DANBURY, Conn. - FuelCell Energy Inc. has entered into a cooperative research and development agreement with the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center/Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (ERDC-CERL) and will provide a 250-kilowatt Direct FuelCell (DFC) power plant to the Department of Defense Fuel Cell Test and Evaluation Center (FCTec) for evaluation in a combined heat and power application. This distributed generation fuel cell system will supply electricity and its byproduct heat will be coupled with an absorption chiller.

The power plant will be located in Johnstown, Pa., operated by Concurrent Technologies Corporation (CTC). CTC will operate and maintain the DFC unit in a combined power and cooling application using natural gas as the supply fuel for the system. CTC will monitor and report on the operating and maintenance parameters of the DFC power plant and heat recovery equipment, including all auxiliaries.

The fuel cell's electrical output will provide a portion of the power requirement for CTC's Environmental Technologies Facility. The available high-temperature heat from the DFC power plant will be used to support the input energy needs of an absorption chiller system. The absorption process uses thermal energy to create chilled water to support the air conditioning requirement in the facility. A future application of the system will be to analyze the use of the available system heat output from the DFC power plant and supply electricity as well as chilled and hot water in a combined system.

"We are pleased to have the opportunity to work with the ERDC-CERL and CTC in this power plant demonstration," said Herbert T. Nock, FuelCell Energy's senior vice president of marketing and sales. "We believe that the use of the heat output from the power plant for air conditioning and other uses adds to the overall value equation presented by our DFC power plants."

Publication date: 09/27/2004