The company said it will further develop the on-site distributed hydrogen generation market with a $2.8 million continuation of an award from the Energy Department’s Advanced Manufacturing Office.
FuelCell Energy will install a sub-megawatt fuel cell power plant at its manufacturing facility in Torrington, Conn., to generate hydrogen, electricity and heat. The plant will replace hydrogen that is currently purchased and delivered to the facility via truck, and replacing electricity purchased from the electric grid.
The project is intended to enable market development for distributed hydrogen used for industrial purposes. It should also reduce purchasing and transport costs, and eliminate the need for on-site hydrogen storage. The company believes there is a potential market size of $1.6 billion for the tri-generation DFC-H2 fuel cell power plant serving the industrial and mobility markets in the United States.
This DFC-H2 installation can generate about 135 kilograms of hydrogen per day which generally meets the daily requirements of many industrial hydrogen users. Once commercially available, the production cost of the hydrogen from DFC plants is expected to be competitively priced within a range of $5 to $7 per kilogram or even lower with increased production volumes.
While this industrial application is the first of its kind, a DFC-H2 project has been operating for over two years, converting biogas from the Orange County Sanitation District (OCSD) in Fountain Valley, Calif., into renewable hydrogen for vehicle fueling. This installation generates 250 kilowatts of power.