Pacific Northwest National Laboratory will analyze the energy savings generated from the ClearEdge5 combined heat and power fuel cell system in a variety of smaller buildings on the West Coast as part of an award from the Department of Energy.
grocery store, greenhouse, hotel and community college will be among a
diverse group of West Coast organizations testing the next generation of
fuel cells that produce both electric power and heat while saving
energy, thanks to a $2.8 million combined industry and government award
announced today by the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National
Laboratory. The federal portion of funding for this award was provided
by DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy – Fuel Cell
of Hillsboro, Ore., will install its ClearEdge5 combined heat and power
fuel cell system at 10 different businesses in California and Oregon,
while PNNL will monitor the systems and measure the energy savings the
systems are expected to provide.
heat and power fuel cell systems can help smaller commercial buildings
with high energy demands reap significant savings in energy cost and
use,” said Mike Rinker, the research program manager at PNNL. “We
anticipate that this type of a system could reduce the fuel costs and
carbon footprint of a commercial building by approximately 40 percent,
compared with conventional electricity and heat use.”
ClearEdge5 system is compact — a little larger than a typical home’s
refrigerator. It is fueled by natural gas from existing, conventional
pipelines. Inside the fuel cell system, natural gas is chemically broken
down into a hydrogen-rich gas that reacts with oxygen in air to form
energy, producing electricity with heat as a byproduct. The electricity
produced by the fuel cell is used to power the building.
excess heat generated by the fuel cell is released into the facility’s
heating, ventilation and air conditioning system to provide space
heating to the building. Alternatively, the energy can be used for hot
water or other needs for the facility. Excess electricity produced, but
not consumed by the building, is then sold back to a local utility
company. While the ClearEdge5 is not currently grid independent, future
systems are being designed to operate during a grid outage, giving
companies a continuous power advantage.
Power employs more than 200 American citizens to design, manufacture
and market our ClearEdge5 fuel cell system, an alternative energy power
source that businesses and other organizations can take advantage of
right now to both reduce their impact on the grid and to cut carbon
dioxide emissions by more than one-third,” said ClearEdge Power
President and CEO Russell Ford.
“We are pleased that the DOE has taken a leading role with this
initiative to help bring fuel cell technology to American businesses.”
ClearEdge5 unit will have a high-speed internet data feed, allowing
researchers at PNNL continuous access to analyze each installation’s
performance. PNNL will independently verify and analyze the engineering,
economic and environmental performance and carbon footprint of these
systems during the next five years. Then PNNL will provide its analysis
in a report to DOE’s Fuel Cell Technologies Program.