Metallic Power Fuel Cell Provides Backup Power

September 02, 2002 by Jeff Shepard

Metallic Power Inc. (Carlsbad, CA) announced that one of its zinc fuel cells successfully provided backup power to a cell site during power interruptions. The device provided 1.8kW of backup power in a rack-mounted configuration that included a 6kWh fuel tank to supply over three hours of continuous power under full load.

The fuel cell was connected to a radio base station and operated over varied conditions, including cold-start, full discharge, partial discharge and regeneration. The cell stack is responsible for producing power from zinc stored in the fuel tank; the regeneration unit automatically recycles the spent zinc fuel into reusable zinc pellets when the grid power is turned back on. The system functions similarly to a rechargeable battery.

"The successful demonstration marked a milestone in our development of zinc fuel cell technology," said Metallic Power CEO Jeffrey Colborn. "This is the first time anyone has integrated a zinc fuel tank, cell-stack and regeneration unit into a single configuration and used it to back up a cell site during deliberate power interruptions."