VANCOUVER, May 7, 2014 /PRNewswire/ - Ballard Power Systems (NASDAQ: BLDP)(TSX: BLD) today announced that installation of the Company's fuel cell telecom backup power systems is proceeding in the Philippines, with 12 ElectraGen™-ME systems now deployed at key sites in metro Manila.
These systems are part of an initial 20-system order received in the third quarter of 2013 from AECi, Ballard's channel partner in the Philippines, for deployment in the network of a major full service telecommunications company in that country.
Due to the severity of Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013, installation of these methanol-fuelled backup power systems was necessarily delayed. Typhoon Haiyan had a devastating impact throughout the Philippines, with 250 kilometer an hour (160 mile per hour) winds creating what President Benigno Aquino called "a national calamity". This extreme weather event reinforced the need for reliable, extended duration backup power capability in order to maintain continuity of communications between emergency services personnel as well as the general public during crisis situations.
"Our methanol-fuelled systems continue to gain traction in South East Asia, and this new deployment in the Philippines is a further proof point," said Steve Karaffa, Ballard's Chief Commercial Officer. "Telecom operators are recognizing the inherent value of fuel cell backup power systems that deliver high network availability during extreme weather events or when the electric grid is simply not reliable."All 20 of the initial systems will be installed at rooftop locations in metro Manila. Rooftop installations are inherently challenging, however, fuel cell systems provide a number of advantages compared to traditional batteries and diesel generators, including cost effectiveness, quiet operation, light weight and reliable start-up and operation. The liquid fuel used with the ElectraGen™-ME system is a mixture of methanol and water, branded HydroPlus™, which can be readily delivered to rooftop sites. A 225 liter fuel storage tank, together with the fuel processor which is integrated into the ElectraGen™-ME, enable up to 100 hours of continuous run time when grid power is unavailable.