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Comments to date: 2. Page 1 of 1. Average Rating:
karambos 12:24pm on Wednesday, September 1st, 2010 
Beware, the ink could end up costing you more than the machine. Though All In Ones are always nice to have.
resanium 10:03am on Monday, June 21st, 2010 
Would of been nice to include a bag or carrying case of some sort so expand, and support this "hub-to-go". Besides that, for the price.

Comments posted on are solely the views and opinions of the people posting them and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of us.




Climate Change Fuel Cell Program
First National Bank of Omaha Applying Four 200 Kilowatt Fuel Cells in a Mission Critical Installation

Final Report

Report on First Year Operating Experience From May, 1999 to June 2000

DoE Award Numbers:

DE-FG21-96MC33339 DE-FG21-96MC33340 DE-FG21-96MC33346 DE-FG21-96MC33348
Submitted on August 6, 2002 by: NORESCO 1 Research Drive Suite 400C Westborough, MA 01581 Principal Author: Keith A. Spitznagel Sure Power Corporation 30 Main Street Danbury, CT 06810
Disclaimer: This report was prepared as an account of work sponsored by an agency of the United States Government. Neither the United States Government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacture, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government or any agency thereof.


The First National Bank of Omaha is the nation's 7 th-largest processor of VISA credit card transactions. Major customers such as "The Gap" chain of stores process all their VISA transactions through the bank's computers. The bank formerly relied on conventional UPS supported by battery banks to supply voltage during sags and short-term outages. Standby diesel generators supplied electricity during longer-term outages. Two failures in this system, each costing the bank and its customers millions of dollars, convinced the bank management that the traditional approach was not going to meet the critical power needs of their 200,000 square foot technology center already under construction. A conventional data center UPS system only delivers electricity to computers, chillers and fans with 99.99% availability, at best. This report details an innovative fuel cell based system designed to provide the First National Bank of Omaha 99.9999% available power while providing economic benefit. Combining four phosphoric acid PC25 fuel cell power plants with motor generators and flywheels, this installation was the first of its kind in the world and continues to be unique in bringing added value to an end user to offset the high first costs of fuel cells. In addition to electricity, thermal energy is recovered from the fuel cells and is used in the facility. A review of the information in this report will show that fuel cells can be used successfully in mission-critical high availability applications.


Disclaimer. Abstract Table of Contents. Executive Summary. Introduction Mean Time Between Failure and Reliability. Cost Benefit. Natural Gas Usage. Thermal Output. Environmental. Certification. Conclusion Addresses. Photo Gallery. References. 16


A fuel cell based high-availability electrical power system has been installed at the First National Bank of Omahas new data processing technology center. This system was installed in response to a need for very clean, reliable power over a long period of time. The bank had had first hand experience with conventional UPS systems and was not satisfied with the status quo. Although the initial capital investment for the fuel cell based system cost more than the alternative, a life cycle cost analysis proved that the fuel cells were a better investment over the life of the equipment. In addition to providing an economic benefit to the bank this system protected the bank from the very negative impact of a power failure on the critical bus providing electricity to the banks computers. Data from this site has proven that fuel cell power plants can outperform traditional UPS systems in terms of system efficiency, low emissions and high reliability. A review of the first years operating data has proven that fuel cells are suitable for use in highavailability mission critical applications. The critical bus at the bank has never experienced an outage or any voltage fluctuation outside the national standard (IEEE446-1987). Maintenance and operational costs have all been within the initial assumption parameters. The fuel cell installation at the First National Bank of Omaha had received a lot of interest from both local and national news media. Information on this project has been presented numerous times in articles, conferences and seminars. Given the success of this project it is expected that similar high-availability mission critical applications will follow in the near future.


In May 1999 the first fuel cell based high-availability system began operating at the newly constructed First National Technology Center in Omaha, Nebraska. The Technology Center houses the credit card and banking transaction data processing center for the First National Bank of Omaha (FNBO). Since installation, this 800 kW System has been supplying computer-grade electricity without interruption. An independent analysis of the high-availability system design for the First National Technology Center determined that the system achieves availability greater than 99.9999% measured against independent failures1. A firm of consulting scientists and engineers specializing in probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) performed the analysis. The analysis concluded that the overall system Unavailability, that is, potential downtime, caused by independent failures was less than 10-6. The system Mean Time To Failure (MTTF) calculated to be in excess of 100 million hours. The calculations used a 16-hour Mean Time to Repair. Component, as opposed to system, MTTF ranged from less than 500 hours to more than 100,000 hours. The analysis employed standard PRA techniques and a combination of public and private databases for failure rate and repair data. In particular, extravagant vendor claims for

component MTTF in excess of 100 years were heavily discounted, generally by a factor of 10, unless substantive supporting documentation was provided to support the claim. The system design tolerates all credible and incredible component failures, maintenance, and repairs without impact to the critical loads. Start-up of the system at the First National Technology Center was completed in April of 1999 and the system went online May 1, 1999. Over the next two months a small number of insignificant parts (such as a modem in a motor generator and a circuit board in a fuel cell) failed within various system components. Manufacturing defects caused these failures and at no time did their failure cause an interruption of power on the critical bus. Since the commissioning at the First National Technology Center the system has not experienced a system shutdown. Although individual components have been down for scheduled or unscheduled maintenance, voltage on the critical bus to the main computer floor has never been interrupted.
The system at Omaha has experience a plethora of unanticipated events. Natural gas service to the system was interrupted when the local utility filled one of the two redundant gas mains with air during an improper repair procedure. Lack of fuel caused all four fuel cell power pla nts to simultaneously shut down. Critical loads were not affected (or even aware of the problem) as the system switched to secondary backup sources without incident. This event demonstrates the extreme robustness and fault tolerance of the complete system. Enhancements to the FNBO system software were made in October 1999 and again in December 2000. Annual maintenance was performed in November of 1999.
MEAN TIME BETWEEN FAILURE AND RELIABILITY Individual Fuel Cell Operation Fuel Cell Serial Number 9100
During the first twelve months of operation the longest continuous run for fuel cell SN9100 was 2,280 hours. The SN9100 event log for this period included:
DATE September 6, 1999 September 16, 1999 October 31, 1999 November 18, 1999 February 8, 2000 April 23, 2000 EVENT Replaced quad power supply Large amount of air in natural gas supply caused shutdown Power Plant down for annual maintenance, restarted on November 4, 1999 SHUTDOWN - water leak, repaired and restarted Replaced controller Replaced Inverter drawer

For the period from March 24, 1999 through February 28, 2001 (23 months) fuel cell SN9100 operated for 15,887 hours and delivered 2,427 MWhrs of electricity. For this period the availability was 93.72%. The mean time between forced outages was 2,270 hours.
Fuel Cell Serial Number 9102
During the first twelve months of operation the longest continuous run for fuel cell SN9102 was 3,426 hours. The SN9102 event log for this period included:
July 19, 1999 July 21, 1999 September 16, 1999 November 7, 1999 February 24, 2000 Replaced Steam Ejector (ZT010) Replaced Inverter Drawer 2 Large amount of air in natural gas supply caused shutdown Power plant down for annual maintenance, restarted on Nov. 9, 1999 Pump 450 replaced
For the period from March 24, 1999 through February 28, 2001 (23 months) fuel cell SN9102 operated for 15,879 hours and delivered 2,508 MWhrs of electricity. For this period the availability was 93.56%. The mean time between forced outages was 3,176 hours.
Fuel Cell Serial Number 9116
During the first twelve months of operation the longest continuous run for fuel cell SN9116 was 3,504 hours. The SN9116 event log for this period included:
May 25, 1999 June 15, 1999 June 17, 1999 June 20, 1999 June 29, 1999 June 30, 1999 New power plant controller software installed UPS Failure, replace one of the battery packs and unit restarted Installed new PCS controller card Replaced controller Replaced two battery packs in UPS Replaced heater 400 (HTR400)
Replaced inverter power supplies Replaced a controller card Upgraded fuel cell operating software to version 4.09 Replaced air flow switch (fan 165) Large amount of air in natural gas supply caused shutdown Resin bottle incorrectly installed in fuel cell - SHUTDOWN, corrected and September 30, 1999 restarted same day October 2, 1999 Pump 451 failed, SHUTDOWN - replaced and restarted November 10, 1999 Power plant down for annual maintenance, restarted on Nov. 12, 1999 November 30, 1999 Relay interface card (FC14428-02) March 31, 2000 Replaced fuse and Digital Output Module April 27, 2000 Air conditioner replaced April 28, 2000 Thermostat on air conditioner replaced

July 8, 1999 July 13, 1999 July 13, 1999 July 29, 1999 September 16, 1999
For the period from March 24, 1999 through February 28, 2001 (23 months) fuel cell SN9116 operated for 14,752 hours and delivered 2,327 MWhrs of electricity. For this period the availability was 86.94%. The mean time between forced outages was 868 hours.
Fuel Cell Serial Number 9148
During the first twelve months of operation the longest continuous run for fuel cell SN9148 was 3,960 hours. The SN9148 event log for this period included:
May 26, 1999 June 19, 1999 September 5, 1999 September 16, 1999 October 15, 1999 October 28, 1999 November 14, 1999 May 1, 2000 Replace natural gas orifices change out Installed new software v.4.07 and replace two heaters (HTR002) Replaced controller Large amount of air in natural gas supply caused shutdown Pump 400 failed, SHUTDOWN, replaced and unit restarted Power plant tripped when Radar laptop computer was connected Power plant down for annual maintenance, restarted on Nov. 16, 1999 SHUTDOWN - clogged air filter 100
For the period from March 24, 1999 through February 28, 2001 (23 months) fuel cell SN9148 operated for 15,735 hours and delivered 2,474 MWhrs of electricity. For this period the availability was 92.94%. The mean time between forced outages was 2,623 hours.
Combined Fuel Cell Operation
The fuel cell installation at the First National Bank of Omaha is first and foremost a highavailability system. It was designed to replace a conventional UPS system and to provide 99.9999% electrical availability to the banks computers. Mean time Between Failures (MTBF) and Mean Time to Repair (MTTR) were critical to achieving this level of availability. An independent analysis using probabilistic risk analysis techniques concluded the delivered availability level for the system was 99.99997%. This analysis only looked at the total system performance, individual fuel cell availability was not analyzed. The analysis of the high-availability system was based on a critical load at the First National Bank of Omaha of 320 kilowatts. The four fuel cells are capable of generating 800 kilowatts at rated power. Only two fuel cells are needed at any time to meet the needs of the critical bus. During the first year of operation two or more fuel cells were operating together for 97.8% of the time. For the small amount of time when three or four fuel cells were shut down at the same time the utility electric grid was utilized as backup.
Number of fuel cells not running during first year
0 M J J A S O N D J F M A M
On September 16, 1999 a repair crew from the local natural gas utility mistakenly introduced a large amount of air into the natural gas main pipeline adjacent to the First National Bank of Omaha. When this air reached the fuel cells all four units shutdown. The electric utility seamlessly picked up the electrical loads in the building and the employees of the bank were unaware of any problem. Based on Probabilistic Risk Analysis the system is more likely to fail due to common-cause failure mechanisms such as human error than due to component failure.


A life cycle costs analysis performed by the First National Bank of Omaha confirmed that over the 20-year life cycle of the project the fuel cell installation was more cost effective than the traditional parallel, redundant UPS system alternative.2 The UPS consumes 344 Kw of electricity to deliver 320 Kw of critical computer power. This inefficiency also generates a heat load, which costs approximately $8,000 to remove from the conditioned UPS environment, plus an additional $20,000 annually to condition this space. An
additional 420 Kw of electricity is purchased from the utility to provide the same 740 Kw of electrical load as the fuel cell system. Another 740 Kw of demand charges also are included for the UPS system, while an additional 200 Kw is required to equal the heat energy produced by the fuel cell system. Annual operating costs for the UPS, including installation, average about $640,000 per year. A 20-year life cycle cost projection (based on 1998 values) equals about $10 million. By comparison, the four fuel cells consume 7,800 standard cubic feet per hour of natural gas, while producing 2.8 million BTU/hour of hot water and 740 kW of electricity (340 kW critical and 400 kW non-critical). The fuel cells do not require conditioned space or special environments. The value of the heat supplied by the fuel cell is estimated annually at about $107,000. Annual operating and installation costs average $630,000 per year; 20-year life cycle cost projection (based on 1998 values) is calculated at $9.8 million.


The natural gas meter at the First Natural Bank of Omaha measures natural gas usage for all four fuel cells in aggregate. There are no individual gas meters on each unit. Dividing the total gas usage for each month by four gives a rough approximation of the gas usage for each fuel cell. Over the course of a year this method should yield fairly accurate numbers.
First National Bank of Omaha Combined Fuel Cell Natural Gas Usage

5000 4500

4000.2 4345.2 3856.1 4487.1 3820.9 4008.7 4625.6 4672.5 4325.3


MCF per Month
May-99 Jun-99 Jul-99 Aug-99 Sep-99 Oct-99 Nov-99 Dec-99 Jan-00 Feb-00 Mar-00 Apr-00

1632.3 2920.2

In the first twelve months of operation the fuel cells used 47,245 Mcf of natural gas. This is approximately 984 Mcf per fuel cell per month. For the first twelve months of operation the fuel cells were operated at 150 kilowatts output because of the high nitrogen content of the natural gas. On June 5, 2000 a nitrogen removal system was installed on the natural gas system at the bank and the kilowatt output of the fuel cells was increased to 200 kilowatts.


The manufacturer (UTC Fuel Cells) installed the high grade heat option on all four fuel cells in Omaha. The heat recovered from the fuel cells is not metered; so approximated design loads are used in the heat recovery comparisons in this report. The heating loads were modeled using an energy analysis program. Excess heat from the fuel cells is removed through an integral h exchanger on each fuel cell eat power plant. The captured waste heat, up to 700,000 Btuh per fuel cell, supplements the banks existing heating system. This hot water is used for space conditioning in the winter and for terminal reheat (dehumidification) in the summer. The four fuel cell power plants generate approximately 2.7x106 BTU per hour for 2.4x1010 BTU of heat per year. Of this, it is estimated that approximately 9.5x109 BTU per year of the heat is recovered. The value of this heat is estimated annually at about $107,000. The excess heat is also used for snow melting applications. The snowmelt system is used in the patio areas and the walkways on the perimeter of the building. The snowmelt system eliminates the need for snow removal from the secured site.


An independent analysis 3 has determined that the fuel cell based system at the First National Bank of Omaha produces 40% to 50% less greenhouse gases (CO2 ) than a traditional UPS (uninterruptible power supply) system that draws its power from the electricity grid.


NORESCO certifies that it has complied in all respects with the grants under DE-FG2196MC33339, DE-FG21-96MC33340, DE-FG21-96MC33346, and DE-FG21-96MC33348, Climate Change Fuel Cell Program and that the related efforts required by that grant are now fully complete including twelve months of operation and submission of the Final Report herein supplied. Such report is in compliance with the Department of Energys Special Terms and Conditions for Research Projects Grants for Climate Change Fuel Cell Program.


In June of 2000 the four fuel cells at the First National Bank of Omaha successfully completed their first full year of operation. Individual fuel cell operation, performance and associated cost data have met or exceeded all original estimates. The total system operation has performed as designed with no loss of voltage on the critical bus recorded. FNBO now operates one of the premier fuel cell based high availability mission-critic al facilities in the world. The availability of each fuel cell has been more than adequate to support the overall required system availability of 99.9999%. A life cycle cost analysis has shown that the fuel cell based system is more cost effective over the 20-year system life than a traditional UPS system. In addition to the availability benefits provided by the fuel cell based system the bank has also realized additional operational cost benefits by recovering the thermal energy from the fuel cells. The success of this project should lead to the adoption of fuel cells for other mission-critical high availability applications.

ADDRESSES NORESCO Mr. Keith Cheverie 1 Research Drive Westborough, MA 01581 Business Phone: (508) 614-1041 Business Fax: (508) 875-9921 E-mail: Web Page: First National Buildings, Inc. Mr. Dennis Hughes Director of Property Management One First National Center Omaha, NE 68102-1596 Business Phone: (402) 633-3926 Business Fax: (402) 633-3280 E-mail: Web Page: Sure Power Corporation Mr. Keith Spitznagel Director of Project Operations 30 Main Street Danbury, CT 06810 Business Phone: (203) 790-8996 Business Fax: (203) 743-8996 E-mail 3: Web Page:
Photo 1: Prior to installation in Omaha the entire FNBO system including all four fuel cells were assembled and tested in Middletown, New York. Note Because natural gas for the fuel cells was not available, compressed natural gas was trucked in using high-pressure tube trailers.
Photo 2:The First National Bank of Omaha fuel cell installation is the largest indoor installation of fuel cells in the world. Photo of fuel cell SN9102 being installed February 18, 1999.
Photo 3: After the fuel cells were installed inside the building the cooling modules were set in place outside the fuel cell room and a louvered enclosure was erected. Vent stacks from the fuel cell exhaust can be seen above the cooling module enclosure.
Photo 4: The four fuel cells at FNBO can be viewed from outside the fuel cell room.
Montgomery, D. Bruce, et. Al. (MTechnology, Inc.), Long-term Availability Study of Sure Power System Installation at the First National Technology Center, p.2, 1999
Ditoro, Thomas J., (HDR Architecture, Inc.), Banking on Fuel Cells to Supply Critical Loads Pure Power Magazine, p. 20, Fall 1998
Romm, Dr. Joseph, (Center for Energy and Climate Solutions), Greenhouse Gas Analysis of the Sure Power System at the First National Bank of Omaha, p. 1, June 1, 1999



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