FuelCellsWorks

Industry News & Information Leader

SFC EFOY ReliOn Hydrogenics Honda Plug Power Toyota BMW

Archives

AREVA inaugurates energy hydrogen energy storage platform using fuel cells in Corsica

In partnership with the University of Corsica and the French Nuclear and Alternative Energies Commission, the Hydrogen & Energy Storage  of AREVA inaugurated on January 9th, the MYRTE platform at the University of Corsica site in Vignola, close to Ajaccio.

MYRTE platform aims to demonstrate the feasibility of a solar energy storage solution using hydrogen technologies to mitigate the fluctuations of solar power generation, and contribute to securing Corsica’s power grid.

After more than two and a half years of work, the 560 kWc photovoltaic power plant was connected to an innovative energy storage system developed by AREVA, made of an electrolyzer, hydrogen and oxygen reserves, and a fuel cell.

MYRTE has been running connected to the Corsican electrical grid since December 16, 2011: a first in Europe and worldwide in this power range.

“The MYRTE platform allows us to get out of the laboratory and test our technology in a real environment. It is our first installation at this maturity level, connected to the electricity network. This day is the beginning of a new chapter for the BU: we will now on be in operational exploitation of such systems.” says Jérôme Gosset, Vice President of the H&ES BU, “

The H&ES BU objective is now to work out progressively the most successful operation modes to integrate decentralized renewable electricity into insular grids, while contributing to secure them.

AREVA will continue investing in MYRTE: The Hydrogen & Energy Storage activity  will install by 2013, within the framework of MYRTE phase 2, the next generation of hydrogen systems to increase the current platform hydrogen system power: the Greenergy Box a containerized integrated hydrogen system, based on hydrogen technologies currently implemented in MYRTE.

The MYRTE platform based on hydrogen technologies fits perfectly with the group strategy which is to provide electrical production technologies, nuclear and renewables, with extremely low CO2 emissions.

February 10, 2012 - 1:58 PM No Comments

Hydrogen from Acidic Water: Berkeley Lab Researchers Develop a Potential Low Cost Alternative to Platinum for Splitting Water

berkley
Using a molybdenite complex and the PY5Me2 ligand, Berkeley Lab researchers synthesized a molecule that mimics catalytically active triangular molybdenum disulfide edge-sites. The result is an entire layer of catalytically active material. Molybdenum atoms are shown as green, sulfur as yellow.

A technique for creating a new molecule that structurally and chemically replicates the active part of the widely used industrial catalyst molybdenite has been developed by researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab). This technique holds promise for the creation of catalytic materials that can serve as effective low-cost alternatives to platinum for generating hydrogen gas from water that is acidic.

Christopher Chang and Jeffrey Long, chemists who hold joint appointments with Berkeley Lab and the University of California (UC) Berkeley, led a research team that synthesized a molecule to mimic the triangle-shaped molybdenum disulfide units along the edges of molybdenite crystals, which is where almost all of the catalytic activity takes place. Since the bulk of molybdenite crystalline material is relatively inert from a catalytic standpoint, molecular analogs of the catalytically active edge sites could be used to make new materials that are much more efficient and cost-effective catalysts.

“Using molecular chemistry, we’ve been able to capture the functional essence of molybdenite and synthesize the smallest possible unit of its proposed catalytic active site,” says Chang, who is also an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). “It should now be possible to design new catalysts that have a high density of active sites so we get the same catalytic activity with much less material.”

Says Long, “Inorganic solids, such as molybdenite, are an important class of catalysts that often derive their activity from sparse active edge sites, which are structurally distinct from the inactive bulk of the molecular solid. We’ve demonstrated that it is possible to create catalytically active molecular analogs of these sites that are tailored for a specific purpose. This represents a conceptual path forward to improving future catalytic materials.”

From left, Jeffrey Long, Christopher Chang and Hemamala Karunadasa are paving the way for the creation of catalytic materials that can serve as effective low-cost alternatives to platinum for generating hydrogen gas from water. (Photo by Roy Kaltschmidt, Berkeley Lab Public Affairs)From left, Jeffrey Long, Christopher Chang and Hemamala Karunadasa are paving the way for the creation of catalytic materials that can serve as effective low-cost alternatives to platinum for generating hydrogen gas from water. (Photo by Roy Kaltschmidt, Berkeley Lab Public Affairs)

Chang and Long are the corresponding authors of a paper in the journal Science describing this research titled “A Molecular MoS2 Edge Site Mimic for Catalytic Hydrogen Generation.” Other authors are Hemamala Karunadasa, Elizabeth Montalvo, Yujie Sun and Marcin Majda.

Molybdenite is the crystalline sulfide of molybdenum and the principal mineral from which molybdenum metal is extracted. Although commonly thought of as a lubricant, molybdenite is the standard catalyst used to remove sulfur from petroleum and natural gas for the reduction of sulfur dioxide emissions when those fuels are burned. Recent studies have shown that in its nanoparticle form, molybdenite also holds promise for catalyzing the electrochemical and photochemical generation of hydrogen from water. Hydrogen could play a key role in future renewable energy technologies if a relatively cheap, efficient and carbon-neutral means of producing it can be developed.

Currently, the best available technique for producing hydrogen is to split water molecules into molecules of hydrogen and oxygen using platinum as the catalyst. However, with platinum going for more than $2,000 an ounce, the market is wide open for a low cost alternative catalyst. Molybdenite is far more plentiful and about 1/70th the cost of platinum, but poses other problems.

“Molybdenite has a layered structure with multiple microdomains, most of which are chemically inert,” Chang says. “High-resolution scanning tunneling microscopy studies and theoretical calculations have identified the triangular molybdenum disulfide edges as the active sites for catalysis; however, preparing molybdenite with a high density of functional edge sites in a predictable manner is extremely challenging.”

Chang, Long and their research team met this challenge using a pentapyridyl ligand known as PY5Me2 to create a molybdenum disulfide molecule that, while not found in nature, is stable and structurally identical to the proposed triangular edge sites of molybdenite. It was shown that these synthesized molecules can form a layer of material that is analogous to constructing a sulfide edge of molybdenite.

“The electronic structure of our molecular analog can be adjusted through ligand modifications,” Long says. “This suggests we should be able to tailor the material’s activity, stability and required over-potential for proton reduction to improve its performance.”

In 2010, Chang and Long and Hemamala Karunadasa, who is the lead author on this new Science paper, used the PY5Me2 ligand to create a molybdenum-oxo complex that can effectively and efficiently catalyze the generation of hydrogen from neutral buffered water or even sea water. Molybdenite complexes synthesized from this new molecular analog can just as effectively and efficiently catalyze hydrogen gas from acidic water.

“We’re now looking to develop molecular analogs of active sites in other catalytic materials that will work over a range of pH conditions, as well as extend this work to photocatalytic systems” Chang says.

Adds Long, “Our molecular analog for the molybdenite active site might not be a replacement for any existing catalytic materials but it does provide a way to increase the density of active sites in inorganic solid catalytic materials and thereby allow us to do more with less.”

This research was supported by the DOE Office of Science, in part through the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis, a DOE Energy Innovation Hub.

February 10, 2012 - 7:36 AM No Comments

Ceres Power proposal by UK Government to increase the feed in tariff (“FIT”)

UK Government Raises Feed in Tariff to “Jumpstart” micro-CHP
Ceres Power today welcomes the proposal by UK Government to increase the feed in tariff (“FIT”) for small scale combined heat and power (“micro-CHP”) technology, including the Company’s own fuel cell micro-CHP product.
The new FIT is part of a package of measures published in the Feed in Tariff Consultation Phase 2B (1) by the UK Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC). The proposed tariff increase is to 12.5p per kWh generated, from the current level of 10.5p. This will raise the annual income for homes installing micro-CHP, and is intended to accelerate consumer adoption of this technology. For a typical UK home with a Ceres micro-CHP unit (2), it is predicted that the annual FIT will go up from £350 to £436, on top of the predicted annual energy cost savings of £286.
Today’s announcement follows comments in the House of Commons on 1st February 2012 by Greg Barker, Minister of State for Climate Change (3), in which he signalled his intent to use policy measures such as the FIT to “jumpstart” micro-CHP, and indicated that he shared the ambition for 1 million micro-CHP units installed in the UK by 2020. The technology, he indicated, has the potential to be “an attractive, price-competitive alternative to taking electricity from the grid or installing a conventional boiler”.
The Ceres micro-CHP unit is designed to easily replace an existing wall mounted gas boiler and is compatible with the majority of UK houses. In the Minister’s words, “there are very few homes that couldn’t benefit from micro-CHP”. The Ceres product can address both the new install and the retrofit segments of the UK boiler market, which together represent over 1.5 million units each year (4). The Company’s partnership with British Gas, both the largest residential energy supplier and the largest installer of domestic central heating and gas appliances in Britain, further strengthens this market access.
Although the Minister said that he “anticipated a long-term future for the feed in tariff for micro-CHP”, he also stated that he would use additional policy support if needed to stimulate mass market uptake. Future measures may include modification of Building Regulations to require higher minimum efficiency standards that could be met with micro-CHP technology. This could mirror the change to regulations in 2005 that effectively made the installation of condensing boilers mandatory overnight, superseding the existing technology.
The Minister acknowledged the importance of the flexibility provided by specific micro-CHP technologies with low heat-to-power ratios and the ability to be turned on and off, which help when balancing the electricity system. He indicated that these technologies are particularly exciting and will fit in well with the more electrified economy of the future. Ceres fuel cell technology can withstand many power cycles, can be rapidly turned up and down as needed, and has a very low heat-to-power ratio allowing operation all year round.
David Pummell, Chief Executive Officer, commented:
“The change to the FIT and the Government’s support for mass market uptake of micro-CHP represent a fundamental shift in strategic UK residential energy policy. They reinforce the future importance of micro-CHP as a cost effective solution that can meet the requirements of a significant proportion of the UK’s homes. I especially welcome the Minister’s commitment to helping micro-CHP deliver significant residential emissions reductions in the UK over the long term. The Ceres micro-CHP product is ideally placed to meet the demanding UK requirements of wall mountability, low price and high performance and these policy changes will help accelerate customer uptake.”
Phil Bentley, Managing Director British Gas, commented:
“This is a positive announcement by the Government. It will support British industry in this sector and stimulate growth in skilled jobs. British Gas believes the Ceres micro CHP product has the potential to transform the domestic central heating market in the UK, enabling our customers to generate cheap, reliable & low-carbon electricity in their own homes.”
Notes:
1. The DECC consultation document can be found at: http://www.decc.gov.uk/assets/decc/Consultations/fits-review/4311-feed-in-tariff-scheme-phase-2b-consultation-docume.pdf
2. Baseline figures as disclosed in the presentation accompanying the Company’s CHP demonstration, site visit and preliminary results for the year ended 30th June 2010, published on 29th September 2010, and available at: http://www.cerespower.com/store/files/200-Results%20Presentation%20V30%2029%209%2010%20for%20web%20FINAL.pdf The House of Commons adjournment debate on micro-CHP on 1st February 2012 can be found at: http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=9929&st=11:00:28
3. Data from BSRIA, http://www.bsria.co.uk

UK Government Raises Feed in Tariff to “Jumpstart” micro-CHP

Ceres Power today welcomes the proposal by UK Government to increase the feed in tariff (“FIT”) for small scale combined heat and power (“micro-CHP”) technology, including the Company’s own fuel cell micro-CHP product.

The new FIT is part of a package of measures published in the Feed in Tariff Consultation Phase 2B (1) by the UK Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC). The proposed tariff increase is to 12.5p per kWh generated, from the current level of 10.5p. This will raise the annual income for homes installing micro-CHP, and is intended to accelerate consumer adoption of this technology. For a typical UK home with a Ceres micro-CHP unit (2), it is predicted that the annual FIT will go up from £350 to £436, on top of the predicted annual energy cost savings of £286.

Today’s announcement follows comments in the House of Commons on 1st February 2012 by Greg Barker, Minister of State for Climate Change (3), in which he signalled his intent to use policy measures such as the FIT to “jumpstart” micro-CHP, and indicated that he shared the ambition for 1 million micro-CHP units installed in the UK by 2020. The technology, he indicated, has the potential to be “an attractive, price-competitive alternative to taking electricity from the grid or installing a conventional boiler”.

The Ceres micro-CHP unit is designed to easily replace an existing wall mounted gas boiler and is compatible with the majority of UK houses. In the Minister’s words, “there are very few homes that couldn’t benefit from micro-CHP”. The Ceres product can address both the new install and the retrofit segments of the UK boiler market, which together represent over 1.5 million units each year (4). The Company’s partnership with British Gas, both the largest residential energy supplier and the largest installer of domestic central heating and gas appliances in Britain, further strengthens this market access.

Although the Minister said that he “anticipated a long-term future for the feed in tariff for micro-CHP”, he also stated that he would use additional policy support if needed to stimulate mass market uptake. Future measures may include modification of Building Regulations to require higher minimum efficiency standards that could be met with micro-CHP technology. This could mirror the change to regulations in 2005 that effectively made the installation of condensing boilers mandatory overnight, superseding the existing technology.

The Minister acknowledged the importance of the flexibility provided by specific micro-CHP technologies with low heat-to-power ratios and the ability to be turned on and off, which help when balancing the electricity system. He indicated that these technologies are particularly exciting and will fit in well with the more electrified economy of the future. Ceres fuel cell technology can withstand many power cycles, can be rapidly turned up and down as needed, and has a very low heat-to-power ratio allowing operation all year round.

David Pummell, Chief Executive Officer, commented:

“The change to the FIT and the Government’s support for mass market uptake of micro-CHP represent a fundamental shift in strategic UK residential energy policy. They reinforce the future importance of micro-CHP as a cost effective solution that can meet the requirements of a significant proportion of the UK’s homes. I especially welcome the Minister’s commitment to helping micro-CHP deliver significant residential emissions reductions in the UK over the long term. The Ceres micro-CHP product is ideally placed to meet the demanding UK requirements of wall mountability, low price and high performance and these policy changes will help accelerate customer uptake.”

Phil Bentley, Managing Director British Gas, commented:

“This is a positive announcement by the Government. It will support British industry in this sector and stimulate growth in skilled jobs. British Gas believes the Ceres micro CHP product has the potential to transform the domestic central heating market in the UK, enabling our customers to generate cheap, reliable & low-carbon electricity in their own homes.”

Notes:

1. The DECC consultation document can be found at: http://www.decc.gov.uk/assets/decc/Consultations/fits-review/4311-feed-in-tariff-scheme-phase-2b-consultation-docume.pdf

2. Baseline figures as disclosed in the presentation accompanying the Company’s CHP demonstration, site visit and preliminary results for the year ended 30th June 2010, published on 29th September 2010, and available at: http://www.cerespower.com/store/files/200-Results%20Presentation%20V30%2029%209%2010%20for%20web%20FINAL.pdf

The House of Commons adjournment debate on micro-CHP on 1st February 2012 can be found at: http://www.parliamentlive.tv/Main/Player.aspx?meetingId=9929&st=11:00:28

3. Data from BSRIA, http://www.bsria.co.uk

February 10, 2012 - 6:18 AM No Comments

Ceramic Fuel Cells welcomes the UK Government’s announcement of an increase in the feed in tariff for micro power and heating products (m-CHP)

UK Government to increase Feed in Tariff for Micro Heat and Power

Ceramic Fuel Cells (AIM / ASX: CFU) a leading developer of high efficiency and low emission power products for homes and other buildings, welcomes the UK Government’s announcement of an increase in the feed in tariff for micro power and heating products (m-CHP), including Ceramic Fuel Cells’ BlueGen product.

On 9 February the UK Climate Change Minister, Greg Barker MP, announced the Phase 2 consultation on feed in tariffs for a range of technologies, including m-CHP. The Government plans to increase the m-CHP feed in tariff from October 2012 from a total of 14.1 pence to 15.6 pence, comprising:

– A generation tariff, increased from 11.0 pence to 12.5 pence for every kilowatt hour of electricity generated on-site; plus

   --      An export tariff of 3.1 pence for every kilowatt hour of electricity exported to the grid.

Ceramic Fuel Cells’ BlueGen product is the first and currently the only fuel cell m-CHP product to receive certification under the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) and be eligible for the feed in tariff.

The Government has opened a consultation on the feed in tariff arrangements. The consultation closes on 26 April 2012 and the new tariffs are expected to take effect from October this year.

Ceramic Fuel Cells’ Managing Director Brendan Dow said:

“The proposed tariff increase is certainly a step in the right direction, although it falls short of the 15 pence tariff advocated by the group of companies most actively promoting m-CHP in the UK, which includes Ceramic Fuel Cells and E.ON UK, amongst others. The requested 15 pence tariff is consistent with the m-CHP industry’s ambition to install 1 million units by 2020, an ambition which the Minister has stated that he shares. We look forward to our ongoing consultation with the Government to achieve their vision of bringing clean energy products into more UK homes.”

Ceramic Fuel Cells’ BlueGen product converts natural gas into electricity and heat for hot water for homes and other buildings. BlueGen delivers an electrical efficiency of up to 60 percent – the highest in the world. When the heat from BlueGen is used to produce hot water, total efficiency increases to up to 85 percent.

The BlueGen product has been filmed for the brand new Channel 4 series, Home of the Future, which starts February 12th, 7.00pm on Channel 4.

More details on the feed in tariff consultation are available at www.decc.gov.uk.

February 10, 2012 - 5:21 AM No Comments