 48th Executive Committee Meeting

It was also announced that the new Annex 30: Electrolysis will have Jürgen Mergel, retired leading scientist at Juelich, as the Operating Agent, who will report at the next Executive Committee meeting on progress made on the possibility of setting this annex up as a joint undertaking between the Advanced Fuel Cells Implementing Agreement (AFC IA) and the Hydrogen Implenting Agreement (HIA).

As part of their time in South Korea, members were treated to a visit to Gyunggi Green Energy Company – the fully operational 58.8MW molten carbonate fuel cells (MCFC) complex developed by POSCO Energy. Members also visited the Hyundai R&D centre where there was an opportunity to drive the ix35 fuel cell electric vehicle sports utility vehicle (FCEV SUV).

Hyundai ix35 FCEV-SUV test driven during the 48th Executive Committee Meeting


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National update: South Korea

Presented by Dr Jonghee Han, KIST

South Korea's Clean Energy Targets aim to increase clean energy to 11% by 2030 (current clean energy deployment level is 1%). KIST is a key enabler to meet this target, focusing on the energy efficiency and renewable energy targets, and how they can be achieved in South Korea. The key focuses for fuel cell R&D in Korea are:

  • Be affordable – cost reduction;
  • Be productive – increase mass production; and
  • Be reliable and durable.

The MCFC manufacturing plant owned by POSCO Energy in Pohang boasts the world's largest production capacity at 100MW per year and is capable of producing products in the 100kW, 300kW and 2.8MW range. South Korea now has over 115MW of fuel cell capacity installed over 23 sites.

Hyundai is planning to sell 40 FCEV in South Korea this year and has announced a lease arrangement available for customers in California, with free hydrogen included. An automated production facility has also been completed with a capacity of 1,000 vehicles per year. The intention is to increase this to a capacity of 10,000 vehicles per year by 2015. Hyundai is focusing on developing its own in-house membrane electrode assemblies (MEA) for its vehicles. Alongside this, South Korea's hydrogen infrastructure includes 16 hydrogen refuelling stations, 13 of which are in operation, two are ready to be commissioned and one is under construction.

Micro-CHP fuel cell systems in South Korea are less well developed than those in Japan. However, there are close to 400 systems installed in flats and the green home programme aims to install 100,000 system by 2020.

Some of the existing measures available in South Korea to help boost the uptake of fuel cells are:

  • A subsidy of USD 34,000 per kW for a 1kW fuel cell system under the Green Home Program; and
  • A public building regulation that requires 10% of expected energy consumption to be from new and renewable energy sources.

The Gyunggi Green Energy Company's 58.8MW fuel cell power plant South Korea

The Gyunggi Green Energy Company's 58.8MW fuel
cell power plant, South Korea

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National update: Mexico

Presented by Dr Tatiana Romero, IIE

Mexico is undergoing a historic energy sector re-orientation due to the implementation of the Constitutional Energy Reforms that were approved in December 2013. It is expected that a broader portfolio of energy technology options will be promoted, particularly wind, geothermal, biomass (biofuels) and solar PV, with hydrogen and fuel cells being proposed under the renewables 'umbrella'.

Some of the recent highlights from the Instituto de Investigaciones Eléctricas of Mexico (IIE) include:

  • Research into nanonporous gold (NPG) catalysers, catalyser support and high temperature (HT) membranes;
  • Development and testing of nanostructure components for advanced membrane electrode assemblies (MEA); and
  • Investigation of alternative bipolar plates to improve conductivity with expanded graphite thin layers over cheaper metal plates.

IIE is actively pursuing international cooperation through a joint research project with Brazil, organisation of a fuel cell transportation workshop with the University of Loughborough (UK),seeking joint projects with VTT in Finland and promoting the formation of consortia with other European institutions.

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National update: Germany

Presented by Dr Can Samsun, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH

Fuel cell research and demonstration is an active area in Germany with activities being carried out in transport, domestic-scale CHP, large-scale electricity generation and electrolysis. In June 2013, the National Organisation for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NOW), identified that the R&D focus should be on the following business areas up to 2025:

  • Fuel cells for electric vehicles and hydrogen infrastructure for comprehensive, emission-free mobility;
  • Hydrogen generation from renewable energy sources and integration in the energy system as a link between sustainable mobility and energy supply; and
  • Fuel cells for stationary energy supply using decentralised cogeneration in-house and; building supply, industry and a secure power supply for public safety communication systems, telecommunications, and so on.

Daimler is the flag bearer for fuel cells, carrying out the main fuel cell activity in transport in Germany. In 2013, the Daimler signed a unique three-way agreement with Ford and Nissan to accelerate the commercialisation of fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV) technology to be able to launch the world's first affordable mass-market vehicles as early as 2017. Also on the automotive front, BMW is cooperating with Toyota regarding fuel cells and VW has a new cooperative venture with Ballard.

The Mercedes Benz B Class F CELL vehicle

On the stationary side, the Callux Programme in Germany has installed up to 350 domestic fuel cell heating systems as of March 2014. Overall increases of electrical and system efficiencies to 33% and 96% have been achieved respectively from more than 3 million hours of experience from field tests. During this time some 2 million kWh of electrical energy was produced. Degradation rates of 0.2% per 1,000 hours operation and proven lifetimes of 10,000 hours have been reported after two years of field tests. Appliance costs were reduced by around 60% over the course of the project, and servicing and replacement costs were reduced by around 90%. The systems installed were available from the three system manufacturers that were involved in the project: BAXI INNOTECH, Hexis and Vaillant.

The Mercedes-Benz B-Class F-CELL vehicle

The German Engineering Association (VDMA) Working Group Fuel Cells is the industry network for manufacturers of fuel cell systems and fuel cell components in Germany. It provides 65 active leading national and international manufacturers and suppliers with a communications platform for networking and joint lobbying. The VDMA also coordinates the growing fuel cell industry to expand value creation and employment in Germany. It forecasts that manufacturing of fuel cell systems will grow from 7,500 units in 2013 to 300,000 units in 2020 in Germany alone.

The BAXI INNOTECH Gamma 1.0 fuel cell heating system available through the Callux Programme

The BAXI INNOTECH Gamma 1.0 fuel cell heating system
available through the Callux Programme (Callux/E.ON)

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Fuel cell news

A study of Californian gas stations determines that a number of existing stations can provide hydrogen fuel under new code guidelines.

In July, a new study produced by Sandia National Laboratories concluded that a number of gasoline filling stations in California have the potential to safely store and dispense hydrogen, suggesting that a broader network of hydrogen fuelling stations may be within reach. This study considered 70 commercial filling stations to determine whether they could dispense hydrogen fuel, based on the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) hydrogen technologies code of 2011. It was found that, under the new code guidelines, 14 of the 70 stations could dispense hydrogen fuel with a further 17 needing property expansions to be able to dispense hydrogen fuel. Under previous NFPA code requirements, none of the stations considered above were found to be able to dispense hydrogen fuel.

Please visit for further information on the project and its outcomes.

Doosan's new fuel cell acquisitions threaten POSCO's stronghold in fuel cell market in South Korea

Doosan announced in July that it had taken over U.S. based ClearEdge Power at a cost of USD 32.4 million and launched it as Doosan Fuel Cell America. Earlier in July Doosan merged with Fuel Cell Power, a leading South Korean company developing fuel cells for residential buildings. These actions mean that the Doosan Corporation now has proprietary fuel cell technology suitable for commercial buildings, residential buildings and for electricity generation in the Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS). Doosan estimates that, in 2013, this market was worth USD 1.76 billion and is expected to reach USD 5 billion by 2018.

Doosan's significant entry into South Korea's fuel cell market, which has to date been dominated by POSCO Energy, potentially transforms the domestic market. LG is also expected to enter into this arena. Together, these organisations can be expected to have a significant effect on the international fuel cell market.


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Stop press

Dr Rajesh Ahluwalia, of Argonne National Laboratory and our current Annex 26 Operating Agent, along with his colleagues, has recently had published a review paper to the Journal of Power Sources. This paper reports on the excellent work that has been carried out as part of the Annex involving a review of the status of fuel cell electric buses (FCEB) worldwide. The key highlights are that FCEB have been proven to operate with zero local emissions, reduced noise and reduced emissions on a well-to-wheel basis compared to traditional diesel buses.

Status of hydrogen fuel cell electric buses worldwide, Journal of Power Sources volume 269, pages 975-993. DOI: 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2014.06.055

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Forthcoming Annex meetings

  • Annex 29: 20-21 January 2015, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Jülich, Germany; and
  • Annex 25: 21-22 April 2015, Austrian Energy Agency, Austria

The 49th ExCo meeting will be held on the 4–5 December 2014 in Grenoble, France in conjunction with the Annex 26 meeting. The 50th ExCo meeting is due to be held in Helsinki, Finland on 4–5 May 2015.

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Join our work

We welcome new participants to our work at expert, company and country levels. Participants from IEA member countries ( may join the work of our Annexes, please contact the following people:

Annex 22: Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells, Dr Di-Jia (DJ) Liu:
Annex 23: Molten Carbonate Fuel Cells, Dr Jonghee Han:
Annex 24: Solid Oxide Fuel Cells, Dr Jari Kiviaho:
Annex 25: Stationary Fuel Cells, Bengt Ridell:
Annex 26: Fuel Cells for Transportation, Dr Rajesh Ahluwalia
Annex 27: Fuel Cells for Portable Applications, Dr Martin Müller:
Annex 28: Systems Analysis, Dr Can Samsun:
Annex 29: Modelling, Professor Dr Steven Beale:
Annex 30: Electrolysis, Jürgen Mergel:

If you are from a non-member country, please contact Dr Louise Evans at who would be delighted to discuss membership with you, either on a country basis or on a company basis. Please visit to see the benefits of joining our work.

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Special thanks

Special thanks to the following companies and organisations for their permission to use the pictures in this newsletter: KIST/Hyundai, POSCO Energy, Daimler, Callux/E.ON and Fraunhofer IKTS.

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