Sustaining Future

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Direct FuelCells

via Treehugger

from their FAQ:

Direct FuelCells® are a high-temperature, high-efficiency type of fuel cell designed for stationary applications. These cells use natural gas directly without the need of converting the natural gas into hydrogen using other process first. Hence they claim that their fuel cell is highly efficient with an operating power offerings of 300 kW, 1.5 MW, or 3.0 MW. One of the most interesting application of these fuel cells is to use them in a distributed power generation:
Our electric utility infrastructure in this country is based on a system of large power plants feeding power to customers through a vast transmission and distribution system, collectively known as “the grid”. Distributed generation is a concept where smaller, highly efficient power plants would be built along the existing grid, close to the end-user customer. It is similar in concept to the move from large central computers to desktop computers on a network.

There are significant distribution loss by the grid. By locating the power generator closer to the consumers, the distribution loss can be reduced - hence saving the fueld and the environment. (Of the natural gas need to be available at the point of generation for this to work. I don't have data to compare the distribution cost of electricity and distribution cost of natural gas. :-) Can any one enlighten me?)


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