When it comes to larger fuel cell applications such as hospitals, apartment buildings and small communities there are only so many fuel cell companies with products ready for the market. These types of applications generally require upwards of 100kW. At the moment the largest fuel cell we sell at FuelCellsEtc is a 5 kW fuel cell. We can combine several of them together to achieve 10-20 kW but any more than that usually makes sense to use a different system.
So who do you go to for larger, stationary power applications requiring 100kW or more? Probably the top three companies (and their products) for larger fuel cell applications are UTC Power (PureCell), Bloom Energy (ES-5700) and Fuel Cell Energy (DFC3000). I haven’t checked prices as of late but I believe that UTC Power’s PureCell is priced the lowest at several $100,000 for each unit.
The above mentioned fuel cells primarily use methane or natural gas as fuel (compared to Hydrogen gas for the fuel cells we sell). It’s also likely that all of these systems would be capable of acting as a Combined Heat & Power (CHP) plant, where the waste heat is used to heat the facilities and for other thermal loads (hot water, even cooling in some cases).
I know at least Bloom and a few of the others offer an energy lease system, where you enter into an energy purchase agreement to purchase the power from a unit that is installed at your facility, but you don’t buy the actual equipment. This makes the initial capital expenditure essentially zero. There are also significant rebate programs in many countries (and states in the USA) that may also reduce or eliminate upfront costs when combined with manufacturer supplied financing.
I hope this helps! And of course, you’re always welcome to send an email to AskUs@FuelCellsEtc.com if you have any questions. We’re happy to consult or help in any way we can!