The Scottish low carbon project developer iPower linked up with technology firm Ceramic Fuel Cells Ltd (CFCL) for the Scottish launch of the BlueGen generator at ECCI.
The case for fuel cells in general, and the merits of this particular device were explored in a seminar hosted by ECCI, 24th October 2012. Delegates, who included potential customers such as Registered Social Landlords, got the chance to see one of the generators for themselves and consider the potential for this technology in their own properties.
Paddy Thomson of CFCL added to this and spoke about the BlueGen system itself, whilst Jon Cape outlined iPower’s finance model, which enables customers not to worry about the up-front capital cost. Instead, customers just need to pay for the energy provided (at a discount to energy provided by the utility companies). In addition, Jim Hart (ECCI) and Nigel Holmes (SHFCA) provided some context on fuel cells and the low carbon economy, and Dave McGrath of Richard Irvin Sustainable Energy spoke about system integration.
BlueGen ceramic fuel cells offer a breakthrough in making local energy generation cost-effective. These fuel cells are reported to convert natural gas into electricity with similar efficiency to the better large gas-fired power stations, but, unlike such power stations electricity is not lost in transmission, and the heat generated as a by-product can be used to provide domestic hot water (this is very difficult in the case of a power station). A fuel cell is therefore an efficient, effective and relatively low-carbon means of using gas – which, in turn, can be converted into savings for customers. Several BlueGen installations have been carried out in England over the last year or so, and this event marked their introduction to the Scottish market and an expected ramping up of the installation rate.
Introduction – Jim Hart, ECCI
Blue Gen introduction – Jon Cape, IPower
Micro CHP opportunities – Nigel Holmes, Scottish Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Accociation
Richard Irvin Sustainable Energy – Dave McGrath, MD
Jim Hart explains:
ECCI’s energy and built environment specialist Jim Hart explains the role of fuel cells in the transition to the low carbon economy in this short animation: