London’s Walkie-Talkie Skyscraper to be Fuel Cell Powered

04 Dec 2012

London Skyline Walkie-Talkie

A 300 kW FuelCell Energy molten carbonate fuel cell is to be installed in the ‘Walkie-Talkie’ building at 20 Fenchurch Street in the City of London. The building, which is one of three major skyscrapers currently under construction in London, will be a 38 storey, 690,000 square foot office development with a unique public sky garden at its uppermost level, offering stunning views of London. As well as its unique top-heavy curvy design, the building is aiming to minimise its environmental impact. The 300 kW fuel cell, which will be installed in the building by Logan Energy in the coming year, will provide electricity and heat in a CHP configuration; the high temperature heat will be used in an absorption chiller and the lower temperature heat will provide facility heat and hot water. Its 300 kW electrical output is enough to power almost 800 average UK households and when used in full CHP configuration the system has an efficiency of up to 90%.

“The high efficiency of the stationary fuel cell power plant is very important for this building, from both an economical as well as sustainability viewpoint,” said Paul Mutti Executive Director of Canary Wharf Contractors Ltd, which is developing the building. The Mayor of London has established a target of supplying a quarter of London’s energy from decentralised sources and to reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 60%, both by 2025. In one year of operation the fuel cell at 20 Fenchurch Street will prevent the emission of more than 40,000 lbs of pollutants and prevent 1,800 tons of carbon dioxide when compared to conventional combustion-based power generation. The system is to be manufactured and maintained by FuelCell Energy Solutions, a joint venture between FuelCell Energy and Fraunhofer IKTS.

20 Fenchurch Street is due to open in early 2014 and will join the ‘Helter-Skelter’ also in the City of London and the ‘Cheesegrater’ at 122 Leadenhall Street, which are due to open in 2013 and 2014 respecitively.


References: FuelCell Energy (emailed press release); Logan Energy

Images: Above - City’s new skyline, with the Walkie-Talkie between the Helter-Skelter and the Gherkin. Below - The view from the street. (Source: Rafael Viñoly Architects)

Walkie-Talkie from street

Industry Directory: FuelCell Energy


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