Advanced Propane Fuel Cell Processing System
Nuvera’s advanced fuel processing system enables 1-kilowatt fuel cell
output. The constructed system is specifically optimized for propane and
is in a stage suitable for performance testing, durability testing, and
demonstration purposes. The system can also serve as a prototype for
product sales to fuel cell system integrators.
Fuel Cell Assessment
Propane-powered fuel cells can provide remote power, uninterrupted
backup power, and portable power in a variety of applications. In this
assessment, researchers reviewed state-of-the-art techniques for propane
fuel processing and fuel cell systems, assessed fuel cell technology
progress to date, and established a path forward to accelerate propane
fuel cell commercialization.
Fuel Cell Demonstrations at National Parks
Docket:11687, 11316, 10864, 10479
Fuel cells can provide power for a variety of uses at off-grid national parks, including visitor centers, entrance operations, and administration buildings. Different fuel cells were demonstrated at national parks across the United States to collect real-world data and inform the public about the environmental benefits of the technology.
Kenai Fjords National Park— A 5-kilowatt solid oxide fuel cell provided power supply to the water system over the summer and year-round power supply for the nature center's lighting. The demonstration also included the repair and fitting of the fuel cell with a partial oxidation reformer.
Yellowstone National Park — A 4.5-kilowatt propane-powered fuel cell at Yellowstone National Park's west entrance provided power to operations including fee collection and office functions. Additionally, the demonstration educated visitors on environmentally preferable alternatives for energy production.
Yosemite National Park—A propane-powered Plug Power fuel cell system was demonstrated at both an administration building and a wastewater treatment plant on the park’s premises.
Fuel Cell Processors
Fuel cell processors convert propane vapor into hydrogen through
combustion, steam reforming, and hydrogen purification. Global
Thermoelectric Inc. developed and tested a commercially viable propane
fuel processor for use in 2-kilowatt to 10-kilowatt solid oxide fuel
cell systems that consists of a multistage desulfurizer and a partial
oxidation reformer. HyRadix developed a fuel cell processor for use with
commercial propane feedstock and integrated it with a residential fuel
cell supplied by Plug Power of Latham, New York.
Fuel Cell Technology Transfer Plan
A technology transfer plan for propane-powered fuel cells ensures the
propane industry's readiness to meet the technical, regulatory,
distribution, and customer service needs of early fuel cell technology
adopters. To develop this technology transfer plan, researchers
identified cost-effective options to meet the regulatory and technical
requirements of fuel cell installations and produced a propane marketer
Market Assessment: Propane Distributed Generation
The Propane Distributed Generation Market Assessment is an evaluation of
the technologies, markets, and trends for propane-fueled distributed
generation applications of less than 1 megawatt. The study estimated the
market and propane volume potential for the different distributed
generation market segments. This research provides the basis for the
development of a commercialization plan to help the propane industry
realize the potential market for propane-fueled distributed generation.
Micro-Channel Reformer for Fuel Cells
Micro-channel reforming of propane can achieve highly efficient and
tightly controlled reformer reactions in a very compact unit.
Researchers demonstrated the technical feasibility of a micro-channel
propane reformer for fuel cells and identified issues that need to be
addressed when the technology reaches commercialization.
Molten Carbonate Propane-Powered Fuel Cell
A 200-kilowatt molten carbonate fuel cell operating on propane fuel has
been designed to use a two-tank storage system. The fuel cell is
undergoing a 33-month, Navy-funded demonstration testing and analysis at
the Pacific Missile Range Facility in Kauai, Hawaii.
Off-Grid Residential Fuel Cell Demonstration
Fuel cells can serve as a whole-home energy source for edge-of-grid
residences. The Delaware County Electric Cooperative and Mirabito Fuel
Group demonstrated the load management capabilities of fuel cell power
systems with heat recovery in a typical New York edge-of-grid residence,
measured and reported the fuel cell’s technical performance, and
analyzed the system’s economic viability.
Propane Fuel Cell Based on Methanol System
Using the IdaTech FCS 1200 PEM methanol system as the basis, researchers
developed, demonstrated, evaluated, and conducted emissions testing of a
1-kilowatt fuel cell system that uses propane. Researchers also
investigated solutions to issues involved with reforming commercial
propane and constructed a fuel cell system utilizing commercial propane
as a feedstock.
Propane Fuel Cells for Remote Sites
Fuel cells can provide the energy necessary to accommodate power, heat
and air conditioning, restrooms, drinking water facilities, and
wastewater pumping systems in remote locations. Researchers replaced a
30-kilowatt generator at a remote Forest Service work center with a 10-kilowatt (two 5-kilowatt fuel cells) propane-powered solid oxide fuel cell system to
demonstrate the feasibility of propane-powered fuel cells to provide
affordable, lower-emission power and heat at small, off-grid sites.
Telecom Fuel Cell Power Systems
A 3.6-kilowatt fuel cell system powered by commercial-grade propane was
developed to meet the power demands of the telecommunications industry.
Researchers developed and demonstrated the system at a
telecommunications site to help accelerate the development of
commercially available propane fuel processors for integration in
systems produced by fuel cell manufacturers.