Fuel cell combined heat and power system launched

November 17, 2016 // By Nick Flaherty
A Norwegian technology company has launched a fuel cell system to provide megawatts of power in the electricity grid.

IMS ECUBES has launched a combined heat and power (CHP) system based around a fuel cell from US supplier Ballard Power Systems and power technology from Arcola Energy in the UK. 

Currently providing electricity at KW scale, the system is the first of a planned range of fuel cell CHP systems, which will provide DC electricity at the megawatt scale from natural gas, alongside useable heat. The current unit can be aggregated to satisfy higher energy demands, providing a flexible, modular solution.   

"The IMS ECUBES CHP system allows power grid operators to bridge the gap between customer demand and the variability of renewable energy sources,” said Dr Ben Todd, (shown above), CTO of IMS ECUBES and founder and managing director of hydrogen equipment supplier Arcola Energy. “The overwhelming majority of systems in place to address this issue generate significant carbon emissions. Our fuel cell CHP system allows power grid operators to maintain the zero carbon benefits of renewable energy provision, during periods when there is little or no renewable energy supply to the grid.”

The CHP system uses a fuel cell from Ballard linked to a power conditioning system to provide a variable output. There are no moving parts and no vibration, leading to a more reliable system where the only emissions are heat and water.

“I believe that we are on the cusp of a revolution in the development and deployment of fuel cell CHP systems like ours and that they will become commonplace over the next 10 to 15 years, enabling more consistent zero carbon energy generation and supply,” said Todd.  

Already in discussion with a number of grid operators, IMS ECUBES are seeking utility partners as part of the first wave of early adopters of the technology.  

www.ecubes.eu