Finmeccanica and Ansaldo plan to introduce its fuel cell technology in the United States and to seek industrial and business partnerships to jointly complete product development for specific applications.
"With the rising price of oil, both military and civilian companies are seeking inexpensive yet efficient ways of producing energy," said Finmeccanica, Inc.'s President Dr. Stephen Bryen. "Ansaldo's hydrogen-based Molten Carbonate fuel cells are very efficient at converting the chemical energy of the fuel into electrical energy. It has a 50% electrical efficiency rate and if we consider the heat it produces it can go as high as 85% efficiency. Compare this to the 20% efficiency rate for a gas turbine engine and you can see that hydrogen fuel cells are a smart alternative energy source."
In a new joint venture between the Italian and the Turkish navies, Ansaldo Fuel Cells is showcasing a real-world application of its innovative hydrogen fuel cell design. Once completed, the model ship will demonstrate that Ansaldo's hydrogen fuel cell can generate power with the diesel oil that is used by all NATO run ships including the US Navy's.
There are already plans for Ansaldo's Hydrogen Fuel Cell to be used as an auxiliary power unit on a passenger and cargo ferry operating between Greece and Turkey.
"Ansaldo's Molten Carbonate Fuel Cell stack is very advantageous to military ships," said Giovanni Vespasiani, CEO of Ansaldo Fuel Cells. "There is no noise and no exhaust coming out of the stack so it's non-polluting and the ship leaves no signature. The technology could help revolutionize the next generation of naval ships."
Ansaldo's new hydrogen fuel cell design can also be used by military installations and hospitals. The stand-alone aspect of the hydrogen fuel cell would enable the installation to produce electricity, heat and even air- conditioning. Also, because the Fuel Cell has minimal moving parts, it is far quieter then standard diesel generators. Ansaldo's fuel cell plants are designed to be split into air transportable parts for shipment on a C-130 or C-27J, for instance, making them ideal for military and humanitarian projects.
The Ansaldo fuel cell at a military base can use any fuel, including fuel derived from waste on the base. No burning is required.
In another application, the Ansaldo Hydrogen Fuel Cell supports the pulp and paper-manufacturing industry. The waste produced by the pulp and paper industry can be used by the fuel cell to produce electricity and heat. The Italian government is sponsoring a pulp and paper demonstration project using the Ansaldo fuel cell in Italy.
Finmeccanica has just released a podcast with Dr. Bartolomeo Marcenaro the Product Planning Director and Sales Manager of Ansaldo Fuel Cells. You can listen to this podcast at http://www.finmec.com/podcast.asp For more information about the fuel cell technology go to: http://www.finmec.com/fuelcell.asp
Finmeccanica is a leading high-tech company, operating in the design and manufacture of helicopters, aerostructures, satellites, space infrastructure, missiles and defense electronics. It plays a leading role in the global aerospace and defense industry, and participates in some of the biggest international programs in the sector through well-established alliances with worldwide partners.
About Ansaldo Fuel Cells:
Ansaldo Fuel Cells, a FINMECCANICA Company is based in Genoa, Italy, with manufacturing capabilities concentrated in Terni, Italy, in operation since June 2004. Ansaldo is a global leader in Hydrogen Fuel Cell technology and is part of the Ansaldo Energy Group.
Other equity participants in Ansaldo Fuel Cells include Fincantieri, S.p.A., EnerTAD and Gepafin, S.pA.