Voller Energy, a developer and manufacturer of portable fuel-cell systems, has announced that they have successfully assembled and demonstrated the operation of a complete and totally self-contained prototype fuel-cell system which can be run on compressed natural gas (CNG/LPG) or propane. Voller plans to commercialize their 1kW class auxiliary power units (APUs), which include a proprietary fully automated control and safety system, gas reformate clean-up and cooling, by the end of the year.

Most fuel-cells run exclusively on hydrogen which is currently available in very few locations in comparison to CNG/LPG which is available at most petrol stations to refill gas bottles for camping stoves and barbecues. Voller's system is characterized by quiet operation, low emissions and high efficiency.

Another recently announced product by Voller is the fourth generation of their VE100 fuel-cell product line, the Fuel Cell ABC (Automatic Battery Charger). The Fuel Cell ABC is a portable generator and battery charger that has a plug on the front just like the plug in the wall, but produces no toxic emissions when operating, only pure water.

Analysis: Fuel-cells show great promise not only in transportation but also in portable energy. Reliance on hydrogen has limited their uptake though, so a fuel-cell which can run off readily available liquid gas is sure to gain a great deal of interest in the market.

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[Source: Voller press release]

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