Ceres Power Holdings plc
11 September 2007
11 September 2007
Ceres Power Holdings plc
('Ceres', 'Ceres Power' or the 'Company')
Fuel Cell CHP Demonstration and Facilities Showcase
Ceres Power, the AIM-quoted fuel cell group, today demonstrates an integrated,
wall-mountable combined heat and power unit ('CHP Unit'). The successful
design, construction and testing of this natural gas-fed unit represents an
important milestone in the Company's residential CHP programme with British Gas
and highlights the commercial potential of the product. The compact and
wall-mountable design will enable access to both the boiler replacement and
new build residential mass markets in the UK and overseas.
As part of an ongoing testing programme, the integrated wall-mountable CHP Unit
has already demonstrated the capability of generating electricity and all of the
central heating and hot water requirements of a typical home, avoiding the need
for a separate boiler. The compact CHP Unit uses the same natural gas, water
and electricity connections as a boiler, and is thus easy to install.
Key balance of plant components within the CHP programme have been developed in
partnership with well-established volume manufacturers in Europe and the USA
from industries including automotive and white goods. The operating temperature
(500-600degreesC) of the unique Ceres Power fuel cell technology has enabled the
use of widely available and cost-effective raw materials, components and
Facilities - The fit-out of the recently secured Product Facility has been
completed, with the focus shifting to validating performance of the core
manufacturing processes through statistical process trials. All of the key
volume production equipment has now been installed on-site and includes machines
for: steel substrate perforation, ceramic layer deposition, fuel cell drying and
firing, stack layer welding, and associated quality control. Initial process
trials have been conducted, with further work helping to finalise the planned
investment in scaling-up to the Company's first volume production facility
In parallel, detailed planning for the Mother Plant is also proceeding to plan
with final specification expected by end 2007. The initial footprint of the
facility should have a rated capacity of approximately 1million cells per annum,
with the ability to be expanded through more intense shift patterns and
additional equipment. The plant will also be designed for low-volume complete
product assembly to service early market uptake and to help transfer to volume
assembly partners in-country for mass market deployment. The Company is
planning a facility with floor space in the region of 50,000 ft2 with short-
listed location options focusing on UK sites to minimize logistics costs and
facilitate knowledge transfer from the Company's existing operations.
Peter Bance, Chief Executive of Ceres Power, commented:
'The demonstration of an integrated wall-mountable CHP Unit is not only a
significant step forward in the commercialisation of our unique technology but
also represents an industry-leading position. We are now focusing on value
engineering of the CHP Unit and the scale-up of core manufacturing processes
to meet expected customer demand.'
Following today's event, the Company will be holding a series of shareholder
visits to its Crawley headquarters and will also present its CHP hardware at the
London Stock Exchange on Friday September 14th.
A presentation summarizing the CHP demonstration and facilities showcase is
available on Ceres Power website through
the following link:
- ends -
For further information contact:
Peter Bance, Chief Executive, Ceres Power +44 (0) 1293 400 404
Patrick d'Ancona / Charlotte Kirkham +44 (0) 207 153 1531
About Ceres Power
Ceres is a successful AIM-listed fuel cell business developing a range of global
market applications including residential combined heat and power,
on-site / back-up generators and auxiliary power units for transport. The
technology is based on commercially available materials for low cost manufacture
and, unlike many fuel cells, the Ceres cell operates on widely available fuels
like natural gas and LPG, as well as on hydrogen.
Ceres has developed a new generation of Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) technology
which operates in the temperature range of 500-600 degrees C enabled by the use
of CGO (Cerium Gadolinium Oxide) as the electrolyte material. This is
substantially lower than the temperatures at which conventional SOFC materials
operate, typically 750-1000 degrees C for YSZ (Yttria Stabilised Zirconia).
The inherently lower operating temperature of the Ceres CGO-based SOFC
technology enables thin ceramic layers to be supported by metal substrates,
which, in turn, provides the basis of cell and stack designs manufactured from
commercially available grades of stainless steel, providing excellent sealing
integrity, mechanical robustness, and thermal shock resistance.
Fuel and air are supplied to a stack of fuel cell layers to produce electricity
and heat via a solid state electrochemical process, similar to a battery.
Unlike combustion in an engine or with a burner, this solid state process is
highly efficient, environmentally friendly, and quiet.
The uniqueness of the Ceres metal supported SOFC technology and its operating
temperature range provide the basis for a range of attractive commercial
applications in terms of: fuel efficiency, with associated economic savings and
reduction in carbon emissions; heat-to-power ratio ideally suited for domestic
CHP applications and well matched to seasonal variations in electrical and heat
demand; the ability to operate on a range of commercially available fuels
including natural gas and LPG; low temperature of operation enabling use of
commercially available materials resulting in reduced product costs.
In conjunction with the Ceres stack programme, the Company has been developing
the non-fuel cell elements within the complete product, known as the balance of
plant ('BOP'), as part of its systems integration activities aimed at
delivering products for specific customers. Because of the unique attributes of
the technology, Ceres has been able to dramatically reduce the time and cost of
BOP development and systems integration by utilising mature component supply
chains and ordinary, low cost materials. Unlike other fuel cell designs which
operate at more extreme temperatures, time-consuming and expensive bespoke
solutions for BOP components are not required.
This information is provided by RNS
The company news service from the London Stock Exchange