Mitsubishi Power’s first hybrid solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) in Europe began operations today at the Gas- und Wärme-Institut Essen e.V. (GWI).
The SOFC is a public demonstration of low-emissions, alternative clean energy systems that could power Europe’s future. The hybrid SOFC can operate with different fuels – from natural gas to biogas to hydrogen – under real conditions and is integrated with the GWI’s power and heat supply.
Situated in Essen, the energy capital of Europe, the highly efficient hybrid SOFC is intended to demonstrate and research the flexible operation of the hybrid SOFC and the use of hydrogen gas. The system is part of a research project, “KWK.NRW 4.0”, funded by the North-Rhine Westphalia state and European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).
Hybrid SOFCs hold great potential for everyday applications such as buildings or campuses hospitals, and industries. They can be integrated into heat and power systems, can function independently or connected to a power grid, and use various fuels. When operated exclusively with hydrogen, the only emission is water.
Professor Emmanouil Kakaras, EVP at NEXT Energy Business and Head of Duisburg Branch at Mitsubishi Heavy Industries EMEA, Ltd., said, “As Europe embarks on the journey towards NetZero by 2050, technologies such as this will realize the goal of decarbonizing power.”
Thomas Kufen, Lord Mayor of the city of Essen, said, “We are proud to work together with the GWI and Mitsubishi Power Europe to explore technologies that will help Europe transition to a low-carbon economy.”
Professor Klaus Görner, scientific director of the GWI, said, “The flexibility of the plant, including ease of starting up and shutting down, its role in integrating renewable energy when the sun is not shining or the wind isn’t blowing; and most of all the potential for sustainable power using hydrogen, are aspects we will be looking into.”