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Robust fuel cell heating unit developed


Acting as a mini-CHP plant, a fuel cell heating device can generate electricity and heat for single-family homes with high efficiency. Until now, it has been mainly economic reasons that have hampered the widespread market introduction of this technology. The BINE Projektinfo brochure entitled "Fuel cell generates electricity and heat for homes" (10/2016) presents a new device with a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) that has been developed to series production level. The developers have managed to reduce the manufacturing and installation costs and also improve the durability of the components.

Mini-CHP plant provides electricity and heat for single-family homes

Layout of the current XellPower fc-heater with the fuel cell system at the bottom and the gas condensing boiler above.

© Vaillant GmbH

The device provides an electrical output of 0.7 kW and a thermal output of 1.3 kW. A standard gas condensing unit is integrated to cover peak heating demands.

The overall efficiency is over 90%. All components are compactly arranged in a casing.

The negative pressure prevailing within the casing provides an effective safety concept to counter the risk of undetected gas leaks.

Previous devices were mostly based on overpressure. With the new unit, the developers have succeeded in halving the production and installation costs compared with previous systems.

The fuel cell heating device was tested in practice as part of the Callux energy research field trials, which involved devices from different manufacturers.

Fuel cells can be operated with natural gas or with hydrogen and methane generated from renewable energies or biomass.

The new fuel cell heating unit has been developed by Vaillant GmbH in collaboration with partners from research and industry.

You found all informations about the BINE Projektinfo brochure entitled "Fuel cell generates electricity and heat for homes" here:

Uwe Milles/Birgit Schneider

About BINE Information Service

Energy research for practical applications

The BINE Information Service reports on energy research topics, such as new materials, systems and components, as well as innovative concepts and methods. The knowledge gained is incorporated into the implementation of new technologies in practice, because first-rate information provides a basis for pioneering decisions, whether in the planning of energy-optimised buildings, increasing the efficiency of industrial processes, or integrating renewable energy sources into existing systems.

About FIZ Karlsruhe

FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz Institute for Information Infrastructure is a not-for-profit organization with the public mission to make sci-tech information from all over the world publicly available and to provide related services in order to support the national and international transfer of knowledge and the promotion of innovation.
Our business areas:
• STN International – the world’s leading online service for research and patent information in science and technology
• KnowEsis – innovative eScience solutions to support the process of research in all its stages, and throughout all scientific disciplines
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FIZ Karlsruhe is a member of the Leibniz Association (WGL) which consists of 87 German research and infrastructure institutions.

Weitere Informationen: - BINE Informationsdienst

Rüdiger Mack | idw - Informationsdienst Wissenschaft
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