Electricity, heat, cooling and refrigeration for Stop & Shop
The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company has announced a significant step in retail store innovation: a special dedication of a 400 kW fuel cell – a first for the supermarket chain – at its store in East Torrington, Connecticut.
The UTC Power PureCell® System Model 400, was supported with a grant from the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund’s On-Site Renewable Distributed Generation Program and is the first fuel cell utilized by the Stop & Shop Supermarket Company. It is expected to generate over 90% of the store’s electric energy. “In our commitment to be a sustainable company, we continually look for new innovations and technologies that help us build more energy efficient stores,” said Jihad Rizkallah, vice president of store planning for Stop & Shop. “The fuel cell technology is the latest step we’ve taken to ensure we’re doing everything we can to lower our impact on the environment in each community we serve.”
Cutting electricity and gas bills
Since the fuel cell was commissioned last summer it has produced over 1.7 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity, accounting for 95% of the store’s total electric energy requirements. This, coupled with the use of the thermal energy produced by the fuel cell, has reduced the total electric and natural gas utility bills for the store by roughly 50%. By generating most of its power on site, Stop & Shop is able to reduce the burden on the local power grid and its impact on the environment. The fuel cell operates without fossil fuel combustion which in turn makes electricity production virtually pollution-free.
Highlights of the fuel cell operation are:
§ Stop & Shop anticipates it will prevent the release of more than 523 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually – the equivalent of planting more than 120 acres of trees.
§ The annual nitrogen oxide emissions reduction will be equivalent to removing 88 cars from roadways.
§ Designed to operate in water-balance, with no consumption or discharge of water under normal operations, the fuel cell at the Torrington Stop & Shop store will save 3.5 million gallons of water compared to central utility generated electricity.
“Stop & Shop did an outstanding job integrating this fuel cell into its new, energy-efficient supermarket in Torrington and maximizing the energy attributes of the fuel cell,” said Dale Hedman, acting president of the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund. “The store will not only benefit from electricity produced by the fuel cell but will also benefit from the fuel cell’s waste heat, which will be used for heating, cooling and refrigeration.”
Growing demand for fuel cells
This fuel cell joins a growing fleet of UTC Power’s PureCell® System Model 400 units. In 2010, UTC Power installed dozens of its stationary fuel cells at locations in California, Connecticut, New York, Wisconsin and South Korea. Since delivery to its first customer in late 2009, UTC Power’s next-generation stationary fuel cell, the PureCell® Model 400 System fleet has completed 100,000 hours of field operation. In reaching this mark, the growing fleet has generated enough energy to power more than 3,000 homes for over a year. This game-changing product is one of the cleanest, quietest and most energy-efficient power-generating options available in the world today. The PureCell® Model 400 System has an industry-leading 10-year cell stack life – twice the durability of the previous generation. It builds upon technical development with over 9 million operating hours of the previous Model 200. Mike Brown, UTC Power vice president of government affairs said, “By providing clean, efficient and continuous base-load energy for buildings, fuel cells have become a proven and crucial component of the energy independence roadmap.”
Residential buildings generating own power
Becker + Becker, an architecture and development firm, has already purchased and installed two PureCell® Model 400 Systems. One system is in a 500-unit LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) project in New Haven, Conn., making the facility the first large-scale mixed-use residential building to generate a majority of its own power onsite with a fuel cell. Another PureCell System is generating power and thermal energy at the Octagon, a 500-unit LEED upscale residential building on Roosevelt Island, N.Y. Bruce Redman Becker, president of Becker + Becker said, “We are proud to pioneer the fuel cell revolution in multi-family development, powering the first 1,000 homes with UTC Power’s Model 400 System.
The PureCell Model 400 can provide up to 400 kW of assured electrical power, plus 1.7
million Btu/hour of heat for combined heat and power applications. In a combined heat and
power application, the fuel cell can achieve an industry-best 90% total system efficiency,
resulting in lower energy costs and reduced emissions for customers.
Power and heat around the clock
In late 2010 St Helena Hospital in California acquired a PureCell Model 400 to provide power and thermal energy around the clock. Since the early 1990s, UTC Power has designed, manufactured and installed more than 300 stationary fuel cell power plants in 19 countries on six continents. The fuel cells are located at diverse locations, including educational institutions, hospitals, manufacturing and wastewater treatment facilities, office buildings and supermarkets. To keep up with the growing demand for the PureCell System, UTC Power recently completed a major upgrade to its world-class production facility in South Windsor, Conn., which now features fuel cell fabrication robotics, rail and turntable assembly and state-of-the-art testing stations. www.utcpower.com