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Boeing installs first ‘reversible’ clean energy fuel cell storage system

Boeing has installed solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) at the US Navy Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center micorgrid in Port Hueneme, California.

The “reversible” fuel cell stores energy from renewable sources and generates zero-emissions electricity. It only needs sunshine and seawater to produce up to 50 kilowatts (KW) of power.

The largest of its kind, it can use electricity from wind or solar power to generate hydrogen gas, which it then compresses and stores.

When power is required, the system operates as a solid oxide fuel cell, consuming the stored hydrogen to produce electricity.

“At forward operating bases, for example, deploying renewables not only enhances energy efficiency, but more importantly, also reduces the logistical risk in transporting fuel over distant and often hostile territory,” Omar Saadeh, a senior grid analyst at GTM Research told Computerworld.

The SOFC manufacturers include Boeing in Huntington Beach, Calif. and Sunfire in Dresden, Germany.