Tognum successful with gas and fuel cell systems

Posted on May 28, 2009

  • First mtu Onsite Energy CHP plants with 20-cylinder mtu Series 4000 gas engines sold in Germany
  • Rhön-Klinikum AG to commission a third, higher-output fuel cell in 2010

Friedrichshafen, 28 May 2009. The specialist for propulsion and power solutions Tognum is further expanding its business in the decentralized energy generation sector in Germany. The municipal utilities in the towns of Wolfen and Weimar are each to be supplied with a combined heat and power plant by the company this year. They will be the first mtu Onsite Energy systems in Germany to use 20-cylinder mtu Series 4000 gas engines.
“This engine takes us into a new output class for CHP plants”, highlights Christof von Branconi, member of the executive board of Tognum AG with responsibility for the business unit “Onsite Energy & Components”. “And that means we can offer our customers a broader product portfolio and respond even better to their specific requirements.”
The Type GC 2145 N5 power stations will be used to generate both electricity and heat. Each produces 1,999 kW of electrical and 2,206 kW of thermal output. Apart from the CHP modules themselves, the contracts also extend to all connecting systems – not only switchgear and engine technology but heating, exhaust and ventilation systems.
Several municipal utilities in Germany’s eastern states are currently planning to install combined heat and power generation systems or to renew older installations. The two contracts in Wolfen and Weimar will thus serve as important reference projects for potential follow-up orders.
Another contract in the decentralized energy generation sector, this time in the fuel-cell sector, has been received from the Giessen-Marburg University Hospital. An mtu Onsite Energy fuel cell will supply the hospital with energy from 2010. The contract is worth nearly € 2 million.
The Type HM400 (HotModule) natural-gas fuelled fuel cell is capable of an electrical output of 345 kW and a thermal output of 230 kW. It is the most powerful such plant so far supplied by mtu Onsite Energy. Compared with its predecessors, it has an increased performance of around 45 percent. The hospital can use the thermal energy recovered at around 400 degrees Celsius not only for heating but for cooling as well. That is achieved by passing the heat through an absorption chiller. Combined operation is also possible. While the clinic is using the thermal energy for heating, the cooling function can be employed for air conditioning, for instance. If the hospital should not require the total amount of heat or cooling energy produced, it has the option of diverting the surplus into the relevant grid operated by the Giessen municipal utility company.
Hospitals are ideal users for high-temperature fuel cell modules because they have a constant need for thermal energy throughout the year and can thus fully utilize the benefits of the HotModule. This type of fuel cell operates exclusively in continuous duty mode and, therefore, is extremely energy-efficient. Compared with conventional combined heat and power plants, the HotModule has the benefit of operating without any moving parts. That means it runs silently and without vibration and thus requires no complex or costly sound insulation. What is more, fuel cells produce virtually zero emissions.
The plant in Giessen-Marburg represents the third fuel cell installed by Rhön-Klinikum AG for one of its hospitals. The company previously ran a plant as a pilot project at its medical facility in Bad Neustadt from 2001 to 2004. Its second HotModule has been in operation in Bad Berka since 2003.