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Breakthrough Fuel Cell, Twice as Efficient as Generators

Acumentrics Corporation, a leading developer of suppliers of tramadol in uk solid-oxide fuel cells and get levitra fast uninterruptible power supplies, has won a 2007 New England Innovation Award from SBANE, the Smaller Business Alliance of New England for their novel solid oxide fuel cell.

Acumentrics manufactures 5000-watt solid oxide fuel cell systems (SOFC) for power applications. They are also developing combined-heat-and-power units (which are like boilers that produce electricity) for the home market. In 2000 they acquired a novel fuel cell technology. Since then, they have increased the samples viagra cialis output of a single fuel cell tube from 1 watt to 60 watts. Today they have over 30 units working in the field, including ones that power visitor’s centers at Exit Glacier National Park in Alaska, and Cuyahoga National Park in Ohio.

One of their key innovations was making ceramic fuel cell technology shatter resistant. It is shatter resistant because of its shape -- it is a tube, not a thin sheet as most others have used --with a special composition of layers that prevents them from flaking off. Solid oxide fuel cells must handle temperature swings from 20 to 800ºC. Many other solid oxide fuel cells crack when they are cycled on and off, because of thermal shock.

But what really makes Acumentrics different is that they aren't waiting around for the mythical hydrogen economy. The fuel cells run on natural gas, propane, ethanol, diesel, biogas, and biodiesel. While using non-hydrogen fuel means that the cell will produce CO2, Acumentrics fuel cells consume half as much fuel as a comparable small-engine generator, per kW. So they produce the same amount of electricity, while consuming half as much fuel, and producing half as much CO2.

Via: Treehugger

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Comments (30)Add Comment
written by Kristina, June 04, 2007
As continued innovation in fuel cells show, there is a tremendous amount of potential---including using fuel cells for energy storage. Storage has the potential to help make renewable energy, especially wind and solar, more economically viable and more readily available for use on the grid. Check out the new book, Lights Out: The Electricity Crisis, the Global Economy and What it Means to You for more information on the role storage can play in a more efficient electricity economy.
Cheap and clean electric - weee
written by Peter, June 04, 2007
I've been waiting for so long for some real progress in alternative energy, at last it seems to click now rx online levitra start to happen!

written by Craig, June 04, 2007
Finally, energone cubes
written by K'thardin, June 04, 2007
I seem to recall that solid oxide fuel cells did have a problem with start up times. While this article hints that they've solved it, I would really like metrics to that effect. Also, there's the entire sulfer problem inherent in such fuels. I'm a little curious how often the cialis sales online filter would need to be replaced for this device, the mechanics of cleaning, possible replacement, etc.


It's Energon (the 'g' sound being the same as in 'energy'). Your geek license is revoked. Go back and watch "More than Meets the Eye" ten times in a row to renew your geek license; or at the very least, line up and viagra online france go to the midnight showing of Transformers opening night. ^_-
This is an interesting development
written by Randall Burns, June 04, 2007
I have lived off the grid for over 10 years-relying mainly on hydro power and wood-with some propane. This sounds like a very good, backup system-which is really necessary in this kind of situation.
Will this run backwards
written by bibo, June 04, 2007
I admit I don't know a great deal about the mechanics behind fuels cells, but my thought is can this run backwards? In other words, could you feed it electricity, CO2, and H2O and get O2 and Fuel out of the buy ultram online overnight process? If so, then its ultimate effect is similar to canada cialis that of a plant.
written by sickleye, June 05, 2007
Maybe some stress can be taken off the aging national power grid here in the USA. This system actually looks promising. My residence is already heated with a wood stove-no natural gas bills here. Maybe no electric bills in the future. :)
OTR Anti-idle applications
written by Luke Wood, June 05, 2007
What would the weight be on a portable version be. I'm thinking of an even more efficient anti-idling device than a two cylinder diesel generator.
written by neidl, June 05, 2007
energone cubes! I love it. ;D
Series Hybrid Vehicles?
written by kballs, June 05, 2007
Could this work as the range extender on something like the Chevy Volt? It would double the range extension! And the range extender would have no moving parts (other than fuel pump), and be fuel-agnostic (whatever you can get at the pump - diesel, biodiesel, ethanol, gasoline, propane, natural gas).

The question comes down to what would the weight be, volume, heat dissipation needs, etc. (would it fit in vehicles where a normal ICE generator fits and would a standard air to liquid radiator meet the heat dissipation needs)?

Of course there is also cost (I assume these are mondo expensive) but since they don't appear to use expensive platinum like a typical hydrogen fuel cell they would probably be cheaper to mass produce.
..., Low-rated comment [Show]
Looks like it's pretty viable
written by Adam, June 05, 2007
check out their website and the we like it cheap viagra india FAQ's.

Fast start up.
Low Sulfur.
And it looks like it has a long life too.

However, I don't think this will be in a car any time soon, no where near enough power for the size.

written by Chris, June 05, 2007
Check out a company called "Ceramic Fuel Cells". An Australian company trading in Germany.
Well of course it doesn't work for cars
written by GreyFlcn, June 05, 2007
Of course it doesn't work for cars.
It's designed for stationary grid applications.

Now the part where that does help with CARS is that electric cars can now charge up 100 mile range in as little as 1 minute.

The trick being you need a lot of cialis generic drug juice on-demand to be transfered to the vehicle to no prescription viagra generic discount accomplish this.

AeroVironment's PosiCharger 250kW system offers that. However it's going to need a grid storage device to back it.

I'd imagine something like a Zinc-Air system + this solid oxide fuel cell would allow for it to deliver the goods.

Either by having the system directly at the "gas station" or by having it virtually anywhere on the grid.


More or less, this would be an alternative to "Flow Batteries".
Not as impressive as it's made to sound
written by Engineer-Poet, June 05, 2007
Acumentrics fuel cells consume half as much fuel as a comparable small-engine generator, per kW.
Note that, as a small-engine generator. These are notoriously inefficient. The web site ( ) claims 40-50% electric efficiency, which is in the range of medium-speed diesels today.

40% electric efficiency and 90% total efficiency makes a great cogenerator (it beats the standard gas furnace, with a negative electric efficiency, very easily) but it's not going to replace central power stations running on much cheaper fuel. Even GE's LMS 100 simple-cycle gas turbines hit 44% efficiency on natural gas, and they're far cheaper per kW.
good for boats
written by Robert Cresswell, June 05, 2007
This would be great for my boat no noisy generator to get electric power. Fast on off times are not required. Caravans too would benefit. Low flash point fuels would be a safty feature over petrol generators. The efficiency is a bonus. How big are? they how much do they cost? where can I get one?
Start-up time is soluble
written by Leon Brooks, June 05, 2007
All one needs to do to get a decent start-up time is to add short-term high-density storage as well, which basically means electrolytic capacitors (I'm presuming that we want to avoid the chemical & mass & maintenance mess which batteries represent).

If the whole lot is basically feeding inverters (including the little baby inverters which drive flourescent globes) then the fedex overnight delivery tramadol overnight delivery electronics shouldn't care very much if they have to make do with a gently variable voltage as capacitors discharge and fuel-cells take up the load.

Hi from Tullah, Tasmania, BTW.
written by Abc, June 05, 2007
There WILL BE NO progress in alternative energy field as long as big oil companies together with automobile industry will be able to make profit form oil.
It is widely know that fully electric cars with absolutely ordinary batteries powering them could travel 200 km and more until needed to recharge. And many more solutions are available to individuals. The technology has been here form the late 19th century..

As a matter of fact, this fuell cell STILL produces CO2 so it still presents the same problem, simply in a lesser degree.
written by Dumbass, June 05, 2007
"written by sickleye, June 04, 2007

Maybe some stress can be taken off the aging national power grid here in the USA. This system actually looks promising. My residence is already heated with a wood stove-no natural gas bills here. Maybe no electric bills in the future."

That's smart. Lets just burn down the forest, the don't act as carbon sinks anyways.
Hydrogen Power....
written by Adam Smith, June 06, 2007
You know,
There was a documentory in the 1980's when the inventor of the hydrogen welder also converted his 81 subaru to a hydrogen powered automobile with only 100$ worth of modifications and buy ultram online no rx a few gallons of H20!
Of course in the interview they were already in sessions with General Motors, and US Pat. office. They were supposedly buying his invention for use in automobiles. Looks like yearly 20years ago big oil, and big brother brushed yet another safe, and efficent power source under the rug.

Yes! 20years ago...and the only byproduct...was distilled water. Go figure.
written by Parker Rendell, June 07, 2007
First of all, fuel cells are not storage devices--they are generators.

Second, as long as otherwise intelligent people remain hung up on CO2, we are never going to get anything worthwhile done.
written by Jiggy, June 07, 2007
The C02 production of levitra online canada a fuel cell isn't really an issue of the fuel-cell. It is a question of the fuel. If you produce hydrogen from natural gas you still have the viagra carbon to deal with. Ideally you could sequester the carbon produced, but if the system in general is more efficient the C02 production is going to be less anyway.

Wood fuel is carbon neutral if it is burned no more quickly than it is grown. That is one of the principles used to sell biomass in general as being "green". There is nothing wrong C02-wise with sustainable biomass...

Just for the record, I am not saying that the current ethanol craze is sustainable biomass.
Electric car? Not CO2 free.
written by HW, June 07, 2007
Regarding Abc's claims about electric cars.. At least in the US, 200km range is too short to be useful in quite a few rural areas, especially if charging takes very long. Furthermore, I'm not sure what the comment means about this generator still generating CO2. Is this to imply that the electric car wouldn't? This is simply not true. A few would be powered by hydroelectricity or nuclear power (CO2-free), but most power is made with coal or natural gas, which also produce CO2. Between battery storage inefficiency, charging losses (which could get quite high if you're trying to quick-charge the batteries), and power line loss, the CO2 could get right up towards conventional car levels.

Anyway, this generator sounds like a nice development to cut down on fuel use and emissions for small generators ;)
hey can an y one do this at home
written by chidi, June 07, 2007
hey can any one do this at home
if i can can you tell me tge process plz
Short term solution
written by, November 22, 2007
This is certainly a good idea for the short term. In the long term, however, I feel that hydrogen needs to be produced using renewable sources link sun, wind, etc.
written by Wallace Brand, December 10, 2007
Accumentrics has a tubular solid oxide fuel cell (sofc) that was designed to avoid the need for the seals the planar fuel cells require. The Siemens/Westinghouse tubular design can operate at 1000ºC.

The lower temperature planar sofc was developed by the Julich Institute in Germany to operate below 800C so it can use stainless steel interconnects which are much cheaper than ceramic interconects and its compression seals will work at the lower temperatures. The planar fuel cell is also far less costly to manufacture than the tubular fuel cells. However Siemens is now working on a "sandwich" with 9 triangular cells in between two flat panels. Each sandwich of 9 cells is quite long.

Siemens/Westinghouse pioneered with the tubular sofc. It was going to manufacture them. It built a big plant near Pitsburgh but never opened it as its plans to reduce the cost of manufacture apparently did not develop quickly enough. Of all the SOFCs the Siemens and Accumentric tubular SOFCs have the best record of longevity. The others deteriorate over time but have ameliorated the deterioration sufficiently so they can operate long enough to be commercial, I think at equal to or less than about 2% per 1000 hours.

Those developing planar fuel cells include Fuel Cell Energy through its partly owned affiliate VERSA Power. The two of buy cialis no prescription required them are also engaged in developing a 100 MW fuel cell to use coal gas with an efficiency of 50% or more. FCE bought the former Global Thermoelectric of Canada which brought the 2.5mg cialis Julich concept quite far along. It spun off its assets to VERSA power in exchange for stock. VERSA power was using 10 cm square cells developed by Global Thermoelectric but is not developing 25 cm square cells so that it can develop 10 kW in a short stack. Ceramic Fuel Cells has also been working with this larger sized cell.

FCE/VERSA, Accumentrics, Delphi and GE are some of the teams that are working with the governments half a billion dollar SECA program to reduce the hardware costs to $400 per kW. They have all, I think, passed the first stage which is to lower the hardware cost to $800 per kW, assuming volume manufacture.

VERSA Power just conducted a study with a British University showing that their SOFC will work quite well as a source of power for local delivery vehicles when teamed up with a battery. The electric motors of the vehicle draw power from the battery and the solid oxide fuel cells recharge the battery.

Sulzer-Hexis in Europe seems to be the farthest along with its residential scaled electricity and space heating (or water heating) cogenerator and has installed many of its Galileo models in field trials.

Ceramic Fuel Cells which started in Australia is also quite far along.
written by Wallace Brand, December 10, 2007
I forgot to mention that Fuel Cell Energy intends to scale up 10 KW stacks into a 100 MW fuel cell. FCE currently is also selling molten carbonate fuel cells with outputs ranging from 300 kW to 3,000 kW. It has about 60 of the operating around the world. It is just about to receive an order for 68MW if and when the Connecticut PUC approves its Project 100 as is expected on January 9. This will permit it to engage in volume manufacture and bring down its costs considerably.
written by Wallace Brand, December 10, 2007
I disagree with the commenter who said the fast cialis fuel cell will not replace central stations. First, the molten carbonate fuel cell eliminates all but 1% of the toxic pollution of buying levitra a coal fired steam turbine. Second, when you can develop 40% efficiency in a small scale device, you can locate at the load site and use the heat as well as the electric energy. That permits efficiencies up to 90% where there is trigeneration, which is electricity, use of heat, and a chiller to turn heat into air conditioning. The more efficient use of hydrocarbons greatly lowers the greenhouse gases also. Also, the fuel cell can use coal gas so as to get the benefit os cheaper fuel. However because gasifiers have scale economies, a large scale fuel cell is required of 100 MW or more so one can not engage in cogeneration. With a turbine bottoming cycle the smaller fuel cells can reach 58% electrical efficiency and a 40 MW integrated fuel cell turbine is expected to reach a 78% efficiency.
written by saravanan.R, March 25, 2008
I am a student in ceramic technology from anna universitry. currently i am doing my project in soloid oxide fuel cell.Can you help me by sending some production method involved in solid oxide fuel cell.
written by scfl, March 26, 2008
good explanation

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