Danbury, Conn., June 27, 2003 — FuelCell Energy Inc., a manufacturer of Direct FuelCell® (DFC®) stationary power plants, announced it has been selected for four U.S. government small business program contract awards totaling $1.45 million to support continued fuel cell development.
• U.S. Department of Energy Small Business Innovative Research Phase 2 Award, Advanced Control Modules for Hybrid Fuel Cell/Gas Turbine Power Plants – The DOE has selected FuelCell Energy for a two-year, $750,000 contract to further the development of advanced control modules for its patented Direct FuelCell/Turbine® (DFC/T®) combined cycle power plant.
This will advance the developments of Phase 1 to include additional dynamic optimization mechanisms such as data reconciliation and fault accommodation techniques. FuelCell Energy will be working with the National Fuel Cell Research Center located in Irvine, Calif., as a subcontractor. The overall goal of this multi-phase project is to reduce costly manual interaction by plant controllers and engineers and enhance electronic monitoring of the integrated fuel cell and unfired gas turbine hybrid system.
• U.S. Navy Small Business Technology Transfer Phase 1 Award, Compact Plasma Reformer for the Ship Service Fuel Cell System – The U.S. Navy has selected FuelCell Energy for a nine-month, $100,000 contract to develop an alternative reforming process for the production of methane-rich gas for its Ship Service Direct FuelCell System. The plasma reforming system has potential cost-reduction advantages over conventional steam reforming due to its more compact design.
This proposed plasma reformer project may result in breakthrough technologies for liquid-fueled DFC power plants and increased power density of the system. FuelCell Energy will be working with Stevens Institute of Technology of Hoboken, N.J. Following a successful Phase 1, a Phase 2, two-year effort, may be awarded for up to $750,000.
• U.S. Army Small Business Technology Transfer Phase 2 Award, Field-Enhanced Carbon Monoxide Tolerance of PEM Fuel Cells – The U.S. Army has selected FuelCell Energy for a 2-year, $500,000 contract. The selection is based on promising results obtained in the Phase 1 program that demonstrated improved carbon monoxide tolerance when magnetic particles are introduced into the fuel cell anode.
The objective of the Phase 2 research is to further develop this process and to test complete membrane electrode assemblies with a variety of techniques to define performance limits and favorable operating conditions. FuelCell Energy will be working with the University of Iowa as a subcontractor. The overall goal of this multi-phase project is to enhance carbon monoxide tolerance and performance of PEM fuel cells that will result in widespread use for portable, transportation and stationary applications.
• U.S. Department of Energy Small Business Innovative Research Phase 1 Award, Molecular Sieve Based Nano-Cathode Structure for Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cells – The DOE has selected FuelCell Energy for a six-month, $100,000 contract to develop advanced cathode catalyst structures for oxygen reduction reaction for proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells.
The company will develop molecular sieve structures to improve cathode reaction and reduce resistance losses. The goal of this project is to meet the DOE’s objective to reduce the cost of the PEM fuel cell system and accelerate the commercialization of PEM fuel cells for both transportation and stationary applications. FuelCell Energy will be working with the University of Connecticut and Ion Power of Bear, Del., as subcontractors. As with the U.S. Navy project selection, successful Phase 1 projects are eligible for Phase 2 project awards with funding up to $750,000.
“These awards recognize Fuel Cell Energy’s expertise and success in commercializing its fuel cell technology,” said Hans Maru, FuelCell Energy’s Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer. “More important, the goal of these projects is to accelerate the process to make fuel cells more competitive and environmentally friendly. The government will be able to take advantage of our extensive knowledge, and these developments will allow us to advance our own expertise in our core DFC and other fuel cell technologies.”
FuelCell Energy’s technology developments also include a growing portfolio of intellectual property. The company currently has 182 worldwide patents and patents pending, including 51 patents and patents pending in the U.S., with an average remaining life of 9.6 years.
All project selections are subject to final negotiation and contract execution.
Direct FuelCells efficiently generate clean electricity at distributed locations near the customer, including hospitals, schools, universities, hotels and other commercial and industrial facilities, as well as in grid support applications for utility customers. In essence, Direct FuelCells are like large, continuously operating batteries that generate electricity as long as fuel, such as natural gas, is supplied. Since the fuel is not burned, there is no pollution commonly associated with the combustion of fossil fuels.
Because hydrogen is generated directly within the fuel cell module from readily available fuels such as natural gas and wastewater treatment gas, DFC power plants are ready today and do not require the creation of a hydrogen infrastructure.
This high-efficiency technology generates more electric power from less fuel and with less carbon dioxide emissions than traditional methods using combustion. Operating on biomass fuels, such as wastewater treatment digester gas, Direct FuelCells are a renewable technology.
About FuelCell Energy, Inc.
FuelCell Energy, Inc., based in Danbury, Connecticut, is develops and manufactures highly efficient hydrogen fuel cells for clean electric power generation, currently offering DFC power plant products ranging in size from 250 kilowatts to 2 megawatts for applications up to 50 megawatts.
The company has developed commercial distribution alliances for its carbonate Direct FuelCell technology with MTU CFC Solutions Gmbh, a company of DaimlerChrysler AG, in Europe; Marubeni Corporation in Asia; and Caterpillar, PPL Energy Plus and Chevron Energy Solutions, in the U.S. FuelCell Energy is developing Direct FuelCell technology for stationary power plants with the U.S. Department of Energy through their Office of Fossil Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory. More information is available at www.fuelcellenergy.com.