Just figured I’d recognize a milestone for Vancouver-based Ballard Power, which recently manufactured its one-millionth membrane electrode assembly (MEA), which is a core component in its proton-exchange membrane fuel cells. Ballard says the high volumes have led to cost reductions that give it an edge over competitors. Still, it’s important to note that each MEA that’s manufactured leads to production of one fuel cell that can only power a light bulb. These fuel cells, however, are stacked together to form larger fuel-cell systems — from kilowatts to megawatts in size.
Anyway, the hydrogen economy may not be here as predicted 10 or 15 years ago, but Ballard is slowly proving there is a role for fuel cells and that costs, with volume, are coming down.