Fuel-cell maker ClearEdge Power of Hillsboro, Oregon, is buying UTC Power for an undisclosed sum. All 380 employees of UTC Power will transition to ClearEdge, according to Greentech Enterprise.
ClearEdge designs, manufactures and sells continuous onsite power systems that use proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell technology to deliver power and heat. UTC Power makes a variety of fuel cells types, including large-scale phosphoric acid fuel cells (PAFCs), Alkaline Fuel Cells (AFCs), Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs), and Molten Carbonate Fuel Cells (MCFCs), as well as PEM. ClearEdge is acquiring both UTC’s stationary and transportation businesses and will expand its power range with the UTC 400 KW fuel cell.
ClearEdge’s main product – a stationary, modular PEM – targets businesses that want a small fuel cell for combined heat and power (CHP). The fuel cell can run on natural gas, propane, or methane and discharge excess heat for hot water, forced hot air, or hot-water cleaning. ClearEdge’s 5-kilowatt unit costs about $56,000 with an installation cost up to $20,000, according to Greentech.
Competitors in the small stationary fuel cell market include Ceramic Fuel Cells, Panasonic, and Ceres Power. According to Pike Research’s “Fuel Cells Annual Report 2012”, the top five fuel cell companies were UTC Power, Hydrogenics, POSCO Power and ClearEdge Power.
The UTC transaction is expected to close in early 2013, subject to customary closing conditions.