ene.field deployed more than 1,000 residential fuel cell Combined Heat and Power (micro-CHP) installations, across 10 key European countries. It represents a step change in the volume of fuel cell micro-CHP (or Fuel Cell micro-Cogeneration) deployment in Europe and a meaningful step towards commercialisation of the technology.
The programme brings together 10 mature European micro FC-CHP manufacturers into a common analysis framework to deliver trials across all of the available Fuel Cell micro-Cogeneration technologies. Fuel cell micro-CHP trials have been installed and actively monitored in dwellings across the range of European domestic heating markets, dwelling types and climatic zones, which led to an invaluable dataset on domestic energy consumption and micro-Cogeneration applicability across Europe.
By learning the practicalities of installing and supporting a fleet of fuel cells with real customers, ene.field partners took the final step before they can begin commercial roll-out. An increase in volume deployment for the manufacturers involved will stimulate cost reduction of the technology by enabling a move from hand-built products towards serial production and tooling.
The ene.field project also brings together over 30 utilities, housing providers and municipalities to bring the products to market and explore different business models for micro-CHP deployment.
The data produced by ene.field is used to provide a fact base for Fuel Cell micro-Cogeneration, including a definitive environmental lifecycle assessment and cost assessment on a total cost of ownership basis.
To communicate clear national strategies on micro-CHP within Member States, ene.field established the macro-economics and CO₂ savings of the technologies in their target markets and made recommendations as to the most appropriate policy mechanisms to support the commercialisation of domestic micro-CHP across Europe.
ene.field reviewed the socio-economic barriers to widespread deployment of micro-CHP and disseminated clear position papers and advice for policymakers to encourage further roll-out.
Objectives & findings
ene.field deployed 1,046 residential Fuel Cell (FC) micro-CHP installations across 10 European countries, and brought European FC micro-CHP manufacturers into a common analysis framework to deliver trials across all major FC micro-CHP technologies.
It represents a step change in the volume of fuel cell deployment for this sector in each country. By learning the practical implications of installing, operating and supporting a fleet of fuel cells with real world customers, ene.field demonstrates the environmental and economic imperative of Fuel Cell micro-Cogeneration, and lay the foundations for market exploitation.
The primary findings of the ene.field project were:
- Based on real world learning: ene.field demonstrated 1,046 units in real customer homes, with more than 5,5 million hours of reliable operation, generating in excess of 4.5 GWh of electricity.
- Developed a customer-oriented product proposition: ene.field field trial participant surveys show that more
than 90% of end users are pleased with the environmental performance, the comfort and warmth, reliability
and running costs of their fuel cell micro-cogeneration unit.
- Laid the foundation for mass market commercialisation: ene.field has proven the technical performance of
FC micro-CHP, identified relevant non-economic barriers and outlined possible routes to market. Life cycle
cost analysis showed under which conditions FC micro-CHP can become economically competitive at large
- Provided evidence based policy recommendations: Adding micro-CHP to the European energy mix generates
a gross reduction in infrastructure and operating costs of more than €6,000 for every kilowatt of installed
capacity up to 2050, when compared to a scenario with no micro-CHP. FC micro-CHP can reduce carbon
emissions, in the range of 370 – 1,100 kg CO2 per year for each kilowatt-electric (kWe), as the energy being
displaced by micro-CHP comes predominantly from coal-fired or peaking gas plants until 2050. Comprehensive
analysis showed that the policy frameworks at EU and national levels are yet to fully recognise the consumer
and system wide benefits of FC micro-CHP
As it can be seen in the figure, a large-scale deployment enables 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.
More information: http://enefield.eu/
All the ene.field public reports are available at this link: ene.field reports
For the summary report of ene.field findings (i.e. environmental and system benefits of micro-CHP, environmental life cycle assessment, policy recommendations, etc.) please follow this link: Learning points from demonstration of 1000 fuel cell based micro-CHP units
Other ene.field reports
- Benefits of Widespread Deployment of Fuel Cell micro-CHP in Securing and Decarbonising the Future European Electricity System
Germany’s biggest practical test for fuel cell heating systems for domestic use, Callux was a project launched together with partners from industry and supported by the German Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI).
As part of the national innovation program for hydrogen and fuel cell technology, which is coordinated by NOW GmbH, the industry, together with the BMVI, invested 75 million Euros in promoting the use of this innovative technology.
Fuel cell heaters provide environmentally friendly heat and power at a domestic level. The benefits of the system lie in the decentralised production of energy, which is achieved with comparatively high efficiency levels. In addition, fuel cell heaters also produce thermal energy, which can be used to heat living spaces.
Three system manufacturers were involved in the project – BAXI INNOTECH, Hexis and Vaillant – as well as five utility companies – EnBW, E.ON, EWE, MVV Energie, VNG Verbundnetz Gas. At project level, the Callux project was coordinated by the Center for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research (ZSW).
For more information please visit the Callux website: https://www.now-gmbh.de/de/nationales-innovationsprogramm/strom-und-waerme-mit-brennstoffzellen/callux