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Plug Power-Honda Home hydrogen refueling unit
Plug Power and Honda are cooperating in developing a residential-scale hydrogen refueling unit that not only provides fuel for a fuel cell or hydrogen-powered internal combustion engine vehicle, but also generates electricity and hot water for the home, all from natural gas, wringing the maximum energy potential out of this already clean fossil fuel. This unit located at Plug Power's Long Island headquarters is the second phase of their joint venture, replacing the two units necessary phase one with one unit, reducing its size by 55 percent.

Plug Powers On

MP3 audio recording to Dr.William Ernst, Vice President and Chief Scientist, Plug Power at the February 2005 meeting of the California Hydrogen Business Council.

By EV World

According to Plug Power's chief scientist, Dr. William Ernst, the Latham, New York-based PEM stationary fuel cell manufacturer has placed more of its units in the field for tests and demonstrations than any other fuel cell company in the world. At last count, it has installed more than 500 units, which have generated 5.3 million kilowatt hours of electricity and operated for a total of 2 million hours.

"We are a product company," Dr. Ernst told the California Hydrogen Business Council. He added that from day one the company has worked to be a fuel cell manufacturer whose products are economical, reliable and energy efficient, all driven by the goal to be "zero-to-landfill". He explained this means Plug Power products are designed to be recycled rather than dumped in the landfill at the end of their service life. At the moment, 85 percent of the components in each unit meet that criteria.

In this 32-minute-long presentation, Dr. Ernst goes into some detail on the company's three major product types: GenSys, which is a residential-scale unit; GenCore, which is designed to be a backup power unit for remote telecom and broadband equipment installations in the 5kW/hr range and GenSite, which are larger distributed generation power units. We recommend listening to this presentation only if you are interested in a product update.

Perhaps of greatest interest to EV World readers is both the home power unit Plug Power is developing jointly with Honda, which he refers to near the very end of his presentation and a new high temperature fuel cell that not only produces electricity but also high grade heat that can be used for both process heat and cooling. He stated that because of very favorable net metering laws in Europe, the unit will be introduced there first. He did not, however, discuss details of the technology, whether it is PEM-based or utilizes some other type of catalyst.

To hear Dr. Ernst's complete remarks, use the Flash-based MP3 player just below the wind turbine picture. The address is 32:00 minutes in length. You can also download the 7.4 MB MP3 file to your computer hard drive for later playback on your favorite MP3 device.

EV World extends its thanks to the California Hydrogen Business Council for permitting us to record and podcast all of the presentations.

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Times Article Viewed: 7153
Published: 21-Mar-2005

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