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Fuel Cells. Tom Hintz – Seahold LLC UNC Charlotte IDEAS Center Bioenergy Symposium April 9, 2013. Your Presenter.

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fuel cells

Fuel Cells

Tom Hintz – Seahold LLC

UNC Charlotte IDEAS Center

Bioenergy Symposium

April 9, 2013

your presenter
Your Presenter

Thomas Hintz, is the senior/managing partner at SeaHold LLC. Tom is a seasoned business executive with a solid background of achievements in profit generation, product/project development. Tom graduated from Indiana University in 1983. Tom’s main focus is “Renewable Energy” in California, working with farmers, private industry, universities, innovative entrepreneurs, and government agencies. Tom’s greatest strengths are the conceptualization, visualization and implementation of “waste to energy” projects that yield significant revenue, while maximizing environmentally sound practices. Tom is recognized for his expertise in the field, and regularly advises local, regional and state regulatory agencies and commissions that govern “Renewable Energy” projects.

Tom specializes in making projects happen; from the “pie in the sky” conceptual design through specific, detailed engineering; to the commissioning and operations of alternative energy facilities and the eventual interconnection to natural gas and electrical distribution networks. Tom knows the value of buying and selling energy credits.

what is a fuel cell
What is a FUEL CELL?

Fuel cells convert chemical energy from hydrogen-rich fuels into electrical power and usable high quality heat in an electrochemical process that is virtually absent of pollutants. The energy produced from renewable processes is an excellent source for fuel cell technology.

Similar to a battery, a fuel cell is comprised of many individual cells that are grouped together to form a fuel cell stack. Each individual cell contains an anode, a cathode and an electrolyte layer. When a hydrogen-rich fuel such as clean natural gas or renewable biogas enters the fuel cell stack, it reacts electrochemically with oxygen (i.e. ambient air) to produce electric current, heat and water. While a typical battery has a fixed supply of energy, fuel cells continuously generate electricity as long as fuel is supplied.

why use fuel cells
Why Use Fuel Cells ?

Fuel cells make much more efficient use of fuels than other distributed generation technologies such as reciprocating engines and gas turbines, and generate virtually no pollution such as nitrogen oxide (NOx), sulfur oxide (SOx), or particulate matter (PM10) and dramatically reduced carbon dioxide (CO2). And with availability ratings better than 90%, fuel cells are not hampered by external influences such as time of day or weather that affect other environmentally-friendly technologies such as wind turbines and solar power.

typical fuel cell installation
Typical Fuel Cell Installation

1.4 MW at a municipal facility

(Fuel Cell Energy – DFC1500)

some manufacturers
Some Manufacturers
  • Bloom Energy
    • Solid Oxide fuel cells for large scale distributed power generation. Specializes in data centers.
  • Fuel Cell Energy
    • Carbonate fuel cells for municipal applications
  • Fuel cells have a higher efficiency than diesel or gas engines.
  • Most fuel cells operate silently, compared to internal combustion engines. They are therefore ideally suited for use within buildings such as hospitals.
  • Fuel cells can eliminate pollution caused by burning fossil fuels; for hydrogen fuelled fuel cells, the only by-product at point of use is water.
  • Fuel cells do not need conventional fuels such as oil or gas and can therefore reduce economic dependence on oil producing countries, creating greater energy security for the user nation.
  • The use of stationary fuel cells to generate power at the point of use allows for a de-centralized power grid that is potentially more stable.
  • Higher temperature fuel cells produce high-grade process heat along with electricity and are well suited to cogeneration applications (such as combined heat and power for residential use).
  • Operating times are much longer than with batteries, since doubling the operating time needs only doubling the amount of fuel and not the doubling of the capacity of the unit itself.
  • Unlike batteries, fuel cells have no "memory effect" when they are getting refueled.
  • The maintenance of fuel cells is simple since there are few moving parts in the system.
financial considerations
Financial Considerations
  • Dependent upon the technology, installation costs range from $4,000/kWH to $5,500/kWH (www.energy.ca.gov)
  • Federal/State incentives further reduce the implementation costs
  • Example: California SGIP (Self Generation Incentive Program)
    • Source of funding – State of CA
      • Summary: Fuel Cell (CHP or Electric Only): $2.03/W (For projects 30 kW or larger, 50% of incentive will be received up-front; 50% will be received based on actual kWh production over the first 5 years. For projects under 30kW, 100% of the incentive will be paid up front
  • Example: North Carolina Renewable Energy Tax Credit
    • Source Of Funding – State of NC
      • Summary: Will pay 35%, up to $2.5 million per installation - no minimum system size requirement. Would be applicable to an anaerobic digestion system feeding to a fuel cell system.

Additional information for local/state/federal incentives can be found at:

http://www.dsireusa.org/ (Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency)

thank you

23551 Rose Quartz Drive

Perris, CA 92570