GE Does R&D with LEDs, Fuel Cells
GE has developed LED lighting at its research facilities over the past few years and is ready to roll out six new bulbs over the next four months. GE says it has worked with major retailers to introduce the bulbs to a mass market to assist mainstream adoption at an affordable price.
The bulbs include two low-cost, 40- and 60-watt replacement LED bulbs with dimming capabilities, that provide soft light that is familiar to consumers used to incandescent bulbs; a wireless dimming LED indoor floodlight; and three GE bulbs, available in 40- and 60-watt replacement and floodlight bulbs, combining two of its technologies.
These new LED lights use up to 80 percent less energy than a traditional incandescent bulb.
GE is also working on an efficient distributed power system that combines proprietary fuel cell technology with its existing gas engines. When combined with an engine generator, the system can convert 70 percent of the fuel to electricity, which is more efficient than the combined cycle natural gas power plants powering the grid.
The fuel cell will generate electricity from reformed natural gas. This distributed power system could provide electricity to a small industrial site or a data center, replacing diesel generators that are often used to power remote locations or bring electricity to places off the grid.
GE says the system is still a few years away from commercialization and will be aimed at customers outside of the United States, due to cheap supplies of natural gas. The price for natural gas in many other countries is more than double that in the US.
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