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Sandia, Sharp to Work on Fuel Cells

Photonics.com
Jan 2006
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., Jan. 24 -- Sandia National Laboratories and Sharp Corp. recently signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) to work together on renewable and alternative energy technologies, including advanced fuel cells for portable power applications.

FUEL CELL FOCUS: Sharp Corp. researcher Akimasa Umemoto and a prototype miniature fuel cell stack. (Photo: Randy Montoya)
Jeff Nelson, Sandia manager of the CRADA, said the agreement is one of Sharp’s first interactions with a US laboratory.
Nelson says Sandia will contribute novel membrane and catalyst capabilities to the fuel cell project while Sharp will lend its system and application-level experience.
"Our hope is that we’re successful and that success could expand our collaboration into solar photovoltaics and other areas," he said.
The broader partnership between Sandia and Sharp will focus on energy technologies, specifically photovoltaics and fuel cells. It will involve research and development of Sharp’s solar photovoltaic technologies, including tests and improvements on reliability, durability, calibration of solar modules, inverters and other advanced applications.
Sandia is a National Nuclear Security Administration laboratory. Sharp is the largest producer of solar photovoltaic modules in the world.
Sandia’s immediate focus is on portable power applications, such as the use of direct methanol fuel cells to power consumer electronics like laptops, cell phones and PDAs.
Sharp has asked Sandia to fabricate fuel cells using Sandia’s proprietary membranes and catalysts. Sandia researchers, along with researcher Akimasa Umemoto from Sharp, have begun designing the materials and membrane electrode assemblies for Sharp’s specific application target. They will fabricate and test the fuel cells during the 12- to 18- month project.
Chris Cornelius, Sandia principal investigator for the CRADA, said Sandia will work with Sharp on developing technologies for passive direct methanol fuel cells.
The deal was brokered by the New Mexico Economic Development Department following a meeting between Gov. Bill Richardson and Sharp’s executives in Tokyo.
For more information, visit: www.sandia.gov


GLOSSARY
sharp
A term used to describe a convex surface having too short a radius of curvature. To correct this condition, material is cut from the outer portion of the polishing tool.
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