Retailers Begin Sales of Horizon Portable Micro-Fuel Cell Products

July 26, 2012 by Jeff Shepard

Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies announced in-store availability and retail sales of its micro-fuel cell products, described as a defining milestone for the company and its industry. Unveiled two years ago at CES, Horizon says its products have since undergone design improvements, impressive cost reductions, and CE certification.

Major retailers now selling Horizon’s portable micro-fuel cell products include REI, the largest retail chain for recreational outdoor gear in North America. Many sales outlets are currently gearing up to supply Horizon’s products across the Americas, Europe, and Asia.

At $99 retail, the MINIPAK is described as the world’s lowest-cost fuel cell power product, and the only one to use a refillable metal hydride fuel cartridge. It uses no toxic fuels or materials, and is IATA approved for air-cabin use. The system offers practical portable energy for professionals on the go, longer lasting connectivity during off-grid activities such as trekking or camping, or when traveling through remote environments.

Beyond its own designs, the company is collaborating with several multinationals seeking to launch custom-made Horizon fuel cell powered products. It also started a crowd-sourced product development initiative centered on the HYDROSTIK cartridge, together with the global MIT FAB LAB network and Arcola Energy in the UK.

Horizon’s HYDROFILL personal hydrogen station, which refills HYDROSTIK cartridges, is said to be an improvement over the idea of disposable one-time-use cartridges. HYDROFILL’s cost has also been reduced to retail at just $249.

There is also a much bigger vision behind this development. Scalable to larger formats over time, HYDROFILL effectively starts a global hydrogen supply network - one household, one school, one business at a time. By giving individuals their own on-demand hydrogen solution, Horizon is dismantling the age-old infrastructure barrier for many fuel cell applications, including hydrogen-electric vehicles. "Imagine never having to go to a refueling station", said Taras Wankewycz, co-founder of Horizon. "The HYDROFILL opens a roadmap with plenty of innovation ahead".

Today’s HYDROFILL can already produce on-demand renewable hydrogen, using standard solar panels or wind turbines. Over the coming years, Horizon aims for a cordless solution for low cost, on-demand hydrogen using a variety of inputs, including methanol, propane, natural gas, and potentially - household waste. With a first-generation system entering the market today, Horizon makes it easier to introduce more advanced versions moving forward.