July 7, 2009
Fuel cells have long represented an elusive opportunity, literally a technology in search of a market, with hockey stick growth curves perpetually only a few years away. However, according to a new report from Pike Research, the key to fuel cells’ adoption lies in the tactical alignment of their capabilities with the growing need for reliable, long-lasting, affordable alternatives to conventional batteries and small generators for many different portable device categories.
“There is no one killer app for fuel cells. Instead, there are dozens of niche applications that have an increasing need for the clean, reliable power that fuel cells can provide,” says industry analyst Bill Matvichuk. “Over the next several years, fuel cell manufacturers must tailor their offerings to serve the specific requirements of a multitude of consumer and industrial products.”
Matvichuk argues that these applications will be determined largely by the power level capabilities of the fuel cells themselves. A few examples for each of the power level segments are as follows:
- 1-20 watts – consumer electronics, small appliances, toys, remote sensors
- 20-100 watts – unattended sensors, video surveillance, medical devices, military electronics
- 100-500 watts – first responder battery charging, power tools, unmanned vehicles
- Sub 2 kilowatts – replacement for gasoline and diesel generators, watercraft, combat support systems, auxiliary power units
- 2-7 kilowatts – materials handling such as forklifts, weapon systems, causeway systems
Pike Research’s report, “Fuel Cells for Portable Power Applications”, provides a tactical, applications-oriented analysis of the emerging market for portable fuel cells. It examines the market opportunity for specific niche applications within five key power level segments: 1-20W, 20-100W, 100-500W, 1-2 kW, and 2-7 kW. The report also includes profiles of key industry players and global market forecasts through 2017. An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm’s website.
Pike Research is a market research and consulting firm that provides in-depth analysis of global clean technology markets. The company’s research methodology combines supply-side industry analysis, end-user primary research and demand assessment, and deep examination of technology trends to provide a comprehensive view of the Renewable Energy, Clean Transportation, Clean Industry, Green Consumers, and Environmental Management sectors. For more information, visit www.navigantresearch.com or call +1.303.997.7609.