Next generation of HotModule fuel cell systems in-troduced

Posted on April 21, 2008

Tognum subsidiary CFC Solutions GmbH is introducing a new series of carbonate fuel cells at the Hanover Fair. The HotModule HM  320 systems have been upgraded with higher power and a new design. With this model, CFC boosts the maximum electrical power of the cell block by 45% to 363  kW (DC). The new system can feed 345  kW of power into the electrical distribution system (AC). The HotModule also boasts a higher level of heat generation: the new fuel cell achieves a thermal power of 250  kW – a 38% increase. The main source of the increased power levels is the new, larger construction. CFC revamped the fuel cell stack and chose a square design in place of the cylindrical design of the previous generations. The first model of the new series is already in production. The new generation also marks a decline in the price per installed kilowatt-hour.
‘Beside the HM  320, we plan to produce systems in the 400-kW and 500-kW class in the coming years, as well as in the megawatt range’, said Michael Bode, Managing Director for engineering at CFC Solutions.

Efficient energy conversion and long service life

The new generation maintains the tradition of efficient electrochemical energy conversion. Cell efficiencies of 55% electrical and 33% thermal make the new HotModule an efficient supplier of electricity and heat. In addition to increasing the power level, the developers designed the new systems for easier maintenance. Major components are more readily accessible in the new generation.

Quiet and low-maintenance energy technology

The carbonate fuel cells from Ottobrunn operate in the temperature range above 600 degrees  Celsius and provide useful heat at a high temperature which can be used among other things for air conditioning or industrial applications. The machines a low noise level and require only infrequent maintenance, since the actual fuel cell does not have any moving parts. The systems from CFC Solutions are targeted at applications that have a constant demand for electricity and heat. Operating either alone or in combination with conventional energy plants to meet operating peak demand, the HotModule represents an energy-efficient and clean solution that can even produce CO2-neutral electricity and heat when fuelled with biogas or sewage gas. The HotModule is also very clean in operation in terms of other emissions. Its figures of less than 0.01  ppm sulphur dioxide, 2  ppm nitrogen and 9  ppm carbon monoxide are negligibly small compared with conventional power plants and CHPs.

Applications benefit from a high-efficiency energy supply

CFC Solutions has installed systems in a wide variety of sectors in the past years. HotModules supply energy to computer centres and industrial facilities that appreciate the simultaneous provision of electricity and heat or cold. In sewage treatment plants and biowaste processing facilities, CFC fuel cells convert digestion gas to electricity with a high degree of efficiency. In hospitals, the energy converters provide a reliable supply of electricity and steam as thermal energy and e.g. they can be used to sterilize beds and mattresses. In local district heating systems they have proven their worth as low-noise heat suppliers.