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October 08, 2014

FuelCell Energy, a leading developer of hydrogen fuel cells, has announced that it has received a $3.2 million contract from the U.S. Department of Energy. The contract involves advanced material development with a focus on improving the power density and performance of FuelCell Energy’s next generation of Direct FuelCell products. The company will be working with the University of Connecticut and the Illinois Institute of Technology in order to accomplish its research and development goals.

Fuel cells continue to receive more support as they become more popular

Fuel cells have become quite popular in the renewable energy space. These energy systems are often praised for their ability to produce electrical power without also producing harmful emissions. They use hydrogen as a fuel source, which is one of the most abundant elements in the known universe. The problem, however, is that modern hydrogen production methods and fuel cells themselves are somewhat inefficient and expensive. Finding ways to improve the electrical production of fuel cells while also addressing the cost issue has become a priority for the Department of Energy.

DOE wants to see more grid resiliency throughout the US

According to FuelCell Energy the Department of Energy wants to support the development of better distributed energy systems in order to meet the nation’s growing demand for grid resiliency. Fuel cells are somewhat famous for the durable nature and ability to continue producing electrical power even when they are cut off from their primary fuel supply. Hydrogen fuel cells could significantly improve the country’s energy grid, if their power density can be increased and their costs can be reduced.

DOE is showing stronger support for fuel cells

The Department of Energy is currently funding the development of a wide range of renewable energy projects. In the past, the federal agency has shown little support for fuel cells because of their high cost and relatively inefficient nature. Now, however, the agency is promoting the adoption of fuel cells, especially in the transportation space, where automakers are using these energy systems in their next generation of clean vehicles.

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