After a collaboration between the US Department of Energy, California Air Resources Board, the Orange County Sanitation District, and private industry, California now has the world’s first tri-generation fuel cell and hydrogen station commissioned a few days ago in Fountain Valley.
The tri-generation fuel cell is a combined electricity, heat and hydrogen generating system.
The working principle is as follows: the biogas collected from the municipal wastewater treatment plant feeds the fuel cell, which then produces hydrogen, which is sent to a hydrogen fueling station that is open to anyone who wants to charge their fuel cell electric vehicle, such as the Honda FCX Clarity.
The station is able to charge 25-50 FCVs, and generates around 250 kW of energy that will partially send power back to the wastewater treatment plant. Fuel cells can run on natural gas or biogas to generate energy and backup power in applications such as cell phone towers or light duty vehicles such as forklifts.
“Innovations like this demonstrate how American ingenuity and targeted investment can accelerate breakthroughs in the hydrogen and fuel cell industry while driving the clean energy economy forward,” says DOE’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Renewable Energy Steve Chalk.