DANBURY, Conn. - Capstone Turbine CEO John R. Tucker joined FuelCell Energy Chairman Jerry D. Leitman, President and CEO R. Daniel Brdar, and U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) officials to unveil a new fuel cell/microturbine hybrid energy system.

The combined-cycle system uses the heat byproduct from a FuelCell Energy 250-kilowatt Direct FuelCell® (DFC®) power plant to operate a modified 60-kilowatt Capstone MicroTurbine®.

The integrated Direct FuelCell/Turbine® (DFC/T®) power plant has yielded a combined total electrical efficiency of 56 percent for 800 continuous hours during initial testing at FuelCell Energy's Danbury, Conn., facility, nearly twice the fuel efficiency of the average fossil-fueled utility power plant.

"Our microturbines are a perfect complement to the operation of FuelCell Energy's DFC products," said Tucker. "It's exciting when FuelCell Energy's power generation products are combined with our proven systems to attain unprecedented levels of efficiency."

Following additional testing at the Danbury plant, the fuel cell/microturbine hybrid will be installed at the Deaconess Billings Clinic in Montana where it will provide the base load power needs of the hospital.

"The DFC/T power plant's 56 percent electrical efficiency is unmatched anywhere in the industry for distributed generation products in its size range and has the potential for customers to substantially reduce their energy costs," said Brdar. "This sub-MW combined-cycle system will be an ideal ultra-clean, reliable baseload product for smaller commercial and industrial customers."

Capstone Turbine has been working with FuelCell Energy for several years as part of a DOE grant program to support the design of an ultra-high-efficiency fuel cell/turbine hybrid power plant based on FuelCell Energy's DFC product.

For more information on the DFC/T, visit www.fuelcellenergy.com/site/products/hybrid.html.

Publication date: 04/03/2006