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FuelCell Energy Celebrates National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day: Providing Hydrogen for Transportation, Delivering Long-Duration Energy Storage and Carbon Capture Through its Advanced Technologies Programs

By October 8, 2020 5   min read  (851 words)

October 8, 2020 |

Fuel Cell Energy Fuel Cell Hydrogen Day
  • Advancing Distributed Hydrogen – Will provide Toyota the distributed green hydrogen needed at the Port of Long Beach, California to accelerate the adoption of fuel cell car and truck transportation, improving air quality in the region.
  • Ad vancing Electrolysis and Long Duration Energy Storage – Working to commercialize solid oxide hydrogen generation, storage, and power generation platform.
  • Advancing Climate Change Mitigation – Developing transformative carbon capture solutions leveraging carbonate fuel cell technology to capture carbon while producing power.

DANBURY, Conn.– FuelCell Energy, Inc. (Nasdaq: FCEL) — a global leader in fuel cell technology – with a purpose of utilizing its proprietary, state-of-the-art fuel cell platforms to enable a world empowered by clean energy – today, as part of celebrating National Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Day in the United States, provides an update on its various Advanced Technologies programs. FuelCell Energy began researching and formulating its platform solutions in 1969, and has produced well over 10 million-megawatt hours of clean electricity since commercializing its first platform 17 years ago.

The energy sector is undergoing an unprecedented global transformation as part of the push to decarbonize. Meeting carbon goals set by companies, states, and countries worldwide will require a multidimensional strategy and commitment from all participants across all energy sectors. FuelCell Energy is uniquely positioned to support the rapid growth associated with the hydrogen economy, by not only leveraging its proven carbonate fuel cell technology that is capable of producing both electricity and hydrogen while capturing carbon, but also through commercialization of its SureSource Storage solid oxide platform, anticipated to offer industry leading efficiencies in the production of renewable hydrogen.

Leveraging five decades of research and development expertise, FuelCell Energy has evolved its SureSource carbonate fuel cell technology to focus on hydrogen as a product. Our SureSource carbonate fuel cells extract hydrogen from biogas or natural gas through a clean reforming reaction with water that occurs in the stacks’ fuel electrodes. This local production of hydrogen is unique and highly efficient, as key elements needed by the reforming reaction – heat and water – are byproducts of the already occurring SureSource fuel cell reactions.

Distributed Hydrogen:

SureSource Hydrogen systems are modified to produce extra hydrogen, which is then extracted from the system and purified for a wide range of other uses. A standard SureSource Hydrogen system generates approximately 2.35 MW of electricity and 1.2 tons of hydrogen per day, enough electricity to supply approximately 2,350 average-sized homes and hydrogen meet the daily driving needs of nearly 1,500 fuel cell vehicles.

Electrolysis and Long Duration Energy Storage to Transform the Grid:

FuelCell Energy’s solid oxide fuel cells are capable of electrolysis in addition to power generation. Electrolysis is the opposite of fuel cell power generation: instead of making power and water from fuel and oxygen, electrolysis cells make hydrogen and oxygen from water and power. Supporting a long-duration storage application, FuelCell Energy’s solid oxide fuel cells can operate in electrolysis mode during the charge cycle, using renewable and other delivered power from the grid to produce hydrogen, which can be stored for later use.

During the discharge cycle, the stored hydrogen is consumed in the fuel cells in power generation mode, returning power to the grid for consumption as needed, particularly when other power resources like wind and solar are not producing electricity. Storage capacity is easily expanded by adding additional hydrogen storage tanks or storage caverns, which enables a low cost and scalable approach for clean energy storage. Long duration electricity storage is a growing need given the increasing penetration of intermittent renewable sources of solar and wind.

Conventional electrolysis systems based on polymer membrane or alkaline electrolyte cells operate near ambient temperature and convert water to hydrogen with electrical efficiency generally ranging 60% to 65%. FuelCell Energy’s solid oxide electrolysis platform operates at much higher efficiency, producing more hydrogen for a given amount of power input. Under some conditions, the cells can be operated at or above 100% electrical efficiency, as long as thermal energy is supplied to the stack to maintain thermal balance.

Climate Change Mitigation – Carbon Capture:

In the SureSource Capture application, instead of ambient air, exhaust flue gas containing carbon dioxide can be routed to the air electrodes of the fuel cell. Those carbon dioxide molecules are transferred to the fuel electrodes, where carbon dioxide is concentrated allowing for easy removal and purification. Carbonate fuel cells are the only known fuel cell technology that can be utilized to capture carbon dioxide from an external source. Additionally, nitrogen oxides in the flue gas (an ozone precursor pollutant) will be largely destroyed as the gas flows through the fuel cell.

FuelCell Energy’s proprietary SureSource Capture platform produces power while capturing carbon dioxide, unlike other carbon capture applications which require power to operate.

FuelCell Energy’s Advanced Technologies programs are designed to assist in the mitigation of climate change and improve air quality. From the production of hydrogen for vehicle fueling, industrial applications, or power generation to concentrating carbon dioxide from coal plants, natural gas fired power plants and industrial applications, to enabling long duration energy storage through electrolysis, FuelCell Energy’s clean fuel cell technology is poised to make meaningful changes to the energy landscape.

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