Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) offices, located in Berlin, are being powered and heated through a new fuel cell power plant.

BAM Deutschland AG constructed the office complex, with FuelCell Energy Solutions providing the departmental office’s power plant.

The power plant is configured for a combined heat and power (CHP) application to enhance the system’s efficiency and provide the office complex with continuous electricity and usable high quality heat for heating and absorption chilling.
Berlin’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research
The fuel cell power plant generates approximately 40% of the facility’s electrical needs and 20% of thermal needs.

The virtual absence of pollutants, quiet operation and lack of vibrations enables fuel cell power plants to be located in populated areas and within buildings, such as this installation. The on-site power generation acts as a micro-grid, enhancing energy security for the complex as power is available even in the event of a grid outage.

FuelCell Energy Solutions built the fuel cell plant at its manufacturing facility in Ottobrunn, Germany and is operating and maintaining the power plant on behalf of BAM Immobilien-Dienstleistungen GmbH under a long term service agreement. This building project, executed on schedule and within budget, illustrates the first large-scale civil engineering project undertaken by the federal government as part of a public-private partnership.

Rüdiger Frischer, Press Officer at the Federal Ministry of Research BMBF. “We deliberately chose a sustainable energy management system for the Ministry complex. The high efficiency of the fuel cell power generation process is a critical aspect of this sustainability system, using about a third less fuel compared to conventional power generation alternatives. Additionally, the fuel cell plant enables the Ministry complex to be about 50% below relevant energy saving regulations.”

The highly efficient and ultra-clean fuel cell power plant is the cornerstone of the sustainable energy management system that also includes solar arrays for meeting peak energy demand when the sun is shining and a natural gas engine for peak power when solar is not available.