SatCon delivers fuel cell electronics to petrochemical plant

Cambridge, MA—SatCon Technology Corp. reports that it recently delivered a prototype power conditioning system (PCS) for a 75-kW fuel cell power generation unit at a petrochemical plant application. Hydrogen by-products from the plant's chemical and plastic production will power a planned 35-megawatt fuel cell power generation system.


Cambridge, MA— SatCon Technology Corp. reports that it recently delivered a prototype power conditioning system (PCS) for a 75-kW fuel cell power generation unit at a petrochemical plant application, and adds that a second SatCon unit will be delivered to the plant later this month. Hydrogen by-products from the plants chemical and plastic production will power a planned 35-megawatt fuel cell power generation system.

SatCon's PCS units condition the electricity from the fuel cell into useable electricity. Both systems from SatCon are being tested this fall. As part of an announced project for on-site generation of electricity, the manufacturer is planning to install a one-megawatt system, using 14 fuel cell modules, within the next year. If the test proceeds as planned, a complete 35-megawatt system, consisting of approximately 500 fuel cell modules, is scheduled to begin operating in 2007.

The petrochemical plant generates hydrogen as a by-product of its chemical and plastic production. Presently, that hydrogen is used as heating fuel, but using it to generate electricity is reportedly a much more valuable application. Using this technology, electrical power could be produced from the hydrogen generated in everyday industrial activities. This could support a new distributed power generation network, sometimes referred to as the “new hydrogen economy.”

David Eisenhaure, SatCon's president and CEO, says that, 'We’ve invested heavily in the electronics technology for alternative energy and are now ready to capitalize on that investment. Alternative energy systems, the new hydrogen economy, renewable energy—we've heard about these initiatives in the past. SatCon has been working on them for many years, and we’re now beginning to see orders for our products. We believe that with our dependence on foreign oil, utility grid outages and the need for cleaner, more reliable power, alternative energy systems now represent a major market opportunity.'

SatCon produces PCSs for the complete range of alternative energy applications including the hydrogen economy, fuels cells, photovoltaics and energy storage systems. SatCon adds that its power conditioning systems can provide industrial, commercial, military and electric utility customers with the solutions they need regardless of the power generation system they choose.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor

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