Shell Hydrogen U.S., a division of Shell Oil Products Co., and International Fuel Cells (IFC), a unit of United Technologies Corp., have formed HydrogenSource LLC, a 50-50 joint venture to develop hydrogen-powered fuel cells for a variety of markets, including vehicles.
HydrogenSource will design, manufacture and market fuel processing systems for commercial, residential and transportation fuel cell power plants, as well as distributed hydrogen fueling applications for retail or commercial filling locations. HydrogenSource will be headquartered in South Windsor, CT, and its staffing is expected to approach 200 people by the end of next year, with the majority of personnel dedicated to research, development and engineering.
Fuel cells are electrochemical devices that combine hydrogen fuel and oxygen from the air to produce electricity, heat and water. Fuel cells operate without combustion, so they are virtually pollution free, and since the fuel is converted directly to electricity, a fuel cell can operate at much higher efficiencies than internal combustion engines, extracting more electricity from the same amount of fuel.