Microgeneration in the home

Ceramic Fuel Cells Limited is working with E.ON UK to develop a micro combined heat and power unit for use in UK homes.

Australian fuel cell developer Ceramic Fuel Cells Limited (CFCL) is working with E.ON UK to develop a micro combined heat and power unit (microCHP) incorporating CFCL’s fuel cell for use in UK homes.

E.ON is contributing to the product development costs and retains a first option to purchase future CFCL micro CHP units for the British market. CFCL said that it will announce which ‘appliance partner’ will be manufacturing the units shortly.

‘While we’re still at a trial stage, we believe that CFCL’s technology is the most advanced offer in the market, and that these fuel cells could make a real difference to our customers’ carbon footprint,’ said Bob Taylor, Managing Director of Energy Wholesale and Technology at E.ON UK.

During the collaboration, CFCL will supply one of its NetGen+ units for operation with a supplementary boiler and a specially designed thermal store to produce an ‘Alpha’ prototype which will subsequently be deployed in a field trial. The current project schedule is for the NetGen+ unit to be delivered by December 2007 and the Alpha unit to be developed in Q2 2008.

The NetGen+ is not a finished appliance, but a pre-commercial demonstration system.

The partners have agreed to discuss further co-operation in the subsequent development and deployment of ‘Beta’ CHP units (comprising CFCL’s fuel cell module fully integrated with a condensing boiler) as well as commercial targets for fuel cell microCHP units for the UK residential market.