The Ballard Power Systems company, a world leader in the development of hydrogen fuel cells, recently presented its first fuel cell-powered generator that is capable to produce a megawatt of energy, being enough to power about 500 homes.
According to the company, this giant hydrogen generator (large as a tractor trailer truck) is planned to be shipped to Ohio where it will be plugged into the power grid. Also being powered by hydrogen, it has a source of energy that can be extracted from a clean natural resource such as water.
Ballard’s generator is part of the company’s plans to eliminate our dependence on fossil fuels. Its hydrogen fuel cells are already used to power forklift trucks around the world and transit buses in cities around North America, Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands. Besides this, they’ve also been used in power boats and train locomotives.
Buzz McCain, the program manager for this project, said that unlike a city bus, which requires two fuel cells, this generator needs nine of them (all synchronized to work together) to light up a small town. “We need to demonstrate we can make megawatt fuel cells work and be economically viable. We are cautiously optimistic,” said Michael Goldstein, the company’s chief commercial officer.