PNNL support of the DOE’s Fuel Cells Technology Office is to identify near term niche markets where fuel cells have potential , work with the DOE and stakeholders to develop activities in those areas , analyze the business case , and present the results to the community. Accelerating fuel cell use in these key early markets will create jobs in an industry that needs high volume purchases to ramp up production , decrease costs , support commercialization , and enable a domestic supplier base. PNNL has contracted ClearEdge Power to demonstrate fifteen 5 kW combined heat and power fuel cells in a wide variety of business in California and Oregon. These fuel cells are being remotely monitored for such things as electrical and thermal energy , overall efficiency , and availability. The gathered information will be analyzed , to provide “real-world” data from units “in the customer’s hands” to validate performance , durability and reliability; installation , operations , and maintenance costs; and identify remaining barriers to widespread commercialization. As part of this assessment , a business case has been developed estimating of the size of the market and its growth potential , identifying possible niche markets , and comparing the CHP FCS with its alternatives in terms of economics , engineering and environmental impact. The results of this assessment will be presented.
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