By CHRISTOPHER MARTIN
General Electric (GE) opened a fuel-cell testing and research
facility in upstate New York that will produce its first
systems by the end of the year.
GE has developed a solid-oxide fuel cell that converts about
65% of the energy in natural gas to electricity through a
chemical reaction, the Fairfield, Connecticut-based company
said on its website.
When waste heat from the system is used to power a steam
turbine, GE researchers expect to boost the efficiency level
to about 95%, Megan Parker, a spokeswoman, said in an
The systems can reach temperatures of 1,500 degrees
Fahrenheit (816 degrees Celsius).
GEs 17-member fuel-cell team is planning a pilot
factory in Saratoga Springs, New York, and expects to begin
commercial production in 2017, Parker said.
The systems will have capacities ranging from one megawatt to
10 megawatts, depending on the configuration.