GE opens new hydrogen fuel cell manufacturing facilitySeptember 1, 2014
New manufacturing facility is opened in New York, focused on fuel cells
General Electric has opened a new fuel cell manufacturing facility in Malta, New York. The facilities purpose is to produce innovative fuel cells using GE’s technology. The company has been investing quite heavily in fuel cell technology in recent years, making breakthroughs in the manufacture of these energy systems and helping improve their capabilities while also lowering their cost. In the coming years, the new manufacturing facility may prove to be a boon to the fuel cell industry as a whole.
Solid oxide fuel cells to be produced at new GE facility
The new facility is part of a pilot project from GE concerning solid oxide fuel cells. These are stationary fuel cells that have been used as industrial energy systems for several years now. Recently, these fuel cells began to attract attention as potential residential energy suppliers. GE has plans to use solid oxide fuel cells to provide its customers with efficient and relatively inexpensive electrical power. The company notes that those living in rural areas, where energy is not always reliable, could benefit the most from these fuel cells and their ability to produce electricity.
GE may expand facility if the demand for fuel cells grows
The facility currently has a staff of 22 people. GE notes that if fuel cell technology finally catches on and the demand for these energy systems grows the facility will likely be expanded to accommodate consumer needs. Hydrogen fuel has gained strong support in the past few years, but there are still concerns as to whether or not fuel cell technology has reached a point where it can be considered viable, especially when it is compared to solar and wind energy.
New manufacturing processes being used at GE facility
GE’s new facility is leveraging new manufacturing processes in order to make its fuel cells less expensive. Better manufacturing will make fuel cells more accessible, from a financial standpoint, and the company plans to pair these energy systems with its traditional gas engines. This combination could lead to greater advances in energy efficiency.