We'll attend this major event of the solar industry from May 31st til June 2nd. We'll review all the new products, technologies and markets. Let us know if you want to meet there! To keep in touch live, follow-us on Twitter !
Actualités de l'entreprise
You're a market research hero? You have a good know-how of clean energy technologies? Join the team of Infinergia Consulting! You'll help our customers (start-up, labs, large companies) to understand their markets and develop go-to-market strategies. Position is in Grenoble, France, we're open for non-French nationals but need good french skills. Apply via our section contact section.
Discover our visit report of the biggest European show on photovoltaic industry. Don't hesitate to contact us for deeper analysis and information about these topics!
We've released our latest market research report on Thermal Energy Harvesting industry and applications. Thermoelectric generators can supply electricity for low power electronic systems such as sensors, wireless sensor nodes and various internet of things devices. You can download the press release here. You can also read more about this report in our Energy Harvesting Section or follow the buzz on Twitter!
We visited lately this must-attend European show on energy and fuel cells.
Here's a glimpse of what we saw there...
This huge German show took place from 13 to 17th of April 2015. Huge, because of 220 000 visitors that visited 6 500 exhibitors on around 30 different halls for a total exhibition surface of 460 000 sqm!
It's a quite international show with around 30% of visitors coming from outside Germany. The highlights of this 2015 edition were: manufacturing technologies, collaboration man-machine and intelligent systems for energy.
Our attention was focused on the hall 27, dedicated to "hydrogen, fuel cells and batteries". It featured 150 exhibitors from 25 countries over 5 000 sqm. Among them, a very large majority (130) was addressing the area of hydrogen and fuel cells. These industrial companies represented the whole value chain: from materials and powders, stacks, up to full systems.
Numerous countries were represented, German for sure, but also companies from all over the world. Among the leaders represented, we can mention the fuel cell manufacturers such as Ballard or Intelligent Energy and electrolyser manufacturers such as: ITM Power or Areva-H2GEN, etc. Still, we noticed that Bloom Energy was missing, it would have been a good opportunity to learn more about its systems powered by SOFC technology.
Among the main topics developed in this hydrogen domain, there was hydrogen mobility and Combined Heat & Power (CHP) for buildings.
Hydrogen mobility was mainly represented via hydrogen filling stations or hydrogen stations from Air liquide or Linde and multiple vehicles using hydrogen as fuel were available for test (electric mobility was also there with associated electric charging stations including fast charging!). A 10 000 sqm area was dedicated to this electric mobility with a live demonstration of a charging station from Linde. Beside cars, we could also see hydrogen bicycles, e.g. from TC Mobility and forklift trucks (one of the successful early adopters of hydrogen mobility!) from Air Liquide, in partnership with Jungheinrich or special vehicles by M-FIELD.
CHP was mainly represented via Ene.field program. All micro-CHP actors of this program were present, even the Australian Ceramic Fuel Cell (facing some financial difficulty lately). Still, there was relatively few actors on high power fuel cells, this market is mainly active in USA and South Korea for the moment, only exception being ITM Power that presented a 1MW stack based on PEM technology.
That's it about our report. Thanks for reading it and don't hesitate to contact us for more information on this market. You can also check out our section dedicated to fuel cells here.
We will be adressing:
- What functions and technologies to address the autonomy of the IoT?
- What markets can benefit from these technologies? With what products? Any success-stories?
- To conclude: what priorities can be defined to enable a power autonomous IoT?
Read below (without graphs) our article on the success of Kraftwerk by Ezelleron on kickstarter crowdfunding platform.
The reasons behind Kraftwerk’s success on Kickstarter
By Philippe LOYER, Marketing Engineer, Infinergia Consulting
Keywords: Kraftwerk, eZelleron, micro fuel cell, consumer, electricity generation, benchmark, business model, Kickstarter, PowerTrekk, MyFC, Upp, Intelligent Energy, Brunton, Horizon Fuel Cell.
In this article, we describe the Kraftwerk success story on Kickstarter and benchmark it against its main competitors on the micro-fuel cell market.
Have you ever faced “the fear of the dead battery” while traveling with your smartphone?
Indeed, the time is long past when we could charge our phone every week. Smartphone now feature octa-core processors, HD displays and plenty of power-hungry features that drain out the battery while its capacity is not increasing fast enough.
To help solving this problem, there are a lot of solutions including solar chargers, dynamos, external spare batteries and micro fuel cells.
Last year, we thought that micro fuel cells for consumer would end up being a short story. Indeed, after having raised 150 M$, Lilliputian Power systems (a spin off from MIT) with its innovative micro fuel cell (Nectar power system), filed for bankruptcy in July. But as of the beginning of 2015, the micro fuel cells market for consumer applications seems to have recovered. There are today at least 3 micro fuel cells available on the market: PowerTrekk (by MYFC), Upp (by Intelligent Energy), and Hydrogen Reactor (by Brunton, from a Horizon Fuel Cell license).
And there is also the success Kraftwerk by Ezelleron on Kickstarter. They exceeded their goal of 500 000$ and raised 1M$ thanks to over 10 000 backers! This deserves an analysis to understand how Kraftwerk benchmarks against its competitors.
To benchmark micro fuel cells, you have to look at 3 key points: the purchase price, the cartridge price, and the number of recharge you can do with one cartridge. In fact, it’s very much like the business model of inkjet printers.
First, the purchase price of Kraftwerk is the most reasonable compared to its competitors. It stands at 130 € vs. 149€ for PowerTrekk, 193€ for Upp and 130€ for Brunton. As a reference, the Nectar Power System from Lilliputian was expected to have a purchase price of 90€ in 20102, but in 2013, it was updated to 265€!
The first major benefit from Kraftwerk lies in the number of refills per cartridge. One filling supplies energy for approximately 11 iPhones charges (according to the Kickstarter web page), that 3 times more than Upp and 10 times more than PowerTrekk!
The second benefit is linked to the fuel cell technology of Kraftwerk. It’s radically different from other micro fuel cells: it’s based on a Solide Oxyde Fuel Cell (SOFC) that can be re charged by butane gas! This compares to competitors relying on Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) technology that needs raw hydrogen for recharging. Moreover, and to the contrary of its competitors, there’s no proprietary cartridge system, it can be refueled by the same gas cartridge as a lighter. And such cartridge can be found for less than 4€. In the case of Upp, it’s around 8€ per filling! For PowerTrekk, the budget is lower at 3 € but it allows only a single iPhone charge. The proper benchmark here is the cost per Watt-hour. When computed, this figure demonstrates that Kraftwerk is ten times cheaper than PowerTrekk…
Kraftwerk is not only a funding success for fuel cells; it now belongs to the top 50 of Kickstarter technologic projects! They also have started to secure their own distribution network with 12 backers1 willing to pay 10 000 US$ to become their first distributors. Via this funding success story, they have proven that the potential market for such solution is at least 1M$.
Compared to its competitors, Kraftwerk looks to be one step ahead. However, this product will be launched in one year from now, so there can still be some issues in the industrialization. Nevertheless, Kraftwerk seems to have properly heard the consumer needs: a practical, low cost and efficient way to recharge phones via micro fuel cell technology. This explains a bit the success story…
You can learn more about our expertise on fuel cell market research here.
The whole team at Infinergia Consulting wishes you that 2015 leads you towards success via bold initiatives such as Rosetta/Philae project (here below).
With over 186 members and 600 projects on 6 energy domains, this french cluster has a large coverage.
It is also connected to international energy clusters via the International Cleantech Network initiative. The mission of Tenerrdis is to bolster the competitiveness of new energy technologies through innovation. More information on Tenerrdis here.
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