Voller shows remote interest in new markets

Voller Energy, the Hampshire developer of portable fuel cell technology, hopes to tap into a range of new markets with the launch of a system that can recharge equipment by remote control.

The new cell is aimed at devices such as surveillance cameras, wind turbines and monitoring devices that need constant energy in a variety of remote or potentially hostile environments.

According to Voller, these applications have traditionally used batteries which require regular manual attention. It claims the new system will re-charge automatically using software that logs and monitors the power level. This information can then be accessed and monitored remotely via a GPS phone link.

The VE100RM system is powered by hydrogen gas from a normal compressed cylinder and regulator. Once set up, the unit will automatically ‘awaken’ from standby mode to charge batteries when they drop below a pre-set voltage. This means that the useful lifetime of batteries will be extended and also reduce the number of man-hours wasted on checking and recharging, said the company.

Voller’s initial focus for its cells is on commercially attractive markets such as cordless power tools, construction and leisure boating — applications that will benefit from low noise and zero emissions.

Chief executive Stephen Voller claimed the technology will open up new opportunities for the company, such as in the military sector.

‘Certainly the security industry could become a major beneficiary of our technology as it will provide safe, clean and efficient recharging capability for surveillance or other electronic equipment in remote locations,’ said Voller.

The launch of the system continued an active 2006 for Voller. In February the company signed a memorandum of understanding with Calor Gas to develop the market for fuel cell generators and battery chargers.

It has also joined up with ZBT, one of Germany‘s leading science research institutes, to assist with the development work to extract hydrogen from propane, butane or LPG for the use in fuel cells.