Power Air Targets Backup Generator Market with Zinc Air Fuel Cell Technology

February 12, 2006 by Jeff Shepard

Power Air Corporation, an alternative fuel technology company, has announced its intent to enter the multibillion-dollar indoor and outdoor back-up generator markets with its Zinc Air Fuel Cell (ZAFC)-based technology.

"We are developing the world's first cost-effective, refuelable back-up generator that can operate indoors, safely, silently, efficiently, and emissions-free, with extended run capability," said Don Ceci, vice president for sales and marketing for Power Air. "Replacing traditionally expensive and inefficient outdoor generator sales with our environmentally friendly, cost-effective solution provides a 'Greenfield,' significant revenue opportunity — estimated at several hundred million potential indoor sites worldwide."

With power outages nationwide becoming more frequent and widespread, apartment and home occupants are regularly inconvenienced and often placed in dangerous situations, Ceci said. Residents and businesses are forced to cope with no lights, no heat, no information, spoiled food, and no working appliances or equipment for hours, days or even weeks at a time. Battery-operated back-up generators are the current solution, but these generators often cannot be used indoors, are noisy, dangerous, polluting, heavy and messy, he said. No extended run back-up solution is offered to apartments and small businesses unless the whole building is backed up with a large diesel or natural gas generator.

"Products powered by our Zinc Air Fuel Cell can be the first cost-competitive, clean-air alternative to existing fossil fuel-powered generators," said Steve Williams, Power Air's president. "The lifetime and durability demands for these first-to-market applications are more achievable in the short term than those of transportation and co-generation, which require much longer lifetime and established fuel infrastructures."

Power Air will initially focus resources on developing generator products fueled by its ZAFC technology for indoor and outdoor settings, offering its exclusive technology to original equipment manufacturer partners already successfully serving those markets. The first Power Air ZAFC-based product will be provided to OEM partners for integration into a portable emergency generator (PEG) designed for back-up, emergency, or stand-alone use. Power Air intends to address the "sweet spot" (more than 70%) of the traditional generator market — with units ranging from 600 watts to 6.6 kW. These units can also meet the back-up power needs of a large portion of the initial demand for indoor generators, Williams said.

Power Air develops, manufactures and markets fuel cell-based commercial products. Power Air has the exclusive worldwide license to zinc-air fuel cell technology that has been developed at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for all fields of use (portable, stationary, light mobility and transportation applications) and commercialization.