WATT Fuel Cell, in collaboration with Peoples Gas, has increased its fuel cell stack power by more than 100% to over 200MW and improved its system efficiency by more than 50%.
Sharing the milestone yesterday (5th Jan), the companies said it will push forward their path to the commercialisation of residential fuel cell systems.
Commenting on the achievement, Jeff Nehr, Peoples’ Vice-President of Production and Business Development, said, “We are excited about the advancements in the fuel cell technology and looking forward to piloting systems in homes in 2021.”
The fuel cell systems directly convert natural gas through an electrochemical reaction to electricity, with little to zero emissions. It works in parallel with the electric grid, as well as other renewable resources such as solar, to generate power on-site at the time of need.
Caine Finnerty, President and Chief Operating Officer of WATT, added, “The new fuel cell and stack technology developed by WATT will enable the residential POX system to reach system efficiencies of over 40% and produce over 2kW of power.”
“Most companies in our industry use the more expensive steam option to process the fuel, which can offer increased efficiency; we believe that producing the most cost-effective POX based solution—will drive faster adoption and therefore achieve the associated environmental benefits sooner.”
“That said, we tested our new cell technology under steam reforming conditions and reached cell efficiencies of over 60%. As we drive systems costs down with volume, we are well-positioned to transition to a steam-based system.”
WATT and Peoples Gas’ new advances in fuel cell technology, along with the lessons learned from the ongoing residential field trials, will be folded into the new Beta Hybrid system, which will be rolled out in 2021.