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Molten Carbonate Fuel Cell History

photo of molten carbonate fuel cell power plant, 1997.

M-C Power's molten carbonate fuel cell power plant
in San Diego, California, 1997.

Image from the National Energy Technology Laboratory

The following excerpt is from the Federal Energy Project Center's sheet "Project Facts: Developing the Second-Generation Fuel Cell — The M-C Power Project":

"M-C Power Corporation has tested a commercial scale power generator in San Diego, California, using molten carbonate fuel cells, the next generation of fuel cell technology. ... The San Diego test unit, installed at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, consisted of a fully integrated system including a newly designed reformer and a stack with 250 cells each with an 11-square-foot active area. The unit reached 210 kilowatts capacity and cogenerated up to 350 pounds per hour of steam used for heating buildings on the air station. Total output was 158 megawatt-hours of electricity and 346,000 pounds of steam over 2350 hours of operation. In the current program, the Miramar facility is being modified to conduct performance verification testing of advanced stack designs and other improvements prior to building prototype units for commercial demonstrations at several sites by early 2001.

"DOE has supported M-C Power's development and demonstration of MCFCs since 1990 under three cost shared contracts. The first, a $60.5 million contract with $18.1 million from M-C Power, culminated in a 250 cell stack test in Brea, California, in 1995. The second project, which included the demonstration at San Diego in 1997, had a value of $30.8 million including $14.2 million cost sharing. The current contract , which began in 1994, is budgeted at $104 million with $33 million from M-C Power.

"The M-C Power demonstration in San Diego provided valuable experience in installing and operating a molten carbonate fuel cell in a commercial cogeneration application. Fuel cell modules comparable in size to those installed at the demonstration site will be linked together for larger power plant applications. ... The program goals are to commercialize MCFCs by 2002. Commercialization of the technology supports DOE goals for emissions reduction and energy security."

If you have information about this fuel cell image, or MCFC technology in general, please fill out the Collecting History questionnaire accessible through the link at the top of the previous page.

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