The groundwork is scheduled to be completed by 2008. This will provide the basis for construction of an initial, small pilot plant, to be followed in 2012 by the planned fuel cell hybrid plant with an installed capacity of one megawatt.
Most current gas- and steam-turbine power plants reach an efficiency of approximately 60 per cent. Siemens aims to achieve higher efficiency by combining a high-temperature fuel cell with a gas turbine in the planned hybrid plant in order to make more efficient use of the fuel and minimise emissions.
The project is scheduled to run for an extended period, and involves intensive background research to optimise operation of stationary fuel cells in conjunction with gas turbines making hybrid SOFC’s a viable alternative for commercial plants. After successful completion of the project, Siemens claims this hybrid technology will become available roughly a decade sooner than expected by experts today.