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Sustainability at Yale
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Hydrogen Fuel Cell

Located behind the Peabody Museum and the Class of 1954 Environmental Science Center, is a 250 kilowatt Fuel Cell.  Built by the FuelCell Energy Company, a Danbury, Connecticut based company, the fuel cell was awarded to Yale in 2003 from the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund.  This state sponsored initiative was part of an effort to promote Connecticut’s fuel cell industry. Yale is committed to publicizing the fuel cell as a demonstration site for 10 years.

While designed to run on hydrogen, Yale’s fuel cell is actually powered by natural gas, 80% of which is usable hydrogen. The fuel cell takes in natural gas and water and produces water, electricity, and hot air.  Initially, the hot air produced as a byproduct of the chemical reaction inside the fuel cell was wasted, but the Yale Office of Facilities designed a heat exchanger, which uses the hot air to heat the building.  The fuel cell produces 40-50% of the electricity for the Science Center.