UTC calls the fuel cells “one of the cleanest energy-generation sources available in the world today”.
They will provide 100 percent of the electricity and 50 percent of the heat required to operate the East Hartford facility and will enable Coca-Cola to reduce its energy use by 30 percent at the plant, UTC says.
The PureCell System Model 400 fuel cells at the Coca-Cola bottling plant convert natural gas to electricity and heat through a combustion-free, electrochemical process.
The 400 kW stationary fuel cells have a 20-year product life, overall system efficiency of up to 90 percent, and they do not consume or discharge water in normal operations, according to UTC. This should save millions of gallons of water compared to central generation and other fuel cell technologies, UTC says.
“These UTC fuel cells have the potential to become a real game-changer in the way businesses power and heat their facilities,” said congressman John Larson, D-CT, while speaking at an event unveiling the cells. “This is a great investment by Coca-Cola. They’re now poised to see real energy savings while doing their part to reduce the burden on our power grid and help fight global warming.”
In July 2009, the two companies announced they had joined forces to power a Coca-Cola production facility in Elmsford, N.Y., with PureCell 400s. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority provided $2 million for the project.
Earlier this month, a PureCell 400 became the first 400kW cell used to power a residential property in New York. UTC estimates that the fuel cell will reduce carbon emissions at the site by 790 metric tons annually.
Other organizations that use UTC fuel cells include Cox Communications in San Diego, Calif., and Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif., St. Helena Hospital in St. Helena, Calif., and Whole Foods Market stores in San Jose, Calif., Glastonbury, Conn., Fairfield, Conn., and Dedham, Mass.