Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Another Plug Power GenCore Fuel Cell Sighting

3D Model Rendering
GenCore was the first real fuel cell product I worked on at Plug Power Inc. and even though this part of our business was phased out several years ago, I still see these systems pop up on the internet or even installed at a building. Not sure what a fuel cell is? Here is quick explanation...

"GenCore® fuel cell systems are high-performance solutions for the critical backup power needs of wireless and wireline providers. Our on-site energy system is based on the proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell. A fuel cell is an electrochemical energy conversion device, similar to a battery in that it provides continuous DC power, which converts the chemical energy from a fuel directly into electricity and heat. When operated directly on hydrogen, the fuel cell produces this energy with clean water as the only by-product. Unlike a battery, which is limited to the stored energy within, a fuel cell is capable of generating power as long as fuel is supplied. Although hydrogen is the primary fuel source for fuel cells, the process of fuel reforming allows for the extraction of hydrogen from more widely available fuels such as natural gas and propane or any other hydrogen containing fuel."

I pulled that from a design contest submittion...that we won...on two separate occasions. Because I spent such a large part of my time at Plug working on this product (about 6 years), it brings me some satisfaction to see these systems out there in the world.

I live in Delmar, NY and both my girls go to a dance studio close by. I usually drive into the parking lot, park and walk the girls in. This time I had to park in a different spot than usual and when walking back to the car I saw the unmistakable Hydrogen storage enclosure. I was like, it can't be...can it? But low and behold it was, right in my own back yard. Apparently we must have sold a system to the New York State Department of Public Service. Unreal. Even though this product never really took off, I have a lot of fond memories working on this product but more so with the people I worked with. Some were douchebags, but most I considered friends and I consider myself lucky to have worked with them. So to all my GenCore Engineering Alumni...Gooooooooooooooooooo GENCORE! It's not a complete disaster.