On 24 April 2014, GDF SUEZ has ¬†installed two residential fuel cell combined heat and power installations in the towns of Hagenau and MunschHausen in eastern France… the first project of its kind to be completed anywhere in the country. The Group plans to install around thirty of them in French homes and offices between now and summer 2015.

The European ene.field project partnered by GDF SUEZ as a member of the associated consortium of manufacturers, energy generators and European universities will eventually run 1,000 experimental fuel cell installations in 12 European countries. The aim of the project is to demonstrate the technical potential of this technology in residential and office buildings, and analyze its energy and environmental benefits compared with traditional solutions in terms of energy and eco-efficiency.

Fuel cell technology uses a chemical reaction to convert gas to electricity in the home using a totally silent process that emits no pollutants and achieves an average efficiency of between 35% and 40%, although the most efficient units can achieve 60% electrical energy conversion. Put simply, it offers a route to self-sufficient home generation of power and heat for space heating and water heating.

Manufactured by BAXI (BDR Thermea Group), the first two fuel cells were installed in recently-built houses, with installation and maintenance support from DeDietrich. Three more installations are planned over the coming weeks, this time in new-build homes.

With many tens of thousands already marketed in Japan for domestic applications, fuel cells offer an efficient technological solution to the energy challenges faced by tomorrow’s buildings.

GDF SUEZ is also involved in other collaborative development projects with a number of manufacturers to promote the growth of this technology and prepare the industry for this new solution.

Watch this space in a few months’ time to find out the test results!

Source: GDF SUEZ