People of Northwest Public Radio
Tue June 12, 2012
Fuel Cells Could Power Your Neighborhood
Researchers have developed a fuel cell that could one day power your neighborhood. From EarthFix, Courtney Flatt explains, this new system is much more efficient than power plants.
Researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wash., wanted to find a power source that could provide energy closer to homes. So they began experimenting with solid oxide fuel cells.
Vincent Sprenkle is the chief engineer. He says power doesn’t have to travel across transmission lines with the new fuel cell. That’s one reason less energy goes to waste.
Sprenkle: “As soon as you come down and you’re doing something smaller-scale, there are very few technologies out there, if any besides fuel cells, that can do that with a high efficiency.”
Sprenkle says fuel cells could power homes without plugging in to the grid. Homes in Japan and Germany are already using the technology.
Copyright 2012 Northwest News Network