Outdoor Trade Shows

ORSM '12 New Exhibitors Preview: Horizon Fuel Cell

SNEWS highlights some new exhibitors at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2012 trade show. Check out Horizon Fuel Cell’s story and perhaps swing by their booth if you're at the show.

Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies

/ Dane Urry, manager, North America / San Francisco, Calif. / #PV661 / Founded 2003

Dane Urry on Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies: “Horizon is combining its consumer fuel cell know-how with new fuel cartridge technologies to form a new portable power device named MiniPak. The MiniPak includes a passive air-breathing fuel cell, able to draw hydrogen stored as solid hydride inside the specially designed Hydrostik cartridge. This device is a universal portable power charger and power extender compatible with a variety of portable electronics. The MiniPak is positioned to address gaps in providing energy ‘on the go’ for power-hungry device users, as well to provide as a low cost energy storage option for emergencies and long duration off-grid power users.”

Tell us about your brands and products.

Horizon’s complete technology platform is comprised of three main parts: fuel cells and their materials, hydrogen supply and hydrogen storage. This platform enables a variety of product developments targeting commercial markets, both as Horizon products, as well as third-party branded products.

Today, Horizon is able to produce extremely compact, lightweight, PEM fuel cells at varying degrees of complexity and performance, as well as deliver hydrogen storage and on-site hydrogen generation solutions that are suitable for many specialty and mainstream applications, including consumer electronics, portable power, educational solutions, stationary power, ultra-light systems for military use, as well as electric mobility solutions.

What were you, as the founder of the company, doing before this?

Though I am not the founder, the founders of this company were involved in VC research in the fuel cell and renewable energy industries.

Where did your inspiration come from?

Saw a need and opportunity to commercialize fuel cells, and apply a unique business approach and strategy to their commercialization. This was combined with breakthroughs in the technology and several years of research and developments.

What’s the one best feature of your product?

The main products Horizon is releasing at the OR show is called the MiniPak. The MiniPak is designed for providing on-the-go energy for power-hungry device users, as well to provide as a low cost energy storage option for emergencies.

What has been your biggest challenge?

Overcoming infrastructure hurdles and educating the public about fuel cell devices and the technology, while trying to reduce cost and size, and simplification of the fuel cell systems.

Why are you at Outdoor Retailer?

Horizon is at OR as our latest new products focus on the portable power field, of which their primary uses are in camping, hunting, outdoor, traveling, off-grid, as well as emergency situations.

Who do you look up to in the industry?

Within the portable power industry, some companies doing well are Goal Zero, Solio and others using solar energy. I have always been a fan of REI, North Face, and others in the camping industry.

Who do you want to compete against in the industry?

Since this is new technology, we are yet to see few direct competitors with products using fuel cells in portable power products. Our technology does offer an alternative over some solar only chargers in the market, as well as battery-based charging products.