School First Municipality to Run On Fuel Cell

Town and state officials unveiled a fuel cell at South Windsor High School last week after months of planning, installation and testing…

South Windsor, Connecticut – October 21, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] Town and state officials unveiled a fuel cell at South Windsor High School last week after months of planning, installation and testing. Installation of the PC25 Fuel Cell, manufactured and installed by South Windsor-based UTC Fuel Cells, makes the school Connecticut’s first municipal facility to be powered and heated by a fuel cell. The South Windsor High School also will serve as a regional emergency shelter. The fuel cell provides heat and power independent of the existing electric grid, allowing the high school to continue to operate in the event of a power failure. A comprehensive fuel-cell curriculum has also been developed for high school students, providing learning opportunities for students in programs that include earth sciences, chemistry, physics and general studies. A schematic diagram at the site of the power plant explains how natural gas is converted into electricity, and funds have been set aside for students to develop displays and presentations about fuel cell production, thus enhancing the learning experience and informing the public about fuel cell technology. Computer monitors will allow students to track the operation of the fuel cell. UTC Fuel Cells provided engineering personnel to assist in the curriculum development and implementation. The fuel cell installation was made possible by a funding program through the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF), which is administered by Connecticut Innovations, the state’s high-technology investment arm. The CCEF has committed US$2.3 million to fund the program, including the purchase and installation of the fuel cell at the high school.

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