Acumentrics Corporation wins the award for its tubular solid oxide fuel cells, which accept logistic fuels like natural gas. They are also shatter-resistant and inexpensive to make.
WESTWOOD, Mass., May 29, 2007 - Acumentrics Corporation, a leading developer of solid-oxide fuel cells and uninterruptible power supplies, announced today that they have won a 2007 New England Innovation Award from SBANE, the Smaller Business Alliance of New England.
"We are very proud." said Gary Simon, President and CEO of Acumentrics. "New England has an amazing number of innovative startups. Our top-tier universities and companies spin out quality people and ideas all of the time. This was a tough competition."
The company was one of 7 winners chosen from a pool of 171 applicants. Other winners include a portable CT scan manufacturer, and a company that makes speech recognition software. Acumentrics was the only alternative energy company to win this year.
Acumentrics manufactures 5000-watt solid oxide fuel cell systems (SOFC) for power applications. They are also developing combined-heat-and-power units (which are like boilers that produce electricity) for the home market. Originally the company made power conditioners and backup for the military market. They acquired a novel fuel cell technology in 2000. Since then, they have increased the output of a single tube from 1 watt to 60 watts. Today they have over 30 fielded units, including ones that power visitor's centers at Exit Glacier National Park in Alaska, and Cuyahoga National Park in Ohio.
One of their key innovations was making ceramic fuel cell technology shatter resistant. It is shatter resistant because of its shape -- it is a tube, not a thin sheet as most others have used --with a special composition of layers that prevents them from flaking off. Solid oxide fuel cells must handle temperature swings from 20 to 800ºC. Many other solid oxide fuel cells crack when they are cycled on and off, because of thermal shock.
Another key innovation is they do not require hydrogen or the hydrogen economy. The fuel cells run on natural gas, propane, ethanol, diesel, biogas, and biodiesel --because they can disassociate fuels in the tube, via in-situ reformation. While their systems can run off hydrogen, too, customers prefer to work with logistic fuels that are more affordable. Acumentrics fuel cells consume half as much fuel as a comparable small-engine generator, per kW. An installation in Stockholm is powered with carbon-neutral biogas.
Acumentrics' fuel cells can also be built inexpensively, which was independently confirmed by the US Department of Energy's SECA program in its rigorous tests for cost, reliability, durability, efficiency, and start-stop cycling.
Today, all of the manufacturing is done in Westwood, MA. The company starts with ceramic powders which are formed into tubular cells, and finishes with fully-enclosed power systems complete with computer controls.
In winning the award, Acumentrics joins an illustrious list that includes companies like Genzyme, Stonyfield Farm, The Mathworks, and iRobot.
Acumentrics' unique, durable, fuel-flexible fuel cell technology is based on tubular ceramics. Over thirty of their fuel cell power generators have been shipped and operated in the field. The Company also sells rugged, uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) to the military and other mission-critical markets. Acumentrics' Rugged-UPS products work in extreme heat and cold, in wet and dry conditions, after severe shaking and shock, even in blowing dirt and sand. www.acumentrics.com.
The Smaller Business Association of New England is a nonprofit organization established in 1938 to promote and protect small businesses. Its 1000 member companies in six states range from sole-proprietorship service businesses and growing high technology firms to 200-employee manufacturing plants. www.sbane.org
Contact: Vikram Varma, Director of Business Development, Acumentrics +1 (613) 384-1877 x102