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Ceramic Fuel Cells Ltd launches modular solid oxide fuel cell generator

Australian-based solid oxide fuel cell company Ceramic Fuel Cells Ltd has launched a new modular generator product. The 2 kW BlueGen™ unit is a combined heat and power (CHP) system for homes and other buildings. CFCL has also signed a memorandum of understanding with VicUrban, the sustainable urban development agency for the southern Australian state of Victoria, to showcase the BlueGen units in VicUrban housing developments.

Ceramic Fuel Cells Ltd plans to make the BlueGen product available in Victoria from early 2010. The company is in discussions with potential local manufacturing partners. It is also talking with potential purchasers of the BlueGen product in other markets, including Europe and North America. When mass-produced, the BlueGen products are forecast to cost around A$8000 (US$6200) each, with a payback period of seven years and a product lifetime of 15 years.

The BlueGen unit – about the size of a dishwasher – converts natural gas to electricity and heat via ceramic solid oxide fuel cells, with an overall efficiency of up to 85%. Compared to Victoria’s current brown coal electricity generators, each BlueGen unit can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 75%, or 18 tonnes per unit per annum, says CFCL.

Subject to agreeing final terms for the memorandum of understanding, CFCL will install the first BlueGen unit in VicUrban’s Sustainable and Affordable Living Centre in Dandenong, which will be opened towards the end of 2009. Up to three more demonstration units will be installed in other VicUrban developments next year.

In addition to its modular BlueGen product, CFCL is continuing the development of fully integrated micro CHP products with some of the world’s leading utility and appliance partners in Europe and Japan, including E.ON, GDF Suez, EWE and Paloma. The BlueGen product is an additional offering for market segments that may not require a fully integrated product.

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