The Solar-Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Home located at the United States Merchant Marine Academy, one of America’s five federal service academies, is believed to be the first of its kind in New York State and perhaps the nation. It represents a synergy of alternative-energy equipment that uses the sun’s energy to create electricity to power the home or surrounding community. Furthermore, it creates hydrogen gas that can be used as a fuel for a variety of applications. The hydrogen produced has two main purposes. First, the hydrogen supplies a fuel cell that produces electricity for the home in the evenings or during days when it is cloudy. Second, the hydrogen can be used to fill up the fuel tank of an environmentally friendly hydrogen-powered automobile after a typical day of operation. There are three primary objectives of this paper. The first objective is to provide a technical overview of the home’s energy systems. This includes an overview of the various monitoring devices, followed by a discussion on how these types of energy systems can help meet the needs of sustainability and energy independence. Building upon this information, the second objective is to perform an analysis of the current system configuration, including the solar array capacity, fuel cell size, and quantity of hydrogen that can be produced versus what is required for the home to be energy self-sufficient. The third objective is to explore existing maritime and military applications and to suggest future applications that may stem from research of this cutting-edge Solar-Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Home and research platform.

Distributed Energy Systems Corp.
, 2003, HOGEN® RE Hydrogen Generator Installation and Operation Instructions, PD-0100-0012, Revision 6.
Fuel Cell Works News and Information Portal, 2003, “
Types of Fuel Cells
Plug Power Inc.
, 2006, GenCore® Fuel Cell System Operation and Service Manual, 077893, Revision D.
Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) Website, 2006,
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
, 2007, “
PVWATTS: Performance Calculator for Grid-Connected PV Systems, Version 1
,” New York Solar Database,
, and
, 2005, “
Fuel Cell Market Survey: Military Applications
,” Fuel Cell Today.
, 2006,
A Combined Gas Cooled Nuclear Reactor and Fuel Cell Cycle
Ann Arbor, MI
You do not currently have access to this content.