Ceramic Fuel Cells has installed the first BlueGen fuel cell unit at a VicUrban sales office in the Aurora Housing Development, in the Melbourne suburb of Epping. VicUrban’s Aurora project is the first six-star energy-efficient community development in Australia. The BlueGen unit will be switched on in early January, and produce low-emission power and hot water from regular natural gas.
Australian energy utility Origin Energy has also joined in the demonstration project as VicUrban’s selected energy retailer. Origin Energy will buy back excess electricity generated by the VicUrban BlueGen units.
The Epping BlueGen unit is the first of three solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) units that Ceramic Fuel Cells is installing at VicUrban housing developments. All sites will showcase the Ceramic Fuel Cells low-emission gas-to-electricity BlueGen products to the general public and commercial home builders.
Ceramic Fuel Cells will install the second BlueGen unit in VicUrban’s Sustainable and Affordable Living Centre in Dandenong, in mid-2010. The third BlueGen fuel cell unit will be installed in another VicUrban site later in 2010.
About the size of a small washing machine, each BlueGen solid oxide fuel cell unit can produce up to 17 000 kWh of power a year – twice the electricity needed to power an average home. Surplus electricity can be exported back to the grid.
The Ceramic Fuel Cells contract with VicUrban formalizes a Memorandum of Understanding signed by Ceramic Fuel Cells and VicUrban at the launch of the BlueGen product in May.
Ceramic Fuel Cells is a leading developer of solid oxide fuel cell technology to provide highly efficient and low-emissions electricity from widely available natural gas. The company is developing SOFC micro combined heat and power (mCHP) and distributed generation units that generate electricity and heat for homes and other buildings.