Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania [RenewableEnergyAccess.com]
Air Products and FuelCell Energy, Inc. announced today that construction is under way on an advanced hydrogen energy demonstration station. The station, funded in part by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), is designed to demonstrate a tri-generating green energy system capable of providing low-cost hydrogen, electric power and heat from one integrated unit.
"This energy station is a tremendous opportunity to be able to offer hydrogen, electricity and heat in one highly efficient system."
-- Ed Kiczek, Hydrogen Energy Systems at Air Products, senior business development manager
The new system will combine FuelCell Energy's Direct FuelCell (DFC) power plants with Air Products' advanced gas separation technologies. The system will produce more than 250 kilowatts (kW) of green power and over 135 kilograms (about 300 pounds) of hydrogen per day.
The tri-generation system (hydrogen, electricity and heat) is designed to operate on renewable fuel sources, such as anaerobic digester gas from industrial or municipal wastewater treatment facilities, as well as readily available fuels, including natural gas and propane. The overall cost of on- site generation of hydrogen via this process has the potential to be significantly lower than other currently available production options, and thus could provide hydrogen and energy at decreased costs.
"This energy station is a tremendous opportunity to be able to offer hydrogen, electricity and heat in one highly efficient system," said Ed Kiczek, senior business development manager-Hydrogen Energy Systems at Air Products. "This technological innovation could also help develop the infrastructure needed to support hydrogen-fueled cars of the future."
Excluding the demand spike that may result from commercializing hydrogen- fueled cars, the current market for hydrogen is significant with over 50 million tons of hydrogen produced annually worldwide, according to the National Hydrogen Association.