US Energy Secretary Steven Chu Announces $41 Million for Fuel Cells (Stationary, Micro-Power and Transportation)

April 16 2009 / by Garry Golden / In association with Future Blogger.net
Category: Energy   Year: General   Rating: 4 Hot

stationary fuel cell

US Energy Secretary Steven Chu has announced $41 million to support the 'immediate deployment of nearly 1,000 fuel cell systems for emergency backup power and material handling applications (e.g., forklifts) that have emerged as key early markets in which fuel cells can compete with conventional power technologies.  Additional systems will be used to accelerate the demonstration of stationary fuel cells for combined heat and power in the larger residential and commercial markets.'

The funds will also support micro-power applications being advanced by innovative startups like Jadoo, Plug Power, Nuvera, MTI, PolyFuel, and Delphi Automotive (auxillary power systems for trucks!).

Fuel Cells (Power Stations) vs Batteries (Storage)
Fuel cells convert chemical energy into electricity without having to be 'plugged into' the grid.  As 'refuelable' power generators, they offer some key advantages to a pure energy storage offering of batteries (e.g. Batteries depend on 'grid access', while fuel cells need fuel and serve as a portable/stationary power station.  You just need to add fuel!)

US Energy Visionaries Sense Global Opportunity
The key to advancing fuel cells is to lower the costs of nanostructured catalysts (that release electric charges) and membranes (allow positive ions to pass) used in all applications (e.g. stationary, portable).  It is a materials science strategy based on nanoscale science and engineering. 

While the battery supply chain has long been established, there is a unique opportunity for the US to leap frog into more commercially diverse applications based on fuel cell systems used in everything from distributed power, micro-power, transportation and utility scale power generation.

More posts on Fuel cells at The Energy Roadmap.com

Comment Thread (1 Response)

  1. I noticed you did not post a blog about the DOE dropping its hydrogen fuel cell transportation program. This goes against the notion of an integrated fuel cell and battery platform. Looks like we are still decades away from the death of the internal combustion engine.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/08/science/earth/08energy.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=stephen%20chu%20hydrogen&st=cse

    Posted by: dni24405   May 17, 2009
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