Fuel cells are devices which convert the fuel’s chemical energy into electricity via a chemical reaction in the presence of an oxidizing agent. Fuel cells use hydrogen or other hydrocarbon fuels which are available in abundance. This makes them one of the fastest growing alternate backup power options as the reserves of fossil fuels used during conventional electricity generation methods have been depleting. Additionally, they are eco friendly as their by-product only comprises nitrous oxide. They generate lower noise levels as compared to other incumbent technologies due to lack of moving parts and an efficient combustion process. They have a broad range of operation times and can be integrated into a variety of devices such as refrigerators. Portable fuel cell applications include consumer products such as laptops and mobile phones, personal electronics, Accelerated Processing Units, portable products and consumer products such as laptops and mobile phones. Stationary fuel cell applications include Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS), residential power and Combined Heat Power (CHP). Transportation applications include auxiliary power units and fuel cell electric vehicles.
Global fuel cell unit shipments share, by product, 2013
Governments of various countries have been pushing for the development and technological advancement of fuel cells due to their eco friendly nature, which is expected to significantly drive the market. The increasing need for reduced emissions and better fuel economy has resulted in development of fuel cell enabled commercial vehicles that utilize hydrogen fuel. Daimler and Hyundai are important fuel cell electric vehicle manufacturers, with both expected to begin commercializing their offerings by 2015. North America dominates the market in terms of installed capacity and unit shipment owing to favorable regulatory scenario and technological advancement in this region. The U.S. Department of Energy has over 300 patents on fuel cell technology and is extensively involved in fuel cell research. Asia Pacific is the second largest market due to high demand from Japan and South Korea. The market in other countries such as China and India is also expected to increase due to an increase in the technological capabilities and government support. Europe is expected to witness fast growth in terms of fuel cell installed capacity primarily due to growing hydrogen fuel infrastructure in Germany, Norway, Denmark and Sweden.
Key manufacturers include Dominion Resources Inc, Ballard, Clearedge, UTC Power Plug Power Inc., Nedstack Fuel Cell Technologies, SFC Energy AG, Toshiba and Panasonic among others.
Grand View Research has recently published a detailed report titled “Fuel Cell Market Analysis By Product (PEMFC, DMFC, PAFC, SOFC, MCFC, AFC) And Segment Forecasts To 2020”. This market research report provides complete estimate and forecast for major market segments on the basis of products, technology, applications and regions. The report also contains detailed industry trends, market dynamics, drivers, restraints and key opportunities. In-depth market analysis such as Porter’s five force model, PESTEL, opportunity prioritization and comprehensive competitive landscape including detailed profiles of top companies are included in the report.
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