Field trial spotlights commercial fuel cell

Tuscaloosa, Ala.

Southern Company, Alabama Municipal Electric Authority (AMEA), FuelCell Energy and Mercedes-Benz U.S. International Inc. have joined in a partnership dubbed the Alabama Direct FuelCell Demonstration Project, originally announced by the group last February.

Alabama Power Company, a Southern Company subsidiary, enters into a special customer partnership with Mercedes-Benz (as the fuel cell plant will be located in its service area).

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The power plant will utilize FuelCell Energy’s Direct FuelCell stack (carbonate technology) in a design developed by MTU Friedrichshafen, a subsidiary of DaimlerChrysler and partner of FuelCell Energy. MTU has licensed FuelCell Energy’s Direct FuelCell technology while FuelCell Energy has licensed MTU’s power plant design, called the “Hot Module.” The plant will convert pipeline natural gas to electricity at an efficiency of about 50 percent, compared with 33 percent for conventional generation-which will, in turn, feed the Mercedes-Benz production facility power distribution system. In addition, the entire power plant will be skid-mounted, making it easy to transport to different locations for addition demonstrations. MTU is currently conducting a 250 kW commercial field trial at Bielefeld, Germany.

The fuel cell plant is expected to be fully operational by spring 2001.

Author

  • The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com.

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The Clarion Energy Content Team is made up of editors from various publications, including POWERGRID International, Power Engineering, Renewable Energy World, Hydro Review, Smart Energy International, and Power Engineering International. Contact the content lead for this publication at Jennifer.Runyon@ClarionEvents.com.

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