Solid-Oxide Fuel Cells

redox cube

Researchers at Redox Power Systems in Fulton, Maryland have devised a way to an energy generator that is as cheap as current electricity from the grid, while being more sustainable. The fuel cells that are being developed by Redox feed on natural gas, propane, or diesel. The benefit of this new system is that the energy is created through electrochemical reactions rather than combustion which allows the creation of energy without the need of a power source.
This technology has been previously developed, and diesel generators already exist to create energy. However, the diesel generators are very noisy and expensive. A diesel generator that would be needed to power a grocery store would be massive and very expensive, while the researchers at Redox say their fuel cells reduce the cost by around 90%. They claim that the first product will be a 25-kilowatt generator that can power a grocery store. The solid oxide fuel cells will create energy in a more efficient manner while also reducing the emissions produced. Redox claims that the emissions per kw/hr should be lower than the current energy production from the power grid. The previous inventor of a similar technology called the “Bloom Cells” produced energy at .2 watt/sq cm while Redox claims they can produce energy at 2 watts/sq cm. This all sounds very promising from Redox, but they have yet to develop a complete system. Similar systems require routine maintenance and a short lifespan, but Redox may also have an answer for that.

Original sources:
http://www.technologyreview.com/news/518516/an-inexpensive-fuel-cell-generator/
http://www.forbes.com/sites/williampentland/2013/08/14/redox-power-plans-to-roll-out-dishwasher-sized-fuel-cells-that-cost-90-less-than-currently-available-fuel-cells/

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