Pollution-free power becoming a reality

10/09/2009


 

Alternative green energy resources are becoming a reality due to advances in fuel cell technology done by Cummins Power Generation. Xin Li, senior researcher in the fuel cell field who works with Cummins Power Generation, predicts that on the basis of current progress, Solid Oxide fuel-cell based mobile power products will be commercially available in as soon as 2 to 3 years and higher powered 100-kW stationary power units will become available in 7-10 years.

Fuel cell technology, the pollution-free electricity generation technology, which provides a green alternative to the combustion of gasoline and other fossil fuels, is anticipated to become the main source of energy to power electrical cars, trucks, buses and even homes.

Functioning similar to a battery, which uses electrochemical conversion, fuel cells produce electricity from fuel (on the anode side) and an oxidant (on the cathode side), which react in the presence of an electrolyte. Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC), which operate on a mixture of hydrogen and carbon monoxide, are more compatible with existing fuel infrastructures including natural gas and the only by-products are water vapor and a small amount of carbon dioxide.

In 2007 Cummins Power Generation was one of six industry teams involved in the Dept. of Energy Solid State Energy Conversion Alliance (SECA) program to successfully complete the Phase One tests of the first Solid Oxide fuel cell prototypes. The resulting SOFC power system has the potential to seamlessly replace diesel-powered generator sets in many applications and can provide virtually silent power with significantly lower fuel consumption and exhaust emissions than existing generator sets.

The prototype unit tested for SECA produced 3 kW of electrical power while operating on natural gas and ran flawlessly for over 2,000 hours at Cummins Power Generation's test facility in Minneapolis; demonstrating an efficiency over 37%.



Product of the Year
Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
40 Under Forty: Get Recognized
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
MEP Giants Program
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
May 2018
40 Under 40 winners, fire and life safety, performance-based designs, and more
April 2018
VRFs, lighting controls, BIM coordination, and more
March 2018
Sizing water pipes, ASHRAE 90.1, recovering waste heat, and more
Data Centers: Impacts of Climate and Cooling Technology
This course focuses on climate analysis, appropriateness of cooling system selection, and combining cooling systems.
Safety First: Arc Flash 101
This course will help identify and reveal electrical hazards and identify the solutions to implementing and maintaining a safe work environment.
Critical Power: Hospital Electrical Systems
This course explains how maintaining power and communication systems through emergency power-generation systems is critical.
click me