Winchester, UK - Although the fuel cell industry has endured a series of false starts in recent years a recent report released by market analysts, Pike Research, predicts the global market for portable fuel cells will increase to $2.3 billion by 2016, up from just $185 million in 2009.
The report suggests that fuel cells are emerging as an increasingly viable and cost-effective means of providing clean, reliable power for portable power applications ranging from consumer electronics to first responder communications and materials handling.
"Dozens of niche applications will drive the growth of the fuel cell market over the next several years," said managing director Clint Wheelock. "Manufacturers are increasingly finding that fuel cell technologies are an attractive alternative to batteries and small generators for portable power applications." Wheelock added that the commercialization of portable fuel cells is receiving a significant boost from government funding and direct orders for various military and industrial applications.
Pike Research forecasts that the leading market segment by 2016 will be fuel cells in the 500 watt to 2 kilowatt range, which serve as a replacement for gasoline and diesel generators and are used in watercraft, combat support systems, and auxiliary power units. The 100-500 watt power level will be the second largest segment; this category has applications for first responder battery charging, power tools, and unmanned vehicles.
Pike Research's report, "Fuel Cells for Portable Power Applications", provides a tactical, applications-oriented analysis of the emerging market for portable fuel cells. It examines the market opportunity for specific niche applications within five key power level segments: 1-20 W, 20-100 W, 100-500 W, 1-2 kW, and 2-7 kW. The report also includes profiles of key industry players and global market forecasts through 2017.
Related articles and links:
Lithium ion batteries for electric vehicles set to reach $8bn in sales by 2015
Lithium ion batteries to carve out a $1bn slice of the stationary energy storage industry by 2018