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3 Real World Applications of Propane Fuel Cells

power grids get backup support from propane fuel cells

Propane fuel cells are ideal for organizations that need more rugged and flexible power options, especially for off-grid use cases. This is because propane fuel cells operate even in the harshest of conditions with little maintenance. And thanks to being a quiet, clean and dependable power solution, propane-powered solid oxide fuel cells work in a wide variety of applications. We recently shared how propane fuel cells work, so today we wanted to dive into how propane fuel cells are being used by customers around the world.  

Use Case #1: Rail Signals and Crossings

Billions of dollars’ worth of freight runs along American railways every day. When railways experience power outages, trains can’t run. This can cost carriers millions of dollars for every hour trains sit idle. Not to mention public safety concerns when crossings go dark. Propane fuel cells are used by railways as backup power to prevent these outages. They often replace generators, which are high-maintence, loud, and prone to theft.

Use Case #2: Cathodic Protection

Millions of miles of pipeline around the world distribute critical liquids and gases that people and businesses rely on to conduct essential daily functions. One key threat is corrosion, which can erode the integrity of pipeline and storage tanks. Cathodic portection prevents this via a small electrical current. However, they often require specialized skills and routine monitoring to maintain power. Our Endurance Series E250 product is a propane fuel cell that ensures these systems stay on and remain effective.

Use Case #3: Critical Power Grid Infrastructure

Power insecurity puts millions of people at risk of harm during once-in-a-century weather disasters that grid infrastructure hasn’t been tested against. Unexpected cold in a region like Texas that’s unaccustomed to extreme winter weather can cause wellheads to freeze, stopping the flow of oil that keeps the power grid up. Blackouts can knock power plants offline, crippling water treatment facilities, cellular networks and other critical infrastructure. Adaptive Energy’s fuel cells cycle on and off as needed and are not susceptible to freezing weather, providing a key level of protection needed for emergencies.

See a full list of potential use cases here. And if you have more questions about propane fuel cells and how they stack up against other power options, we’re just an email away.

Jennifer Kay

Jen is responsible for customer growth, brand development and new business incubation. She spent a decade in demand generation roles in the media industry in New York City at brands including Good Housekeeping and truTV, along with two years in Berlin, Germany as a growth executive for a venture-backed startup. In addition to growth consulting for clients in the energy space, Jen has worked on several new business launches and is passionate about helping to transform Adaptive Energy’s unique product suite into the world’s most sought-after solutions for backup and portable power.


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