Baxi Innotech launches PEM fuel cell CHP unit, supply deal with Ballard

German-based Baxi Innotech launched its Gamma 1.0 fuel cell heating unit at the recent ISH Trade Fair in Frankfurt. The European developer and manufacturer of fuel cell micro combined heat and power (mCHP) systems has also entered into a three-year supply agreement with Canada’s Ballard Power Systems, which will supply the PEM fuel cells.

Baxi Innotech, a subsidiary of the UK-based Baxi Group – one of the leading heating equipment manufacturers in Europe – says that the Gamma 1.0 unit, rated at 1 kW, is now in the final stage of development. It is smaller, and more compact and efficient than the earlier, 1.5 kW test units.

The Ballard FCgen 1030 stack will be deployed exclusively in the unit for the Callux Practice Test, in preparation for the market launch in Germany. Initiated last September as part of the national innovation program for hydrogen and fuel cell technology, the Callux Project represents the country’s largest demonstration project of CHP fuel cell systems designed for domestic use. These systems provide decentralized power to the home at a high level of energy efficiency.

Baxi Innotech says that the changeover from the 1.5 kW to the 1.0 kW performance class is a new development in its product strategy. The production ratio of electricity to heat is further improved, and the system can run for longer periods.

The new unit measures 60 × 60 × 160 cm, and is one of the smallest of its kind. With an operating temperature of 70°C (158°F), the Ballard low-temperature PEM fuel cell technology on which it is based is ideal for CHP applications in single-family houses.

Baxi Innotech says that the Gamma 1.0 should be able to generate around two-thirds of the hot water and heating requirements, as well as almost three-quarters of the electricity needed by such households. Performance values, such as energy consumption and efficiency, and savings in CO2 emissions, are transmitted to a visual display in the living area.

Baxi has agreed to exclusively purchase Ballard fuel cells through to the end of the second phase of the German Callux Project, scheduled to conclude in 2012.

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