The UC Irvine Medical Center's high-temperature fuel cell and absorption chiller (HTFC/AC) system has been commissioned and is now generating about 30% of the facility's power needs and supplying 200 refrigeration tons of cooling (800 kW). This Fuel Cell Energy molten carbonate unit is designed to operate as a base load electricity provider with the benefit of producing useable high quality waste heat captured by an absorption chiller. The heat is then converted into cooling for the Center's Douglas Hospital hydronic air conditioning system.
Without the use of combustion to generate power, this fuel cell power plant produces virtually zero pollutants. When compared to the electric grid, the fuel cell installation will annually avoid the emission of 28 tons of nitrogen oxide (NOx), 64 tons of sulfur dioxide (SOx), 3,000 pounds of particulate matter (PM10), and more than 7,000 tons of CO2.