01.21.2004 12:00 PM
Fuel cell technology, the new power behind ENG at Sinclair Broadcast

The Sinclair Broadcast Group has invested in a venture that it thinks has developed a better power source for portable television cameras. The broadcast group sees potential in hydrogen-powered fuel cells, a battery replacement technology already used by the military and law enforcement agencies.



Jadoo said that its fuel cell cartridge—called the NABII—can run a professional ENG camera 250 percent longer than a standard ENG battery. When continuous location power is required, the operator can “hot swap” hydrogen cartridges without interruption.

Sinclair Ventures, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the broadcast group, has become an investor in Jadoo Power Systems, a Folsom, Calif.-based developer of portable energy sources. The broadcaster is interested in a new Jadoo technology that integrates a fuel cell-based power system with hydride fuel storage cartridges.

In principle, a fuel cell operates like a battery. Unlike a battery, however, a fuel cell consists of two electrodes sandwiched around an electrolyte. Oxygen passes over one electrode and hydrogen over the other, generating electricity, water and heat.

Jadoo said that its fuel cell cartridge—called the NABII—can run a professional ENG camera 250 percent longer than a standard ENG battery. When continuous location power is required, the operator can “hot swap” hydrogen cartridges without interruption. The company said the power generated by a single 1.7 pound cartridge equals the power produced by 15 pounds of conventional rechargeable, metal hydride batteries.

At the end of the day, back at the station, fuel cells are replenished with hydrogen filled cartridges. Traditional electrical charging is not required.

Sinclair will begin testing the new batteries next month. The formal introduction of the battery system is expected at NAB2004. A fuel cell and a refill station is expected to be priced at less than $3,500.

For more information, visit: www.jadoopower.com/nab.html.

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