NOTE: Restrictions are in place to limit access to one or more of the files associated with this item. Authorized users must log in to gain access. Non-authorized users do not have access to these files.
Visit the Energy Systems Laboratory Homepage.
Fuel Cells - The Reality of a High Technology
MetadataShow full item record
A fuel cell power plant is an energy conversion device which can continuously transform the chemical energy of natural gas into utility grade electricity and usable heat. The characteristics of high electrical conversion efficiencies (40 to 55%), potentially high fuel utilization efficiencies (>80%), excellent AC power quality, environmental compatibility, modular design, and good reliability are some of the reasons why fuel cells have the potential to be one of the best cogeneration devices available. This paper will emphasize the status of phosphoric acid fuel cell technology focusing in on the field test results to date with small 40 Kilowatt (kW) onsite fuel cell power plants being designed, developed, and field tested principally under the support of the Gas Utility Industry. Over 40 units are being installed by 30 gas and combination utility companies throughout the United States to evaluate the operating experience of onsite fuel cell technology. In addition, the paper will briefly provide the status of a similar project, funded by the electric utility industry, to demonstrate multimegawatt-sized fuel cell power plants. Lastly, the paper will try to bring into focus the status of the more advanced carbonate and solid oxide fuel cell technologies.
SubjectFuel Cell Power Plant
Phosphoric Acid Fuel Cell
Gas Industry Program
Electric Industry Multimegawatt Program
Fuel Cell Applications
Cuttica, J. J. (1984). Fuel Cells - The Reality of a High Technology. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu); Texas A&M University (http://www.tamu.edu). Available electronically from