UTC Power

UTC power is located in South Windsor, Connecticut and is a wholly owned subsidiary of United Technologies Corporation. UTC Power has one of the longest histories in the fuel cell business, having a started over 50 years ago. As a result of its long history, UTC holds 746 U.S. patents and 1,805 foreign patents.

UTC Power began as a division of Pratt & Whitney in 1958, supplying fuel cells to NASA for the Apollo space project. UTC Power fuel cells have supplied electricity and drinking water to astronauts on every manned space mission in the United States.

UTC Power currently competes in all five segments of the fuel cell market, though it specializes in fuel cells for buildings, buses, and automobiles. In 1991, the company produced one of the first commercialized fuel cells capable of generating 200 kW. In 2000, the company partnered with Hyundai to produce automobile fuel cells and in 2007 partnered with Connecticut Transit to provide fuel cell buses for its fleet.

Stationary

UTC produces phosphoric acid fuel cells under the names PureCell Model 200 and 400. The model 400 system is capable of providing 400 kW of electricity and 1.7 million BTUs per hour of heat. The system is generally used for combined heat and power applications in commercial, industrial, hospital, and hotel settings. The company claims that cogeneration with its PureCell systems reaches efficiencies of over 85%. PureCell Models run on natural gas and are guaranteed for 20 years.

Automobiles

UTC has developed PEMFCs for BMW, Nissan, Hyundai, and for the U.S. Department of Energy’s demonstration programs. While the BMW fuel cell is strictly used to run the vehicle’s electronic components, the fuel cells for Hyundai and Nissan are both powerplant replacements.

In Japan, the Nissan X-Trails SUV has been a part of the Yokohama City Government fleet, the Cosmo Oil Company fleet, and the Kanagawa Prefecture fleet. These vehicles refuel at Hydrogen filling stations built as part of the Japanese Hydrogen Fuel Project.

Buses

The PureMotion Model 120 is a zero emission PEMFC for transit buses. It is used in both Connecticut and California. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory in the United States has show that the PureMotion buses in California provide an almost 70% increase in efficiency compared to diesel buses. In other words, PureMotion buses average 7 miles per diesel-equivalent compared to the 4 miles of standard buses.

The UTC foray into buses began in 1998 when they integrated a 100 kW phosphoric acid fuel cell into a standard bus. The bus was capable of running on methanol and natural gas. Now, studies show that UTC hydrogen buses are 150% more efficient than compressed natural gas busses and 200% more efficient than standard diesel buses.

Space, Marine, Military

Drawing on its long history of providing fuel cells to NASA and the U.S government, UTC Power has also undertaken research in fuel cells for undersea and onboard marine applications. In the 1980’s, they produced a 30 kW fuel cell power system for the U.S. Navy that was used in the Lockheed Deep Quest vehicle. Deep Quest was used for salvage, seafloor survey, ocean bottom, mapping and other special assignments. It is a small, 5 man scientific/observer vessel capable of depths of 8,000 feet.

In the 1990s, UTC developed a 10 kW PEMFC for use by the Navy on an unmanned undersea vehicle. Hydrogen is provided from pressurized tanks the fuel cell itself is packaged in a pressure-tight containment vessel. It is also used as a heat exchanger.

In 2006, UTC began to design a 300 kW PEMFC for use in submarines. They operate on reformed ethanol and pure oxygen, making them reformed ethanol fuel cells.