Posted by News on February 23, 2005, 11:57 pm
Anyone know of any web site that give the progress of residential fuel cell
units? General Electric were always going to bring one out next year, and
that was five years ago.
Posted by Gordon Reeder on February 24, 2005, 3:34 am
The closest thing I know about is Freightliner is experimenting with
fuel cells in OTR trucks. Not for populsion, but for house power.
IIRC they are using a 5KW unit from Basler electric. Probably
still a bit spendy, but the closest thing to a deployed system
that I have seen.
Just my $.02 worth. Hope it helps
Unity means let's try to meet each other halfway
Posted by News on February 24, 2005, 10:45 am
http://www.fuelcelltoday.com/index Fuel Cell Today did an article about 18
months ago on the progress world-wide and 80 companies were developing
residential fuel cells. The only major heating manufacturers were Valliant
of Germany, the rest were small dedicated fuel cell companies. I have heard
and read nothing of any advancements since. They are available for sale, but
for silly money and more experimental units rather than fully marketed
products. The problem is storing excess electrical power and the heat
produced to make them economically viable in running costs
New battery technology can act as a power store, unless they can modulate
the fuel input to electrcity demand, and thermal stores can store excess
heat. Then they maybe they will be viable - I think.
I have the impression many of these small fuel cell companies are setup to
get government research grants and little will come from them,
Posted by Vaughn on February 24, 2005, 11:14 am
Batteries are expensive. I haven't seen the figures lately, but even if
the power to charge them were free, the cost per KWH is considerable. If we
ever do get residential co-gen fuel cell systems, grid tie will be the ticket.
Posted by News on February 24, 2005, 11:38 am
The new Lithium Sulphur and poly batteries show promise of long charges and
cheap production, when development glitches and production is en-mass. The
auto industry will probably drive the prices down as hybrids are taking off,
and then pure electric cars will come along.
In the UK power companies are subsidising the installation of grid tied
cogen Stirling mCHP, micro Combined Heat & Power, now the official buzz word
here for single one residence units. This gives them a distributed power
station. One idea is for the supply company to remotely bring them in at
peak demand, if need be. This requires a thermal store to store the excess
heat. the peak time for heating and DHW just happens top fall in line with
peak electricity demand, so it may sort itself out.
The Stirling units produce 8kW of heat and 1.1kW of electricity. To produce
1 kW is approx 90% efficient and less than 2/5 of the harmful emissions of
grid produced, which is only 30-40% efficent in total.
In a new well insulated house 8kW should be fine for heating. That is where
the thermal store comes into play. It can be heated overnight to prepare
for the next day. Once a house is up to temperature the heating demands can
be as little as 1kW.
In the UK electricity is 4 times more expensive per kW as gas, so producing
electrity in your home with 90% efficient gas is worth it.