BlueGen Units for the UK
Three BlueGen gas-to-electricity generators have been sold to one of the UK’s leading energy companies, E.ON. One BlueGen will be installed in early 2011 at the E.ON training centre in Tipton, West Midlands, where E.ON’s Property Services department trains its staff in the installation and maintenance of gas and electrical appliances. The other two BlueGen units will be installed at demonstration sites.
Due to its high electricity to heat ratio, each BlueGen unit can produce three times the electricity needed to power an average UK home, as well as enough heat to satisfy its needs for hot water. Ceramic Fuel Cells is continuing to make progress towards having BlueGen certified under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme, in order to access the UK Government’s feed in tariff. This pays 10 pence for every kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity generated by small scale co-generation products, plus an additional 3 pence for every kWh of electricity sold back to the local power grid.
In parallel with installing three BlueGen units, Ceramic Fuel Cells and E.ON are continuing to develop fully integrated power and heating products for the UK market. In this project, integrated units are being installed with appliance company Gledhill and in a test house with EA Technology. Under a product development agreement, Ceramic Fuel Cells and E.ON have agreed the development stages to move into production of commercial units and they are currently discussing the details for the next phase of product development and deployment.
200 fuel cell mCHP units
Ceramic Fuel Cells Ltd has received a conditional order for up to 200 integrated power and heat generators from German energy service provider EWE, which will generate revenue of up to 4.9 million Euros over two years. The integrated units use Ceramic Fuel Cells’ patented technology to convert natural gas into electricity and heat, with the world’s highest level of electrical efficiency. EWE will install the units in homes in the Lower Saxony region in northern Germany in order to provide the homes with low emission electricity, hot water and heating. The order is conditional on EWE receiving partial funding under the German government’s national hydrogen and fuel cell technology innovation program. This program is providing 700 million Euros between 2008 and 2018 and a decision is expected in early 2011. Subject to EWE obtaining the Government funding and to the units meeting agreed performance targets, EWE will order 70 units for delivery in 2011 and 130 units for delivery in 2012.
“This is a significant follow-on order from EWE, and it will see us selling many more of the integrated products we have developed with EWE and our local partner Bruns,” said Brendan Dow. “We are confident that the German government will support the project and we look forward to continuing to deploy products with EWE, our longest-standing customer and partner. We are also encouraged by the very strong interest in our low emission products in Germany.” Ceramic Fuel Cells will supply the core Gennex fuel cell module and related components and, together with their local manufacturing partner, Gebrüder Bruns Heiztechnik GmbH, they will integrate the fuel cell module with a boiler into a power and heating product for supply to EWE.
Developing the market
Ceramic Fuel Cells has signed an agreement with Adelaide-based Hills Holdings Limited for Hills to sell and service Ceramic Fuel Cells’ BlueGen gas-to-electricity units, initially in South Australia. Hills will also provide installation and after-sales service for BlueGen products Australia-wide and will help Ceramic Fuel Cells to develop the market for BlueGen. Hills has a wide range of businesses in three major categories: home, hardware and eco products; electronic security and entertainment; and building and industrial products. “We are delighted to have signed this agreement with Hills, an iconic Australian company in the home hardware and eco products market,” said Brendan Dow. “Hills designs, develops and makes its own appliances and solar products, so there are also longer term strategic opportunities for us to collaborate on the BlueGen manufacturing and supply-chain side. This agreement represents a further validation of our BlueGen product and what it can achieve in the energy market.”
The agreement is in line with Ceramic Fuel Cells’ strategy to sell BlueGen units in Australia through distributors and to outsource the installation and service of BlueGen units. The agreement with Hills follows similar BlueGen distribution agreements with green products retailer Neco, based in Melbourne, and Harvey Norman’s Commercial Division, in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. The Australian market for BlueGen is estimated to be several hundred thousand units – the number of households connected to natural gas is more than three million. http://www.cfcl.com.au