March 15, 2012 – Vol.16 No.52
Kyocera, Osaka Gas, Aisin, Chofu and Toyota Complete Co-development of a Residential-use Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) Co-generation System.
The resulting product – "ENE-FARM Type S" – achieves a power generation efficiency of 46.5%*1, the highest level in the world*2 for a residential-use fuel cell. The SOFC system has been developed based upon the companies' advanced technologies. Within the co-development agreement, Kyocera produces the cell stack; Aisin the generation units with the cell stack incorporated into it; Chofu the hot-water supply and heating unit using exhausted heat; and Osaka Gas will commence sales of the system on April 27, 2012 (only available to the Japanese market). The companies will successively expand their production operations and will strive to promote the widespread use of this SOFC system.
The companies submitted 121 units in total to the "Demonstrative Research on Solid Oxide Fuel Cell" project undertaken by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) and the New Energy Foundation of Japan.
ENE-FARM Type S utilizes ceramic electrolyte for the power generating cell stack which achieves a high operating temperature of 700 to 750 degrees Celsius. This high temperature heat can be efficiently used as energy to reform utility gas to hydrogen and thus a high power generation efficiency level of 46.5 percent is achieved — with an overall energy efficiency of 90.0 percent.
The SOFC system includes a hot-water supply and heating unit which uses exhausted heat with a storage tank at a small size of 90 liters to optimally utilize the high temperature heat exhausted during power generation; as well as a high efficiency latent heat recovery type hot-water supply heating unit for the back-up boiler.
Through these measures, the system is environmentally and economically enhanced, and eliminates annual CO2 emissions of about 1.9 tons while also reducing annual energy costs of about JPY 76,000 ($916) compared to ordinary gas-powered hot-water supply and heating units.
Moreover, due to the low number of parts and small quantity of exhaust energy, a compact design was made possible for both the power generation unit and the hot-water supply and heating unit — thus allowing it to be installed even at homes with limited installation space. In the future, the companies also plan to expand use of the system to apartment buildings. (3/15/12)
Kyocera news release, additional information and graphics:
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