Panasonic Unveils a Pure Hydrogen Fuel Cell Generator for Commercial Applications

  • Panasonic has launched a pure hydrogen fuel cell generator for commercial applications which generates power through chemical reaction with high-purity hydrogen and oxygen in the air. 

The technology has evolved from the development Panasonic’s reseidential ENE-FARM system and applied to this pure hydrogen fuel cell generator. For example, by adopting the common stack unit, a key device of fuel cell which is used in ENE-FARM, the new product offers stable performance of power generation and achieves the industry’s best*1 electrical efficiency of 56%*2.

As this new generator is targeted for commercial use, its power output has been enhanced to 5 kW, which is more than seven times more than 700 W power output of a household fuel cell, ENE-FARM. Moreover, the power output can be scaled up according to demand by connecting and controlling multiple generator units. In addition, by taking advantage of its lightweight and compact housing, this generator can be flexibly adapted to various installation conditions, including the rooftop and in narrow spaces.

Panasonic will dub its pure hydrogen fuel cell generators “H2 KIBOU*4” in the future, with the company’s KIBOU, which means “hope” in Japanese, to realize a hydrogen society.

Panasonic will contribute to the realization of a decarbonized society by proposing new options for expanding the introduction of renewable energy that fully utilizes hydrogen.

Main features of the product

1. The 5 kW unit scalable to increase power output by connecting multiple units

A single unit can generate 5 kW power, which is suitable for the demand of small-scale commercial facilities. Moreover, connecting and controlling multiple generator units can increase the power output according to demand. Furthermore, by connecting the product to a dedicated PC application, it allows the system to be remotely controlled to display the power output and conditions, turn the power generation ON and OFF, and send error notifications. One PC allows the simultaneous connection of up to 10 units (50 kW). Further, by integrating 10 units into one level unit, MW-class power output can also be possible. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Image of generators installed on the rooftop of a building

Overview of the pure hydrogen fuel cell generator structure

2. Achieving the industry’s best*1 electrical efficiency of 56%*2

Hydrogen is directly supplied to pure hydrogen fuel cell generators, which require no fuel processing device (for extracting hydrogen from natural gas), a key device of ENE-FARM. As a result, it is possible to convert efficiently from hydrogen to electric power, thereby allowing the product to achieve high electrical efficiency of 56%*2, the industry’s best*1 for a pure hydrogen fuel cell generator. The higher electrical efficiency leads to the reduction of the amount of hydrogen use, therefore contributing to the reduction of total running cost.

3. Applicable to cogeneration

By connecting a hot water storage unit (recommended product) with the product, heat generated from fuel cell can be converted into hot water for use. The generator has achieved the total energy efficiency of 95% including the heat recovery, thereby allowing the effective use of energy without waste.

4. Possible to keep operation even during power outage

The use with a resistor unit (recommended product) and a startup power supply unit enables the product to generate power even during power outage. By connecting these units with the product which are designed for power outage users can continue to generate power and use up to 2.5 kW power for 120 hours even during a power outage. The product can generate power during power outage simply through the supply of hydrogen, thereby contributing to business continuity planning (BCP).

5. Quick startup

The product can be started in an approximately one minute, which is useful for responding to peak cut control when a quick response from generators is required.

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

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