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Panasonic opens its 1st European residential fuel cell R&D center

Panasonic launched the Panasonic Fuel Cell Development Office Europe (PFCOE) in Langen, Germany. The facility, situated in Panasonic’s European R&D center in Germany (PRDCG), will focus on developing residential fuel cells for the European market in close collaboration with leading European utility companies.

Panasonic has been developing residential fuel cells (micro CHP, combined heating and power) since 1999 and launched the world’s first system, the ENE FARM, in May 2009 in Japan. Following on from the success that it has had in the Japanese market, it now plans to extend its operations into Europe and the R& D center will be a key part of realizing this aim.

The center in Langen will focus on developing and adapting the fuel cells to reflect the different operational conditions between Europe and Japan. As the operation of fuel cells depends on the composition of natural gas, it is necessary for the fuel cell to be adapted to European gas conditions.

The fuel cell micro CHP generates electricity through a chemical reaction between oxygen in the atmosphere and hydrogen extracted from natural gas (methane, CH4). The heat generated as a by-product of this process is also used for home heating and hot water supplies. In Japan, a house powered by an ENE FARM fuel cell can expect to save about 1.5 tons of CO2 emissions per year compared with a house powered by electricity from thermal power station and a gas heating system.

Comments

SJC

This is good news, maybe it will catch on in the U.S.

Reel$$

Great! Exactly what is needed! Only the pitch is... well, WAY undersold. CHP FCs will do a HUGE service above just saving a bit of CO2. They will FREE individuals, communities and social systems from the addiction to centralized power! These early FCs powered by reformed NG will set the table for far more efficient FC's running off electrolized H2 systems.

Let's remember the REEL benefits of CHP:

JOBS - manufacturing, installing and maintaining home appliances.

SECURITY - off-grid communities are no longer targets for nefarious natural and unnatural attack.

GREEN - of course there is no greener energy than that we make ourselves from renewable non-fossil/non-radiative inputs.

ECONOMY - WAY cheaper to create and utilize energy in-situ than to harvest it at a distance and transmit it over wires (utterly outdated). With the advent of LANR/CF cells, fuel costs drop by 95%.

SOCIAL - Human beings become literally empowered, understanding that they are able to energize their own lives in new, independent ways. AND they become their neighbor's keeper via local community micro-grids supplying backup power and leveling when needed.

ACTING - a huge boon to the direction: "Think global, act local." Nothing more local than making your own heat and electricity!

Panasonic - the world's first new energy appliance maker. Congratulations!!

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