MANHASSET, N.Y. FuelCell Energy Inc. (Danbury, Conn.) has entered into a cooperative research and development agreement with the U. S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center/Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (ERDC-CERL) to provide a 250-kilowatt direct fuel cell power plant to the Department of Defense (DoD) for evaluation in a combined heat and power application.
The power plant will be located in Johnstown, Pa., at the DoD's Fuel Cell Test and Evaluation Center, and be operated and maintained by Concurrent Technologies Corp. The fuel cell system will operate in a combined power and cooling application utilizing natural gas as the supply fuel. Concurrent Technologies will monitor and report on the power plant's operating and maintenance parameters.
FuelCell Energy, a maker of high-temperature hydrogen fuel cells, expects this information to expand knowledge of the electrical and thermal operating parameters, efficiency, and system capabilities of a direct fuel cell power plant. The electrical output will provide a portion of the power requirement for Concurrent Technologies' Environmental Technologies Facility. Available high-temperature heat from the plant will be fed to an absorption chiller for the facility's air conditioning system.
Growing energy concerns are sparking widespread interest in fuel cells, for powering vehicles, notebook computers, and backup power systems as well as power plants.
Under the 12-month program, FuelCell Energy will retain title to the unit and equally cost share the labor to operate and maintain the unit with the U.S. Army ERDC-CERL.