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News >>>Adelan teams up with BCU to launch Birmingham fuel cell incubator

Posted  March 1 2020

Birmingham’s Millennium Point is the site of a new space dedicated to greentech business development and networking. Local fuel cell technology pioneers Adelan teamed up with Birmingham City University’s (BCU) STEAMhouse to provide the space, which will also house the Midlands Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Network, an organisation dedicated to commercialising fuel cell technology.

Located at the heart of Birmingham city centre, the Millennium Point location will support students, graduates and local creative and digital entrepreneurs who wish to start and grow a business.

STEAM blends Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) and Arts graduates and makers to generate new high growth businesses in the city.  In the fuel cells and hydrogen sector, this creates new products, applications, digital platforms, data services and marketing approaches which can support local businesses and policy makers to understand the benefits of these technologies. Offering high quality and flexible business support, including workshops, high profile events, one to one mentoring and coaching, entrepreneur in residence, legal, accounting, finance issues and much more, the STEAMincubator offers specially designed spaces to prototype new products and develop new ideas including a fabrication facility at STEAMhouse.

Commenting on the development, Adelan CEO Dr Michaela Kendall, said: “We are delighted to be working with BCU as they build the STEAM pipeline to support the inventive ideas being generated every day in Birmingham. These ideas are being captured by BCU in a unique way, so that artists and technologists can create new and successful businesses together.  Ideally, our fuel cells will be designed and made in Birmingham, and we rely on digital platforms to enable wide deployment.  This will create the positive environmental impacts we know fuel cells can deliver for the whole of Birmingham and beyond”.

To access the STEAMincubator and learn more about the services it can offer local entrepreneurs, please visit: https://adelan.co.uk/

Adelan Fuel Cell Technology

To discover more about how Adelan can support your future energy ambitions or to meet your requirements for clean, quiet and reliable energy for remote, mobile or any other applications, please contact Dr Kendall and the rest of the Adelan team at:

Adelan Ltd, 15 Weekin Works, 112-116 Park Hill Road, Birmingham, B17 9HD (UK)

Tel: +44 (0)121 427 8033

About Adelan

First founded in The Midlands, Birmingham-based Adelan pioneered microtubular solid oxide fuel cell (mSOFC) technology more than 30 years ago. Adelan’s patented and scalable technology gives the fuel cell unprecedented flexibility, allowing the system to run cleanly on a range of commonly available fuels such as LPG, natural gas or propane/butane mix. As a result, though Adelan fuel cells can also run on hydrogen, they offer considerable additional operational flexibility and ease of use benefits whilst retaining a small, compact and lightweight footprint.

 

 

News >>> HS2 makes cost savings using Adelan fuel cell tech

Posted Feb 20 2020

Adelan fuel cells are set to deliver significant cost and carbon savings for the HS2 rail project. According to new analysis validating the performance of Adelan’s microtubular SOFC technology, fuel cells have the potential to reduce CO2, fuel costs and energy consumption.

Construction group Balfour Beatty Vinci (BBV) is expecting to set up over 100 construction sites along the HS2 N1 and N2 route. Although each site will be necessarily different, each will still have a power and heat demand. In considering the best solution for the remote energy requirements, BBV recently completed its first funded innovation project. This project was designed to explore the implications of deploying the unique Adelan mSOFC technology to heat and power construction sites across the massive rail infrastructure project. The laboratory and site trials-based study compared the five-year carbon and cost impacts of mains or diesel generator supplied energy against an alternative solution centred on fuel cells.

Working alongside HS2, Soils Engineering and Adelan, BBV established that fuel cells do have sufficient capacity and performance to displace conventional diesel generators. The study also concluded that the fuel cell technologies most suited to remote construction activities were small and scalable power units of the kind developed by Adelan.

Furthermore, while the analysis notes that current supply costs of hydrogen are prohibitively expensive, as Adelan technology can just as easily use widely available forecourt fuels such as LPG, it offers operating cost advantages when compared with diesel for small- and medium-scale sites.

The use of fuel cells also eliminates most air pollution emissions, according to the BBV report. The BBV analysis indicates that, when compared with diesel generators, hydrogen fuel cells reduce carbon emissions by over 95% and by around 85% when using LPG in fuel cells, for example. BBV’s research project also concludes that LPG fuel cell operating costs are three times cheaper than diesel, representing a 65% saving.

Noting that cost benefits are unlikely to be achievable on larger scale sites at present, the BBV report did however record that site trials indicate a better operating cost performance than had been anticipated. The BBV study additionally indicates that a typical 125 kW diesel generator operates at around 85-90 dB. This compares poorly when compared with the near silent operation of a fuel cell and thus may represent further savings associated with noise abatement measures that may be required at sites in urban areas, for example.

Commenting on the report’s findings Dr Michaela Kendall, CEO of Birmingham-based Adelan, said: “This study confirms the potential value of using fuel cells on construction sites. Adelan technology is not only clean and quiet, using LPG in our patented mSOFC technology also delivers considerable cost savings when compared with conventional diesel generators. With proven operational benefits in terms of climate and urban air quality, this is the latest confirmation of the commercial, social and environmental gains that can be achieved using Adelan’s locally developed innovative mSOFC technology.”

Adelan Fuel Cell Technology

To discover more about how Adelan can support your future energy ambitions or to meet your requirements for clean, quiet and reliable energy for remote, mobile or any other applications, please contact Dr Kendall and the rest of the Adelan team at:

Adelan Ltd, 15 Weekin Works, 112-116 Park Hill Road, Birmingham, B17 9HD (UK)

Tel: +44 (0)121 427 8033

About Adelan

First founded in The Midlands, Birmingham-based Adelan pioneered microtubular solid oxide fuel cell (mSOFC) technology more than 30 years ago. Adelan’s patented and scalable technology gives the fuel cell unprecedented flexibility, allowing the system to run cleanly on a range of commonly available fuels such as LPG, natural gas or propane/butane mix. As a result, though Adelan fuel cells can also run on hydrogen, they offer considerable additional operational flexibility and ease of use benefits whilst retaining a small, compact and lightweight footprint.

 

 

Blog > A simple clean air, low-carbon energy hack

Posted 5 Nov 2019

With the global cleantech sector expected to engage $60 trillion of investments in order to help the world achieve its 2050 carbon targets, why it is that home grown UK cleantech often fails to reach even local markets?

Certainly there is no shortage of commercial opportunity in Birmingham – with the clean air zone, the forthcoming Commonwealth games and HS2 all on the doorstep.  Cleantech firms like fuel cell innovators Adelan should be thriving. But the reality is that home-grown pioneers are not supported to achieve their commercial potential in the UK, due to market bottlenecks and a top-down approach.

This is not because UK companies are sub-standard or their technology innovations do not support vitally important global objectives.

In fact, one of the key reasons is that long-established energy sectors like fossil fuels and nuclear power continue to receive government subsidy, while UK-developed cleantech does not.  Giving this subsidy to fossil energy is supposed to keep people and goods moving, keep energy for businesses competitive and keep the lights on, but that’s not true.  It penalises breakthrough technologies by making them appear more expensive, and slows them from reaching UK markets.

It is clear that to combat climate change more needs to be done to realign market structures. What support is available to help build up clean energy businesses has not generated the right results. In the UK the structures that bind the publicly-funded networks and supporting bodies that do exist mean that only a fraction of any headline public investments reach disruptive innovators themselves. UK growth investment to grow these businesses is needed immediately if they are to reach the necessary scale required.

Dramatic change is possible. Germany alone, for example, recently pledged some $60 million of investment to get back on track with its national climate targets. But Germany’s finance initiative also comes with a series of practical measures designed to target society’s worst carbon excesses. Higher taxes on cars and air travel, cheaper rail tickets, bans on new oil heaters by 2026 and higher carbon prices all feature in this comprehensive programme. Cleaner alternatives are funded to replace them, and ground-up programmes develop promising cleantech until it reaches the market and can commercialise.

In China, and throughout Asia, subsidies play an important role in encouraging businesses to develop cleantech and that structure is yielding results. New analysis from research firm Global Data indicates that China is by far the leader when it comes to rolling out its electric vehicle fleet. It’s way ahead of Europe.

Certainly there are mechanisms by which local market demand could be better connected to local low-carbon and clean energy technology entrepreneurs and businesses.

Green businesses must be more accurately defined and mapped by existing business networks – a business is not just green because it self-defines as eco or green. There are radical businesses that will lead the way towards a new green economy, there are migratory businesses that will adopt and move towards sustainable action, and there are businesses that will fail because they are based on an unsustainable model. The UK has a very poor record in commercialising green tech.

Green and low-carbon leaders must also be supported to create real change. They must be encouraged to share successful case studies. Trials of new technologies developed locally must parallel imported technology programmes – for example, almost all fuel cell and hydrogen technology projects in the UK rely on imported fuel cells. This restricts the skills and talent pipelines in the UK and undermines local cleantech businesses.

To support positive change, the vast public procurement that goes on within the region can be harnessed to rely more on local businesses in sectors that support the local green growth agenda. There are significant existing opportunities to roll out clean technology in the region, but these are currently overlooked and missed.

Such a strategy would accelerate the growth of existing local green and cleantech businesses. Simultaneously it would help to harness resident intellectual capital by allowing universities to support local networks and work with smaller businesses instead of actively courting large corporate entities for vital R&D funding.

There is no time for business as usual. The story of Boulton and Watt provides some important historical context. They succeeded – the backer, the team, the technology and the innovative business model – based on coal efficiency savings. Reduced fossil fuel use is even more urgent today.

Here in Birmingham there is plenty of new funding to explore what should be done, but few schemes directly funding the innovators and businesses that can achieve the necessary change. One highlight is a new West Midlands initiative that Birmingham City Council has launched to engage local cleantech solutions like Adelan fuel cells in defining the Route to Zero Carbon (R20).

Key to solving the city’s climate and clean air challenges will be identifying new funding to resource the innovators and the technologies developed in the city, for the city. Better engagement between local policymakers, businesses and technologists will surely make all the difference. But funding those new relationships – not providing money to fossil energy – must be the priority.

 

Adelan Fuel Cell Technology

About Adelan

First founded in The Midlands, Birmingham-based Adelan pioneered microtubular solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology more than 30 years’ ago. Adelan’s patented and scalable technology gives the fuel cell unprecedented flexibility, allowing the system to run on a range of commonly available fuels such as LPG, natural gas or propane/butane mix. As a result, though Adelan fuel cells can also run on hydrogen, they offer considerable additional operational flexibility and ease of use benefits whilst retaining a small, compact and lightweight foot print.

To discover more about how Adelan can support your future energy ambitions or to meet your requirements for clean, quiet and reliable energy for remote, mobile or any other applications, please contact Dr Kendall and the rest of the Adelan team at:

Adelan Ltd, 15 Weekin Works, 112-116 Park Hill Road, Birmingham, B17 9HD (UK)

Tel: +44 (0)121 427 8033

 


View our Timeline
  • Founded Adelan and made first Zirconia microtubes

  • Built first large demonstrator

  • First sales of demonstrators

  • First large commercial project; lab in Birmingham

  • First small demonstrator

  • The first sale of 250W system and UAV demonstrator

  • Portable Power Pack for camper van demonstrator

    Adelan microtubular solid oxide fuel cell battery range extender

  • Portable Power Pack for LNG truck demonstrator

  • Mobile and nano chargers

  • mCHP demonstrator

View opportunities at Adelan

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