Acumentrics Corporation, a developer of solid oxide fuel cells, has shipped a 5 kW fuel-cell generator to the GlashusEtt Environmental Information Center in Stockholm, Sweden, where it will run on biogas.
The generator was purchased by ABB Corporate Research in Västerås, Sweden, together with 8 other Swedish companies and organizations (FMV, Fortum, GlashusEtt, JM, Morphic, SBC, the City of Stockholm and the Swedish Energy Agency). The purpose of the installation is to evaluate state-of-the-art solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology.
We are thrilled to see our units run on carbon-neutral biogas...our ability to run directly off biogas makes our fuel cells extremely practical. While we can run on hydrogen, too, it is great to offer compatibility with logistical, affordable fuels. The renewable aspect is a huge bonus.—Gary Simon, CEO of Acumentrics
Stockholm has developed a new, eco-friendly, waterfront district called Hammarby Sjöstad which is slated to house some 25,000 residents. The district features solar cells, green roofs, foot paths, environmentally benign building materials, vacuum-assisted refuse collection, and a wastewater treatment plant that produces biogas for the district.
The wastewater treatment plant produces high quality, 97% methane biogas that is piped into apartments for heating and cooking. This same biogas is piped to the Acumentrics fuel cell system. Acumentrics’ solid oxide fuel cells disassociate fuels inside the cell, via in-situ reformation. They run directly from the biogas, without the need for complex pre-processing (reforming) of the fuel.
At present the electricity produced by the fuel cell is put to a load bank, but grid-tie ability is slated for later this year. Acumentrics’ fuel cells have the unique ability to follow loads. Output can be adjusted up or down with no harm to the cells. The company believes this is the first real-world solid oxide fuel cell installation that runs on biogas.