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U.S. Department of Energy announces milestone in fuel cell use

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently announced it has deployed nearly 1,200 fuel cells in emergency backup power units and material handling equipment over the last three years

"Targeted investment in critical fuel cell research, development, and deployment will help spur American ingenuity and increase our competitiveness in the global clean energy economy," said Dr. David Danielson, the Department of Energy's assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy. "Fuel cells are an important part of our energy portfolio and these deployments in early markets are helping to drive innovations in fuel cell technologies across multiple applications."

More companies are installing fuel cell technology to generate power for buildings, or to use as an emergency power supply for data centers and cell phone towers. Already, nearly 700 fuel cells have been installed to provide backup power using $18.5 million in funding from the Recovery Act. Another $9.7 million in funds has been used for over 500 fuel cell powered lift trucks.

Workers installing fuel cells are exposed to a number of hazards, including freeze burns, fires, explosions, and electrical. Protect workers from these hazards by supplying appropriate safety products, such as work gloves and protective clothing.