A new study on stationary fuel cells, conducted by WinterGreen Research Inc., has been released, showing that stationary fuel cell markets are experience growth as technology diversifies. The 469 page report suggests that as fuel cells become more efficient, their adoption becomes more prolific. Manufacturers are finding ways to create more efficient fuel cells by implementing nanotechnology as well as a number of other methods.
Stationary fuel cells have become distributed generation systems. Distributed generation (DG) means that power if generated by the fuel cell on-site, as opposed to using outside fuels such as solar power or natural gas. As a DG system, stationary fuel cells are becoming increasingly consumer operated, much like PCs and mobile phones.
These fuel cells have been a boon to universities, as they are largely self sufficient. The electricity generated by the fuel cell can power the many faculties of the campus and continually generate hydrogen, creating a cyclical system that allows for storage of energy as well as generation.
Primary author of the study, Susan Eustis, says that growth is due to demand for reliable storage methods for electricity generated by hydrogen conversions. She asserts that the viability of fuel cell technology hinges upon the development of nanotechnology.
The study suggests that global demand for stationary fuel cells will increase from $122 million in 2010 to $2.6 billion by 2017.