Kyocera, Osaka Gas, Aisin, Chofu and Toyota Motor complete co-development of SOFC residential co-gen system; on sale in April
Kyocera Corporation, Osaka Gas Co., Ltd., Aisin Seiki Co., Ltd., Chofu Seisakusho Co., Ltd. and Toyota Motor Corporation have completed co-development of a residential-use solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) co-generation system, the ENE-FARM Type S.
The ENE-FARM Type S achieves a power generation efficiency of 46.5% (LHV), the highest level yet for a residential-use fuel cell, according to Kyocera. Within the co-development agreement, Kyocera produces the cell stack; Aisin the generation units with the cell stack incorporated into it; Chofu the hot-water supply and heating unit using exhausted heat; and Osaka Gas will commence sales of the system on 27 April 2012 (only available to the Japanese market). The companies will successively expand their production operations and will strive to promote the widespread use of this SOFC system.
The companies submitted 121 units in total to the Demonstrative Research on Solid Oxide Fuel Cell project undertaken by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) and the New Energy Foundation.
ENE-FARM Type S utilizes ceramic electrolyte for the power generating cell stack which achieves a high operating temperature of 700 to 750 degrees Celsius. This high temperature heat can be efficiently used as energy to reform utility gas to hydrogen and thus a high power generation efficiency level of 46.5% is achieved, with an overall energy efficiency of 90.0% (LHV).
The SOFC system includes a hot-water supply and heating unit which uses exhausted heat with a 90-liter storage tank to utilize the high temperature heat exhausted during power generation, as well as a high efficiency latent heat recovery type hot-water supply heating unit for the back-up boiler.
The system eliminates annual CO2 emissions of about 1.9 tons while also reducing annual energy costs of about ¥76,000 (US$916) compared to ordinary gas-powered hot-water supply and heating units.
Due to the low number of parts and small quantity of exhaust energy, a compact design was made possible for both the power generation unit and the hot-water supply and heating unit, thus allowing it to be installed even at homes with limited installation space. In the future, the companies also plan to expand use of the system to apartment buildings.