Metallic Power delivers zinc/air fuel cell prototypes for AQMD

Portable power system and riding greensmower use clean quiet power from new cells

provided by Metallic Power

n fulfillment of a South Coast Air Qual ity Management District (SCAQMD) technology advancement contract to “Develop and Demonstrate Zero-Emission Technologies for Garden Equipment,” Metallic Power, the leading developer of regenerative zinc/air fuel cells, has provided a demonstration of a riding greensmower and 2kW portable power system suitable for turf and garden care at SCAQMD's board meeting. Working in conjunction with The Toro Company of Bloomington, MN, Metallic Power incorporated their high-energy fuel cells into a Toro prototype electric mower to show the viability of using alternative fuels to power this type of equipment. Metallic Power's portable power source uses the same zinc/air technology to quietly power a variety of garden care equipment such as hedge trimmers and leaf blowers at remote sites.

    Dr. Jeffrey Colborn, president and CEO of Metallic Power explained, “Fulfillment of this contract has been a great opportunity to show the versatility of our zinc/air fuel cell technology. Its high energy density and zero emissions, coupled with the abundance of zinc, will make this an ideal power source for a number of applications from lawn and garden care to emergency backup power, to power for vehicles and more.”

    Said Barry Wallerstein, AQMD's executive officer, “Further emission reductions from all sources - including lawn and garden equipment - will be needed to achieve healthy air quality in Southern California. New technologies such as this will help us achieve that goal without placing undue burdens or restrictions on businesses and homeowners.”

    The high specific-energy characteristics of the zinc/air technology will allow significant improvements in weight, power output, and other performance parameters that will enable a production version of the zinc fuel cell to be significantly more compact.

    Similar to a portable engine generator, Metallic Power's portable power source can provide up to 2kW of power for several hours between refueling. Unlike an engine generator, the Metallic Power portable power source can quietly operate indoors or in areas with limited ventilation.

    Metallic Power Inc., founded in 1995 and based in Carlsbad, CA, is the leader in developing zinc/air fuel cell-based products. These power sources will use recyclable zinc fuel to provide emission-free electricity for a variety of applications including extended backup power for telecommunications and networking, portable power, peak shaving and transportation. Compared to other fuel cell technologies, Metallic Power's zinc/air system does not require a high pressure or high temperature operating environment. Due to the system's use of zinc fuel, one of the Earth's most abundant elements, it does not require the use of costly fuel reformers. Because of the system's fundamental simplicity, Metallic Power believes that it will offer a safer, more cost-effective approach to renewable energy. The company recently closed its third round of financing, which raised $18 million in blue-chip venture funding. For more information, visit

    The Toro Company has more than 4,700 employees around the world and is a leading provider of outdoor maintenance and beautification products for home, recreation and commercial landscapes. SCAQMD is the air pollution control agency for Orange County and major portions of Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties.