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Water Today Title April 14, 2021

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Update 2021/3/6
Renewables


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CANADIAN START-UP LOOP ENERGY HERALDS THE DAWN OF EMISSION-FREE TRANSPORT



By Suzanne Forcese

“The reality is that diesel fuel is used globally in thousands of applications. Anywhere diesel is used, there is an opportunity for fuel cells to provide the same power with zero emissions.” - Ben Nyland, President & CEO of Loop Energy

Ever increasing climate change and air quality concerns are driving the development and adoption of sustainable vehicle and fuel use across all vehicle categories.

Governments and industry are turning to hydrogen fuel cells to de-carbonize hard- to –abate medium and heavy buses and trucks, as well as rail and marine.

Fuel cells at scale offer lower costs and similar operating behaviors as diesel and natural gas vehicles but with zero emissions, quiet operation, and low maintenance.

Based in Burnaby, British Columbia, the global centre of fuel cell development, Loop Energy’s cutting edge technology is advancing power beyond expectation. By combining automotive fuel cell innovation with a deep understanding of requirements of commercial vehicles the loop team is reshaping hydrogen mobility.

WT had the pleasure of speaking with George Rubin, Loop’s Chief Commercial Officer about the Company’s proprietary eFlow™ Technology, that literally had its beginnings in a Chilliwack garage and is now set to disrupt transportation.

“The fairy tale story began 23 years ago with a young Chilliwack’s man’s dream. David Leger’s view of Mt. Cheam was hidden by a thick layer of smog. At that time hydrogen was in a different place,” Rubin said. “But with a perceptual idea, astute observation, and the right contacts in the right company, Leger’s idea was developed into the unique technology.” A technology that has the potential to result in emission-free transportation giving us all a clear view of our world.

Fast-forward to February 25, 2021, the team at Loop virtually opened the market to celebrate the Company’s listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange-- https://youtu.be/4hziT7HESCg writing the next chapter on a very visible stage.

“Over the years, as the technology was being tweaked and improved a trend was taking hold. In parallel the hydrogen industry matured. The trend took hold. Loop had the technology and the two curves converged,” Rubin adds.



George Rubin, (a Quantum Radio Physics Masters Graduate from Moscow State University) is a seasoned technology industry executive who uniquely combines a scientific background with hands-on experience in business development. Photo Courtesy Loop Energy


At present Loop is a leading designer of fuel cell systems targeted for the electrification of commercial vehicles in a quickly expanding ecosystem. Blue-chip international bus and truck engine manufacturers are developing and operating a range of vehicles from logistics trucks to long-haul freight trucks and municipal transit buses. Products are also being developed for use in heavy- duty mining applications.

Although Rubin says the Company’s vision is to move in many more directions that will best serve a zero-emissions world the first step is “easier starting with diesel conversion.”

“In the hydrogen world, we start with the battery-electric solution and use fuel cells to add range, increase payload, reduce refuelling time and ensure electric vehicles are capable of any route any time of year.

“No matter the application, our goal is to match diesel functionality while reducing the overall cost of ownership”



The Loop Range Extender. Designed for seamless integration, and careful consideration of target operating duty cycle requirements, the fuel cell modules are significantly smaller and lighter than most alternatives.


The extender improves the range of vehicles without having to recharge.

For large scale adoption in transport, fuel cells must deliver a total cost of operation equal to or lower than incumbent solutions.

Loop’s best-in-class technology is capable of producing over 50% more power than the same-sized fuel cell stack while also achieving high power in a small footprint. The size of the fuel cell enables sufficient integration space despite the limited constraints of modern day vehicles.



The proprietary technology called eFlow™ is at the centre of the fuel cell stack


Loop’s team of forty has grown from an aha moment that led to Loop’s signature “trapezoid” plate.


The proprietary technology called eFlow™ is at the centre of the fuel cell stack


The unique design ensures uniform power density across the entire plate surface for greater power, while increasing gas velocity down the plate to deliver superior fuel efficiency and exceptional water management.

For large scale adoption in commercial transport fuel cells must deliver. Loop’s systems can match demanding drive cycle energy consumption without unnecessarily oversizing its fuel cells.

Fuel efficiency is another key driver for OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) demand.

With savings over 15% in hydrogen fuel costs versus competitive fuel cells operational cost savings are well in excess of the purchase price of the fuel cell.

“Everything we do is around solving problems for our customers on a one to one basis,” Rubin says of the Company’s mission of “more power to move you”.

With a second manufacturing facility in China, Loop has entered into a venture to transforming a significant portion of their Nanjing municipal bus fleet to zero-emission hydrogen fuel cell electric power.

“We will continue to expand our footprint as the market requires. We are all about products that make the world a better place,” Rubin concludes.



“Loop energy’s logo speaks to how our product eFlow™ works, and how our products connect to the world. If you consider the logo as an ‘energy loop’, the ‘yellow’ at the top represents the sun. It helps to produce the ‘red’ power using Loop’s eFlow. And the ‘blue’ is water -- the only emission from Loop’s fuel cell.”George Rubin

suzanne.f@watertoday.ca

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