Following the fuel cell funding announcement, DOE funded the fuel cell market transformation projects listed below. These projects focus on fuel cell systems in emergency backup power, material handling, and combined heat and power applications, with the goal of improving the potential of fuel cells to provide power in stationary, portable, and specialty vehicles.
The Fuel Cell Technologies Office is collecting and analyzing data from these projects to show potential adopters the benefits and real-world performance of fuel cells. These data are aggregated across industries and sites as composite data products to provide relevant technology status results and fuel cell performance data without revealing proprietary information. These publicly available data products build the business case for fuel cells and help fuel cell developers understand the state of technologies while identifying ways to improve them.
FedEx Freight East (Harrison, AR)
FedEx is deploying 35 fuel cell systems as battery replacements for a complete fleet of electric lift trucks at FedEx's existing service center in Springfield, Missouri. Success at this service center may lead to further fleet conversions at some or all of FedEx's other 470 service centers. Partners include Air Products & Chemicals, Inc. and Plug Power, Inc.
Jadoo Power (Folsom, CA)
Jadoo Power is developing propane fueled, solid oxide fuel cell portable generators, and an electro-mechanical propane fuel interface, as potential replacement for traditional gas/diesel generators and lead acid battery power sources. Two fuel cell portable generators will be deployed to power media production equipment at automobile racing events at multiple locations throughout the U.S.; and for use by police and fire first responders of the City of Folsom, CA to power equipment in emergency and/or off-grid situations. Partners include Delphi Inc., NASCAR Media Group, and the City of Folsom, CA.
University of North Florida (Jacksonville, FL)
University of North Florida (UNF) is further integrating and miniaturizing the components of a portable power system for use in mobile computing, and analyzing failure modes to increase durability. The power system would be a direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) that meets the requirements for power density, energy density, and operating lifetime. UNF will also conduct a design for manufacturability and assembly review to ensure that the systems meet the cost targets for commercialization. Partners include the University of Florida, Gainesville, FL.
Nuvera Fuel Cells (Billerica, MA)
Nuvera is deploying 14 fuel cell forklifts in H.E.B. Grocery Company's distribution facility in San Antonio, TX. Fuel will be supplied by Nuvera's natural gas reformer, storage, and dispensing system. Partners include H.E.B. Grocery Co.
Delphi Automotive (Troy, MI)
Delphi will develop a 3- to 5-kW solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) auxiliary power unit (APU) for heavy-duty commercial Class 8 trucks at their laboratory in Rochester, NY. Delphi will test and demonstrate the diesel APU in a high visibility fleet vehicle that will provide power for vehicle hotel loads and other vehicle needs under real-world operating conditions. There will also be a series of in-house tests, including on-vehicle testing, to validate the 'road worthiness' of the diesel APU prior to installation on the demonstration truck. Delphi will provide a comprehensive system specification and, with OEM partner PACCAR, will define commercial requirements, System development efforts will improve Delphi's current generation SOFC technology by increasing net output power and fuel processing efficiency, decreasing heat loss and parasitic power loss, and establishing diesel fuel compatibility. The primary focus will be the acceleration of the development and acceptance of the diesel APU by the Class 8 heavy duty truck market. Partners include Electricore, Inc., PACCAR, Inc., and TDA Research, Inc.
MTI MicroFuel Cells (Albany, NY)
MTI is demonstrating a one-watt consumer electronics power pack. The project is focused on improving reliability to meet the standards required by the electronics market and includes testing of individual components, subsystems and complete direct methanol fuel cell systems. MTI is also developing manufacturing processes to improve product yields and reduce overall costs.
Plug Power, Inc. (Latham, NY)
Plug Power is evaluating the performance of 12 high temperature, natural gas fueled, 5kW, micro-CHP fuel cell units (GenSys Blue). The objective of the project is to validate the durability of the fuel cell system and verify its commercial readiness. Six units will undergo an internal Plug Power test regime to estimate failure rates; and six units will be installed and tested in real-world residential and light commercial end user locations in California. Partners include Sempra Energy and the National Fuel Cell Research Center (NFCRC) at University of California, Irvine.
Plug Power Inc. (Latham, NY)
This project will demonstrate the market viability of low temperature, 6kW, PEM GenCore fuel cells fueled by liquid petroleum gas (LPG) to provide clean and reliable primary power and (72 hours or more) emergency backup power. Plug Power will install and operate 20 fuel cell systems at Fort Irwin in Barstow, CA and Warner Robins Air Force Base in Warner Robins, GA. These units will have quick start capability using hydrogen and run for extended periods using LPG. Partners include the Army Corp of Engineers' Construction Engineering Research Laboratory (CERL), Warner Robins AFB and Fort Irwin.
GENCO (Pittsburgh, PA)
Over 350 fuel cell systems are being deployed as battery replacements for fleets of electric lift trucks at five existing distribution centers (Coca Cola in Charlotte, NC; Kimberly Clark in Graniteville, SC; Sysco Foods in Philadelphia, PA; Wegmans in Pottsville, PA; and Whole Foods in Landover, MD). Success at these distribution centers may lead to further fleet conversions at some or all of GENCO's other 109 distribution centers. Partners include Air Products & Chemicals, Inc., Linde North America, and Plug Power, Inc.
Sysco of Houston (West Houston, TX)
Sysco is deploying 98 fuel cell systems as battery replacements for a fleet of lift trucks at Sysco's new distribution center in Houston, Texas, opened in March 2010. This installation is the first ever greenfield installation without battery infrastructure for a pallet truck fleet. Success at this distribution center may lead to further fleet conversions at some or all of Sysco's other 169 distribution centers. Partners include Air Products & Chemicals, Inc. and Plug Power, Inc.
Sprint Communications (Reston, VA)
Sprint-Nextel is planning to demonstrate the technical and economic viability of deploying 1-kW to 10-kW Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Hydrogen Fuel Cells (HFC) with 72 hours of on-site fuel storage (using a new Medium Pressure Hydrogen Storage Solution (MPHSS) with on-site refueling) to provide backup power for critical code division multiple access (CDMA) cell sites on the Sprint Wireless Network. More than 200 new HFC systems will be deployed to sites in CA, CT, NJ, and NY. In addition, 70 already in-service HFC systems at cell sites in LA and/or TX will be converted from a low-pressure storage solution (bottle swap) to the new MPHSS. Partners include Air Products & Chemicals, Inc., Altergy Systems, Black & Veatch Corporation, Burns & McDonnell Engineering Co., Inc., Ericsson Services, Inc., and ReliOn, Inc.
ReliOn Inc. (Spokane, WA)
Relion is deploying over 150 fuel cell systems into the telecommunications and utility networks at AT&T and PG&E for backup power, across nine states, combined with the deployment of a refillable stationary hydrogen storage module (HSM) unit and accompanying refueling logistics platform for AT&T sites. This effort will add reliability to communications networks where no backup power was previously available. Relion will provide DOE with installation, fueling logistics, and operating data for fuel cells in voice and data communications networks in mountain, desert, and urban locations. Partners include Air Products & Chemicals, Inc., AT&T and PG&E.