Proton Energy Tests Reversible Fuel Cell

August 02, 1999 by Jeff Shepard

Proton Energy Systems (Rocky Hill, CT) announced that it has successfully tested its Proton Exchange Membrane Unitized Regenerative Fuel Cell (PEM URFC) Energy Storage System at its Rocky Hill facilities. According to Proton Energy, the PEM URFC has achieved performance above expectations equaling that of separate fuel cells and electrolyzers. Developed with the support of EPRI (Palo Alto, CA), the PEM URFC storage system converts electricity to hydrogen and then generates electricity from the stored hydrogen on demand. The technology is intended to operate as a high-performance large-scale battery without many of the limitations of conventional batteries. The technology is claimed to deliver power output from storage for extended time periods at a fraction of the cost of conventional batteries."This accomplishment is a revolutionary breakthrough in PEM technology that opens the door to low-cost, hydrogen-based electrical energy storage systems," stated Proton Energy Systems Vice President of Technology and Process Development Trent Molter.According to Proton Energy, successful prototypes of the energy storage products will be suitable for a variety of commercial energy storage needs, including premium power backup, standby power supply, atmospheric monitoring, surveillance and communications. Commercial UNIGEN URFCs may eventually be used for backup energy storage in generating stations, homes, villages, factories, monitoring stations, and on-grid peak shaving. Combined with a conventional fuel source such as natural gas, the systems can create a complete energy management system with the ability to both generate and store electricity, according to the firm.