FuelCell Energy and Air Products have signed a memorandum of understanding to work together towards the market development of FuelCell Energy’s Direct FuelCell power plants, which simultaneously produce electricity, high-grade heat and hydrogen.
Target markets for these tri-generation stationary fuel cell power plants include industrial hydrogen users as well as vehicle fuelling applications. “On-site or distributed co-production of hydrogen in a cost effective and efficient manner from stationary fuel cell power plants represents tremendous market potential,” said Ed Kiczek, global director – Hydrogen Energy Systems at Air Products. “Hydrogen is an alternative fuel that can simultaneously reduce a country’s dependence on imported oil and significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
The initiative seeks to develop a market for tri-generation megawatt-class power plants around the world. Industrial users of hydrogen can utilize all three of the DFC revenue streams including hydrogen, electricity and heat. On-site or local production of hydrogen and electricity eliminates the delivery costs incurred by industrial companies while enhancing security and reliability of supply.
“By combining our industry-leading fuel cell technology and expertise with the market reach, hydrogen processing, and distribution capabilities of Air Products, together we can create the hydrogen infrastructure with a solution that is ready today,” said Chip Bottone, president and chief executive officer, FuelCell Energy, Inc. “Our stationary fuel cell power plants are quite versatile and this initiative represents what we expect to be an efficient and cost effective manner of providing on-site hydrogen production in an environmentally friendly manner.”
Distributed generation of hydrogen could help to enable hydrogen infrastructure development by producing hydrogen in locations convenient for end-uses such as vehicle fuelling or industrial use. Fuelling operations or neighbouring facilities can utilize the ultra-clean electricity and high quality heat produced. Using DFC power plants to generate hydrogen near the point of use supports domestic jobs while promoting energy independence as DFC plants are designed and manufactured in the United States and utilize abundant natural gas as a fuel source.