PCS enhances fuel cell power

Cambridge, Mass.

Sub-megawatt fuel cell power plants could provide both grid-independent and grid-parallel supplemental power for use in a variety of commercial and industrial (C&I) applications, from on-site power generation to offsetting peak loading. Megawatt-sized applications could include on-site power generation for larger scale C&I applications like factories or in providing utilities with peak shaving capability. A megawatt fuel cell system could supplement the power to over 400 homes.

SatCon Technology Corp.’s SatCon Power Systems’ StarSine Power Conditioning System (PCS) has been specifically designed to provide high performance power conversion for such alternative energy generators including fuel cells, photovoltaic arrays (solar), microturbines, wind-turbines, flywheels and flow batteries.

FuelCell Energy, working to develop and commercialize high-efficiency fuel cells for electric power generation, will use the StarSine PCS to provide the electrical balance of plant for several of their Direct (DFC) fuel cells. The StarSine PCS systems ordered by FuelCell Energy are designed for its sub-megawatt and megawatt class power plants.

“This order from FuelCell Energy is a significant development for SatCon,” said David Eisenhaure, SatCon president and chief executive officer. “Fuel cells represent a potential supplement and/or replacement for grid distributed electrical power by generating highly- reliable, environmentally clean electrical power on-site or close to the end-user. The electronics and controllers provided by our PCS enable fuel cells to provide high-quality electrical power that looks and feels like the utility grid but with increased reliability.”

“We’re very pleased with the effort that SatCon has put into integrating their electronics with our fuel cell systems,” said Jerry D. Leitman, president and chief executive officer of FuelCell Energy. “This order with SatCon demonstrates our strategic objective to strengthen and diversify our balance of plant suppliers to enhance the economics of our fuel cell power plants as we continue our path to commercialization.”

“We will manufacture our StarSine PCS products based on our MegaVerter power blocks and advanced digital controls that were specifically designed for alternative energy applications,” said Eisenhaure. “We believe that these power conditioning systems are an enabling solution that allows our customers, like FuelCell Energy, to provide both grid independent and grid parallel solutions to the growing need for cleaner, more reliable electrical power.”

The StarSine PCS is also inherently designed to combine alternative energy generators with advanced energy storage devices including advanced batteries and flywheels to provide uninterruptible power (or UPS systems). The StarSine PCS is the heart of these innovative UPS systems and enables new energy sources to be applied to high-value critical power applications. This product is part of a family of products including our rotary UPS designed to provide high quality, reliable power.

For further information, visit the SatCon website at www.satcon.com.


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