The program, called the Fuel Cell Power Rent-to-Own program, allows the first-time user to try the fuel cell for at least two weeks with a 100 percent rental credit towards a purchase. STI's standard rental credit of 50 percent applies towards later purchases.
Weekly rentals are calculated from $99 to $149 depending on the total number of contracted weeks, plus power used.
Sandpiper (Manteca, Calif.), which supplies custom video systems, probes, and accessories for field personnel, began offering fuel cells two years ago. The company sells a self-contained, portable 50-watt, 12-volt methanol fueled power system with a 5.0-liter fuel container.
"The fuel cell is more than a power source," said John Christensen, chief executive of Sandpiper, in a statement. "It's a labor saving device that is much easier to mobilize than lead batteries or power generators. The fuel cell typically replaces a 75-pound battery and can power equipment such as cell phones, laptop computers, GPS and video surveillance systems."