New Industry Products

EBARA Ballard Unveils 1kW Fuel Cell Generator

January 30, 2003 by Jeff Shepard

EBARA BALLARD (Tokyo, Japan), the jointly owned company of Ballard Power Systems Inc. (Vancouver, BC) and EBARA Corp. (Tokyo, Japan), unveiled the first generation of its pre-commercial, 1kW, stationary, combined heat and power, proton-exchange membrane, fuel cell generator for the Japanese residential market, building upon the second-generation engineering prototype fuel cell generator unveiled in January 2002.

The system is manufactured by EBARA BALLARD and comprises a Ballard® fuel cell, EBARA’s newly developed pumps and blowers, a reformer based on technology licenced from Tokyo Gas, and a hot water storage tank. The pre-commercial power plant will undergo extensive testing both in EBARA BALLARD’s facility and in the field, allowing further improvement of the product prior to the commercial launch of the initial commercial version.

"We have set the standard for fuel cell performance in Japan with our 1kW combined heat and power fuel cell generator achieving a total system efficiency (heat and electricity) of 92 percent (LHV) of which 34 percent is the ac electrical efficiency. Also of significance is the high partial load

efficiency of our system. At 50-percent rated load the total system efficiency is 78 percent (LHV) with ac electrical efficiency of 31 percent," said EBARA BALLARD President Masakatsu Ohya. "Each successive prototype generation has demonstrated improved efficiency and reduced volume, bringing this environmentally friendly power generator closer to its planned introduction, in limited

volumes, to the Japanese residential market as a distributed power source. We are still on track for a marketing launch in late 2004."