LADWP has three Hot Modules in the pipeline

23 March 2001

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), pioneer of green energy technologies, now has three 250 kW fuel cell projects underway. All three will be gas-fuelled Hot Module plants supplied by MTU Friederichshafen, a company of DaimlerChrysler AG. The Hot Module uses cell stacks from FuelCell Energy of Danbury, Connecticut, United States. FuelCell Energy, which has a co-operation agreement with MTU, finishes off the Hot Module with gas-related and electrical equipment.

The first, costing $2.4 million, is to be installed at LADWP’s Los Angeles headquarters in the second quarter of 2001. The second is to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2001 and the third in the first quarter of 2002.

The Hot Modules are being installed as part of LADWP’s efforts to develop distributed energy systems and to demonstrate their benefits. LADWP says it wants to improve its quality of service by locating small and clean electric generators near customers’ facilities. Since the Hot Module produces no appreciable discharge of nitrogen oxides or sulphur emissions, it can be erected in the centre of Los Angeles.

The Hot Module plant employs “direct fuel cell technology”. Rather than using an external reformer, hydrogen is produced within the Hot Module itself, simplifying the design.

The first Hot Module field trial plant was installed in November 1999. It is operated by the Bielefeld municipal utility and supplies the University of Bielefeld with heat and electricity. Other Hot Modules are under construction at Rhön Klinikum in Bad Neustadt/Saale and at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa, USA.

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