May 31, 2004

New NRC centre to use solid oxide fuel cell as energy source for building climate control

VANCOUVER, BC-A 5-kilowatt (kW) Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) recently purchased from Fuel Cell Technologies (FCT) will soon provide climate control at the National Research Council's Institute for Fuel Cell Innovation (NRC-IFCI) in Vancouver. Electricity from the SOFC unit will be used to power a ground source heat pump to provide climate control for the new NRC-IFCI building, and the co-generated waste heat will also be utilized for building services. The collaboration between FCT, of Kingston, Ontario, and NRC-IFCI also includes investigative work on the use of methanol in the 5 kW SOFC system. This takes advantage of the SOFC's ability to utilize a wide range of fuels, such as natural gas and propane, as well as biogas and methanol which can be manufactured from a wide range of sources, including renewables. The collaboration with NRC-IFCI also includes Methanex, the world's largest methanol producer. "Through this joint collaboration between NRC, FCT and Methanex, we are helping FCT expand its market for SOFCs to remote applications where there is no natural gas grid and helping Methanex find a significant market for methanol," said Dave Ghosh, director of science and technology at NRC- IFCI. "This is a "win-win" project for all partners. The remote unit can run on methanol which is a clean, high quality fuel, producing both power and heat," he added. More information is available from Vikram Varma, director of corporate development for FCT, 613/541-6109, FAX 613/544-2649, E-mail, Web site
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