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Leading Fuel Cell Technologies: Applications, costs, economic competitiveness and future prospects
Scripp Business Insights, May 2009, Pages: 151
Fuel cell products, despite considerable development, have yet to be commercially realized. However, developments in recent years have brought a range of new fuel cell technologies to the brink of commercialization. Fuel cells could help to revolutionize power generation and may eventually provide electrical power for an extremely wide range of applications including utility power plants distributed generation, domestic combined heat and power units, and portable and automotive applications.
‘Leading Fuel Cell Technologies’ is a report that analyzes the future of fuel cell technologies and their usage in stationary power generation. This report looks at each of the leading fuel cell technologies in terms of their operational characteristics, costs, efficiency and future prospects and provides an analysis of comparative costs with existing power generation technologies. The report also provides an assessment of the commercialization potential of fuel cells, in addition to key installation data and emerging fuel cell trials.
Costs for stationary fuel cell applications still vary widely – from $2,500/kW for some technologies to more than $40,000/kW for direct methanol fuel cells.
Although fuel cell costs are still uncompetitive, the sector is still highly mature – revenues from commercial fuel cell companies were still under $500m 3 years ago although other estimates place the overall market size much higher.
Commercial fuel cell installations have risen sharply – more capacity has been installed in the past 3 years than in the 10 years prior to that.
Based on generation costs, fuel cells are becoming competitive with onshore wind and may be as little as 17% more expensive in some cases per MWh.
Fuel cell installations under 10kW have also grown quickly – at a CAGR of almost 50% between 2001 and 2007.
Use this report to...
- Identify the leading fuel cell technologies, their development status and application with this report’s in–depth analysis of the 6 leading fuel cell technologies:
-Phosphoric acid fuel cells
-Proton exchange membrane fuel cells
-Molten carbonate fuel cells
-Solid oxide fuel cells
-Alkaline fuel cells
-Direct methanol fuel cells
- Compare the economic competitiveness of the different fuel cell technologies with this report’s comparative analysis of costs against existing power generation technologies.
- Assess the long term potential of fuel cells in the stationary power market based on this report’s assessment of the future prospects of fuel cells, their commercialization prospects, key installation data and emerging fuel cell trials.
Explore issues including...
Cost competitiveness. Fuel cells are becoming more cost competitive, although costs for many of the technologies remain estimates and the true challenge for commercialization of fuel cells remains to be fully understood.
Technological immaturity. Fuel cells are still a highly immature technology, with relatively low, but growing levels of installation – and it is clear that a key feature of their uptake will be an ability to achieve scale.
The hydrogen economy. In the uncertain event that a hydrogen economy does develop, then the fuel cell is likely to become one of the primary means of exploiting hydrogen. The availability of hydrogen without the need for reforming would have a significant effect on the economics of several types of fuel cell.
- What are the leading fuel cell technologies?
- Which technology is suited to which application?
- What are the operational parameters for each technology?
- How do the economics of fuel cell technologies compare against one another and against existing power generation technologies?
- What is the growth profile for large and small fuel cell installations?
- What are the future prospects for fuel cell commercialization?
Leading Fuel Cell Technologies
Fuel cell basics
Phosphoric acid fuel cells
Proton exchange membrane fuel cells
Molten carbonate fuel cells
Solid oxide fuel cells
Alkaline fuel cells
The direct methanol fuel cell
The cost of fuel cells
The future of fuel cells
Chapter 1 Introduction
The history of fuel cells
The structure of this report
Chapter 2 Fuel cell technology
How a fuel cell works
Types of fuel cell
The alkaline fuel cell
The phosphoric acid fuel cell
The proton exchange membrane fuel cell
The molten carbonate fuel cell
The solid oxide fuel cell
The direct methanol fuel cell
Fuel and fuel processing
The hydrogen economy
Chapter 3 Phosphoric acid fuel cells
PAFC cell technology
Commercial PAFC units
Applications for PAFC fuel cells
Costs of PAFC fuel cells
Chapter 4 Proton exchange membrane fuel cells
PEM cell technology
Commercial PEM fuel cells
Cost of PEM fuel cells
Chapter 5 Molten carbonate fuel cells
Commercial molten carbonate fuel cells
Cost of MCFC fuel cells
Chapter 6 Solid oxide acid fuel cells
Fuel cell-turbine hybrids
Commercial SOFC developments
The cost of SOFC fuel cells
Chapter 7 Alkaline fuel cells
Alkaline fuel cell technology
Commercial AFC units
Chapter 8 The direct methanol fuel cell
Commercial DMFC fuel cells
Chapter 9 The cost of fuel cells
Costs for stationary applications
Cost comparisons and other data
Fuel cell cost targets
Chapter 10 The future of fuel cells
Stationary fuel cell market
Other fuel cell markets
Fuel cell prospects
List of Figures
Figure 5.1: MCFC fuel cell costs and cost reductions ($/kW), 1996-2006
Figure 9.2: The cost of fuel cells for stationary applications ($/kW)
Figure 9.3: Cost comparison with other generation technologies, ($/kW)
Figure 9.4: Comparison of generation costs for different technologies ($/MWh)
Figure 10.5: Annual large stationary fuel cell installations (over 10kW)
Figure 10.6: Forecast large stationary fuel cell sales (number of units, cumulative capacity in MW), 2008-2009
Figure 10.7: Annual small stationary fuel cell shipments (under 10kW), (Number of units shipped), 2001-2007
List of Tables
Table 2.1: Fuel cell characteristics
Table 2.2: Typical Fuel Cell Power Plant Emissions (ppm)
Table 3.3: Phosphoric Acid Fuel Cell Characteristics
Table 3.4: Operating parameters for PC25C fuel cell
Table 3.5: PC25C emissions
Table 4.6: Proton exchange membrane fuel cell characteristics
Table 4.7: Ballard Power Systems 250kW fuel cell prototype specification
Table 4.8: Plug Power residential fuel cell specification
Table 5.9: Molten carbonate fuel cell characteristics
Table 5.10: FuelCell Energy prototype MCFC stack
Table 5.11: MCFC fuel cell costs and cost reductions ($/kW), 1996-2006
Table 6.12: Solid oxide fuel cell characteristics
Table 6.13: Westervoort 100kW pilot plant
Table 7.14: Alkaline fuel cell characteristics
Table 8.15: Direct methanol fuel cell characteristics
Table 9.16: The cost of fuel cells for stationary applications ($/kW)
Table 9.17: California Energy Commission generation cost estimates for fuel cells ($/kW, $/MWh)
Table 9.18: Cost comparison with other generation technologies, ($/kW)
Table 9.19: Comparison of generation costs for different technologies ($/MWh)
Table 10.20: Annual large stationary fuel cell installations (over 10kW)
Table 10.21: Forecast large stationary fuel cell sales (number of units, cumulative capacity in MW), 2008-2009
Table 10.22: Annual small stationary fuel cell shipments (under 10kW), (Number of units shipped), 2001-2007
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