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Taking households from 44% efficiency to 85% efficiency and how it will be done.

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HysteryDiagnosis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 07:43 AM
Original message
Taking households from 44% efficiency to 85% efficiency and how it will be done.
Edited on Sun Sep-04-11 07:48 AM by HysteryDiagnosis
While this is based on natural gas, solar can crack H2O and the hydrogen derived can be used in a fuel cell, imagine the power lines coming down, the greenhouse gasses disappearing, and the drone of generators becoming a thing of the past during power outages.

LATHAM, NY July 7, 2009 Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG), a leader in providing clean, reliable energy solutions today announced that they have received a $1.4 million award from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to install and operate three combined heat and power (CHP) GenSys fuel cell systems in New York State homes. These systems will allow Plug Power to validate and enhance product features in preparation for broad scale product commercialization. The first system is scheduled to be installed this summer with all three units expected to be operational this year.

A residential GenSys unit will be installed in the basement of each home and will operate in conjunction with the electric grid, running on natural gas. The fuel cell will produce electricity and high-quality heat to satisfy the homes heating and domestic hot water demands. Plug Power estimates that GenSys will save the homeowner approximately 30% on their monthly utility bill.

The GenSys solution is expected to achieve an overall combined efficiency of 85%. Currently, homes utilizing grid electricity and typical heating systems average 44% household efficiency. This increased efficiency level yields an annual CO2 reduction roughly equivalent to not driving your car for six months, said Mark Sperry, Vice President of Plug Powers Continuous Power Division. The residential GenSys solution will allow for tremendous reductions in monthly energy bills and greenhouse gas emissions.


In 2010, the US and European patent offices published a combined total of 1,801 granted
fuel cell patents. A comparison of this number to the total number of granted patents
published in 2000 and 2005 (Figure 1) shows significant growth in intellectual property
between 2000 and 2005, and again from 2005 to 2010. The increase equates to 347%
growth in annual patent numbers over the decade.

To determine to what extent the increase in fuel cell patents exceeded underlying growth in
general patent activity, we have estimated the number of fuel cell patents that would have
resulted from no more than average growth. These have been calculated from a 2000
baseline using overall patent growth rates from WIPO (see Appendix) and are shown in
orange in Figure 1. Had fuel cell patenting grown in line with general patenting, the number
of fuel cell patents in 2005 would have been just 494 (compared to 861 actual) and in 2010
almost three times fewer at 627.
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BR_Parkway Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 08:28 AM
Response to Original message
1. $1.4M for 3 homes? How could they ever bring down the cost so an average
homeowner could afford? I know they're tacking in a lot of R&D cost and monitoring in there, but really?
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HysteryDiagnosis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 08:35 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. It is going to happen and when will be a matter of cost, HOWEVER,
Japan intends to have 2 million homes powered by fuel cells by 2020.

Government and industry-led demonstration projects have been evaluating fuel cells for
residential use, testing performance, reliability and durability to refine the product in
preparation for wide-scale market launch, for use in homes and small buildings. These
tests are being conducted in the homes of utility customers, at small businesses, and
military residences, with much of the demonstration cost offset by government funding.
Without this financial support, the cost to the average consumer still remains somewhat
high, at about $3,000 to $4,500 per kW for a residential-scale fuel cell.
But dont despair.

The cost of stationary fuel cells has already dropped significantly
just a decade ago PEM fuel cells cost about $20,000 per kW! Further product
refinements, as well as eventual mass production and streamlined manufacturing
processes, will continue the downward trend in fuel cell prices. According to the federal
government, widespread commercialization of stationary fuel cell technology can be
attained when fuel cells reach $400 to $750 per kW.

In the meantime, the federal
government and many states offer assistance that offset some of the purchase and
installation costs, such as grants, low-interest loans and tax deductions.
Higher consumer electricity prices in Japan and Europe will likely make residential fuel
cell power competitive with existing technologies much sooner than in the United States.
Residential fuel cells are already on the brink of extensive distribution in Japan, where
the nations Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) is planning to deploy 1.2
million fuel cell cogeneration units at homes and small businesses by 2010 in an effort to
reduce the countrys fossil fuel imports and lower greenhouse gas emissions. More than
3,300 PEM units have already been installed with government assistance and
commercial sales to consumers were started in 2009. Japans ultimate goal is for a two
million homes to be powered by fuel cells by 2020.
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HysteryDiagnosis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 08:38 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. Also, what these manufacturers are not considering in the equation is the option of
putting one of them shiny new German made advanced Lithium Polymer batteries in the system so that they could get by with less kw for now until the cost truly bottoms out. A Lion battery could do a lot to enhance the functionality of this system.
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WhiteTara Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 08:34 AM
Response to Original message
2. I wish this could be a reality today. We need to do
something different and soon or there won't be any reason...we'll all be dead.
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-04-11 09:13 AM
Response to Original message
5. You might want to read this -ene-farm-home-fuel-cell-with-world-highest1-generation-efficiency-at-more-affordable-price/

With greater efficiency in the stacks which generate electricity and other improvements, the rated generation efficiency has been raised to 40% the worlds highest generation efficiency for a household fuel cell co-generation system(1).
The improvement in the durability of stacks and fuel-processing device which produces hydrogen from the city gas allows the operation of 50,000 hours, up 25% from the conventional model. This enhancement in generation efficiency and durability makes it possible to retain the same energy-saving and CO2 reduction effects as the conventional model, but with the rated generation capacity reduced from 1.0kW to 750W. In addition, the lower limit of the generation output has been changed from 300W for the previous model to 250W for an operation on a basis of the recent trend of lowering standby power consumption in energy-saving home appliances.

The new Ene-Farm fuel cell offers a rated generation efficiency of 40% (LHV)(5), representing a further improvement on the existing range of products with over 37% (LHV) efficiency, the highest in the world to date(1). The system configuration of fuel cell unit has been greatly simplified and the core components such as the stacks which generate electricity have been significantly downsized. These cost-saving efforts have allowed Tokyo Gas and Panasonic to significantly lower the recommended retail price of the new system to 2,761,500 yen (including tax; excluding installation fee), a saving of as much as around 700,000 yen compared to the current models.

Since the launch of the worlds first Ene-Farm products in May 2009 through January 2011, Panasonic has shipped a total of approximately 5,000 units throughout Japan, of which approximately 4,000 have been sold by Tokyo Gas. For Fiscal Year 2012 ending in March 2012 (FY2012), Panasonic will set up a production system to expand the annual capacity more than 6,000 units(6), double its production estimate for FY2011. At the same time, Tokyo Gas will aim for annual sales of 5,000 units, double the FY2011 sales target of 2,500 units.

2,761,500 yen at current exchange rate of about 77 yen per dollar = $36K+

Not sure how the operating profile looks for this system, but 24/7 eats up 50,000 hours in 5.7 years.

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