The Connecticut Science Center in Hartford moved toward power self-sufficiency Thursday when it received a fuel cell to generate electricity.
Constructed in South Windsor, Conn., by United Technologies Corporation’s UTC Power group, the device will produce 200 kilowatts of electricity when it’s installation is complete; enough to meet two-thirds of the center’s daytime power needs. Overnight, when the center’s power demand drops, the fuel cell will feed energy into the power grid.
The cell will be fueled with natural gas, but will not use combustion. Instead, the gas undergoes an electrochemical process that produces direct current electricity, heat and water.
At noon Thursday a crane was used to lift the nearly 40,000 pound fuel cell off a flatbed trailer and place it on a concrete pad outside the center. The center’s publicist, Edward Main, said it could take up to two months to complete the unit’s installation.
An overview page provided by UTC Power said it has installed more than 260 stationary fuel cells in 19 countries on five continents. A fact sheet from the center said employing the fuel cell will avoid the annual release of more than 270 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
The center’s 154,000-square-foot building at 250 Columbus Blvd. opened in June. It’s adjacent to the Connecticut Convention Center and the Hartford Marriott Hotel.
The center’s web site says it was built “GREEN from the ground up,” and is projected to receive a LEED-certified rating from the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and LEED awards are given to projects that show a high level of commitment to sustainability through design and operation.
Further information about the center can be found at its web site: ctsciencecenter.org.