The world's first tri-generation fuel cell and hydrogen energy station had a commissioning ceremony yesterday in Fountain Valley, California.
(Video explains hydrogen fuel cells. However, it is not these same technology provider as in the article.)
The fuel cell is a combined heat, hydrogen, and electricity-generating system, making it a tri-generation system.
Here's how it works:
Biogas from the municipal wastewater treatment plant feeds the fuel cell, which then generates hydrogen. That hydrogen will be sent to a hydrogen fueling station that's open to the public and can support 25-50 fuel cell electric vehicle fill-ups each day. The fuel cell also produces 250 kW of electricity which will partially power the wastewater treatment plant.
Using hydrogen produced on-site solves infrastructure problems that are holding back the technology, and should accelerate its adoption as a renewable fuel.
The Fountain Valley fuel cell system could offer a pathway to low-cost hydrogen while demonstrating the versatility of fuel cells ability to use multiple feedstocks. Fuel cells can run on biogas or natural gas to produce electricity and fuel for light duty vehicles such as forklifts or as backup power in applications such as cell phone towers.
The project was developed as a partnership between the US Department of Energy, California Air Resources Board, the Orange County Sanitation District, and private industry. The project is managed by Air Products (NYSE: APD); additional partners include FuelCell Energy, Inc. (Nasdaq: FCEL) and the National Fuel Cell Research Center at the University of California, Irvine.
"Innovations like this demonstrate how American ingenuity and targeted investment can accelerate breakthroughs in the hydrogen and fuel cell industry while driving the clean energy economy forward," says DOE's Deputy Assistant Secretary for Renewable Energy Steve Chalk. "By providing the added value of electricity and heat, this approach provides a significant step in overcoming economic challenges with hydrogen refueling infrastructure."
Source: Sustainable Business