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FuelCell Energy Inc. Message Board

  • MINCE38 MINCE38 Sep 11, 2009 12:46 PM Flag

    What is difference between FCEL, PLUG and...

    all the other fuel cell co's. I posted this to the BLDP board and they have no answer.

    As well, who figures to land the big contracts with GM and the state and federal contracts that ultimately will come? In other words, which of these co's have the best technology to power autos, trucks and buses? Yes, yes....I am very excited about the GM article that came out tonight and I would bet that GM might go alternative fuel bananas in the race to become #1 again. So...which co's benefit from this upcoming boom? this why nat gas stocks have suddenly turned completely around these last 3 days?

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    • MINCE38 asks which company is the best bet for automotive FCs.

      FCEL sells Molten Carbonate Fuel Cells for large stationary power generation. Their smallest unit, at 350kW, is the size of a shipping container. MCFCs are not really suitable for land transportation purposes. FCEL does own a ~40% stake in VersaPower which is developing Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs) for auxiliary power (trucks, airplanes, motorhomes, etc.) and home energy appliance use. Again, because of the startup time, nobody is really contemplating SOFCs for automative traction use.

      Of the 3 well known Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell makers (PEMFC), Ballard was the only one trying seriously to make transportation power units, and they sold their transportation business to the automakers a while back. PLUG, BLDP and the one you didn't mention, Hydrogenics (HYGS) are all focusing on niche transportation applications (fork lifts etc.), home energy appliances, and telecom backup power applications. GM, Honda, and Toyota are all developing their own FC stacks. I think the Koreans are working with PEMFCs from UTC Fuel Cells, which also makes the only competitor to FCEL's MCFCs, 200kW and 400kW Phosphoric Acid Fuel Cells (PAFC).

      There are a bunch of other companies also working on Fuel Cells, but many are not publicly traded. Nuvera (PEMFC), Accumentrics (SOFC) and Ceramic Fuel Cells Ltd (SOFC, in Austrailia) come to mind. None are focusing on automotive applications except perhaps for auxiliary power.


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