Boeing has developed a fuel cell using a technology called a “reversible solid oxide fuel cell” to store energy from renewable resources such as wind and solar, producing zero-emissions electricity.
The fuel cell energy storage system has been delivered to the U.S. Navy for testing to determine its ability to support the energy needs of military and commercial customers.
The system generates compresses and stores hydrogen. When the grid demands power, it operates as a fuel cell, consuming the stored hydrogen to produce electricity.
Boeing’s technology is unique in being able to both store energy and produce electricity in a single system, making the technology “reversible.”
This first unit was commissioned on the Southern California Edison power grid at Boeing’s Huntington Beach, Calif., facility before being installed for further testing on the Navy’s ‘microgrid’ at the Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center in Port Hueneme, Calif.
“This fuel cell solution is an exciting new technology providing our customers with a flexible, affordable and environmentally progressive option for energy storage and power generation,” said Lance Towers, director, Advanced Technology Programs.
Boeing’s fuel cell product was developed using the company’s experience with energy systems for unmanned undersea vehicles and can be adapted and customized for a variety of defense and commercial applications.