SOFC micro-CHP in field trial move

Fuel cell developer Acumentrics Corporation and European heating appliance company Merloni Termosanitari Group (MTS) have formed a consortium with European and North American utilities to demonstrate and field trial a residential solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) micro-CHP system.

Six utilities British Gas (Centrica), EnBW, GDF Suez, EON, Kiwa Gas Technology (representing Dutch gas trading company GasTerra) and ENMAX Green Power Inc., a subsidiary of ENMAX Energy Corporation, have joined a consortium to test and demonstrate the Acumentrics tubular SOFC-based systems.

The device is designed to meet the power and heating needs of an average-size European home using a 1 kW fuel cell in combination with a 24 kW condensing boiler, operating on natural gas.

Utilities participating in the consortium will fine-tune the product through the final stages of market introduction in a three-phase programme, including shared lab demonstration, on-site evaluation at consortium member sites, and initial field trials at their customer sites.

‘Our objectives in designing this program are to allow potential partners to observe first-hand the reliability, operating flexibility, rapid start time and energy efficiency of our tubular SOFC-based mCHP systems and to provide them with the confidence to proceed to field trials of the systems’, said Gary Simon, Acumentrics’ president and CEO.

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