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An analysis shows that installed cost has a significant impact on the market opportunity.
This article discusses the overall economic prospects for residential fuel cell deployment. PEM fuel cells are well suited for residential applications because they operate at low temperature, which permits the use of less expensive materials and yields faster startup times. In addition, PEM fuel cells operate at ambient (or low) pressure which eliminates (or reduces) compressor/expander costs and simplifies system integration.
PEM systems are quite flexible and can be efficiently scaled to match the power requirements of most residential applications. Because the cell assemblies will be located inside (or in close proximity to) the building, power outages due to weather or distribution system failures will virtually be eliminated. With few moving parts, the availability of PEM fuel cells is expected to be high. PEM fuel cell energy systems are capable of producing high quality power while minimizing sags, surges, spikes, etc.
The Institute of Gas Technology and NiSource, Inc. recently formed a company called MOSAIC Energy LLC to commercialize PEM fuel cell technology for residential and other applications. GTI has been developing and testing pre-commercial PEM fuel cell stacks and power …