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Ohio Utility To Activate Ballard Power Systems' Large Hydrogen Fuel Cell

Posted on August 11, 2010

An agreement between Ballard Power Systems and FirstEnergy Generation Corp., a utility from Ohio, U.S.A., will allow FirstEnergy to activate what is being dubbed the “world’s largest hydrogen fuel cell,” Ballard said. The fuel cell is about the size of a tractor trailer, is transportable due to a set of wheels and has the capacity to power 500 homes, according to Ballard.

The fuel cell generator, also called CLEARgen, which can generate up to 1 MW of power, is on a five-year trial run, moving from Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, to Eastlake, Ohio, U.S.A.

The unit is based on Ballard’s proton exchange membrane. FirstEnergy will use the fuel cell during periods of peak demand in an effort to take strain off the power grid and keep power flowing uninterrupted to customers during the summer.

Because fuel cells use hydrogen to generate electricity, the only by-products are water and heat, making the cells environmentally friendly, the company said. Fuels cells also can run off by-product hydrogen from chemical plants to generate electricity that can be sold to power grids or power plants.

For more information: www.ballard.com/

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