Hydrogen fuel cells come to the Blue Lake Rancheria TribeMarch 6, 2013
Ballard Power provides hydrogen fuel cell system to Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe
Ballard Power Systems, a leading developer of hydrogen fuel cells, has announced the sale of a ClearGen PEM fuel cell system to the Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe in Humboldt County, California. The hydrogen fuel cell system will be integrated with an existing biomass gasifier to form a biomass-to-fuel cell power solution. Ballard suggests that this hydrogen fuel cell system will be the first of its kind in the world, and has the potential to double the efficiency of biomass-to- power production methods.
Fuel cells to be powered by biomass system
The Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe has shown a strong commitment to renewable energy and has taken a keen interest in hydrogen fuel. The hydrogen fuel cell system from Ballard Power will assist the tribe in achieving its renewable energy goals. The tribe’s biomass gasifier system will convert domestic timber feedstock into hydrogen gas. This gas will then be purified and used with Ballard’s fuel cell system. The hydrogen fuel cell system will be able to produce enough energy to power the tribe’s commercial enterprises.
Fuel cells fit well with Tribe’s renewable energy goals
Hydrogen fuel cells have become a very popular option for those interested in renewable energy. Ballard notes that fuel cells are capable of producing large amounts of electrical power without also generating any harmful emissions. Producing hydrogen gas through renewable sources, such as biomass, is considered one of the best ways to get the most efficiency and environmental friendliness out of fuel cell energy systems.
Fuel cells gaining popularity outside of the auto industry
The endeavor between Ballard Power and the Blue Lake Rancheria Tribe is partially funded through the California Energy Commission’s Community Scale Renewable Energy Development, Deployment, and Integration Program. The program provides support for projects that allow communities to make use of renewable energy, such as hydrogen fuel. Though hydrogen fuel cells are most popular in the auto industry, they are gaining more attention for their uses as commercial and residential energy systems.