Frequently Asked Questions

What is the challenge and redeployment project?

This year's challenge is looking to deploy fuel cell backup power systems within organizations in the Midlands of South Carolina.  As part of the challenge, the Fuel Cell Collaborative will install a fuel cell system at an organization’s facility that will be integrated into their critical electrical loads.  Fuel cell backup power systems have been used commercially for a wide variety of applications, but these units work best in the 1-4 kW power range to provide reliable power in the event of unplanned outages lasting 8 hours or longer.


Why should I participate?

Fuel Cell Challenge 2015 provides a unique opportunity to access a clean, green source of backup power at a heavily reduced cost to your organization. For a small investment, you can partner with the Fuel Cell Collaborative to leverage the reliability of this of this proven commercial technology.


What are the best uses for the fuel cell units?

  • Backing up data centers

  • Backing up telecommunications systems

  • Backing up any type of small to medium-sized critical electrical loads

    • EX: emergency lighting, medical devices, electronic equipment

  • Backing up any critical electrical loads currently being backed up with a battery-pack

    • EX: Industry-BlueCross BlueShield data center

  • Backup power support for First Responders

    • EX: emergency communications centers


What are the fuel cell units not well suited for?

  • Backing up motors, fans or other inductive loads

  • Backing up electrical demands greater than 5 kW or less than 1 kW


What is the average period of time these units are capable of providing back-up power?

  • 8 hours of backup power capabilities with a maximum of 4 kW; longer periods for lower electrical loading

    • Equivalent to 2, 50 inch TV’s for roughly 8 hours

    • Six fully-charged hydrogen bottles = roughly 8 hours of power at maximum capacity


What is required of facility/location where fuel cell unit will be installed?

  • Commitment by organization for full length of the project, 24 months

  • Area outside that is suitable for hydrogen storage with paved delivery access

  • Commitment of $2000 per unit to help cover the initial outfitting costs for the fuel cell system (does not include fuel costs), paid-in-full up front

  • Recurring cost of fuel (hydrogen canisters)- approximately $100/month

  • Best if the location for connecting the fuel cell to the electrical equipment is close to exterior of building and close to fuel cell unit location


Learn more about hydrogen and fuel cell technology