IBM collaborates with FuelCell Energy, leveraging GenAI to optimize fuel cell systems.

In a unique collaboration, IBM partnered with FuelCell Energy to improve fuel cell technology using GenAI. Their partnership focuses on using IBM’s Foundation Model to extend the lifespan of fuel cells by optimizing their operational parameters.

The GenAI technology will generate device-specific models using data from FuelCell Energy. These models, learning and evolving from the data, are designed to predict and improve the technology’s performance. A significant outcome of this process is the creation of a digital twin for the fuel cell. This digital twin integrates various data sources, offering comprehensive insights into the impact of diverse operational parameters on the fuel cells.

Alessandro Curioni from IBM Research Europe envisions this collaboration to replace the traditional, labor-intensive, and costly life testing methods currently used in electrochemical energy production. FuelCell Energy’s offerings, such as their trigeneration platform, stand to benefit significantly from this GenAI application. This platform, which utilizes fuel sources like natural gas or renewable biogas, produces hydrogen, power, and water, boasting a lower carbon footprint than traditional methods. Notably, trigeneration with biogas achieves carbon neutrality, potentially reaching carbon negativity.

This initiative aligns with both companies’ commitment to fostering a clean energy-driven world. Tony Leo of FuelCell Energy expressed excitement about leveraging IBM’s GenAI expertise.

Moreover, FuelCell Energy recently inaugurated a 14MW baseload fuel cell project in Derby, Connecticut. This site, featuring 10 fuel cells, is poised to supply power to numerous customers, marking it as a significant stride in clean energy deployment.