Ceramic Fuel Cells Ltd. (CFCL, Australia) reported that it is set to start the first Australian field trial of its fuel-cell-powered, combined heat and power (CHP) unit under the watchful gaze of some large European appliance companies. The field trial will be done in conjunction with the Gippsland Institute of TAFE and will coincide with field trials set to start with one of New Zealand's biggest power distributors.
The micro CHP unit uses a fuel cell to generate electricity, heat and hot water for a house all in one unit. The cell consumes gas and is said to capture 85% of its energy content. A gas-fired power station captured about 30% of the energy content. The units also lower carbon emissions and reduce stress on electricity distribution systems.
Ceramic Chairman Julian Dinsdale said, "Ceramic's fuel cell units are designed to provide efficient, reliable, constant and environmentally friendly 'mini-generators' on site in homes, offices and farms. reliance on large, centralized electricity generators and transmission and distribution networks."