Fuel Cells Gain Momentum

June 20, 2012

More than 1,000 fuel cells have been deployed under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, announces the Energy Department. Over half of the installations were for backup power applications supported by $18.5 million in Recovery Act funding.

Because of their high reliability and low emissions, companies are installing fuel cells to generate on-site primary or backup power to buildings, data centers, and cell phone towers, as well as material handling equipment.

Fuel cells are quiet and don’t need petroleum, so they produce few pollutants and emissions. Fuel cells typically require minimal maintenance and can easily be monitored remotely to further reduce maintenance time.

Hydrogen fuel cells also do not emit any harmful air pollutants and can be rapidly refueled, boosting productivity and maintaining full power capability between refueling.

Many businesses use fuel cells to power materials handling equipment because of the productivity, cost, and performance advantages of fuel cell lift trucks. Funded with $9.7 million under the Recovery Act, more than 500 fuel cell-powered lift trucks are now operational at end-user sites, along with fueling systems, data collection and analysis, and operator training to support them.

Data collected from all of these projects is aggregated by the DOE to provide relevant technology status results and fuel cell performance data without revealing proprietary information. These publicly available data products provide critical information to future investors and customers.

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