GE to Test Fuel Cells at TEC-SMART

0General Manager_Chief Technology Officer look forward to partnering on new energy technology at TEC-SMART (Courtesy of GE)
GE Fuel Cells and Hudson Valley will be partnering to pilot large scale fuel cell power generation at TEC-SMART in Malta.

TEC-SMART is a satellite campus of Hudson Valley Community College located in the NYSERDA Saratoga Technology and Energy Park. It specializes in green technology and semiconductor education.

GE will be installing a 50kW fuel cell power generation system at TEC-SMART. The system will also serve as a demonstration apparatus for students to learn about the technology. Hudson Valley will also be developing courses in this emerging field.

“I really do think that this is a game changing technology,” said Johanna Wellington, General Manager and Chief Technology Officer of GE Fuel Cells, “Fuel cells have been the holy grail of power generation for a while but they are really difficult to manufacture and commercialize.”

Fuel cells generate electricity through a chemical process involving oxygen ions. GE has been developing fuel cell technology at it’s global research center in Niskayuna for years and their research has led to innovation, including a thermal spray process used in manufacturing.

GE Fuel Cells’ technology, according to Wellington, provides “a very clean and very efficient power generation.”

General Electric has now taken the next step toward commercialization by financing a new startup, GE Fuel Cells, through their investment division, GE Ventures.

“What we’re doing at Hudson Valley is the first of its kind,” said Wellington. She believes that once the technology is fully developed they will be able to build larger systems that generate 1-10 MegaWatts of power.

In a GE Press Release, Hudson Valley President Drew Matonak, said, “Hudson Valley Community College is excited to again engage in a partnership with GE. The new working fuel cell power system at TEC-SMART will provide an innovative learning opportunity in emerging technologies — and open the door to new career fields — for our students. In addition, we’ll see significantly lower energy costs at TEC-SMART, which already holds Platinum-certification from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program of the United States Green Building Council.”

“One great thing about it is that you guys are in the neighborhood. I think this is going to be a great partnership,” said Wellington. “It fits along well with Hudson Valley’s TEC-SMART idea.”

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