E.ON UK and Ceramic Fuel Cells to Collaborate on Development of Prototype Fuel Cell Power Unit

July 15, 2007 by Jeff Shepard

Ceramic Fuel Cells Ltd. (CFCL) and E.ON UK, the company that runs Powergen, have signed an agreement to develop and deploy a prototype fuel cell-combined heat and power unit in the United Kingdom. The companies will work together to develop a fully-integrated micro CHP unit, incorporating CFCL’s fuel cell, that can be fitted into homes. The new units would be able to power a wide range of UK homes and would also help to reduce carbon emissions in the UK.

Bob Taylor, Managing Director of Energy Wholesale and Technology at E.ON UK, said: "Whether we’re building one of the world’s largest offshore wind farms right here in the UK or helping our customers fit microgeneration measures, our aim is to change the way that we generate and distribute energy. These new units are yet another example of that work. "We’re keen to get the units out into homes to see exactly what they can do. 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."

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. The agreement with CFCL complements E.ON’s existing activities in the field of micro CHP.

Brendan Dow, Managing Director of CFCL, commented, "As climate change emerges as one of the greatest challenges for modern society, we believe that CFCL is well placed to deliver energy-saving initiatives to reduce carbon emissions in the home. With this agreement we are now very close to achieving our partnering objectives in Europe. We look forward to working with E.ON UK to bring our energy-saving technology to homes and small businesses throughout the UK."

CFCL is planning to announce its appliance partner responsible for manufacturing the units in due course. During the collaboration, CFCL will supply a NetGen+ unit 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 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 m-CHP units for the UK residential market.