Panasonic and Viessman Collaborating on Fuel Cell Product for European Homes

01 Oct 2012

Micro-CHP fuel cell model

Panasonic is collaborating with heating system manufacturer Viessman to develop a residential fuel cell system for the European market. Panasonic is building on its success in the Japanese market, where it has sold around 18,000 fuel cell systems over the last three years under the Ene-Farm project.

But Toshiki Shimizu, Panasonic’s project leader, says they expect residential fuel cell sales to grow more rapidly in Europe than in Japan. The company is aiming to have significant market share by 2015.

It is initially tackling the German market through its partnership with Viessman, but has not ruled out partnerships with electricity and gas companies in the future.

In Japan, Ene-Farm fuel cell systems are fuelled from the existing city gas grid and cogenerate heat and electricity (referred to as micro-combined heat and power, micro-CHP); this model would work in a number of European countries where home heating is already fuelled from a gas grid. The efficiency of fuel cell cogeneration allows for a reduction in emissions, even using natural gas, and sidesteps the need to establish a hydrogen distribution infrastructure. Panasonic and Viessman expect the new fuel cell system to be twice as efficient as the Stirling-engine-based product Viessman introduced last year.

Source (in German): Handelsblatt

Top: model of a fuel cell combined heat and power generation system (source: dpa)

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