As yet, the 200 kW device developed by International Fuel Cells, and manufactured its fellow United Technologies subsidiary ONSI, is still the only stationary fuel cell generating system commercially available.
Called the PC25, around 200 of these phosphoric acid systems are now in operation in applications such as hospitals, hotels, universities, military installations and industrial sites. Recent projects have included two PC25s supplied to the Conde Nast building (pictured near right) at 4 Times Square, New York, among the first for a commercial office tower in an urban setting, five supplied to a mail sorting centre (photo, far right) in Alaska, US one at the Liverpool High School in the New York State, the first to enter operation at a high school, and one at Chelles, close to Paris, which is in trial operation under a joint EDF/GDF test programme.
Continuing concern about the reliability of the US grid coupled with a growing need for “computer grade power“ by e-businesses are seen as strong potential drivers for future sales by Sure Power of Connecticut, which is using PC25s coupled with Piller rotary UPS technology as the basis of the extremely high availability power system it is currently marketing. A Sure Power system, involving no less than four fuel cells has been operating for over a year at First National Bank of Omaha (pictured left), a leading US credit card processor. It has an estimated reliability of 99.99999 per cent, about 1000 times better than conventional UPS systems. Sure Power has a number of other projects in the pipeline, including a telecom application and a hospital and has signed a partnership agreement with High-Point Rendel for delivery management.