H.M. Cragg Co. Deploys 1st GenCore® PEM Fuel Cell at MN Telecom Companies - Replaces Battery Backup Power with Clean, Cost Effective Fuel Cell Alternative

PEM Fuel Cell adoption rate is growing within MN Telecoms and Utilities thanks to the help of MN-based provider of quality power solutions, H.M. Cragg Co., 3M, Entegris, Plug Power and the Minnesota Department of Commerce.

Minneapolis, MN (PRWEB) September 1, 2005 -- http://www.hmcragg.com/index-fuel-cells.html, H.M. Cragg Co., a MN-based provider of quality power solutions including proton exchange membrane PEM fuel cells and uninterruptible power systems (UPS) and batteries, today announced the successful installation of the GenCore® PEM fuel cell power backup technology at Ada-MN based Loretel Systems, Inc. at their central office in Glyndon-MN.

The Loretel Systems installation of cost effective and clean PEM fuel cell technology is a result of the collaborative efforts of H.M. Cragg Co., the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Plug Power Inc. and the cumulative energies of Minnesota-based 3M and Entegris.

Loretel Systems was one of two telecom providers to receive a grant from the Minnesota Department of Commerce which awarded grants to telecom providers demonstrating interest and commitment to clean energy via deployment of a fuel cell backup system.

H.M. Cragg Co. installed a five kilowatt 100 AMP fuel cell system at Loretel Systems Central Office in Glyndon MN.

"PEM Fuel Cell technology is the cost effective and clean power alternative of the future," said Paul Heggestad, H.M. Cragg, Co. president. "This is an important milestone for H.M. Cragg Co. and for the telecom industry. It shows there is a viable alternative for backup power that is cleaner, more reliable and ultimately more cost effective."

The PEM fuel cell units are housed outside the Loretel Systems facility and connected to a specially designed fuel storage cabinet. Each cabinet contains six hydrogen cylinders which, in tandem, provide up to 12 hours of clean backup power in the event of a "traditional" power outage. Up to 4 fuel cell systems can be daisy-chained together for delivery of additional kilowatts and/or longer run time.

The PEM fuel cell technology uses software and a modem to communicate remotely with Loretel Systems technicians. It can notify them of any alarm conditions such as low supply of hydrogen gas or an electrical malfunction via email, BlackBerry® or pager.

"I believe H.M. Cragg Co.’s installation of GenCore® PEM fuel cells from Plug Power are a safe and economical way to provide backup power to our Glyndon central office as well as other central office sites in the future," said Steven Katka, VP & General Manager, Loretel Systems, Inc.

PEM Fuel cells start at $20,000 plus installation, but require little maintenance and emit only heat and water as bi-products. With alternative battery backup power running at comparable costs, typically requiring significant maintenance and complex disposal techniques, fuel cells are quickly being adopted as the "right" energy alternative, especially in terms of return on investment (ROI) for Midwest telecom and utility companies.

To learn more about H.M. Cragg Co.’s PEM fuel fell capabilities visit: www.hmcragg.com/index-fuel-cells.html.

About H.M. Cragg Co.
H.M. Cragg Co. is a premier MN-based provider of quality power solutions including PEM fuel cells and uninterruptible power systems (UPS). Products include Anderson Connectors, C & D Technologies, Inc. batteries, Eaton Powerware UPS and UPS batteries. More information about the company can be found at www.hmcragg.com.

About Loretel Systems
Loretel Systems, Inc. with headquarters in Ada, Minnesota, has been providing telecommunications services to customers in northwestern Minnesota and eastern North Dakota for over 100 years. In addition to local and long distance calling options, Loretel Systems also offers digital subscriber line (DSL) technology and cable TV services to communities in and around its telephone exchanges. For more information about Loretel Systems, please visit www.loretel.com.

About 3M – A Global, Diversified Technology Company
Every day, 3M people find new ways to make amazing things happen. Wherever they are, whatever they do, the company’s customers know they can rely on 3M to help make their lives better. 3M's brands include Scotch, Post-it, Scotchgard, Thinsulate, Scotch-Brite, Filtrete, Command and Vikuiti. Serving customers in more than 200 countries around the world, the company’s 67,000 people use their expertise, technologies and global strength to lead in major markets, including consumer and office; display and graphics; electronics and telecommunications; safety, security and protection services; health care; industrial and transportation. For more information, including the latest product and technology news, visit www.3M.com.

3M, Scotch, Post-it, Scotchgard, Thinsulate, Scotch-Brite, Filtrete, Command and
Vikuiti are trademarks of 3M Company.

About Entegris
Entegris is the global leader in materials integrity management – purifying, protecting and transporting critical materials used in high technology products, processes and services for some of the world's foremost technology industries, including semiconductor, data storage, life sciences and fuel cell. For more information about Entegris, please visit www.entegris.com.

About Plug Power
Plug Power Inc. is an established leader in the deployment of clean, reliable, on-site energy products. More than 500 Plug Power fuel cell systems have been delivered to customers worldwide in commercial, public sector, telecommunications, utility and uninterruptible power supply markets. For more information about how to join Plug Power’s energy revolution as an investor, customer, supplier or strategic partner, please visit http://www.plugpower.com.

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Source :  http://www.prweb.com/releases/2005/9/prweb279544.htm