According to DEFRA, and using definitions in the European legislation: ‘In 2005 there were 1502 CHP units with a total electrical capacity of 5440 MWe, generating 27 TWh of electricity and 51 TWh of heat in the UK. The latest
energy projections for the UK suggest that by the end of 2010, 36 TWh of the 350 TWh of electricity supply that will be needed will come from CHP. This projected contribution, of just over 10% of total electricity, is from the expected development of cogeneration. However, the report identifies that this projection is not the total economic potential available in the UK, which could be up to 61 TWh of electricity or 17% of the total needed by 2010.’
The Wärtsilä Fuel Cell Programme has reached a milestone in its development of solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology with the ‘warming-up’ of a 20 kWe alpha-prototype in Espoo, Finland. Once the unit reaches its operating temperature of 750ºC it will start generating electricity, says the company.
During the past year that the WFC20 unit has been manufactured, various subsystems such as fuel reformer, automation and control systems have been tested and verified. Now, the fuel cell development programme has reached the point where stacks are installed and the first prototype is ready for operation. The first unit will be operated at the Wärtsilä Fuel Cell Laboratory in Espoo, and will provide electricity and heat to the power and heat grids respectively.