fuel cell to operate in the UK.
The 200-kilowatt PC25 system will be installed at Woking Park and will
as well as electricity to light the park. In the summer, the heat will be
used to meet the recreational centre's air conditioning, cooling and
dehumidification requirements via heat-fired absorption cooling. The PC25
produces 900,000 Btus of heat.
The PC25 is part of a larger, combined heat and power system that will
include a 1.35 megawatt reciprocating engine and solar photovoltaic cells,
which will be provided by other vendors.
'Installing a fuel cell is a logical part of our ongoing efforts to promote
and use sustainable energy sources,' said Alan Jones, Woking BC's energy services
manager. 'We are proud to be the first site in the UK to employ
fuel cell technology in everyday use.'
Mr Jones said that Woking BC is the only local authority in the
UK to supply electricity directly to customers on private wire networks,
which enable the council to make better use of green technologies such as
fuel cells by maximising the true value of green electricity rather than
selling the electricity to the grid at a far lower price.
Mr Jones said that this innovative feature also enables the council to
continue to supply electricity as well as heat and cooling in island
generation mode at full load in the event of a failure of the national
grid, thus providing further security of supply to customers.
Jones said this is only possible on private wire networks and this project
will be the first example of a fuel cell operating as part of such a
The council intends to make the fuel cell visible to the public and to
provide information for visitors on how the power plant operates. The fuel
cell system is scheduled to begin operating by year-end.
The council this year became the first local authority to win
Britain's most coveted commercial award, the Queen's Award for Enterprise,
in recognition of its groundbreaking approach to local sustainable
community energy systems and the practical steps it is taking locally to
tackle global warming.
A fuel cell is an electrochemical device that combines hydrogen, or
hydrogen-rich fuel, and oxygen to produce electricity, heat and water. Fuel
cells operate without combustion, making them almost pollution-free. While
a traditional generating system produces as much as 25 pounds of pollutants
to generate 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity, the PC25 power plant
produces less than an ounce.
International Fuel Cells is the sole supplier of fuel cells for US manned space
missions and the only company currently producing a commercially available
fuel cell power plant.