Manufacturing Sustainability: Green Manufacturing News

UTC Power's Latest-Generation PureCell® Fleet Attains 100,000 Hours of Operation

posted by Wendy Stott
Published: February 15, 2011

Today, at the 2011 Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Energy Conference in Washington, D.C., UTC Power, a United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX) company announced that its next-generation stationary fuel cell, the PureCell® Model 400 System fleet has reached a major milestone -- 100,000 hours of field operation.  In reaching this mark, the growing fleet has generated enough energy to power more than 3,000 homes for over a year.  Fuel cells combine hydrogen and oxygen in an electrochemical process to produce electricity, heat and water.  This game-changing product is one of the cleanest, quietest and most energy-efficient power-generating options available in the world today.

The PureCell® System boasts an industry-leading 10-year cell stack life -- twice the durability of the previous generation and three to four times more durable than other competing commercial fuel cell technologies. Mike Brown, UTC Power vice president of government affairs and general counsel, said, "By providing clean, efficient and continuous base-load energy for buildings, fuel cells have become a proven and crucial component of the energy independence roadmap." Brown and repeat UTC Power customer Bruce Redman Becker, president of Becker + Becker, an architecture and development firm, participated in a keynote session about stationary fuel cells and end users at the conference.

Becker + Becker has already purchased and installed two PureCell® Model 400 Systems.  One system is installed at 360 State Street, a 500-unit LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum-certified project in New Haven, Conn., making the facility the first large-scale mixed-use residential building to generate a majority of its own power on-site with a fuel cell. Another PureCell System is generating power and thermal energy at the Octagon, a 500-unit LEED Silver-certified upscale residential building on Roosevelt Island, N.Y.

Bruce Becker said, "We are proud to pioneer the fuel cell revolution in multi-family development, powering the first 1,000 homes with UTC Power's Model 400 System.  We could not have achieved this incredible feat without the innovation and perseverance of our architecture and engineering team, as well as the policy and financial support of the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund, the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority and the Multi-Employer Property Trust."

The PureCell Model 400 can provide up to 400 kW of assured electrical power, plus 1.7 million Btu/hour of heat for combined heat and power applications. In a combined heat and power application, the fuel cell can achieve an industry-best 90 percent total system efficiency resulting in lower energy costs and reduced emissions for customers.

Since the early 1990s, UTC Power has designed, manufactured and installed more than 300 stationary fuel cell power plants in 19 countries on six continents. The fuel cells are located at diverse locations, including educational institutions, hospitals, manufacturing facilities, office buildings and supermarkets.  The company's previous generation stationary fleet, the PureCell® Model 200 has accumulated more than 9.4 million operating hours, unmatched in the industry.

UTC Power delivered its first Model 400 to customers in late 2009 and the fleet continues to grow. In 2010, UTC Power installed dozens of its stationary fuel cells at locations in California, Connecticut, New York, Wisconsin and South Korea.

To keep up with the growing demand for the PureCell System, UTC Power recently completed a major upgrade to its world-class production facility in South Windsor, Conn., which now features fuel cell fabrication robotics, rail and turntable assembly and state-of-the-art testing stations.