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No. of Recommendations: 3
I was wondering if any of you think that fuel cell
technology could turn into a gorilla game.

An argument against fc technology as a gg play is that
fc technology definitely lies outside the
core "computer systems" terrain that the gg authors
focus on (and where all of the huge gorilla returns
have come from thus far).

Fc technology has definitely not entered the tornado
yet (see the numbers I've included on the 3 leading
companies below), but there are some small bowling
pins that the 3 leading companies are starting to
knock down (most recently FCL's big contract with the
Dept. of Energy and the agreement with a Mercedes Benz
plant to provide fuel cells to run its plant; see this link for DOE deal:

http://moneycentral.msn.com/scripts/webquote.dll?iPage=news&Symbol=FCL&ARTICLEID=RTR,2000/03/03,N03232502).
  
One of the attractive qualities of fc technology that
may qualify it as a gg play is that FCL holds a
proprietary method for turning hydrocarbons into
energy (the Direct FuelCell).

Here are some numbers for these relatively young
companies (they definitely aren't in hypergrowth based
on Paul Johnson's 100% year over year
growth/significant and increasing quarter over quarter
growth criterion):

SYMBOL  PRICE CHANGE	  QUARTERLY REVENUE GROWTH  ANNUAL REVENUE GROWTH	 	

PLUG    13 week:  480%    Q4 99 VS. Q3 99:  43%     9 MOS 99 VS. 9 MOS 98:  34%   
FCL     52 week:  1200%   Q4 99 VS. Q3 99: -21%	    1999 VS. 1998:         -18%
BLDP    52 week:  357%    Q3 99 VS. Q2 99:  63%     9 MOS 99 VS. 9 MOS 98: -1.8% 

Based on these numbers, I could easily understand if I
got a lot of "you're loco" responses.  Anyway, just 
thought I'd throw out fuel cell technology as an 
industry to watch.  As I said above, it's clear that it
hasn't entered the tornado.  I do think it has crossed
the chasm, and I do think that there is a mass market 
for these products.  I only wonder about the potential 
for the industry to become commoditized and turn into 
a royalty game.

Any thoughts?

Mike

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No. of Recommendations: 2
I was wondering if any of you think that fuel cell
technology could turn into a gorilla game.


I believe it will. Fuel cells can produce electrical power for the home (from a natural gas/propane/butane etc feed) for about 20% less than grid prices - and as a by-product supply perhaps 80% of the home heating needs for free (the heat one normally sees leaving power station cooling towers). In technical terms a combined heat and power fuel cell is about 80% efficient compared to power stations (including distribution losses) which are around 28%.
Oil prices will remain high and over the next 10 years steadily get higher. Fuel cells running off hydrogen or natural gas will be a much cheaper option for powering automobiles - they are also enviromentally clean and this could be their biggest advantage as the realities of global warming start to be taken very seriously.
The stage is set - one just has to pick the correct investments.
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Midvaag wrote:
"In technical terms a combined heat and power fuel cell is about 80% efficient compared to power stations (including distribution losses) which are around 28%."

Where did you come up with this? It is very difficult to believe (the latter half I mean).

Marv
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In another life I used to manage a gas/oil fired power station and the fuel cell figures I picked up on the PLUG POWER and other Boards.
I have rechecked my numbers and they are the best I can find. I refer you to posts 488, 489 and 492 on the PLUG power board where I actually asked the question just to be sure.
Yes if fuel cells are reliable and low maintenance then they do have a big future.
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