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NH34PWR — Result In Brief

Project ID: 256856
Funded under: FP7-JTI

Ammonia powers cell phone market in developing countries

The cell phone industry has experienced tremendous growth. Novel remote power using ammonia for fuel will facilitate market penetration in developing countries, where the future for expansion now lies.
Ammonia powers cell phone market in developing countries
The EU has been a prime contributor to the cell phone industry's success with major European equipment manufacturers and numerous global telecom companies. Developed markets are saturated and the industry is now focused on developing countries in Africa, Asia and eastern Europe. However, outdated electrical grids and diesel generators highlight the need for cost-efficient and clean remote power units. In response, scientists initiated the EU-funded project 'Ammonia based, fuel cell power for off-grid cell phone towers' (NH34PWR).

PowerCubeTM, the system being advanced by the project, converts widely available anhydrous liquid ammonia to hydrogen for use in proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells. A prototype PowerCubeTM has now been developed and assembled. Five units have been shipped to a South African test site for initiation of customer trials. Testing is expected to result in optimised manufacturing in terms of technical specifications, cost as well as development of the supply chain. Preliminary results suggest that PowerCubeTM is an excellent option in Africa and that the continent has no problem meeting refuelling requirements.

Ammonia is a hydrogen-rich fuel that can be used by fuel cells as a clean and sustainable alternative to current diesel generators in developing countries. It offers security of supply and substantially reduced emissions. PowerCubeTM has already achieved excellent preliminary success in the African telecommunications market, overcoming high diesel costs, theft and generator degradation. Given the huge market potential for the cell phone industry in developing countries, overcoming electricity generation problems will increase the competitiveness of NH34PWR technology. This will make it more attractive to investors and consumers and could positively impact EU economy.

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