March 2006

FuelCell Energy selected by DOE to advance fuel cell technology

Danbury, CT— FuelCell Energy, Inc. announced that it has been selected by the United States Department of Energy (DOE) for a five-year, $2.1 million cost-shared project to develop a high temperature membrane for low humidity operation of Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cells, subject to final negotiation of an acceptable agreement.

FuelCell Energy was awarded 1 of 12 competitively bid projects that will receive a total of $19 million in federal funding projects involving polymer membrane research. The overall goal of this research is to advance membrane durability and to extend shelf-life, while simultaneously bringing down its cost.

The project includes the development of a composite membrane for high temperature (120°C) PEM fuel cell operation. The composite membrane is intended to have the mechanical strength and water retention capability required for efficient operation and reduced system cost. Traditional PEM fuel cells operate at approximately 60°C to 80°C and operation at higher temperatures would reduce cost and increase efficiency.

FuelCell Energy’s high temperature experience from its carbonate and solid oxide fuel cell programs and the development of highly functionalized fuel cell membranes for phosphoric-acid and PEM fuel cells over the past 20 years make it uniquely qualified for this project.

The project award is part of a broader program announced on January 24, 2006, by Energy Secretary Samuel W. Bodman totaling $119 million in funding and including a roadmap aimed at identifying and overcoming the technical and manufacturing challenges associated with the further development of commercially available hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.

The DOE will provide funding totalling $100 million over four years for additional research projects that seek to improve fuel cell membranes, water transport within the stack, advanced cathode catalysts and supports, cell hardware, innovative fuel cell concepts, and effects of impurities on fuel cell performance and durability.

 


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