New York ditches solar panels in favor of hydrogen fuel cells

New York ditches solar panels in favor of hydrogen fuel cells

June 22, 2011 0 By Angie Bergenson

New York has won acclaim amongst advocates of the environment for its progress toward alternative power sources.

New York City is one of the places where sustainable technology is being put to the test. Buses serving in the city’s public transit system have been using hydrogen as a fuel for a few years now and several government buildings have installed solar panels to offset their carbon footprint.

City Hall had plans to make use of solar power as well, but those plans have been scrapped. Now, city officials are making plans to install hydrogen fuel cells within City Hall.

The move comes as promising technological advances come to the hydrogen energy sector. Officials have been weary of adopting hydrogen fuel cells in the past because of their expense and supposed inefficiency. The fuel cells of today, however, are proving that those bygone fears were largely unfounded. Hydrogen fuel cells have been shown to be one of the most reliable and efficient forms of energy currently available.

New York City Hall will be using a single, large hydrogen fuel cell. The unit will be supplied with natural gas, which it will use to power chemical reactions and produce hydrogen. Hydrogen molecules are then separated from water using a gentle electric current. The separation creates electricity, which City Hall will use to power its various operations.

Initial estimates suggest that the fuel cell will save nearly $45,000 in energy expenses annually.

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