VIASPACE Inc. today reported on the company's progress providing clean energy solutions for the growing global renewable energy market. Business unit VIASPACE Energy has launched a line of alternative energy products, generated increasing revenue from sales of its new fuel cell and lithium battery testing equipment, entered into an agreement to sell a new line of batteries, established a global sales and distribution network for its testing and fuel cell energy supply products, received inquiries from major auto manufacturers, automotive test systems providers, fuel cell developers and instrumentation companies, and identified new areas of opportunity.
VIASPACE Energy is focused on the portable power marketplace, where demand is quickly rising for advanced batteries and fuel cells to meet the high energy density, size and safety requirements of portable electronics and automobiles. Large electronics companies including Samsung, Toshiba, Hitachi and NTT/Fujitsu have demonstrated notebook computers and cell phones powered by direct methanol fuel cells. Global sales of hybrid vehicles are estimated to increase to 1.1 million units by 2010. Battery and fuel cell test equipment and specialized batteries are key elements of the company's strategy targeting the $8.9 billion advanced battery market.
VIASPACE CEO Dr. Carl Kukkonen commented, "VIASPACE has achieved significant progress in the renewable energy sector. We have established ourselves as providers of leading edge clean energy solutions, delivered fuel cell and battery testing products that outperform the competition, and are now generating revenue from sales of those products while investigating additional applications, products and technologies."
Dr. Kukkonen continued, "While we are currently bound by confidentiality agreements preventing us from announcing company names or specifics in many cases, VIASPACE is working closely with major auto manufacturers, global electronics companies and fuel cell developers. These potential customers are interested in access to our technology and products to provide an edge over their competitors. The outlook for our VIASPACE Energy division is extremely bright as we continue to penetrate the rising market for clean energy products."
VIASPACE's newly launched VIASENSOR HS-1000 Humidity Sensor product is finding significant traction in the marketplace with sales to numerous government laboratories, universities and fuel cell companies in the United States, Europe and Asia. Recently announced customer wins include Ballard Power Systems, FuelCellMaterials.com, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Wonatech, Scitech, Tokai Bussan Co. Ltd., Hephas Energy Co., Ltd., Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands and Rotronics. FuelCellMaterials.com placed an initial $200,000 order and signed an exclusive distribution agreement for VIASPACE Energy products in the Americas. VIASPACE's proprietary leading edge HS-1000 is the first accurate real-time, high temperature, laser-based humidity measurement system for hydrogen fuel cells.
VIASPACE has been asked by a major global manufacturer of measurement systems to provide a quote for a very large number of VIASENSOR HS-1000 units to operate in the control system of future fuel cell powered automobiles. Additional validation of the humidity sensor's quality and performance was received when the HS-1000 was extensively tested by one of the world's largest automotive companies and compared to competing approaches. The VIASENSOR HS-1000 beat the competition in a series of rigorous, third party administered tests, and that major automotive company placed an order. That company has potential requirements for hundreds of VIASENSORS.
VIASPACE has also licensed and commercialized a new battery testing technology from Caltech to measure the health of rechargeable batteries. The BA-1000 Battery Electrode Health Analyzer product was introduced in February 2008 with the first sale to the DOE's Pacific Northwest Laboratory. The company believes this revolutionary product will significantly aid in the effort to develop new, safe rechargeable batteries for mobile phones, notebook computers, portable electronics and hybrid and electric vehicles.
Adding a significant new source of revenue to its clean energy business, VIASPACE announced in a recent press release that it has contracted to market and distribute a line of battery products from Yoku of Hong Kong, with a factory in Zhangzhou, a major manufacturer of lithium polymer batteries and battery packs. The lithium polymer batteries are a form of lithium ion batteries that provide enhanced safety and sizing flexibility for high power applications including electric vehicles.
VIASPACE subsidiary Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Corporation (DMFCC) is engaged in developing, manufacturing, distributing and obtaining safety certification for disposable methanol fuel cartridges to provide the energy source for fuel cell-powered products including mobile phones and laptops. It is estimated that each fuel cell powered computer or cell phone will use over 70 cartridges over its estimated three-year lifetime. It is projected that over 3 billion cartridges will be used annually at a retail price of $3-$5 each. This is a $9 to $15 billion dollar market that does not exist today, one in which VIASPACE is expected to play a major role. DMFCC has worked alongside major corporations including DuPont, Toshiba, NEC, Hitachi and Samsung on international committees to define safety standards for fuel cells and fuel cartridges and has incorporated those standards into its designs. The company has also established a global manufacturing and distribution network with key partners in the U.S. and Asia.
VIASPACE has recently provided fuel cell cartridge samples to one of the largest global electronics companies. These samples were designed by DMFCC and manufactured by Japanese partner firm, the Sato Group. The cartridges met the customer's specifications and were incorporated in their fuel cell powered systems for corporate evaluation. DMFCC is actively working on projects with multiple fuel cell manufacturers in Korea, Japan, Singapore and other countries to provide fuel cartridges.
VIASPACE Energy is also exploring new opportunities including power supplies for electronic bicycles, power tools and medical equipment, hybrid (fuel cell and lithium battery) power technology, and measurement of water vapor and carbon dioxide in gasoline and diesel powered automobiles to enable measurements that could improve fuel economy and reduce emissions.