Day 4 – Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Group Exhibit
Footfall is still up and the days at least feel longer, though
this is probably more down to the infamous networking evenings!
Before that is taken out of context one of the real successes of
these evenings is that all exhibitors mingle over drinks and food
and still talk business. During the day you can talk to customers
and at night find yourself sitting side-by-side with the CEO of
SFC Smart (who turns out to be a very nice personable chap). This
breaking down of barriers between companies is really important
as the industry is still far too young to be fighting each year.
Thursday is traditionally the day that the Hannover Fair lets
students in and whilst there are roving packs this has not stopped
the real business getting done.
First thing I dropped in to Heliocentris which is primarily known
for education has now moved into systems and projects. With over
12 years of experience in the fuel cell industry this company has
jumped from 20 staff only a couple of years ago to 45, has listed
in the German stock exchange and has taken the step of releasing
a solar / fuel cell hybrid unit for off-grid power. To ensure the
highest quality they have relationships with a couple of the best
known stack manufacturers and are also working with companies of
electrolysers. When I asked what the next steps for the company
were it was clear that they will continue to develop strategic
connections with other companies in the 100 watt to 1 kW size project
range and will also continue to shift more and more into projects
and systems work.
Moving down the supply chain completely to a company new too me,
and the Hannover Fair, Metro Mold are a mid sized American company
that works on molding and high speed machining. Impressively this
company has been making molds for the fuel cell industry since
1997. One of the major benefits of their production process
is that there is no minimum order. We are aware that some supply
chain companies now will only work with large minimum orders but
Metro Mold appear to be very open to producing, 1, 100 or a 10,000
and give the customer the tipping price points at each level.
Another new company is In House Engineering which is here showing
a fully functional 5kWe mCHP unit. It is easy to forget that hr
Germany based Callux programme does not include all companies in
Germany developing mCHP and in House is one of them. The unit is
a low temp, grid tied, PEM based system running of natural gas
which will go into field trials in Germany in next two years and
then commercial in 2012. More on this in the full event report.
Well that is it for Day 4. Tomorrow, the last day for this year,
will hopefully see me listening to some of the presentations, as
well as giving my own at 1.20pm!