Berlin--Begun in September 2008 under the National Innovation Programme for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP), the demonstration project Callux, fuel cell heating appliances for home use, has been successfully completed and will end with the commercial introduction of the innovative systems.
Participating manufacturers Baxi Innotech, Hexis and Vaillant, together with the energy industry companies EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg, E.ON, EWE, MVV Energie and VNG - Verbundnetz Gas, tested almost 500 fuel cell heating appliances for their efficiency. Under the NIP of the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI), which is coordinated by NOW, 36 million euro in subsidies was allocated to Callux.
Over a period of seven years the everyday suitability of fuel cells for home energy supply was proven over several generations of appliances. The average CO2 savings are around a third compared to condensing technology and electricity purchased from the grid. In Callux stack running times of over 20,000 hours were reached, which confirms the necessary durability of the systems.
Dr. Klaus Bonhoff, Managing Director (Chair) of the National Organisation Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NOW) said: “Callux is a great example of successful work under NIP. Through comprehensive field tests and the networking of actors, the market introduction of fuel cell products was accelerated. Consequently the BMVI will ensure the advancement of NIP in the future and aside from research and development, also support the market launch of the technology.”
Business models for the commercialisation of energy services related to fuel cell heating appliances were also tested within Callux. The GfK consumer research association (Die Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung GfK) was able to identify wide-ranging acceptance for the systems from both customer and trade perspectives. Almost half of customers are considering purchasing a fuel cell heating appliance and half of tradespeople acknowledge that the new technology has good market chances.
The positive reaction is the result of the commitment of Callux to the vocational training sector. By involving educational institutions, expert users and partners could be introduced to the technology with fuel cells early on. In addition, every single project was published on a map online and the demonstration project provided information about technological advances right through to the upcoming market introduction. The end of the Callux project will herald the broad market introduction of appliances from different manufacturers in 2016.