Metallic Power Demonstrates New Prototype Zinc/Air Fuel Cell

New 1kW unit is 30 percent smaller and designed to operate power tools and landscaping equipment.

Published: 29-Nov-2000

CARLSBAD, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 29, 2000--Metallic Power, the leading developer of zero-emission, rapidly refuelable zinc/air fuel cells, announced that it has accomplished another milestone by demonstrating its latest prototype power source in a new portable power application.

About 30 percent smaller than the company's previous prototype, the new device employed its unique regenerative zinc/air fuel cell technology to supply more than 1KW of energy to operate a variety of power tools and landscaping equipment in an outdoor location.

"This latest demonstration not only reinforces the viability of our technology, it also confirms the flexibility and scalability of our concept," explained Dr. Jeffrey Colborn, president and chief executive officer of Metallic Power. "In order to refine our features to affordably meet user needs, our development program calls for testing in a number of real-world situations like this one which uses our power source as an alternative to conventional engines as well as earlier demonstrations powering utility vehicles and lighting systems."

Upcoming tests will address a variety of applications such as providing extended backup power for telecommunications, computers or residences; auxiliary power for long-haul trucks, RVs or marine use; and mobile power for electric vehicles. Because Metallic Power's unique zinc/air technology has up to 10 times the energy density of traditional lead acid batteries, twice the energy density of hydrogen fuel cells and as much as triple the energy efficiency of internal combustion engines, it can offer a number of advantages over other power sources.

The system is quiet, safe and emission-free so it can be used indoors and in other locations where engine generators are unacceptable or where batteries take up too much space. The firm is on schedule to begin preliminary field trials during the next quarter, with continued prototype field-testing later in 2001 and initial product launch slated for 2002.

Metallic Power Inc., founded in 1995 and based in Carlsbad near San Diego, is the leader in developing zinc/air fuel cell-based products. These rapidly refuelable power sources use recyclable zinc fuel to provide emission-free electricity for a variety of applications -- from commercial to industrial to home and recreational use. Compared to other fuel cell technologies, Metallic Power's zinc/air system does not require a high pressure or high temperature operating environment and because it uses zinc fuel, one of the Earth's most abundant elements, it does not require the use of costly fuel reformers.

Because of the system's fundamental simplicity, its developers believe that it will offer a safer, more cost-effective approach to renewable energy. The company recently closed its third round of financing, in which it raised $18 million in blue chip venture funding. For more information, visit

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