FuelCell Energy Awarded Innovative Energy Storage Solution Contract
FuelCell Energy Awarded Innovative Energy Storage Solution Contract
author Added by FuelCellsWorks, May 30, 2017
  • FuelCell Energy commercializing long-duration energy storage utilizing a cost effective, reversible solid oxide fuel cell solution for carbon neutral electricity storage and generation supported by a U.S. Department of Energy award
  • Solution is designed to enable the integration of intermittent renewable energy sources to provide greater predictability of power generation for the electric grid

DANBURY, Conn. --  FuelCell Energy, Inc. (Nasdaq:FCEL), a global leader in delivering clean, innovative and affordable fuel cell solutions for the supply, recovery and storage of energy, today announced that it was awarded  a $3.0 million contract from the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) division of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to advance the commercialization of cost-effective and clean long-duration energy storage. The project will further develop FuelCell Energy’s advanced solid oxide cell technology capable of alternating between electrolysis and fuel cell power generation mode (reversible SOFC, or RSOFC) in an energy storage application.  RSOFC systems can produce hydrogen or other carbon-neutral fuels in electrolysis mode and later convert the stored fuel to power in electrolysis mode.  This project was awarded under ARPA-E’s Renewable Energy to Fuels through Utilization of Energy-Dense Liquids (REFUEL) program.  

“FuelCell Energy is commercializing reversible solid oxide systems for energy storage, and this project will further advance the initiative including the evaluation of our reversible fuel cell’s ability to produce and use hydrogen and other fuels,” said Tony Leo, Vice President of Advanced Applications & Technology Development for FuelCell Energy. “The capability of this fuel cell configuration to produce and consume hydrogen or other carbon-neutral fuels for energy storage, and to cleanly and efficiently generate electricity when needed by the electric grid offers exciting possibilities for integration of intermittent renewable power.”

The use of reversible fuel cells to efficiently produce hydrogen or other carbon-neutral fuels offers unique opportunities for efficient energy storage, particularly for the long-duration storage applications that will become important as penetration of intermittent renewable power increases.  Discharge duration can be increased by adding more fuel storage, without the need to increase the number of fuel cells, enhancing the affordability of extended duration energy storage.

“Critical to any storage solution is affordability, which is why the high round trip efficiency of this reversible fuel cell and the utilization of a cost-effective energy storage medium for long durations is so compelling,” continued Mr. Leo

Fuel cells use chemistry to convert a fuel source into electricity and heat in a highly efficient process that emits virtually no pollutants as the fuel is not burned.  The combination of near-zero pollutants, modest land-use needs, and quiet operating nature of these stationary fuel cell power plants facilitates installation in urban locations where the power is used.  Customers benefit with operating cost reductions delivered in a manner that supports sustainability goals and enhances power reliability.