FuelCell Energy Inc. (Danbury, CT) announced that it has commenced operations of a DFC/T power plant. The DFC/T is based on a 250kW Direct FuelCell (DFC) integrated with a Capstone Turbine Corp. (Chatsworth, CA) modified model 330 microturbine. The combined system does not require any combustion in the turbine.
The first test of the DFC/T power plant is being funded by the US Department of Energy through its office of fossil energy. The cooperative agreement is managed by the National Energy Technology Laboratory (Golden, CO) as part of the Department of Energy's Vision 21 program.
The DFC/T power plant began operating July 31, 2001, and the test program is expected to last several months. The power plant is designed to operate in a dual mode: as a stand-alone fuel cell system or in combination with the microturbine. Instead of fuel, heat generated by the fuel cell is used to drive the modified Capstone Microturbine to generate additional electricity.
"The commencement of operation of this 250kW fuel cell and microturbine demonstration is very exciting for us," said Jerry Leitman, president and CEO of FuelCell Energy. "Such a high efficiency, low-emission system represents a potentially powerful addition to our product line and opens up another innovative choice for high efficiency generation of both retail and wholesale power."