Hello,

We noticed you're browsing in private or incognito mode.

To continue reading this article, please exit incognito mode or log in.

Not an Insider? Subscribe now for unlimited access to online articles.

Sustainable Energy

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.

More from Sustainable Energy

Can we sustainably provide food, water, and energy to a growing population during a climate crisis?

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Online Only.
  • Insider Online Only {! insider.prices.online !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Unlimited online access including articles and video, plus The Download with the top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox.

    See details+

    Unlimited online access including all articles, multimedia, and more

    The Download newsletter with top tech stories delivered daily to your inbox

/3
You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for unlimited online access. This is your last free article this month. for unlimited online access. You've read all your free articles this month. for unlimited online access. You've read of three free articles this month. for more, or for unlimited online access. for two more free articles, or for unlimited online access.