Partnership Will Build 50 kW Fuel Cell System

Issue 3 and Volume 108.

IdaTech, the fuel cell subsidiary of IDACORP, Inc., has been awarded a $9.6 million development program by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for the development of a 50 kW proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell system suitable for providing grid-independent energy sources for large facilities such as hotels, hospitals and office buildings.

DOE awarded the three-year, cost-shared cooperative agreement in response to a competitive nationwide solicitation. IdaTech’s partners for the program include fuel cell manufacturer Hydrogenics Corporation, Sempra Energy, Puget Sound Energy, Marriott International, and the California Hotel and Lodging Association.

Three 50 kW systems will be field-tested — one each with Sempra Utilities, Puget Sound Energy and Marriott International — to deliver both electricity and thermal energy.

Potential applications also include multi-family dwellings, prison systems, and defense market applications.

The 50 kW fully integrated PEM fuel cell system will combine Hydrogenics’ fuel cell power module technology with IdaTech’s multi-fuel processing technology, which is capable of converting a variety of fuels to hydrogen including natural gas, propane, kerosene, dodecane, JP-8, biodiesel, and alcohol-based fuels. IdaTech’s fuel cell solutions are based on a flexible modular design, supporting interchangeable components, which enables the company to accelerate product development incorporating proven components and subsystems into customized configurations.

Hydrogenics, based in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, has operations in British Columbia, Canada, Japan, the U.S., and Germany. IdaTech , originally founded in 1996 as Northwest Power Systems, is a subsidiary of the Boise, Idaho-based IDACORP, Inc.