Boeing Begins Microgrid Test for Reversible Fuel Cell-based Energy Storage System

Boeing has delivered a fuel cell energy storage system to the U.S. Navy for testing that will determine the system’s ability to support the energy needs of military and commercial customers.

According to Boeing, the system is the first of its kind to use a technology called a reversible solid oxide fuel cell to store energy from renewable resources, such as wind and solar, to produce zero-emissions electricity.

The system generates, compresses and stores hydrogen, Boeing said, noting that when the grid demands power, the system operates as a fuel cell, consuming the stored hydrogen to produce electricity. Because the system both stores energy and produce electricity in a single unit, the technology is “reversible,” Boeing said.

This first unit was commissioned on the Southern California Edison power grid at Boeing’s Huntington Beach, Calif., facility before being installed for further testing on the Navy’s microgrid at the Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center in Port Hueneme, Calif.

“This fuel cell solution is an exciting new technology providing our customers with a flexible, affordable and environmentally progressive option for energy storage and power generation,” Lance Towers, director, Advanced Technology Programs, Boeing, said in a Feb. 8 statement.

Boeing said the fuel cell product was developed using the company’s experience with energy systems for unmanned undersea vehicles and can be adapted and customized for a variety of defense and commercial applications.

Lead image credit: Boeing.

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