Under the agreement with the unnamed utility, Ceramic Fuel Cells will supply a BlueGen unit for a six-month demonstration, beginning in February 2010. The BlueGen will be connected to the existing natural gas pipeline and the power grid, and will generate low-emission electricity for the house, as well as heat for the hot water system.
This is the first commercial agreement that Ceramic Fuel Cells has signed with an Australian energy utility. CFCL is already deploying demonstration products with leading utility customers and appliance companies in Germany, France and the UK.
BlueGen is seen as a breakthrough in small-scale power generation. About the size of a dishwasher, each BlueGen unit can produce up to 17 000 kWh of electricity per annum. This about twice the electricity needed to power an average home, so surplus electricity can be sold back to the grid.
The Ceramic Fuel Cells technology has recorded the highest electrical efficiency so far from any technology that converts hydrocarbon fuels into electricity. It uses 95% less water than brown coal-fired generators, and when deployed in volume is forecast to generate electricity up to 40% cheaper than the current retail price.