We are very encouraged by the performance of the Acumentrics unit
Westwood, MA (PRWEB) March 27, 2007
Acumentrics Corporation, a leading developer of solid-oxide fuel cells and uninterruptible power supplies for the distributed generation market, announced today that it has completed Phase I of its U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Solid-State Energy Conversion Alliance (SECA) cooperative agreement. The goal of the SECA study is to advance fuel cell performance, efficiency, and reliability while reducing cost.
The Acumentrics fuel cells performed better than expected, with zero degradation and power output 20% higher than anticipated. "We've made remarkable progress in the last three years especially as a small business, which we could not have done without the support of the DOE SECA program," said Gary Simon, CEO of Acumentrics.
Fuel cells use electrochemistry to generate electricity. While many fuel cells require hydrogen to run, Acumentrics' fuel cells can run directly off of methane, natural gas, coal gas, propane, or biofuels, as well as hydrogen. Acumentrics' fuel cells are twice as efficient as traditional small engine-generators, and have significantly lower emissions. Moreover, excess heat from the cells can be captured for combined heat and power while the cell effluent could be sent to a CO2 sequestration system.
The SECA tests ran for over 2400 hours. Peak power reached over 6.2 kilowatts,20% above the 5 kW design capacity of the unit. Efficiency reached 36%, availability clocked 97%, and the degradation rate was zero. In addition, the capital cost was below the $800/kW target for SECA Phase I. Tests and results were audited by DOE and independent auditors.
"We are very encouraged by the performance of the Acumentrics unit," said Wayne Surdoval, Technology Manager for Fuel Cells at DOE's National Energy Technology Laboratory. "They have surpassed the first tier DOE SECA performance targets and we look forward to Acumentrics continued success."
Phase I success allows Acumentrics to continue to Phase II of the SECA program. Acumentrics is confident they can succeed in Phase II because many of the requirements, such as availability and degradation, were already achieved in Phase I. During Phase II, Acumentrics will focus on further advancing the tubular technology to increase power density and handle coal syngas compositions.
"We offer a unique technology. It is distinguished by being rugged, inexpensive, simple, and long-lasting," noted Simon. "With these results, we can see a clear path to a fully commercial product." The company also has 30 units in the field and a product development agreement with a European HVAC company, MTS Group.
Acumentrics is one of only six companies in the United States awarded work under DOE's SECA industry program. Information about Acumentrics can be found at http://www.acumentrics.com. Information on SECA can be found at http://www.seca.doe.gov.
Dr. Norman Bessette, Chief Technology Officer, Acumentrics, at 781-461-8251 x 407 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org