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European-wide field trials for residential fuel cell micro-CHP

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Cogeneration technologies in Europe

An EU-funded project is installing 1 000 residential fuel cell combined heat and power (CHP) units in 12 Member States in a bid to commercialise this technology.

Energy

Residential generators that produce both heat and electricity can spark a revolution in energy efficiency. Europe experiences a step change in the volume of the deployed micro-CHPs by dint of the EU-funded project 'European-wide field trials for residential fuel cell micro-CHP' (ENE.FIELD). Researchers, together with nine micro fuel cell CHP manufacturers across Europe, are working on a common analysis framework to deliver trials of all the available cogeneration technologies. These generators are being installed and monitored at different types of dwellings and places with different climates. ENE.FIELD should thus obtain a valuable data set on domestic energy consumption and micro-CHP applicability across Europe. ENE.FIELD is enhancing practical learning and demonstrating the micro fuel cell CHP market potential, and cost and environmental benefits, while developing market-orientated product specifications and harmonised standards. The project consortium has already laid the groundwork for a well-structured, robust roll-out of the ENE.FIELD large-scale demonstration of micro fuel cell CHPs. Field trials have been conducted in Germany and the United Kingdom, and a tracking system is now ready for use. Partners have also prepared a monitoring scheme and developed suitable materials for analysing field trial data. By learning the practicalities of installing and supporting a fleet of fuel cells with real customers, ENE.FIELD partners are paving the way towards their commercial roll-out. Large-scale deployment along with significant cost reduction should enable manufacturers to overcome the point of greatest risk in new product commercialisation where volumes remain low.

Keywords

Cogeneration, fuel cell, combined heat and power, energy efficiency, residential fuel, micro-CHP

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