The Department of Energy has invested $33 million to develop 13 different innovative projects for distributed generation. The projects are funded through the new ARPA-E program, Reliable Electricity Based on Electrochemical Systems (REBELS).
This program focuses on grid stability improvement, reduction of CO2 emissions, and intermittent renewable technologies. The 13 projects will take three different approaches to develop fuel cells that can be built at a low cost. The first approach focuses on delivering efficient Intermediate-Temperature Fuel Cells (ITFCs) manufactured from low-cost materials and system components for use in distributed generation systems. The second approach concentrates on integrating ITFCs and electricity storage at the device-level instead of at the system-level. The third approach is to develop ITFCs that are capable of converting methane into liquid fuels using excess energy.