Magnetek Inc., Los Angeles, has announced that it will provide power conditioners for the world's largest fuel cell installation. The 1.4-MW plant, which will provide primary power for a Verizon call-routing center on Long Island, New York, is comprised of seven PC25 fuel cells built by UTC Fuel Cells, a unit of United Technologies Corp.

Magnetek's digital power conditioners are fuel cell subsystems that Magnetek designs and builds for UTC. They convert the direct current produced by the fuel cells' electrochemical reaction into precisely controlled alternating current, which is required to run the critical Verizon call-routing center. The fuel cells, each of which produces 200 kW of electricity and 900,000 BTUs of usable heat, will provide primary electrical power for the facility.

Verizon will install the fuel cells at a 332,000 sq-ft facility in Garden City, N.Y., that delivers local phone service to some 40,000 customers on a 24-hour basis. The facility is also home to more than 1,000 Verizon employees.


A partnership of business and government entities has unveiled the first fuel-cell system to power a single-family house in western New York.

The house is one of two residential fuel-cell projects in the service area of National Fuel Gas Distribution Corp., the gas utility segment of National Fuel Gas Company. The projects involve operating one 5kW, grid-parallel Plug Power fuel cell system at a home in Lewiston, Niagara County, and a second unit at a home in Colden, Erie County. The systems are expected to operate for about one year before being returned to Plug Power for analysis.

IBACOS has equipped the Lewiston home with a monitoring device, funded through the DOE, to measure and evaluate electric appliance performance throughout the project.


Caterpillar Inc. and FuelCell Energy Inc., Danbury, Conn., have formalized and expanded their agreement to distribute and develop ultra-low emission Direct FuelCell (DFC) power generation products for industrial and commercial use. Under the 10-year alliance agreement, customers will now be able to buy these systems from Caterpillar dealers in selected regions in North America.

The agreement strengthens the relationship FuelCell Energy and Caterpillar established in November 2001. It calls for the companies to jointly develop Caterpillar-branded power plants in the 250kW to 3MW size range, incorporating FuelCell Energy's fuel cell module. Typically, 1kW represents enough electricity to power an average home.

The companies will also explore the development of a hybrid power system that uses Caterpillar's turbine engine technology and FuelCell Energy's products. These efforts are said to build on the strengths of FuelCell Energy's fuel cell module and Caterpillar's technical expertise in systems packaging, electronics, power conditioning and gas turbine engines.