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N + X Shipment Method

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000247177D
Publication Date: 2016-Aug-11
Document File: 2 page(s) / 14K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Related People

Swaminathan Venkataraman: INVENTOR [+7]

Abstract

Shipping a power module without the fuel cell and the power electronics allows for a future fuel cell module to be added to increase availability.

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This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 56% of the total text.

N + X Shipment Method

Brief Abstract: Shipping a power module without the fuel cell and the power electronics allows for a future fuel cell module to be added to increase availability.

Problem:

-          Some generation technologies provide for very long lifetime, but with very slow reductions in generated power output.  One such example of this type of generation is fuel cell powered generation.

-          When generation has very slowly reduced output power, the result is that either the customer load being powered is gradually reduced over lifetime – or the fuel cell generation hardware is periodically replaced with newer hardware (to increase generation again).

-          When the hardware is replaced or upgraded, the value of the hardware which had been running (but with reduced output) is lost.

Prior art:

-          In solutions of the prior art either:

§  A) Monolithic systems have been designed with a very large reserve capacity such that the loss of output power does not change customer load for an extended period of time.

§  B) Modular systems (such as Bloom Energy) are operated where the module with the most output power reduction is removed and replaced.

-          Both solutions of the prior art have the limitation of removing a functional set of hardware – and replacing with a newer set of hardware – even though the original hardware is still functional.

Invention:

-          A modular generator is provided where N modules are provided for generation.

-          The modular system has M additional modules – which are ready to house generation units – yet these are not yet populated.

-          Thus, the total modules of the system is N + M.

-          In operation, the N modules operate for a first period of time – until their generation reaches a targeted amount of output power reduction.  At this tim...