Skip to Content

Fuel Cell House

A Latham, N.Y., company wants to put a power plant in your backyard. Plug Power is testing a residential fuel cell system in a proof-of-concept home. The house taps into the natural gas distribution network, processing the gas into a hydrogen-rich stream that combines with oxygen in the air to drive the fuel cell’s chemical reaction. The system generates electricity for 7 to 10 cents per kilowatt-hour (on par with utility prices) and emits only carbon dioxide, water and heat (which can be recycled to warm the home’s air and water). The refrigerator-size unit converts 40 percent of the gas’s energy into electricity, providing all the power for the 3-bedroom test home. Merrill Lynch analyst Sam Brothwell has been watching Plug Power and sees “tremendous potential.” He predicts early adopters will get their hands on these systems in 2001 or 2002.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

This startup wants to copy you into an embryo for organ harvesting

With plans to create realistic synthetic embryos, grown in jars, Renewal Bio is on a journey to the horizon of science and ethics.

VR is as good as psychedelics at helping people reach transcendence

On key metrics, a VR experience elicited a response indistinguishable from subjects who took medium doses of LSD or magic mushrooms.

This nanoparticle could be the key to a universal covid vaccine

Ending the covid pandemic might well require a vaccine that protects against any new strains. Researchers may have found a strategy that will work.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.