Osaka, Japan - Viessmann Group and Panasonic Corporation have jointly developed a new fuel cell cogeneration system, which will become the first polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) fuel cell system available for single-homes in Europe. It will be sold by Viessmann, starting in Germany in April 2014.
Aiming at an integrated system adapted for European markets, Panasonic and Viessmann have set up a joint development agreement and have jointly designed the complete fuel cell system. The fuel cell unit has been developed by Panasonic and will be manufactured in Japan, then supplied to Viessmann. The unit of the peak load boiler and the hot water tank has been developed by Viessmann. Viessmann will also carry out the assembly of the complete unit. Thus, Viessmann and Panasonic have jointly designed the overall complete system of fuel cell.
Both companies agree upon the importance of highly efficient systems for the cogeneration of heat and power within an increasingly decentralized energy supply structure. Combined with intelligent electricity distribution (smart grids), they can contribute significantly towards relieving the power grids.
In this context, fuel cell based micro combined heat and power systems (mCHP) are a prerequisite for cogeneration technology to reach one- and two-family-homes on a broad basis. Compared to the separate generation of heat and power, they reduce CO2 emissions by 50 percent. In doing so, fuel cell based mCHP systems not only offer excellent perspectives for protecting the environment, but also for increasing energy efficiency - thus playing an important role in bringing about a sustainable energy era.
For that reason, both Panasonic and Viessmann have been heavily involved in research and development of a fuel cell cogeneration system for single- and two-family homes as a next generation energy supply system, working towards its early introduction into the German market.
Panasonic began selling fuel cell cogeneration systems for Japanese homes in 2009. The combination of the technological expertise of Viessmann and Panasonic has enabled the development of a fuel cell system with outstanding energy efficiency and reliability. The new product is the first fuel cell system for homes in the European market to use the PEFC system (polymer electrolyte fuel cell). By 2020, Panasonic and Viessmann expect a five-digit number of systems to be installed in Europe.
The fuel cell system, which can be installed in the basement or utility room, consists of two units - the integrated DHW cylinder and auxiliary boiler as well as the fuel cell unit. Both have been designed with a high-end feel. Through the provision of dedicated apps, information about the operating status of the system can be displayed on the customer's smartphone or tablet. Customers will be able to operate the system remotely, display data on power generation status, economic and environmental efficiency as well as receive notifications concerning maintenance information.
This system is a fusion of Viessmann's highly efficient, boiler-based heating technology accumulated over many years, and the fuel cell technology of Panasonic, which has built an impressive sales record over more than five years as a pioneer of fuel cells in the Japanese market. The combination of both technologies has led to a high-efficiency, high-quality product perfectly suited to the German market.
Following the introduction of the fuel cell system in H Gas markets, efforts will be made to expand to L Gas regions in Germany, as well as in the UK, France and neighboring countries of Germany, with the objective of expanding to all regions in Europe in the future.
■ Product overview
Left: Water tank and backup boiler unit, Right: Fuel cell unit
■ Main specifications
1. Features a co-generation system providing household power generation and home heating/ water heating using gas. The system realizes a reduction in CO2 by 50 percent compared to the separate production of power and heat.
2. Consists of a simple design comprising a water tank and backup boiler unit and a fuel cell unit, which is perfectly suited to indoor installation in the basement or utility room of German households
3. Remote operation and access to the latest power generation data and maintenance information enabled through the use of a smartphone or tablet
Main specifications of the Fuel Cell System
[Power output] 750W (Rating constant control)
[Thermal output] 1000W
[Electrical connection] AC230V - 50Hz
[Power generation efficiency] 37%(LHV)
[Combined efficiency] 90%(LHV)
[Operating time] 60,000 hours (Start up-shut down: 4,000 times)
[Boiler output] 19kW
[Lifespan] Stack 10 years, Overall unit 20 years
[Dimensions] Fuel cell unit H1670mm x W480mm x D475mm,
Boiler & Tank Unit H1950 mm x W 600 mm x D600mm
[Weight] Fuel cell unit 125 kg, Boiler and Tank unit 170 kg
The Viessmann Group is one of the leading international manufacturers of heating systems. Founded in 1917, the family business maintains a staff of approximately 10,600 employees and generates 1.89 billion Euro in annual group turnover. With 27 production divisions in 11 countries, subsidiaries and representations in 74 countries and 120 sales offices around the world, Viessmann is an internationally orientated company. 54 Percent of sales are derived from export activities. Whether for single or two-family homes, large residential complexes, commercial and industrial buildings or local heating networks, Viessmann offers the right system solution with heat sources for all fuel types and outputs ranging from 1.5 to 120.000 kW. For more information, please visit http://www.viessmann.com
Panasonic Corporation is a worldwide leader in the development and engineering of electronic technologies and solutions for customers in residential, non-residential, mobility and personal applications. Since its founding in 1918, the company has expanded globally and now operates over 500 consolidated companies worldwide, recording consolidated net sales of 7.30 trillion yen for the year ended March 31, 2013. Committed to pursuing new value through innovation across divisional lines, the company strives to create a better life and a better world for its customers. For more information about Panasonic, please visit the company's website at http://panasonic.net/.
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