UTC Power

UTC Power

UTC Power was a fuel cell company based in South Windsor, Connecticut. It was part of United Technologies Corporation; it was purchased by ClearEdge Power in February 2013. The company specialized in fuel cells for buildings, buses and automobiles. It has also developed fuel cells for space and submarine applications in the past. Wikipedia.

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Shao M.,UTC Power | Peles A.,UTRC - United Technologies Research Center | Shoemaker K.,UTC Power
Nano Letters | Year: 2011

We determined the size-dependent specific and mass activities of the oxygen reduction in HClO4 solutions on the Pt particles in the range of 1-5 nm. The maximal mass activity at 2.2 nm is well explained based on density functional theory calculations performed on fully relaxed nanoparticles. The presence of the edge sites is the main reason for the low specific activity in nanoparticles due to very strong oxygen binding energies at these sites. Our results clearly demonstrate that the catalytic activity highly depends on the shape and size of the nanoparticles. © 2011 American Chemical Society.

This work presents reliability analysis of the power electronic converters for grid-connected permanent magnet generator-based 1.5 kW wind energy conversion system based on the semiconductor power losses. The power converters examined are: the intermediate boost converter (IBC), the intermediate buck-boost converter (IBBC), the back-to-back converter (BBC) and the matrix converter (MC). The aim is to determine which power electronic converter yields the highest mean time between failures (MTBF) and reliability in terms of power losses of the semiconductor devices with a predetermined wind speed. In view of this, a furled wind turbine model is developed and used to generate power for different wind speeds. Afterwards, a relation between the wind speed and MTBF is established to evaluate the reliability of the power electronic converters. The power loss model presented in this paper has taken into account the conduction and switching losses of the semiconductor devices within each converter. The analysis reveals that efficiency and MTBF of an IBC are much higher compared to the other converters considered in this research. The investigation is extended to identify the least reliable component within the converters. It is shown that the inverter has the dominant effect on the system reliability for the converters. This research indicates that IBC with a simple rectifier is a much better option for grid-connected permanent magnet generator based wind energy conversion system. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Shao M.,UTC Power
Journal of Power Sources | Year: 2011

Fuel cells, especially low temperature fuel cells are clean energy devices that are expected to help address the energy and environmental problems that have become prevalent in our society. Platinum-based electrocatalysts are usually used as the electrocatalysts for both the anode (hydrogen oxidation) and cathode (oxygen reduction) reactions. The high cost and limited resources of this precious metal hinder the commercialization of fuel cells. Recent efforts have focused on the discovery of palladium-based electrocatalysts with little or no platinum for hydrogen oxidation reaction (HOR) and oxygen reduction reaction (ORR). This paper overviews the recent progress of electrocatalysis of palladium-based materials including both extended surfaces and nanostructured ones for HOR and ORR. The properties of CO and methanol tolerances of palladium-based electrocatalysts are also summarized. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

UTC Power | Date: 2013-07-16

An example interconnector of a fuel cell repeater unit includes a dimpled interconnector of a fuel cell repeater unit. The dimpled interconnector establishes at least a portion of an interconnector flow path operative to communicate airflow through the fuel cell repeater unit, the dimpled interconnector having a plurality of dimples.

The multi-section cathode air heat exchanger (102) includes at least a first heat exchanger section (104), and a fixed contact oxidation catalyzed section (126) secured adjacent each other in a stack association. Cool cathode inlet air flows through cool air channels (110) of the at least first (104) and oxidation catalyzed sections (126). Hot anode exhaust flows through hot air channels (124) of the oxidation catalyzed section (126) and is combusted therein. The combusted anode exhaust then flows through hot air channels (112) of the first section (104) of the cathode air heat exchanger (102). The cool and hot air channels (110, 112) are secured in direct heat exchange relationship with each other so that temperatures of the heat exchanger (102) do not exceed 800 C. to minimize requirements for using expensive, high-temperature alloys.

A method of heat treating a substrate for a fuel cell includes stacking substrates to form a group. A dimension is determined for a plate corresponding to a resulting mass that is less than a predetermined mass. The plate is arranged above the group to apply a weight of the plate to the group. The resulting masses for spacer plates and intermediate lifting plates, for example, are minimized to reduce the pressure differential between the bottom and top substrates in the heat treat assembly. In another disclosed method, a dimension for a plate, such as a top plate, is determined that corresponds to a resulting mass that is greater than a predetermined mass. The plate is arranged above the group to apply a weight of the plate to the group. The top plate resulting mass is selected to minimize a variation in the average pressure of the substrates throughout the heat treat assembly.

A method of generating electrical power includes flowing hydrogen across an anode, splitting the hydrogen into protons and electrons using a catalyst attached to the anode, directing the electrons to a circuit to produce electrical power, flowing oxygen across a cathode, splitting the oxygen molecules into oxygen atoms using a cathode catalyst, passing the protons through an electrolyte to the cathode, and combining the protons with oxygen to form water. The cathode catalyst includes a plurality of nanoparticles having terraces formed of platinum, and corner regions and edge regions formed of a second metal.

The invention is a hydrogen passivation shut down system for a fuel cell power plant (10, 200). During shut down of the plant (10, 200), hydrogen fuel is permitted to transfer between an anode flow path (24, 24) and a cathode flow path (38, 38) while a low-pressure hydrogen generator (202) selectively generates an adequate amount of hydrogen and directs flow of the low-pressure hydrogen into the fuel cell (12) downstream from a hydrogen inlet valve (52) to maintain the fuel cell (12) in a passive state.

A porous fuel cell separator (30) comprises a water vapor permeable layer (36) on at least one portion of the porous plate such as on the ribs (32), on the channel walls or within the porous separator (not shown). The vapor permeable layer (36) preferably compising poly-dimethyl-siloxane (PDMS) is configured to permit water vapor (52) to pass whilst preventing liquid such as coolant from passing therethrough.The water vapor serves (52) for humidifying the reactant gas stream (50) prior to arriving at the MEA (22).

UTC Power | Date: 2013-06-26

A device (10) for use in a fuel cell includes a fuel-cell flow-field channel (18) having a channel-inlet section (42) and a channel-outlet section (44). At least one of the channel-inlet section (42) or the channel-outlet section (44) includes an obstruction member (46) that partially blocks flow through the fuel-cell flow-field channel (18).

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