Fuel Cell Technology

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Two questions here:

1. Anyone know of companies selling PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) Fuel Cells to generate power for a home or small/medium business? I want the names of companies who have products to sell now... It appears there are many people "researching" the subject, but only a few who have 10kW generators.

2. What would a 10kW generator cost to fuel my home? Or possibly a 250kW unit for the office (about 60 people with computers, copiers, etc.)

By the PEM fuel cells take hydrocarbon-based products (natural gas, propane, gas) and generate electricity with them, with the output being heat and H2O.

My boss at work is interested in the personal model for home and the commercial model for work. (Then buy up stocks of propane to run it.)

My understanding is that they're very expensive right now, but is that thousands, ten thousands, hundred thousands, or millions.

BTW, Fuel cells were originally designed to provide electicity for the space program and are used on the space shuttle.

Interest in them was high during the oil crisis as an alternative energy source to gasoline for autos, but they never took off.

Once the government stopped funding research for alternative fuels, funding all but dried up ( except for the space program ), but it appears that some commercial applications are starting to appear.

Glen Austin

-- Glen Austin (gdaustin@aol.com), January 21, 1999


Ballard is building 10 kW, 30 kW, and 250 kW fuel cell power generators. They are developing both stationary and vehicle systems (With Daimler-Benz, GM, Honda, Ford, Nissan, Chrysler, Volkswagen, Volvo, Hitachi, and Matsushita. See www.ballard.com.

-- Jon (jonmiles@pacbell.net), January 21, 1999.

There is a company in Latham N.Y.called plug power that is still in the shake down R+D phase of production of a home based Hydrogen fuel cells that utilizes Pem technology. They are in Trial test of a home model called the plug power 7000 that can power a 3000 sq ft home at 20% savings of local power cost. They are suppose to be ready for the market in late 2000. However I believe if demand is high enough they may make it available sooner. You can contact them atinfo@plugpower.com

-- mike lerman (visionpr@gte.net), January 21, 1999.

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