General Electric (GE) is to set up a fuel cell pilot development and manufacturing plant in the state of New York, US.
The plant will be run by a new “in-house start-up” the company has created, consisting of a team of 17 engineers.
Head of the independent start-up is GE’s advanced technology leader at GE Global Research, Johanna Wellington. Her Global Research division team developed a technology that enables a fuel cell power generation with 65% efficiency and the ability to reach 95% when the system is configured to capture waste heat produced by the process.
The GE’s start-up will utilise this technology at the new plant. The basic configuration of the system can generate between 1 to 10MW of power, the company claimed.
"We have all of the speed, agility and focus of a small startup while leveraging the strength of a big company," said Wellington. The fuel cell development received financial background from GE’s ecomagination programme and can generate electricity at any location with a supply of natural gas, GE claimed.
"The cost challenges associated with the technology have stumped a lot of people for a long time," said Wellington. "But we made it work, and we made it work economically," she added.