A new 1.4 MW utility-owned a fuel cell is now in full operation at Cal State San Bernardino.
>”Electricity generated by the fuel cell is going straight into the Edison grid, and the university will be able to utilize the waste heat it produces to preheat the campus heating system, resulting in an estimated annual savings of $120,000 from avoided natural gas costs,” said Tony Simpson, senior director of facilities services at Cal State San Bernardino.
The combined heat and power configuration —known as cogeneration — of the fuel cell will reduce the campus’s carbon dioxide emissions by lessening reliance on the high temperature hot water generators currently in operation. The fuel cell will continue to use natural gas to generate ultra-clean electricity through an electrochemical reaction, but because there is no combustion, unhealthful emissions are reduced.
Additionally, the fuel cell is highly efficient, generating more power from a given unit of fuel and lower greenhouse gas emissions compared to combustion-based power sources in a similar size range. Cogeneration DFC power plants can achieve total thermal efficiencies up to 90 percent, depending on the application.<
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