Fuel Cell micro-Cogeneration is a highly efficient distributed energy solution, simultaneously producing heat and electricity near the point of consumption. As heating accounts for half of the energy consumption in Europe, Fuel Cell micro-Cogeneration has the potential to play a key role to decarbonise heat in buildings, support the deployment of renewables and enable thousands of consumers to actively contribute to Europe’s energy transition.
The objective of the project is to unlock the market for Fuel Cell micro-Cogeneration large scale uptake by preparing the supply chain and working with policy-makers in selected countries to promote a successful transition to mass commercialisation.
Fuel Cell micro-Cogeneration units have demonstrated initial technology readiness in previous European and national demonstration projects (including Callux, ene.field, SOFT-PACT, Fuel Cell@home, Crisalide and others). However, a larger scale deployment is needed to enable suppliers to overcome the point of greatest risk in new product commercialisation where volumes remain low and a significant cost reduction is required to move the technology to a commercial proposition. The PACE project is expected to facilitate a transition to higher volumes in the order of 10,000 units/year post 2020.
With around 100 million boilers installed in residential buildings across Europe, a further development of Fuel Cell micro-Cogeneration technologies is key to delivering significant energy savings and emission reductions in the building sector.
The PACE project will bring various and significant benefits that will drive Fuel Cell micro-Cogeneration sector closer to mass market uptake:
Each manufacturer will build at least 500 units with an enhanced degree of automation, trialling the route to greater volume production and ensuring suppliers are industrialisation-ready.
This increase in scale will enable a step-change in the design and production processes, unlocking significant cost reductions of at least 30% at both stack and whole-system level.
As part of the project all manufacturers will establish manufacturing capacity for at least 1,000 systems per year by 2018, with plans for further flexible capability depending on demand.
Each manufacturer will implement new improvements on current state-of-the-Fuel Cell micro-Cogeneration systems to achieve further total cost of ownership and performance improvements. New stack designs will be implemented in this project and evaluated at large scale with respect to lifetime, robustness and proof of increased efficiency.
As part of the PACE project, each supplier will develop specialist support teams to support the units in the field and create certified training schemes amongst system installers. Each supplier will work on developing their existing sales channels to incorporate Fuel Cell micro-Cogeneration as a standard product offer for the domestic heating sector.
Looking at future competitiveness of the European supply chain and further cost reduction, PACE will initiate a standardisation working group to explore options to increase standardisation at component level and at unit level (to ease installation practices). This will build on techniques adopted from the automotive sector, to establish a strategy amongst the PACE manufacturers for efficient interaction with the European supply chain.
The results of the PACE project will be used to identify and stimulate the required industrial, policy and regulatory changes which will be required for the next phase of the industrialisation of the technology.
The partners will reach out to policy-makers and the domestic heating supply chain in selected countries to put in place a framework that will ensure wide spread roll-out of the technology.