By Cameron Chai
UTC Power, a company that supplies energy-efficient products and services, has installed a fuel cell power plant at the University of Connecticut (UConn).
University officials, along with representatives of UTC Power and the Connecticut Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority, cut a ribbon to mark the commissioning of a natural gas fuel cell at UConn's Depot campus on April 26. Pictured (left to right): Brian Garcia, CEFIA president; Prabhakar Singh, director of the Center for Clean Energy Engineering; Joe Triompo, UTC Power vice president and general manager; Donald Williams, state senate president pro tempore; State Rep. Gregg Haddad; President Susan Herbst; Patricia Bergman, associate director of the Center for Clean Energy Engineering; Mun Choi, dean of the School of Engineering. (Peter Morenus/UConn Photo). (PRNewsFoto/UTC Power)
The university, with the support of the Connecticut Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA), has installed the plant at its Depot Campus. The plant will deliver cooling, heating and clean energy to the campus in the forthcoming years. CEFIA has awarded a million dollar federal stimulus grant to UConn for developing the fuel cell.
UConn’s offices and research labs, which include the sophisticated fuel cell and microgrid technology at the Center for Clean Energy Engineering, will receive energy from the 400 kW fuel cell.
UTC Power’s PureCell system integrates oxygen and hydrogen fuel electrochemically to generate electricity, water and heat. Furthermore, the plant will help UConn’s students to know the advantages and technology aspects of sophisticated microgrid energy systems.
Through on-site production and use of electricity, the university will remove over 831 MT of CO2 emissions per year, which is equal to planting trees in over 192 ac. In addition, nitrogen oxide emissions are reduced in contrast to traditional power plants, and are equivalent to eliminating over 110 cars off the road. Furthermore, almost 3.9 M gal of water is conserved per year by using the PureCell system.
A United Technologies company, UTC Power has modeled, produced and installed over 300 stationary fuel cells in 19 countries. The company is renowned for manufacturing fuel cells for defense, space, transport and building uses.