A partnership of German electricity and natural gas utilities has begun operating a 200 kW fuel cell plant that uses pure hydrogen to produce power. The Hamburg utilities purchased the unit from ONSI Corp., South Windsor, CT. The unit is similar to the company's model PC25 commercial fuel cell power plant, except it does not contain fuel processing equipment for extracting hydrogen from other sources, such as natural gas, propane, or methane. This means the new fuel cell must be supplied with pure hydrogen, although the plant operates more efficiently for it. Similar to a battery, fuel cells convert chemical energy into electricity and hot water. The difference is that the chemistry is relatively clean, and produces only water and carbon dioxide as waste. The Hamburg unit is so clean, it was installed adjacent to an apartment building that will use the hot water generated by the fuel cell to heat the building. ONSI currently is manufacturing one 200 kW commercial fuel cell plant every week. For more information, contact Michael London, ONSI, at (203) 261-1549.
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