Posting in Cities
FuelCell Energy has unveiled what it says is the largest fuel cell park in the world: a 11.2 megawatt project that can provide electricity to 20,000 homes and only takes up one acre of land.
A 11.2 megawatt fuel cell production park -- the world's largest, according to FuelCell Energy -- is now operating in Daegu City, South Korea. Unlike other utility-scale renewable energy installations such as wind and solar farms, fuel cell parks have a small land footprint, which makes it ideally suited for countries with little land to spare.
The fuel cell park developed by FuelCell Energy and Korean utility POSCO Power is located on one acre of land and can generate electricity for about 20,000 South Korean homes. A concentrating solar power plant of similar capacity would occupy about 55 acres, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Another nifty feature is the fuel cell park's scalability. The Daegu City fuel cell park includes four 2.8 MW Direct FuelCell power plants. The electric utility can add more capacity as needed.
Fuel cells combine hydrogen fuel and oxygen from the air to create electricity and heat through a chemical reaction. The fuel cells are able to produce electricity without the conventional combustion reaction. Typically, the hydrogen is extracted from a fossil fuel such as natural gas or a biogas. This particular fuel cell park will use natural gas.
FuelCell Energy manufactured the core fuel cell components in the United States. POSCO Power made the supporting balance of the plant in South Korea. The fuel cell power plants within the park were sold to investor The Cobalt Sky, which in turn, will sell the electricity back to the utility under a long-term power purchase agreement. The high-grade heat generated at the park will be sold to the local municipality for its wastewater treatment facility.
Photos: FuelCell Energy, Cobalt Sky
- How pee-powered fuel cells can generate electricity
- Bloom Energy clinches lucrative fuel cell deal
- Bloom Energy raises $150M; worth nearly $3 billion
Nov 15, 2011
These articles and blogs are certainly sufficient for me personally for a day. http://www.generalrecreationinc.com/
Korean government always behinds and supports those companies (like POSCO, they even has a steel mill in Vietnam) to do business in Global competitions. I just concern why we (US company) were not go directly, to build, and to own and manage the power plant with the Indonesia Government. It is a leading edge high tech - we had better protect our know-how and market place.
The point was to provide a strict land comparison, not to tout fuel cells as a tech with a lower carbon footprint. You've inspired me to make that point more obvious. The carbon footprint is another figure altogether. You're right, this plant has its drawbacks, specifically that uses natural gas and not a biogas. Interesting mention of the thorium molten salt reactors. A SmartPlanet colleague wrote about one such company last summer. Here's the link, in case you didn't see it. http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/intelligent-energy/the-new-face-of-safe-nuclear/7712
To compare the one acre that the plant takes up to 55 acres for a solar energy plant neglects the one small item of the natural gas. To make a fair comparison you would have to find the total energy and carbon footprint to extract (such as fracking) and transport the natural gas (including leakage as natural gas is an intense greenhouse gas), the total carbon foot print of conversion of natural gas to hydrogen and oxygen. If all things are included I don't think this plant would look so rosy. Thorium Molten Salt reactors are looking much more attractive as they too take a small area and are magnitudes safer than Uranium Light Water reactors.