World record: Rhön-Klinikum's HotModule already over 21,000 hours in operation
Posted on August 03, 2004
A HotModule facility from mtu CFC Solutions, Ottobrunn, that is installed at the Rhön-Klinikum hospital in Bad Neustadt in Franconia has set a new world record for high-temperature fuel cells by logging up over 21,000 operating hours.
The use of the HotModule for clinic operations has two basic advantages. The type of fuel cell used, a Molten Carbonate Fuel Cell (MCFC), operates at a temperature of roughly 650°C and provides thermal energy in the form of high-pressure water vapour. This is used in the hospital to sterilize surgical instruments, for instance. In addition, the HotModule can act as an emergency power generator. An uninterruptible power supply ensures that even during a power failure the necessary medical equipment can still be used in the operating theatres and intensive care units.
"For a clinic, a secure energy supply is absolutely indispensable. Being highly satisfied with the performance of the HotModule at Bad Neustadt, last year we decided jointly with our partners to also install such a fuel cell at our Central Clinic in Bad Berka in Thuringia," explains Jörg Demmler, Head of Technical Controlling at Rhön-Klinikum AG.
"In the HotModule, we have developed a high-performance fuel cell for use in industry and commerce that provides the very high degree of almost 50 % electrical efficiency," comments Michael Bode, Chief Executive Officer of mtu CFC Solutions GmbH. It adapts flexibly to the respective energy requirement and is particularly environment-friendly. We are proud to now be the number one for high-temperature fuel cells thanks to the record operating hours reached by the facility in the Rhön-Klinikum.
The tests on the Bad Neustadt installation have in the meantime been completed successfully. During the almost three-year test phase, the facility produced a total of more than 2,500 MWh of electric power with an average availability of 96 %. The installation at Bad Berka, which started operation in October 2003, has up to now delivered 1,280 MWh of electric power during 6,500 operating hours and provided an availability of 99 %. Here, the fuel cell facility represents an integration of the HotModule design from mtu CFC with the Direct FuelCell technology from Fuel Cell Energy Inc.
Other HotModule systems from mtu CFC are also producing top performance, having clearly surpassed the 10,000-hour mark at each of the installation sites RWE Essen, DeTe Immobilien Munich, EnBW Karlsruhe and IPF Magdeburg.
The company mtu CFC Solutions, which has its registered offices in Ottobrunn near Munich, was set up in January 2003 as a 100% subsidiary of MTU Friedrichshafen GmbH. The company is the world's leading developer of fuel cells for use in high-temperature fuel cell installations and currently employs about 85 people. mtu CFC Solutions is engaged in the design, development, testing and construction of fuel cell facilities delivering 200 kilowatts up to roughly three megawatts of power for the supply of decentralized energy through coupled power-heat-(cold) co-generation. Since July 2003, RWE Fuel Cells GmbH, Essen, has held a 25.1 % share in mtu CFC Solutions.
The first German clinic operator to be quoted on the stock exchange is headquartered in Bad Neustadt an der Saale and currently runs 33 hospitals at 25 sites in eight German federal states. More than 550,000 patients are treated at clinics operated by Rhön-Klinikum AG each year. At 30 June 2004, the company had just under 14,000 employees on its payroll.