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ENE.FIELD Report Summary

Project ID: 303462
Funded under: FP7-JTI
Country: Belgium

Periodic Report Summary 3 - ENE.FIELD (European-wide field trials for residential fuel cell micro-CHP)

Project Context and Objectives:
Ene.field will deploy up to 1,000 residential fuel cell Combined Heat and Power (micro-CHP) installations across different Member States, bringing ten European micro FC-CHP manufacturers into a common analysis framework to deliver trials across all major micro FC-CHP technologies. This represents a change in the volume of fuel cell micro-CHP deployment in Europe and a meaningful step towards commercialising the technology.
The objectives of this project are to promote practical learning and demonstrate the market potential, segmentation, cost and environmental benefits of micro FC-CHP while developing market-oriented product specifications and harmonised codes and standards. Additionally, ene.field seeks to set up a more mature supply chain, ready for the deployment of micro FC-CHP in different Member States, and to provide evidence based on cost and environmental analysis that can be used to accelerate policy support from governments from regional and national and market adoption by several channels.

Project Results:
The ene.field project is moving forward with the full support of project partners; the field trials started in September 2013 and all trials have several units in the field. As of September 2015, 299 units have been installed across the 8 active field trials in 10 countries (Germany, France, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Denmark, Luxembourg and the UK).
During the third year, the consortium has further developed a robust roll-out of the project, leading to an upcoming phase with a steep increase in the number of systems installed in the field based on contractual agreements signed in this period. The manufacturing partners are also developing new approaches to the market to enable this deployment.
In this third year of the project, new initiatives were taken to reinvigorate the project's communications output, to disseminate the outcomes of the project and to encourage both utilities and regions to get involved. The communications activities were comprised by several press releases, newsflashes and presentations in major events and different articles on magazines.
The data communication procedures for the trial partners and data collection processes have been established and the data information is flowing and is being gathered for both standard and detailed monitoring, to then be anonymised to perform intense technical analysis. The installation surveys with end users and installers are also gathering, storing and anonymising data from the different units to analyse later in the project. It is expected that in year 4 both detailed monitoring and the results of the surveys will become available as the volume of units included in the field trials reaches a suitable minimum value per partner.
Work on the position paper about grid connection and active control is underway. A first draft has been issues and now the consortium's feedback is being processed. The consortium met for the third time at the annual project meeting and general assembly in September 2015, with the aim to review the project results and collect recommendations. New partners were welcomes and new initiatives to streamline reporting and amendment processes were discussed. A meeting with the advisory board is being set up for November 2015. The meeting links ene.field to the fuel cell activities in the USA DOE and the Fuel Cell Commercialization Conference of Japan (FCCJ) which each have a representative on the advisory panel.

Potential Impact:
The project’s third year has seen all partners adjust their channels to market; make appropriate resource adjustments and increase deployment of units. Contract agreement with deployment partners has typically taken longer than expected but this third year has also seen some manufacturers moving ahead of their original expectations. While the beginning of the project was slow, there is now a better understanding of the size of the challenge facing the project and all manufacturers are in the process of adapting their plans to maximise installation success. The analysis of the project is moving ahead and is expected to produce valuable reference information for the sector. The slow project start is replaced in the third reporting phase by increased activity in deployment. The changes in the utility sector which led to the delays have proved to be structural and given the new market situation and the changes among manufacturing partners the project now sees a risk to achieving the full volume of deployed units originally intended. The project partners are however confident in a substantial success for the project and this in the full knowledge that there is time to be "made up" over the next two years.
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