Air Products picks FuelCell Energy to develop next generation hydrogen energy station
Air Products awards subcontract to FuelCell Energy Inc. under DOE deal to evaluate, design and demonstrate a next-generation Hydrogen Energy Station that builds on FuelCell Energy's ultra-clean Direct FuelCell power plants and Air Products' advanced gas separation technologies. The HES effort will be directed toward using readily available fuels such as natural gas, propane and anaerobic digester gas from municipal and industrial wastewater treatment facilities...
LEHIGH VALLEY, PA. & DANBURY, CT, Aug. 3, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Air Products has awarded a subcontract to FuelCell Energy Inc. under a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Cooperative Agreement to evaluate, design and demonstrate a next-generation Hydrogen Energy Station (HES). The HES will build upon FuelCell Energy's ultra-clean Direct FuelCell® (DFC®) power plants and Air Products' advanced gas separation technologies. The HES is directed toward co-producing hydrogen for vehicle fueling and electrical power from a single system. The HES effort will be directed toward a capability of using readily available fuels such as natural gas, propane and anaerobic digester gas from municipal and industrial wastewater treatment facilities.
"This Hydrogen Energy Station could establish a bridge for continued hydrogen infrastructure development. The HES will integrate aspects of FuelCell Energy's DFC technology and Air Products' process and separation technology to provide a unique and highly-efficient offering. Air Products believes that the HES can potentially be competitive with other distributed hydrogen generation technologies," said Greg Keenan, business development manager for Future Energy Solutions at Air Products. Several locations are being evaluated for the demonstration of the HES, presently scheduled to be on-stream in 2007.
"We are currently commercializing our DFC power plants for combined heat and power applications in the U.S., Europe and Asia," said Dr. Hansraj C. Maru, FuelCell Energy's chief technology officer. "Making hydrogen available locally for other applications, such as automotive fuel cells, enhances the value proposition of our DFC products."
On-site generation of hydrogen is a potential solution to challenges relating to development and construction of an infrastructure for fueling hydrogen vehicles. The HES will be based upon the use of high-temperature fuel cell technology to produce three products; hydrogen, heat and electricity, wherein unreacted hydrogen can be recovered from anode exhaust gas. The HES will be designed to optimize the output based on user demand. FuelCell Energy's sub-megawatt power plant will be integrated with an Air Products hydrogen purification system and related support sub-systems. The HES is designed to provide up to 250 kilowatts of electricity daily, sufficient to provide the base load power requirements of a 300-room suburban hotel, and enough hydrogen to fuel 20 cars per day.
Air Products recently completed a detailed evaluation on technical and economic aspects of this project under an initial phase of the effort. The system evaluation of co-producing hydrogen and electricity resulted in promising economics. "A single unit that potentially offers all three products is certainly attractive as a technology option for a number of new applications," said Keenan. He added that power plants based upon this technology offer high efficiency, being able to recover up to 80-85% of the energy entering the system, and have low emissions.
FuelCell Energy has more than 40 power plant installations utilizing its base DFC technology throughout the world. Since it delivered its first commercially-available DFC power plant in January 2003, FuelCell Energy's units have generated more than 70 million kilowatt hours of electricity at customer sites.
The HES evaluation effort will expand on experience gained from Air Products' initial hydrogen energy station developed under DOE funding and in conjunction with the City of Las Vegas. The world's first hydrogen energy station featuring the co-production of hydrogen fuel and electric power was formally dedicated in November 2002.
Air Products (www.airproducts.com) serves customers in technology, energy, healthcare and industrial markets worldwide with a unique portfolio of products, services and solutions, providing atmospheric gases, process and specialty gases, performance materials and chemical intermediates. Founded in 1940, Air Products has built leading positions in key growth markets such as semiconductor materials, refinery hydrogen, home healthcare services, natural gas liquefaction, and advanced coatings and adhesives. Air Products is recognized for its innovative culture, operational excellence and commitment to safety and the environment and is listed in the Dow Jones Sustainability and FTSE4Good Indices. Air Products has annual revenues of $7.4 billion, operations in over 30 countries, and nearly 20,000 employees around the globe.
FuelCell Energy (www.fuelcellenergy.com) develops and markets ultra-clean power plants that generate electricity with up to twice the efficiency with virtually no air pollution. Fuel cells can produce base load electricity where commercial and industrial customers face cost, reliability, security or environmental issues with their existing energy supplies. Emerging state, federal and international regulations to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions consider fuel cell power plants in the same environmentally friendly category as wind and solar energy sources -- with the added advantages of running 24 hours a day and the capacity to be installed where wind turbines or solar panels often cannot. Based in Danbury, Conn., FuelCell Energy services over 40 power plant sites around the globe, and conducts R&D on next-generation fuel cell technologies to meet the world's ever-increasing demand for ultra-clean distributed energy.