The fuel cell installation, which was designed and integrated by Logan Energy, has been undertaken at The Crown Estate’s £400 million (US$640 million), 270 000 sq ft (25 000 m2) mixed-use Quadrant 3 scheme. The 300 kW molten carbonate fuel cell forms part of one of the world’s most sophisticated central energy systems, which serves more than half-a-million square feet of offices, retail, residential, restaurant, and hotel space in the Regent Street Quadrant area.
This is the first molten carbonate fuel cell to be installed in the UK, and the most efficient fuel cell installation in Europe, emitting 38% less CO2 than using electricity from the grid and heat from efficient gas-fired boilers.
Fuel cell power provides the most efficient combined cooling, heat and power distributed energy schemes, and was chosen to help the project meet their clean air and carbon reduction targets. The 300 kW fuel cell CHP installation – supplied by FuelCell Energy in Connecticut – runs on natural gas, with no combustion products such as NOx, SOx and particulates, and saving 350 tonnes of CO2 emissions per annum.
The heat from this fuel cell installation will be used for facility heating and cooling, resulting in maximum efficiency and cost savings for The Crown Estate’s customers. The overall efficiency of the installation is estimated at 83%, but with a higher electrical contribution than other types of distributed generation.
‘Occupiers are increasingly looking to operate more sustainably, and this includes factoring in the green credentials of their premises,’ says Alastair Smart, The Crown Estate’s Head of Development. ‘The fuel cell is a real flag in the sand, demonstrating what is possible in terms of energy efficiency and carbon reduction, and it will only enhance the building’s reputation as a world-leading example of sustainable development.’
Logan Energy is a market leader in providing energy-efficient solutions that harness the power of hydrogen. Its previous projects include Transport for London’s prestigious Palestra Building, where a fuel cell power plant has been operating successfully since it was commissioned in February 2010.
Last autumn Logan Energy announced that it would install a fuel cell power plant from FuelCell Energy Solutions GmbH – the German-based joint venture between FuelCell Energy and the Fraunhofer IKTS Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems – at the 20 Fenchurch office development in central London, due for completion next year.
‘This project demonstrates that fuel cell based energy centres are able to compete with all other forms of distributed generation, even without government subsidy, and will play an increasingly significant role in the reduction of carbon emissions and electrical power resilience in the UK,’ says Bill Ireland, Chief Executive and Chairman of Logan Energy Ltd. ‘We are presently negotiating several MW-scale projects which make commercial sense as companies strive for control over rising utility prices, lifecycle cost and carbon reduction, and security of supply.’