Ceres Power Demonstrates Integrated Wall Mounted Fuel Cell CHP Unit

September 17, 2007 by Jeff Shepard

Ceres Power announced that it has demonstrated an integrated, wallmountable combined heat and power (CHP) unit. The company states that the successful design, construction and testing of this natural gas-fed unit represents an important milestone in the its residential CHP program with British Gas and highlights the commercial potential of the product. It is said that the compact and wall-mountable design will enable access to both the boiler replacement and new build residential mass markets in the UK and overseas.

As part of an ongoing testing program, the integrated wall-mountable CHP Unit has already demonstrated the capability of generating electricity and all of the central heating and hot water requirements of a typical home, avoiding the need for a separate boiler. The company states that the compact CHP Unit uses the same natural gas, water and electricity connections as a boiler, and is thus easy to install.

Key balance of plant components within the CHP program have been developed in partnership with well-established volume manufacturers in Europe and the USA from industries including automotive and white goods. The operating temperature (500-600°C) of the Ceres Power fuel cell technology has enabled the use of widely available and cost-effective raw materials, components and manufacturing equipment.

The fit-out of the recently secured Product Facility has been completed, with the focus shifting to validating performance of the core manufacturing processes through statistical process trials. All of the key volume production equipment has now been installed on-site and includes machines for steel substrate perforation, ceramic layer deposition, fuel cell drying and firing, stack layer welding, and associated quality control. Initial process trials have been conducted, with further work helping to finalize the planned investment in scaling-up to the company’s first volume production facility.

Peter Bance, Chief Executive of Ceres Power, commented, "The demonstration of an integrated wall-mountable CHP Unit is not only a significant step forward in the commercialization of our unique technology but also represents an industry-leading position. We are now focusing on value engineering of the CHP Unit and the scale-up of core manufacturing processes to meet expected customer demand."