Mission Critical Today and Distributed Generation Tomorrow.
Primary Power Markets
Fuel cell systems generate clean, continuous (primary) power at the point of use. They have the same power availability as a utility central power plant without the pollution or cumbersome grid network. They can augment wind and solar, which are also clean, but intermittent. This combination of features makes fuel cells ideal for mission critical applications, which require continuous, non-interruptible power in locations, which lack access or require backup to the utility grid. In high density areas, such high value applications include hospitals, fire, safety, transportation, airport, security and communications, which protect lives and property, or applications in rural or remote areas, which support first responder, disaster relief, humanitarian or military teams with basic clean water, refrigeration, lights and power.
Since fuel cell systems are a primary power (continuous) source, they are disruptive* to secondary power sources now used for mission critical applications. These are largely intermittent sources like solar, wind and back-up engine-generators with fill-in energy from storage devices (e.g., batteries, flywheels, ultra capacitors). Fuel cell systems would replace these with redundant primary power sources.
As metrics prove fuel cell systems are a faster, more cost effective alternative to the utility grid distribution model, which can take years to construct and massive amounts of capital, fuel cells will become a new primary power infrastructure modality. A high value feature of fuel cells is its modularity, the ability to add primary power in increments, which has no economy of scale penalty. In rural communities, whether in a developing country or a US shale gas location, fuel cells can be the energy building blocks required to seed and sustain economic development and the needs of growing families and villages.
Long term, fuel cells have the potential to displace demand for large scale, centralized energy solutions and accelerate global growth of the burgeoning distributed generation industry.
Marketing Strategy. In a disruptive innovation such as fuel cells, functional features, not cost, drive early adopter market demands. For TMI, lighter weight, compact size, and fuel flexibility of the AnywherEnergy© system are major competitive advantages. The complete system is one of the most compact known and designed for overnight delivery by common carrier.
As early adopter markets mature and production volume increases, the AE will become competitive in more cost-sensitive market segments. The system’s ability to operate on many known fuels will continue to provide access to many different markets. It's design for manufacture like a low cost home appliance will be attractive to strategic partners with in-place manufacturing capacity and established distribution channels.
* http://www.claytonchristensen.com/disruptive_innovation.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disruptive_innovation