Fuel cell back-up system employed at SCTE headquartersJuly 27, 2011
The Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) will be installing several hydrogen fuel cells units at their headquarters in Exton, Pennsylvania. The organization, well known for their technical works in the non-profit field, will be using the units as a back-up power solution. Fuel cells have been used in this way before and are becoming increasingly popular for this purpose. President and CEO of SCTE Mark Dzuban says that in using the fuel cells, the group wants to show large businesses that such technologies can be used in their daily operations.
The fuel cells are being supplied by CommScope, a hydrogen fuel cell manufacturer, and each cell will be able to provide more than 19.7 kilowatts of electricity per hour. The system is a hybrid of hydrogen and solar power. The fuel cells are fed electricity from solar arrays attached to the roof of the SCTE headquarters, which is used to generate hydrogen. The solar array allows funnels a portion of the electricity it generates to a series of batteries, which will store up to 20 hours of surplus electricity to be used in emergencies.
The system allows SCTE to continue operations for 5 days without receiving any power from local utilities companies. Dzuban notes that since the system was installed in late July, the SCTE headquarters experienced one power outage due to a lightning storm. The back-up fuel cells kicked in immediately, allowing operations to continue through the rest of the day.