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European ene.field project installs first residential fuel cell combined heat and power units

The first two fuel cell-based combined heat and power (FC-CHP) units have been officially installed in Germany by the ene.field project partners Baxi Innotech GmbH and Elcore GmbH, in homes in Homburg and Munich, respectively.

These units are the first of around 1000 small-scale FC-CHP units that will be installed and monitored in dwellings across a range of European countries throughout the ene.field project period. The outcomes will provide the project team with a valuable, practical, and up-to-date dataset on domestic energy consumption and the applicability of small-scale CHP across Europe.

‘The ene.field project provides great support to increase the number of systems operating in European homes,’ says Dr Manfred Stefener, CEO of Elcore. ‘The data collected in the households will serve to generate a comprehensive report on the potential of fuel cells in Europe.’

Stefener continues: ‘In a typical household, the Elcore 2400 can save up to 40% of primary energy, and at the same time significantly reduce energy costs.’ This unit features Elcore's high-temperature polymer electrolyte membrane (HTPEM) fuel cell technology, and is rated at 300 W output power for 2400 kWh per annum of energy generation.

The ene.field project aims to extend the learnings from the practical implications of installing, operating, and supporting a fleet of fuel cells in homes throughout a large number of European countries, and dealing with the variety of real-world customers across Europe.

In this way ene.field will demonstrate the environmental and economic imperatives of small-scale FC-CHP, and lay the foundations for improved market exploitation in the near future.

‘Our fuel cell heating appliance Gamma Premio ensures that [energy] is managed as efficiently as possible,’ says Guido Gummert, managing director of Baxi Innotech, part of the BDR Thermea group.

‘This needs-based type of on-the-spot heat and energy provision is considered highly efficient, and has a total efficiency of 96%,' he continues. 'Compared with all other known heating technologies it performs significantly better.’

The ene.field project is co-funded by the European Commission’s Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU). It brings together 26 partners, including utilities and the nine European manufacturers that will make the products available across 12 EU Member States.

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Energy efficiency  •  Energy infrastructure  •  Energy storage including Fuel cells  •  Green building  •  Policy, investment and markets