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April 02, 2007


Kit P.

I think '100 MW per year plant' is marketing for the amount of capacity they intend to install per year. MCFCs may be idea where there is a demand for steam/hot water and the customer is willing to pay for a premium for reliability like hospitals and hotels.

I do not consider fuels cells an 'alternative energy' but a very expensive way to convert natural gas more efficiently.

The problem with biomass is that it is a very dirty and variable fuel. Biomass is renewable energy but we switched to coal because it was cleaner and more sustainable. Then we switched to oil and natural gas for the same reasons. I can make 1 MWe of anything look pretty and sustainable. At the 1000 MWe scale, biomass renewable energy production starts to get ugly.

So fuels cells demonstration project will only demonstrate that fuel cells are a more expensive way making electricity and hot water.

david foster

"100 MW per year" is meaningless (unless they mean it as an installation rate, as suggested above)...most likely they mean "100 MW-hours per year," which wouldn't be very large, or simply "100 MW."

Carl Hage

The same headline appeared more than 10 years ago, and DFC built a 2MW demonstration in Santa Clara, CA. After the test, they took the system out-- I guess it wasn't cost effective to run. The efficiency was 44% but would have been 49% without startup burners used for testing.

Info on the Santa Clara fuel cell:

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