Fuel Cell Technologies reports progress on latest SOFC design
KINGSTON, ONT-Fuel Cell Technologies (FCT)'s second-generation 5-kilowatt (kW) Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) system has racked up more than 1,500 hours of operation, generating in excess of 5kW of energy per hour for over 300 hours during the latest stage of testing, which is still in progress. While the unit will undergo additional routine tests at the FCT facility, the company says it is very pleased with its level of performance so far. FCT is now making minor design refinements primarily targeted toward improving efficiency. In the interim, two first-generation systems incorporating improvements gleaned from on-site experience will be shipped to customers during this quarter. FCT president and CEO John Stannard said the newest design reflects his company's collaboration with Siemens Westinghouse Power Corporation (SWPC). "We have worked with SWPC to design and build a product that, among other improvements, uses 48 SOFC tubes and will operate at lower natural gas pressures. These two changes alone represent potential cost saving of approximately 25% in the total system costs. Shipping of these units will signal a new era in FCT's move to commercialization," he added. Since 2000, FCT has been focusing on the development of stationary SOFCs. As with its other SOFC systems, these are designed to operate on a variety of readily available fuels and provide an efficient, clean method for producing electricity and heat on-site in various remote, residential, commercial and industrial applications. More information is available from Vikram Varma, director of corporate development, 613/541-6109, FAX 613/544-2649, E-mail Vvarma@fct.ca.