Energy / Climate Change

February 12, 2006


Test Shows Home Fuel Cell Achieves 81.2% Total Energy Efficiency

Keywords: Energy Conservation Fossil Fuels Government Manufacturing industry Non-manufacturing industry 

A residential fuel cell cogeneration system achieved total energy efficiency of 81.2 percent (power generation, 32.7 percent*1; and heat recovery, 48.5 percent*2) in a field test, according to a report released in October 2005 by the Agency for Natural Resources and Energy, which is under the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. The report was prepared based on data obtained from fuel cell units installed under the fiscal 2005 subsidy program (the first term) of the Stationary Fuel Cell Extensive Demonstration Project, which started in fiscal 2005. The unit with the highest total energy efficiency also achieved a 44.2 percent reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, compared to the use of a gas-fired water heater and electricity from thermal power generation.

Data were collected on all units during a specified 15-day period by 10 groups consisting of an implementing company paired with a fuel cell maker, and then compiled and analyzed. The Tokyo Gas Co./Ebara Corp. team achieved the highest performance of all 10 groups, leaving others far behind. Its average reduction in primary energy consumption was 21.8 percent, and the average CO2 emission reduction was 35.7 percent. As for the reliability measured by the number of failures during operation, almost all demonstration sites were free from trouble.

The agency also announced that 225 applications by 11 companies were chosen for the second term of the fiscal 2005 subsidy program. The number of applications surged from 217 presented by seven companies in the first term to 397 by 11 companies in the second term. The 11 companies selected (6 gas-related and 5 oil-related businesses) will operate 225 fuel cell units over the next two years or more.

The project will continue through the end of fiscal 2007, with an eye to promoting the widespread use of fuel cells starting in fiscal 2008.

*1: Average power generation efficiency of thermal power plants: 36.6 percent (Source: Revised Law concerning the Rational Use of Energy)
*2: Energy efficiency of gas-fired water heaters: 78 percent (Source: Quality Housing Components Certification Regulations, June 2003, by the Center for Better Living)

Posted: 2006/02/12 02:57:50 PM
Japanese version