The connected world cannot afford to stop for power outages – and it cannot afford to rely on outdated technology and unsustainable fuel sources. For every problem, there is an answer – if innovation can thrive. GenCell fuel cell solutions provide instant 5kW power and conquer the vulnerabilities of legacy systems.
Because D+ Is Not Good Enough
The American Society of Civil Engineers examined the United States energy infrastructure and gave it a near-failing grade of D+. Many components of the grid were constructed in the 1950s and 1960s – and some even predate the 20th century.
The aging infrastructure cannot support the “weight” of today’s demand, nor the severity of increasingly frequent extreme weather. Continually running at full capacity poses a critical challenge for providers, and the effects are seen in outage duration. In Japan, consumers lose power for just four minutes per year. In the American upper Midwest and upper Northwest, that amount of time soars to 92 minutes and 214 minutes per year, respectively.
The impact is staggering; momentary outages account for $60 billion in economic losses, while extended-duration blackouts cost $50 million. When it comes to mission-critical applications, such as emergency medicine, national security, and data transmission, the risks are far more severe than financial. Lives are on the line.
GenCell Power Solutions
GenCell leverages advanced fuel cell technology to bring energy infrastructure into the 21st century, ensuring it can withstand pressures from increased demand, unpredictable global events, and dwindling fossil fuel-based resources.
What Is a Fuel Cell?
A fuel cell utilizes the power of hydrogen – the world’s cleanest source of energy. Like a battery, a fuel cell converts potential chemical energy, but a fuel cell does it by combining hydrogen and oxygen to make electricity.
However, the difference between a fuel cell and a battery is significant. Instead of storing the chemical energy and delivering limited duration, a fuel cell generates electricity continuously when supplied with hydrogen and an oxidant (e.g., ambient air). A fuel cell has the capacity to run virtually indefinitely.
Types of Fuel Cells
Fuel cells are distinguished by the types of electrolytes used to separate the electrodes and by the temperature at which they function. The five primary categories of fuel cells* are:
- Alkaline Fuel Cells (Low Temperature): AFCs are among the most efficient fuel cells, and they deliver near-instant power even at sub-zero temperatures.
- Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (Low Temperature): PEMs are small, lightweight and typically used in transportation applications. They require precise humidity conditions.
- Phosphoric Acid Fuel Cells (Medium Temperature): One of the first fuel cell types developed and used widely in commercial markets, PAFs are primarily found in buildings, hospitals, hotels, and utilities for stationary power generation.
- Molten Carbonate Fuel Cells (High Temperature): It takes significant time for MCFCs to reach operating temperature, and they do not respond agilely to fluctuations in electricity demand. Material costs are prohibitive in most cases, and MCFCs are typically only used to provide constant power generation in large utility applications.
- Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (High Temperature): Like MCFCs, SOFCs take significant time to reach operating temperature, are not ideal for sudden increases in demand, and are typically used in large applications. They can, however, utilize impure fuels, which increases their versatility.
* Quantum Energy Systems (QES), a North American distributor for GenCell, considers the advantages and disadvantages of each type of fuel cell to ensure suitability for specific applications and markets.
What Fuels Fuel Cells?
Hydrogen is widely considered the “fuel of the future.” Light and abundant (approximately 65 metric tons are produced each year), hydrogen is also the most environmentally friendly fuel source available. But what about cost?
Hydrogen production costs are lower than gasoline or natural gases like methane. Distribution, however, boosts the expense in terms of commercial use. The good news is that the demand for sustainable energy has led to the development of new distribution channels and systems. This will drive down the cost of hydrogen and lead to wider usage of this versatile resource.
The GenCell Solution
GenCell power solutions overcome inherent weaknesses in current precarious infrastructure, legacy systems, and fuel sources. With fuel cell technology, utilities, businesses, security and health industries, and other markets benefit from immediate 5kW of power with potentially unlimited runtime – all while reducing capital and operational expenses.