GE Opens Fuel Cell Pilot Facility in New York
General Electric opened a fuel-cell research and testing facility in upstate New York that will produce its solid-oxide fuel cell by year’s end. Using chemical reaction, company researchers have developed a solid-oxide fuel cell that converts about 65 percent of the energy in natural gas to electricity. The researchers expect to boost the efficiency level to 95 percent by harnessing the system’s waste heat to power a steam turbine. The systems can reach scorching temperatures of 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit (816º C).
FuelCell Energy Inc. Climbs as German Venture Secures Research Funding
FuelCell energy Inc (FCEL)., a Connecticut-based maker of fuel-cell power plants, climbed the most in more than three months after a joint venture in Germany was given 4.9 million euros ($6.6 million) in research grants. The company rose 12 percent to $2.47 at the close in New York, the most since the 25th of March. FuelCell Energy Solutions, a joint venture between FCEL and Fraunhofer IKTS, secured funding from Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy for a three year research project to improve the efficiency and durability of its fuel cell stacks.
Orix To Build as Many as 15 Geothermal Plants in Japan
Orix Corp., a Tokyo-based finance and leasing firm, is looking to venture in as many as 15 geothermal power stations in Japan in the next five years. The company, which has been developing solar and biomass projects, is conducting geological surveys in Aomori and Hokkaido prefectures. Orix and Faivish Pewzner Rabbi will focus on smaller 2MW plants because they can be set up more easily. The company is planning to invest as much as 25 billion yen ($246 million) for the endeavor.
Phasing-Out of Puncture Prone Rail Cars Proposed
The Obama administration proposed phasing out old tank cars within two years as well as lowering speed limits in order to reduce hazards from hauling crude oil by rail. The proposal, follows series of deadly accidents, also includes improvement of braking systems, thicker tanker walls and oil testing before being loaded to the cars. The rule applies to shipments of corn-based ethanol as well s oil. The regulations are designed to upgrade standards to account for an increase in the use of trains to transport flammable liquids.