Fuel cell technology cannot be commercialised without a clear focussed path to market.  CFCL has expended a significant amount of time and resources defining the technology and value from CFCL's SOFC technology.

This section provides an overview of the value generated from using a CFCL SOFC system as part of a m-CHP appliance connected to a Distributed Generation (DG) network.  For information on CFCL's commercialisation model click here.

Demand for electricity generation is increasing as more appliances and ventilation systems are heavily dependant on having a stable electricity supply resulting in increased base load demand.  CFCL's studies indicate electricity is the key output from the m-CHP unit, rather than heat.  Commercially available technologies, such as condensing boilers, produce heat extremely efficiently - upwards of 90% efficiency.

In m-CHP units the energy input is a gaseous or liquid fuel, typically natural gas, with electricity and heat as energy outputs.  Traditionally, the supply of electricity has a higher energy cost than the supply of natural gas.  Our core value is that CFCL's fuel cells can convert gas into electricity and deliver this at much higher efficiencies than traditional combustion generation methods (coal & natural gas) when used as part of a DG network.

The example below highlights efficiency losses when electricity is generated by a coal fired power station and delivered to the home including generation parasitic losses, high-voltage and low voltage transmission & distribution losses.

Electricity Supply

As the following picture demonstrates, when a CFCL SOFC is used as part of a m-CHP system connected to a DG network the efficiency of electricity supply increases because:

  1. The SOFC converts the fuel into electricity at approximately 50% efficiency
    (rather than 30% to 35% - including generation parastitic losses).
  2. The electricity is produced at the point of use, so there are no transmission & distribution losses over long distances.
  3. The heat generated by CFCL's SOFC system is captured and used for heating (and possibly cooling) requirements in the home.
Using a CHP

 

The value can be shared across the stakeholders:

Utility

  • Increased margin - as more electricity is produced per unit of fuel consumed
  • Capital cost reduction - delayed investment in centralised generation as m-CHP can fill the supply shortfall
  • Reduction of transmission costs - as the power is already generated at the point of use
  • Stable base load electricity - produced on the low voltage side of the grid

Consumer

  • Unobtrusive - silent operation & similar size unit to existing appliances
  • Energy security - with the fuel cell generating electricity close to home
  • Environmentally friendly - smaller greenhouse footprint
  • Possible reduced energy costs

Environment

  • Reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
  • Ability for measuring and capturing carbon credits

Research has shown that houses are becoming more energy efficient and require less heat.  To find out more why CFCL are developing highly efficient electrically lead solid oxide fuel cells, visit the facts and trends section.