Thursday, October 12, 2006

Metal Recycling Company Generates Its Own Power... Sort Of.

Ther Riverside Press Enterprise has a glowing profile of a metal recycling company that generates 60% of its own power using a combination of fuel cells and microturbine technology.

According to the PE:

Fuel cells create energy by converting natural gas into electricity without burning it. The main byproducts of the process are heat and water.

The microturbines, which were built by Capstone Turbine Corp. in Chatsworth, are small rotary engines that create energy by burning natural gas but with much lower nitrogen-oxide emissions.

But before you think this is the silver bullet that is going to solve all of California's energy and air quality needs, consider this. The project cost over $4.2 million... and AQMD paid for it with a grant. So much for being a workable solution.

Underscoring this complete lack of practicality, a company executive told the PE, "Our thought was, as long as it didn't cost us significantly more money to do this, we'll commit to it." Precisely.

Fontana firm uses fuel cells, microturbines for 60 percent of its energy. [Riverside Press Enterprise]