DOE/Fossil Fuel Cell Program
Source: DOE
Date: 3/1/96    Record No.: 10284
Contact: Charlie Pax, 301-903-2832; Ed Beyma, 301-903-2828

DOE/Fossil Fuel Cell Program
FE is responsible for the high temperature technologies (PEM work is handled in the Office of Transportation Technologies), and the work is administered from Morgantown Energy Technology Center (METC). Mark Williams is the Product Manager for Fuel Cells (304-285-4747). (Incidentally, there are plans to merge the 3 FE Tech Centers into a single "Federal Energy Institute." Details yet forthcoming.)

- Phosphoric Acid (PA): DOD is providing partial cost rebates for the installation of ONSI 200kw units. Lots of people are in line for it. Other PA players include H Power and Fuel Cell Corp. of America, which bought the Westinghouse design. This technology is getting users familiar with fuel cells, with operational availability over 95%.

- PEM: Conventional wisdom is that the low temperature and relatively lower efficiency (using natural gas) makes this uncompetitive for stationary power generation (and cogenerations) applications; however its high current densities and the possibility of earlier mass production may throw that view into contention for smaller units.
- Molten Carbonate--DOE is supporting work by ERC and MC Power.
- Solid Oxide--DOE is supporting only the Westinghouse tubular design, and Southern California Edison is testing a 25-kw "logistic" unit for the DOD at its Fuel Cell Test Center ("logistic" means with diesel and jetfuel.) Westinghouse will do a 100-kw unit with utilities in the Netherlands soon. DOE has no planar SO program (Congress "picked a winner"?), though several smaller firms are doing work on this.

In conjunction with the IEEE Power Engineering Society, DOE is sponsoring a series of regional Fuel Cell Technology Forums. Proceedings available (May '95, Boston; Nov '95, Santa Clara CA; Nov '96 Houston ) Local host utility involvement is welcomed. Contact Sam Biondo, (301-903-5910)