In my quest to get a residential fuel cell appliance for our home, I went looking for the current state of the art to see if I can actually get one yet. The current answer so far? No. Damn it
However, I did find more links than the last time that I looked. One of them is UTC Fuel Cells which is saying they’ll have a 5-10kW unit available by 2003, and it’s heat output is pretty high so it can aid in residential heating if necessary PlugPower Fuel Cell Systems is kind of the grandaddy in research in residential fuel cells. Sadly, their information about availability hasn’t been updated since I last looked in early 2001.
Their partner for manufacturing and distribution, GE Power Systems has likewise not updated their information on availability since the last time I looked.
For those of you with far more money for toys than I have can get a Remote Control Fuel Cell Car from the people over at The Fuel Cell Store. It can run for around 3 hours on 1 tank of hydrogen at ~10mph. At US$8,800 it’s a bit much to ask for as an xmas gift though, sadly. They also claim to have several full residential systems available for purchase, but they don’t have any information available live on the site. More’s the pity. I might get around to contacting them for further information later.
I also ran across Sustainable Minnesota: Minnesotans for an Energy-Efficient Economy. While being a clearinghouse for quite a few links to fuel cell related companies, had pitifully little useful information. I think I’ll dig around there a bit more in the future though as they had pretty granular coverage of energy issues in local government.
Nuvera appears to be another company trying to get in on manufacturing residential units but it didn’t have a single word on what kind of time frame they were looking at.
According to this page at Sulzer, they have a production model available in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland but do not plan to begin supplying the US until 2005.
As for the local utilities, Xcel Energy has removed ANY reference to Fuel Cells from their pages as far as I can tell, and Reliant Energy has changed their information to include this page which is almost completely useless. So their working on the tech. That’s certainly news.
Someday we’ll have one, that day is obviously not today.