Your own home fuel cell plant: Electricity, heat, hot water

“Pillar to Post” blogger and Control Engineering process industries editor Peter Welander has been following Baxi Innotech, a small R&D company in Germany that is developing a home-scale fuel cell appliance said to provide both heat and electricity for an average-sized home. The self-contained unit, which is slightly smaller than an average refrigerator, uses natural gas as fue...

11/01/2008


“Pillar to Post” blogger and Control Engineering process industries editor Peter Welander has been following Baxi Innotech, a small R&D company in Germany that is developing a home-scale fuel cell appliance said to provide both heat and electricity for an average-sized home.

The self-contained unit, which is slightly smaller than an average refrigerator, uses natural gas as fuel and puts out 1.5 kW of electricity and combined heat and power output of 3.0 kW to warm the house and make hot water.

“Obviously that is not enough to service a home of any size by itself,” Welander said. “1,500 watts will get used up pretty fast if somebody turns on the microwave, and I'm afraid I haven't figured out how much heat that is, but I doubt it will cover you when it's 15 °F outside in January. Nonetheless, much of the time, 1,500 watts will provide enough power for the house, particularly during the night and daytime when few people are home. During those hours, it's probably sending power out to the grid and earning a few bucks. Other times the local utility will supplement what it can generate. In case of a total outage, it will keep enough lights on and the refrigerator going.

“This product has been in development for a while now. I have a brochure from Hannover Fair from 2006 or so, and they say they'll be beta testing until 2010. I asked them a while back how much this device will cost and they're unwilling to say, or even suggest what they consider to be their target price. At less than $10,000 up and running, I'll bet you could sell quite a few of these. But if it costs $25,000, it will probably be pretty hopeless, even at today's high energy costs. Fuel cells are very efficient, particularly when you can harness both the heat and power output.”

To read more, visit Peter Welander's “Pillar to Post” blog on www.controleng.com .





No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Your leaks start here: Take a disciplined approach with your hydraulic system; U.S. presence at Hannover Messe a rousing success
Hannover Messe 2016: Taking hold of the future - Partner Country status spotlights U.S. manufacturing; Honoring manufacturing excellence: The 2015 Product of the Year Winners
Inside IIoT: How technology, strategy can improve your operation; Dry media or web scrubber?; Six steps to design a PM program
Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Digital oilfields: Integrated HMI/SCADA systems enable smarter data acquisition; Real-world impact of simulation; Electric actuator technology prospers in production fields
Special report: U.S. natural gas; LNG transport technologies evolve to meet market demand; Understanding new methane regulations; Predictive maintenance for gas pipeline compressors
Warehouse winter comfort: The HTHV solution; Cooling with natural gas; Plastics industry booming
Managing automation upgrades, retrofits; Making technical, business sense; Ensuring network cyber security
Designing generator systems; Using online commissioning tools; Selective coordination best practices

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
This article collection contains several articles on strategic maintenance and understanding all the parts of your plant.
click me