Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Sprint gets grant for fuel cell deployment

US mobile company Sprint has been awarded a $7.3m grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to expand its hydrogen fuel cell deployment. The grant is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funding (the Obama stimulus package) earmarked for fuel cell technology.

The grant funding will be used to expand the number of Sprint base stations which rely on hydrogen fuel cells for back-up power. Currently, most hydrogen fuel cells are paired with low-pressure hydrogen tanks which provide around 15 hours of back-up power before needing refueling. As part of this grant, Sprint will work with hydrogen fuel cell manufacturers, tank providers and hydrogen suppliers to extend the unassisted run-time to 72 hours.

Hydrogen fuel cells are a much cleaner alternative to diesel-powered back-up generators which have been used in the past.

It's interesting to see how the money is being spent. In fact there's a US government web site dedicated to the subject -

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