FAIRBANKS, Alaska, Nov. 16 (UPI) -- U.S. scientists say they have conducted a successful field test of a prototype propane fuel cell.
The Alaska Energy Technology Development Laboratory at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks said the cell -- manufactured by Massachusetts's Acumentrics Corp. and installed at the Kenai Fjords National Park's Exit Glacier Nature Center near Seward -- ran for more than 1,100 consecutive hours with no measurable degradation in its efficiency.
The fuel cell was part of the original design for the nature center. It was first installed and used during the summer of 2004. Since then, a team of researchers and technicians has been fine tuning the cell's performance. In August, Park Service officials fired it up again and it ran until the end of the season.
"We like the promise of this technology as a way to replace diesel generators, decrease the possibility of fuel spills and provide a cleaner and quieter source of power," said Tim Hudson, associate regional director for operations and resources for the National Park Service's Alaska region.