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WESTINGHOUSE MARKS MILESTONE IN FUEL CELL PROGRAM AT MONROEVILLE FACILITY

 WESTINGHOUSE MARKS MILESTONE IN FUEL CELL PROGRAM
 AT MONROEVILLE FACILITY
 PITTSBURGH, Dec. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Westinghouse Electric Corporation (NYZE: WX) Chairman Paul E. Lego today marked the completion and full operation of a facility dedicated to bringing tubular solid- oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology to commercial readiness in the 1990s.
 The ceremonies and tour, attended by company officials and representatives of the media and the U.S. Department of Energy, included a ribbon cutting and a Christmas-tree lighting powered by the first SOFC generating unit built at the facility for a commercial customer. The 25-kilowatt field test unit -- the largest SOFC unit built to date -- is being readied for shipment next month to a consortium of the Kansai Electric Power Company, Tokyo Gas Company and Osaka Gas Company.
 Lego described the fuel cell as a "continuously fueled battery" based on electrochemistry rather than combustion -- "as different from a turbine-generator as a transistor is from a vacuum tube. In an age when the environment is becoming ever more important, we have a 'green machine' -- an energy source that is environmentally benign," he said.
 "We're investing in the future of this technology and it's no small investment," Lego said. "The solid oxide fuel cell represents an expenditure of tens of millions of Westinghouse dollars and many years of effort."
 Investing such large amounts is necessary, he said, to ensure tomorrow's "new products, new markets and new jobs." Similar investments in nuclear and radar technology decades ago, he pointed out, led to the company's position as a world leader in these technologies today.
 The SOFC Prepilot Manufacturing Facility occupies a 28,000-square- foot building in Monroeville, a Pittsburgh suburb. It has a staff of 40, supported by another 60 employees based at the Westinghouse Science & Technology Center in nearby Churchill.
 Dr. Isaac R. Barpal, Westinghouse vice president, Science and Technology, described its mission as "the transition of SOFC technology from the laboratory to the manufacturing environment." The work is being carried out under a $140-million, five-year cooperative research agreement signed earlier this year with DOE's Morgantown Energy Technology Center, he said, with $64 million coming from DOE and the balance from Westinghouse and other industry and utility sources.
 Plans call for building three to five 100-kilowatt field test units and later a 2-megawatt unit under the program, Dr. Barpal said.
 Quiet and clean, fuel cells can be placed anywhere natural gas or another gasified fossil fuel is available. They are designed to emit no toxic by-products, nor do they need the expensive exhaust cleaning systems typical of combustion-based power generation. With their modular design, they can be economical over a wide range of power ratings, meeting the needs of small commercial and industrial installations as well as larger cogeneration and electric utility plants.
 The SOFC's advantage over other types of fuel cells stems from its ceramic construction and tubular shape.
 It can operate at higher temperatures -- to over 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit (1,000 degrees C) -- providing the hot exhausts needed for efficient systems such as cogeneration, the production of electricity and heat for commercial or industrial sites, and combined-cycle generation, where the exhaust drives a steam turbine-generator.
 The SOFC's tubular design lends itself to factory production of modular packages that minimize site construction costs, reduce lead times and permit high levels of quality control.
 Westinghouse scientists conceived the solid-oxide fuel cell while doing corporate-sponsored research on oxygen ion conductivity in zirconium oxide, a common ceramic material. Funding to assist in the development of the idea over the years has been provided by DOE, whose sponsorship over the past decade has focussed on the use of coal-derived fuel gases. Other portions of the development program have been funded by the Gas Research Institute, Chicago, for the use of natural gas, and by individual gas and electric utilities.
 -0- 12/13/91
 /CONTACT: Robert J. Benke of Westinghouse Electric, 412-642-3321/
 (WX) CO: Westinghouse Electric Corporation; U.S. Department of Energy ST: Pennsylvania IN: UTI SU: PDT


LJ -- PG007 -- 2463 12/13/91 15:21 EST
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Date:Dec 13, 1991
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