Skip to main content

Energy efficient and environmentally friendly multi-fuel power system with CHP capability, for stand-alone applications.

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - PROMETHEUS-5 (Energy efficient and environmentally friendly multi-fuel power system with CHP capability, for stand-alone applications.)

Reporting period: 2017-09-01 to 2019-04-30

The Prometheus-5 product proposes an alternative solution for power and heat generation, using hydrogen and fuel cells. Currently, the targeting market segment (remote or back-up power generation) is served by diesel or gasoline generators which rely on mature and relatively low cost technology. However, conventional gensets offer about half of the electrical efficiency (normally around 16%, in this power range), and present other significant drawbacks such as: high operational and maintenance costs, emission of large quantities of greenhouse gases (CO2, HCs) and atmospheric pollutants (SOx, NOx, CO, particulates), vibration and noise. Commercialization of Helbio’s system will result in power generators having electrical efficiency twice that of the conventional ones, leading to proportionally reduced fuel consumption, proportionally reduced GHG emissions and near elimination of emission of atmospheric pollutants. Also, the use of alternative to gasoline and diesel fuels, like propane/LPG, NG and, especially, biogas, a renewable fuel, will be introduced in the power generation market. The proposed system is based on highly innovative and efficient technologies, which have been developed in recent years by Helbio S.A. These technologies address major EU and global challenges, dealing with both environmental and energy efficiency issues and they are in accordance with the Roadmap for moving toward a low-carbon economy in 2050 (low-cost and low-carbon energy production, use of alternative fuels, emissions reduction, etc).

Primary objective of the proposed project is the industrialization of a highly innovative, energy efficient and environmentally friendly power production unit for decentralized power generation (Prometheus-5). The unit is of nominal capacity of 5 kW electric power, while in the combined heat and power (CHP) mode, it can also produce up to 7 kW thermal energy in the form of hot water. The unit is a multi-fuel one and it can be operated with conventional fossil fuels (propane/LPG and Natural gas (NG)) or Biogas (BG). The device is able to convert the fuel into electrical and thermal power by means of a fuel processor which converts the fuel and water into hydrogen and a Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell. The unit is equipped with a power management system, delivering electrical energy in the form required (DC or AC, grid connected or stand alone), depending on application. It has the ability to operate in the range of 40-100% of its nominal capacity. Its electrical efficiency is greater than 35% (based on LHV), while total efficiency exceeds 85%. The integrated system consists of the following sub-units:
- Fuel processor/hydrogen production unit
- Power production unit (fuel cell stack + power electronics)
- Control module
Overview of the results: During Prometheus-5 project there was achieved the standardization of the manufacturing techniques of its mechanical parts, so as to be able for higher volume production. In parallel,the reforming subassembly was re-designed and other crucial sub-systems of the unit, such as the power electronics and the control module, were developed and standardized. These subsystems have been developed exclusively for the Prometheus-5 needs and are dedicated for that system. All sub-systems along with the peripheral equipment assembled in an integrated unit and testing of the performance took place. Adjustments and modifications took place in order to improve the performance of the integrated unit. The Prometheus-5 design was standardized and all findings and data gathered during testing implemented in the finalized design. Ten Prometheus-5 prototypes were constructed based on the finalized design. The construction procedure was standardized the identical construction steps followed during the build up of the ten units. Extensive field testing of two Prometheus-5 prototypes took place in Helbio premises. During this testing, performance optimization, performance verification, system standardization and system automation took place. All findings and data feedback from the testing implemented to the rest units in order to minimize the adjustment period during the field testing. The selection of the applications for the installation and field testing of the rest 8 Prometheus-5 prototypes was based on company’s updated business and commercialization plan. According to that, the markets that will be firstly approached are two: i) the telecommunication stations and ii) the on- or off- grid households and other buildings. Therefore, two units selected to be installed in telecoms (Cosmote - Greece and Reliance Jio - India), three on on-grid households or other buildings (EDA - Greece, Vastek - Korea and P.U.C - Brazil) and three on off-grid households or other buildings (Reliance Jio - India, ES Nord - Sweden and Note Co Ltd - Japan). Electrical efficiency of the system found to be near to that targeted (35%) but only in lower capacities (50% and 60%). At 100% capacity the electrical efficiency is reduced to about 28%.
The Prometheus-5 certification technical file was prepared and the design of a production line of capacity of 5000 units per year was done during the project.

Exploitation and dissemination: Several exploitation, dissemination and communication activities took place during the Prometheus-5 project. Helbio participated in various events and exhibitions, like Athens Energy Forum 2017, EU Sustainable Energy Week, TechInnovation 2017, European Utility Week event, Tokyo FC Expo 2019, Hydrogen and Fuel Cell exhibition Hannover Messe, etc. A website dedicated for the Prometheus-5 project has been constructed and company's web-site upgraded as well. Helbio and Prometheus-5 logos have been created and promotional material (flyers, brochures, posters, etc) has been designed and printed. Also, a 2-minute video has been created in order to communicate & explain the operation of the new product, the innovative technology but also its main applications.
Dissemination activities and exploitation of the results will be continued after the end of the project as well. A plan for exploitation and dissemination of the results has been created. Dissemination activities and exploitation of the results of the project will be implemented through well-targeted mechanisms. Three main dissemination lines will be applied: (1) Internet communication; (2) Publications; (3) Events and Networks. All three lines will address the three main target groups, the academic and scientific community, policy makers, the general public.
Prometheus-5 project proposes an alternative solution for power and heat generation, using hydrogen and fuel cells. Prometheus-5 product addresses major EU and global challenges, dealing with both environmental and energy efficiency issues and they are in accordance with the Roadmap for moving toward a low-carbon economy in 2050.
Prometheus-5 product is more efficient and environmentally friendly power production system and focuses on the following challenges:
• “Reducing energy consumption and carbon footprint by smart and sustainable use (including energy-efficient products and services as well as ‘Smart Cities and Communities’)”.
• “Low-cost, low-carbon electricity supply (including renewable energy as well as CCS and re-use)”.
• “Alternative fuels and mobile energy sources”.
• “A single, smart European electricity grid”.
• “New knowledge and technologies”.