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BENEFITS OF SOLID OXIDE FUEL CELLS

Reliable Power In Harsh Environments

Propane-powered systems that excel in extreme temperatures, need no routine maintenance and burn clean with low-carbon emissions. Find out how Adaptive Energy’s Solid Oxide Fuel Cell power solutions can transform your uptimes.

The Power of Propane

When people think of fuel cells, hydrogen is often top of mind. However, hydrogen presents a host of limitations:

    • high cost
    • lack of portability
    • patchwork delivery infrastructure
    • poor performance in extreme weather conditions

Our Solid Oxide Fuel Cell systems run on propane. It’s cheap, reliable and readily available, even at offgrid or remote locations anywhere in the world.

Plus propane does not degrade over time. While diesel can hydrolyze, oxidize or grow microorganisms within six months of storage, propane can be stable for 10 to 30 years. That’s why our systems can sit idle for years and then cycle on when needed.

Especially in remote areas where fuel must be airlifted, the reliability of propane is crucial.

Excel Even in Extremes

Other technologies are vulnerable to failure in freezing environments:

    • Thermoelectric generators (TEG) produce liquid water during the reaction
    • Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEM) or direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC) must be kept moist

Our SOFC are engineered to store, start and operate in temperatures from -40°C to 50°C. They produce no liquid water and are constructed of heat-resistant ceramic tubes that will not freeze.

Plus, our systems run on propane, and unlike diesel it will not freeze until -44°C.

This means you’ll never have downtimes caused by cold weather.

Low Carbon, High Efficiency

Propane is not only a highly dependable fuel source. It is also cleaner than other options like diesel and bypasses the carbon inefficiencies of converting hydrogen into power.

Our systems operate at 20% fuel efficiency, which is significantly higher than other technologies. For example, thermoelectric generators (TEG) operate at 5-8% fuel efficiency and gas/diesel generators are even lower. 

When decarbonization is crucial to your business, our highly efficient SOFCs are the only option.

No Routine Maintenance

Our SOFC systems have no major moving parts. Aside from refueling at scheduled intervals, the only maintenance they require is a new fuel filter after several thousand hours of use.

Your maintainers won’t have to visit a site in a crisis to repair or replace a faulty system, which is an important consideration in the lifetime cost of ownership.

Built-in Redundancy

Unlike all other types of fuel cells, our proprietary microtubular design is highly reliable because it offers built-in redundancy.

Power controls on the stack allow individual fuel cells to fail, so the system will never go down even if a single tube falters.

Providing peace of mind that your load will be powered no matter what.

Scaleable to Operate as a Fleet

If you have been maintaining a fleet of generators, you know how the frequent site visits, short lifespan, high fuel needs and risk of theft increase the overall cost associated with this common source of backup power. They’re cheap to deploy but fleet maintenance is highly manual:

    • Refueling every 8-10 hours
    • Changing oil every 100 hours
    • Replacing the unit after only a few heavy uses

Our SOFC are a cleaner, quieter, lighter, more theft-proof backup option than generators. Plus, thanks to the fuel efficiency of propane, sites need fewer refueling visits overall — one 20-pound tank can keep a Performer product running 80 hours, giving you plenty of time to schedule a refueling visit before the system runs out of propane.

So you can easily maintain a fleet of systems along thousands of miles of railroad or at multiple cellular tower sites.

Competitive Overview

See how Adaptive Energy’s low-watt SOFC compare to other backup power options.

Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell
Excels in Extreme Cold
No
Excels in Extreme Hot
No
Routine Maintenance Required
No
Built-in Redundancy
No
Runs on Readily Available Fuel
No
Efficient Low-Carbon Output
Yes
Lightweight & Portable
Yes
Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC)
Excels in Extreme Cold
No
Excels in Extreme Hot
No
Routine Maintenance Required
No
Built-in Redundancy
No
Runs on Readily Available Fuel
Yes
Efficient Low-Carbon Output
Yes
Lightweight & Portable
Yes
Thermoelectric Generator (TEG)
Excels in Extreme Cold
No
Excels in Extreme Hot
N/A
Routine Maintenance Required
No
Built-in Redundancy
No
Runs on Readily Available Fuel
Yes
Efficient Low-Carbon Output
No
Lightweight & Portable
No
Adaptive Energy Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC)
Excels in Extreme Cold
Yes
Excels in Extreme Hot
Yes
Routine Maintenance Required
No
Built-in Redundancy
Yes
Runs on Readily Available Fuel
Yes
Efficient Low-Carbon Output
Yes
Lightweight & Portable
Yes

How Our Stack Stacks Up

Adaptive Energy’s propane-powered SOFC are low-maintenance, fuel-efficient and excel in extreme cold.

Plus, because they start at less than 20 pounds, the systems are incredibly easy to transport and install.

Each system comes with a fuel filter that lasts for the lifetime of the stack — 250 cycles or 3,000 hours for Performer Series products.

Need continuous power? Our Endurance line has a filter that can handle 10,000 hours or 10 cycles before a restack.

The Adaptive Energy Difference

We pride ourselves on providing not just the most reliable technology, but also the best customer experience.

Our products are trusted by the military and organizations where dependable power is vital to safety and daily operations.

And the Adaptive Energy brand has the history and track record to back up our claims — with 20+ years of R&D to mature our technology and currently moving into the fourth generation of our Performer stack. 

Fuel Cell FAQs

Learn more about our technology and find out if it's right for your energy system.

What makes your products reliable?

Unlike all other types of fuel cells, our proprietary microtubular design offers built-in redundancy. Power controls on the stack allow individual fuel cells to fail, so the system will never go down even if a single tube falters. Our products offer peace of mind that your load will be powered no matter what.

Do your systems operate in extreme cold?

Yes!

Other technologies are vulnerable to failure in freezing environments: Thermoelectric generators (TEG) produce liquid water during the reaction, and proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEM) or direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC) must be kept moist. However, our Solid Oxide Fuel Cells are engineered to store, start and operate in temperatures from -40°C to 50°C. They produce no liquid water and are constructed of heat-resistant ceramic tubes that will not freeze. This means you’ll never have downtimes caused by cold weather.

What’s your fuel efficiency?

Our systems operate at 20% fuel efficiency, which is significantly greater than other technologies like thermoelectric generators (TEGs) or gas/diesel generators. Plus, our systems run on propane, which is cleaner than diesel and bypasses the carbon inefficiencies of converting hydrogen into power. When decarbonization is crucial to your business, our SOFCs are the only option.

Can a 250W system operate at a lower output?

Yes. And operating at a lower output would extend the system's run hours but not its cycles. The degradation during cycles is accumulated during the warming and cooling period, not how many times it cycles on and off.

Do your products integrate with hybrid power systems?

Yes. Our products integrate seamlessly with A/C grid, generator, battery, DC-DC, wind or solar technologies — even serving as the rectifier if necessary — or can be included in new installations. To minimize lifecycle cost, we provide targeted engineering support for each application. 

How long can a 250W system run on a 20-lb propane tank?

One 20-pound BBQ-sized tank of propane from your local gas station can keep one of our Solid Oxide Fuel Cell systems running for 80 hours. This gives you plenty of time to schedule a site visit to switch out the propane tanks before the system runs out of fuel.

WE CAN HELP

What Is Your Uptime Challenge?

Our custom performance model simulates how our products can improve your uptimes and reduce your total energy cost. Contact us today with details on your configuration (load, battery bank size, auxiliary power inputs, geography) to see how we can help.