Solvay hails world's largest fuel cell of type in Flanders, one can power 1,400 homes

February 6, 2012
A street in Chatelet, Belgium. Chemicals giant Solvay hailed Monday the successful entry into service in Flanders of what it said was the largest fuel cell of its type in the world, a super-battery that produces enough electricity to power nearly 1,400 homes.

Chemicals giant Solvay hailed Monday the successful entry into service in Flanders of what it said was the largest fuel cell of its type in the world.

A super-battery that produces enough electricity to power nearly 1,400 homes, the (PEM) fuel cell has been producing clean electricity at a "steady rate" for weeks at a SolVin plant part-owned by Germany's BASF in Antwerp, northern Dutch-speaking Belgium.

SolVin is a market leader in vinyl, or PVC production.

The fuel cell converts the from hydrogen into clean electricity through an with oxygen, and "has generated over 500 MWh in about 800 hours of operation," Solvay said in a news release.

The company said this equates to the of 1,370 families over the same period.

Fuel-cell technology is tipped by developers as a future power solution for everything from cars to ships.

Flanders has benefited from a 14-million-euro investment in this applied technology, with the EU, the Dutch and the Belgian Flemish governments backers of Solvay's 5.0-million euros investment.

Explore further: New Type Of Fuel Cell; Turns Wastewater Into Clean Water And Electricity

Related Stories

Fuel cells, energy conversion and mathematics

July 24, 2009

Concerns about dwindling fossil fuel resources, current levels of petroleum consumption, and growing pressure to shift to more sustainable energy sources are among the many factors prompting the transition from our current ...

Recommended for you

Netherlands bank customers can get vocal on payments

August 1, 2015

Are some people fed up with remembering and using passwords and PINs to make it though the day? Those who have had enough would prefer to do without them. For mobile tasks that involve banking, though, it is obvious that ...

Power grid forecasting tool reduces costly errors

July 30, 2015

Accurately forecasting future electricity needs is tricky, with sudden weather changes and other variables impacting projections minute by minute. Errors can have grave repercussions, from blackouts to high market costs. ...

Microsoft describes hard-to-mimic authentication gesture

August 1, 2015

Photos. Messages. Bank account codes. And so much more—sit on a person's mobile device, and the question is, how to secure them without having to depend on lengthy password codes of letters and numbers. Vendors promoting ...

8 comments

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Burnerjack
1 / 5 (2) Feb 06, 2012
"A super battery..." It is amazing that a web site purported to be scientific can post entries that are inaccurate in the first three words.
Do "News of the World" or "Globe" writers moonlight here? I have grown to expect such drivel from MSM, but you guys are supposed to be better. By far.
TheGhostofOtto1923
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 06, 2012
I wonder how this tech compares to the Bloom box?
http://en.wikiped...y_Server
Callippo
1 / 5 (2) Feb 06, 2012
fuel cell converts the chemical energy from hydrogen into clean electricity
Which dirty technology produces all this hydrogen? Just the conversion of electricity into hydrogen and back again consumes 80% of energy input.
TheGhostofOtto1923
3 / 5 (4) Feb 06, 2012
"A super battery..." It is amazing that a web site purported to be scientific can post entries that are inaccurate in the first three words.
Do "News of the World" or "Globe" writers moonlight here? I have grown to expect such drivel from MSM, but you guys are supposed to be better. By far.
Im not sure what the problem is:

"An electrical battery is one or more electrochemical cells that convert stored chemical energy into electrical energy"

and

"An electrochemical cell is a device used for generating an electromotive force (voltage) and current from chemical reactions"

-Too bad bile doesnt generate a current... or does it?
jibbles
5 / 5 (1) Feb 06, 2012
combine this with wind/solar generation to get "power on tap" from wind/sun!
Sonhouse
not rated yet Feb 11, 2012
As a system it all boils down to how efficiently you can make H2. If like the guy says, you lose 80% of your initial energy making hydrogen, you aren't gaining anything, in fact losing a lot of energy in the process. You need very efficient generation of H2 in order for a hydrogen economy to make sense. Even diesel engines beat 20 percent efficiency.
antialias_physorg
not rated yet Feb 11, 2012
Which dirty technology produces all this hydrogen?

Your point? This sin't part of the issue being demonstrated by the fuel cell.

However with a fuel cell you have the opportunity to generate the hydrogen any way you wish (i.e. you at least have the opportunity to go green). This is far better than coal, oil or nuclear power plants where you don't even have the opportunity to go renewable.

With wind and solar sometimes being available in more abundance than needed the excess could well be used to generate hydrogen. So it's a net gain because otherwise you'd be throwing away 100% of that excess energy production.
Vendicar_Decarian
not rated yet Feb 11, 2012
The best reported electrolytic conversion efficiencies are 80 percent. 20 percent of the energy being lost due to heating.

"If like the guy says, you lose 80% of your initial energy making hydrogen..." - Sonhouse

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.