Ceramic Fuel Cells Ltd and Nuon recently completed a joint review of their project to develop micro combined heat and power (mCHP) products based on SOFC technology. During the project a semi-integrated mCHP unit was installed and operated. The unit comprised a CFCL NetGenPlus™ fuel cell system connected to a boiler, and was installed last September.
The mCHP unit met or exceeded all technical targets set by the partners, including power export, electrical efficiency, and lifetime, operating for at least 4600 h (as at 31 March). The CFCL fuel cell unit exported electricity to the local grid, and generated heat for the boiler, from natural gas.
‘The test with the mCHP unit met all technical targets,’ says Paul Hermans, Nuon’s new business development manager. ‘However, in order to keep focus in our current product development portfolio, Nuon has decided not to further pursue the development of a fuel cell-based mCHP at this moment. Accordingly the parties will not proceed with the next stage of the project, or with the conditional forward order for commercial products’.
In early 2008 Nuon placed the first forward volume order with CFCL, for 50,000 units based on agreed targets. CFCL is continuing to develop mCHP products with its leading appliance partners and utility customers partners in Germany, France, the UK and Japan.