Plug Power Inc.’s first demonstration using a gas-fired fuelcell to power a home was declared a success by the company. Thehome in Latham, NY, was converted to gas from pure hydrogen inAugust without a glitch. The house is equipped with Plug Power’sfuel cell stack, a power conditioner and gas fuel processor.”Powering a house with electricity from a natural gas fuel cellsystem is an important first for Plug Power and for the fuel cellindustry,” said Gary Mittleman, Plug Power’s CEO. Plug Power plansto make its fuel cell systems available beginning in 2001 through ajoint venture with GE MicroGen, a subsidiary of GE Power Systems.The typical 7-10 kW units are expected to cost $3,000-$5,000 by2003. They will have a 17-year life span. The Plug Power systemreceives fuel from a home’s existing gas line or propane tank,converts the fuel into a hydrogen-rich stream and then combines itwith oxygen from the air in a chemical reaction that produceselectric power.
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