Demonstration of Space-Saving Wall-Hung Units to Potential European Utility Partners
WESTWOOD, Mass., October 23, 2007 - Fuel cell developer Acumentrics Corporation and European heating market leader Merloni Termosanitari (MTS Group) demonstrated a new generation of wall-mounted residential combined heat and power (CHP) units to several major European utilities at the ELCO (a brand of MTS Group) facility in Hechingen, Germany.
Attendees at the demonstration included British Gas (Centrica), EnBW, EON, EWE, RWE, Edison, Endesa, Eifer Institute (EdF), GasTerra and Kiwa Gas Technology.
The system - the first fully enclosed wall-mountable CHP unit - is designed to meet the power and heating needs of an average-size European home using a 1 kilowatt solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) in combination with a 24 kilowatt condensing boiler, and operates on natural gas. Acumentrics and MTS demonstrated the system to potential utility partners at the ELCO facility on October 18th. Additional units are scheduled to be provided to a university in Italy for field evaluation in the fourth quarter 2008. MTS will leverage its extensive experience in heating and water-heating domestic products to finalize the integration of the CHP system in a European size wall-hung boiler.
The Acumentrics-MTS collaboration to jointly develop SOFC based CHP appliances for the European heating market was announced in August, 2005 as a three-to-four year development, testing and commercialization process.
Acumentrics' advances in SOFC technology have made it possible to design and build a CHP unit that will meet consumers' efficiency, economic and environmental needs in European Union markets aimed at supporting the Kyoto Protocol targets to reduce CO2 emissions, according to Acumentrics CEO Gary Simon. The CHP system is expected to provide about 90% total fuel-to-energy efficiency, the generator components are designed to be produced at a cost per kilowatt that meets customer expectations, and the system's size and weight allow a wall hung installation.
"MTS Group is proud to be part of this project" said Mr. Giorgio Scaloni, the Strategic Marketing Director of MTS Group. "The development program of these highly innovative and energy efficiency product is proceeding as planned and we have now reached an important milestone."
In addition to saving the average homeowner hundreds of Euros annually, Simon said, the units can meter excess electricity back to the grid, and in the longer term, could be connected to solar or wind power for hybrid electricity. Acumentrics' CHP units have passed initial qualification in Japan as safe for home heating-and-power use, and US safety testing has begun at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
About MTS Group
The MTS Group is a leading international company in the heating and water heating sector. In 2006 the Group recorded sales totaling about € 1.2 billion; 6.8 million pieces were manufactured in 23 production units located in 10 countries; it has 7,300 employees and 45 subsidiaries in 25 countries. The Group offers a complete range of products, systems and services mainly under the brands Ariston, Chaffoteaux & Maury and Elco. The Group demonstrates its commitment to energy efficiency issues through significant investments in renewable energies and in the development of sophisticated energy saving products.
Acumentrics' unique, durable, fuel-flexible tubular ceramics-based fuel cell technology has exceeded performance standards in U.S. Department of Energy Solid-State Energy Conversion Alliance (SECA) Phase I tests, demonstrated the ability to operate for 1300-hours on synthetic JP-8 fuel, become the first biogas-fueled SOFC system in an installation at the innovative GlashusEtt environmental information center in Stockholm, and received a 2007 New England Innovation Award from the Smaller Business Association of New England. Acumentrics also sells rugged, uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) to the military and other mission-critical markets.
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