Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Siemens SOFC Surfaces in Japan with 125 kW CHP

Siemens' only statement of note at the FC Seminar was that it was shifting its focus from large-scale hybrid power generation to mid-size CHP systems. Its previous foray into CHP was via the now-departed Fuel Cell Technology which used a 5 kW Siemens stack in its few CHP installations, including a successful dormitory placement in Toronto some years back. But FCT handled all the BOP and heating for the system, and upon FCT's demise, Acumentrics ended up with the technology and key personnel, not Siemens.

The scene has now shifted to Japan where Siemens had quietly engineered an development and marketing agreement with technology and engineering conglomorate Meidensha Corporation in 2005, a partnership similar to the successful one forged earlier by Marubeni and FuelCell Energy. It seems that Meidensha has been working on the balance of plant and heating portion, and has been paying close attention to the 250 kW - 1 MW the FCE molten carbonate systems installations by Marubeni, and the recent installations by Fuji of its revitalized 100 kW PAFC systems. Meidensha - know locally as MEIDEN, says it will be ready to install 125 kW system in FY2008 which begins next April, and will provide all operations and maintenance. Applications will probably include waste water treatment and breweries (has your Kirin been tasting different lately?) and the sizable Hospital and Hotel markets.

Siemens only stack relibility and efficiency reporting has come via the required annual DOE SECA documentation, so it's a wait-and-see situation to find out if we will have the first actual commercially viable SOFC installations in the world.

Siemens has claim to the longest-running SOFC development program (is that good?), so success is definitely possible. Regardless, this may put competative Mitsubishi HI and Rolls Royce FC into action with their large-scale stationary SOFC plans.

Talking points: Korea, China, spark spread


BinaryStar said...

Nice alliteration in the title. Why is a German company with a US subsidiary having success with new clean energy systems in Japan, but doing nothing here?

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