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Phantom Power: The Status of Fuel Cell Technology Markets
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Fuel cells have been touted as one of the most reliable and environmentally sound methods of producing high-quality electricity for use in the industrial sector. Fuel cell developers are racing to produce larger quantities of fuel cells at lower prices. While the power densities of fuel-cell stacks have been increasing, fuel cell technologies have unfortunately remained uneconomical for the majority of industrial customers. The growth of the fuel cell market has not increased at the rate at which developers and marketers would like us to believe. With stricter federal air regulations coming into effect in 2007 and more urban/industrial areas falling into non-attainment for pollutants such as NOx operators of distributed generation systems may begin to consider fuel cells a more viable option. In this paper we will explore the potential of various fuel cell technologies for providing on-site generation at industrial facilities. Our analysis will include brief technical descriptions of the various fuel cell technologies as well as a description of applicable end-use applications for the various technologies. We will determine which technologies hold the most potential for providing reliable power and heat for processes as well as estimates of technically and economically feasible industrial fuel cell capacity between now and 2020. The manufacturing service infrastructure, technical and market barriers to increased demand, and regulatory, permitting, and siting issues will be explored. We will outline the various factors that play in the technical and economic diffusion and offer sample diffusion curves for the various fuel cell technologies.
SubjectFuel Cell Technology
Shipley, A. M.; Elliott, R. N. (2003). Phantom Power: The Status of Fuel Cell Technology Markets. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu). Available electronically from