Bonneville Power Administration

http://www.bpa.gov

Link to BPA Home Page
Link to EE Home PageEE - Save A WattEE - Compact FluorescentEE - Energy Star
  BPA Home Triangle Bullet Point EE Home Triangle Bullet Point Technologies Triangle Bullet Point Fuel Cells: Power for the Future Triangle Bullet Point The Fuel Cell System

This is a spacer graphic
This is a spacer graphic Triangle bullet point Energy Web

This is a spacer graphic Triangle bullet point Metering Data: Solar Schools Utilities and Federal Sites

This is a spacer graphic Triangle bullet point Fuel Cells

This is a spacer graphic Triangle bullet point The Fuel Cell System
This is a spacer graphic Triangle bullet point PEM Fuel Cells
This is a spacer graphic Triangle bullet point Stationary Fuel Cell Applications
This is a spacer graphic Triangle bullet point Links
This is a spacer graphic Triangle bullet point Methanol Facts

The Fuel Cell System



A Clean, Efficient On-site Generator
A fuel cell system is made of several components that work together to produce power. Multiple fuel cells are grouped together to form the fuel cell stack.

The system includes three major components, in addition to the fuel cell stack: 1) a processor to extract pure hydrogen from the fuel source, 2) a storage and conditioning system to adapt the fuel cell's continuous power output to fluctuating demand, and 3) a mechanism for recovering heat from the electro-chemical process. The remainder of the system consists of pumps, compressors and controls.

All of the fuel cell systems tested in the BPA program ran on methanol. In the future, propane, liquid petroleum gas and other hydrocarbon fuels should be options. The fuel processor uses a catalytic reformer to produce hydrogen from alcohol or hydrocarbon fuels. The processor by-products are primarily CO2 and water vapor.

In the fuel cell stack, purified hydrogen, and oxygen from the air pass through linked plates similar to those in a battery. The electrochemical reaction generates electricity and heat.

An energy storage and power conditioning system adapts the fuel cell's maximum power flow to fluctuating power loads. A battery storage system with a dc-to-ac inverter stores power from low-demand periods for use during peak demand. Fully automated start-up and reduction controls match output with demand.

A heat recovery system directs heat from the jacket of water surrounding the fuel cell into a preheat tank for the domestic hot water system.


Need help finding something? Send us a message, or give us a call at 800-622-4519.
NOTICE: This site is owned and operated by the Bonneville Power Administration, United States Department of Energy. Use of this system is monitored by system and Security personnel. Anyone using this system consents to MONITORING of this use by system or security personnel. BPA Privacy Policy