Britain’s First Fuel Cell for Cogen includes Solar PV

The first commercially scaled fuel cell in the United Kingdom is part of a combined heat and power system that is being installed by Woking Borough Council.

WOKING, England, UK, 2001-10-02 [SolarAccess.com] Woking, a community of 93,000 people located 40 km from London, is the only local authority in Britain to supply electricity directly to customers on private wire networks. It is installing a 200 kW PC25 fuel cell system to supply electricity and heat for the Pool-in-the-Park recreational centre, as well as power to light the park. In the summer, the heat will be used to meet the centre’s air conditioning, cooling and dehumidification requirements via heat-fired absorption cooling. The fuel cell is part of a larger cogeneration system that will include solar photovoltaic cells and a 1.35 MW reciprocating engine, which will be provided by other vendors. The fuel cell will combine hydrogen and oxygen to provide electricity, heat and chilled water to the complex in an electrochemical process. International Fuel Cells, a unit of United Technologies Corp, will provide the PC25 fuel cell which produces 900,000 Btu of heat. “The installation in Woking is yet another milestone for IFC and the PC25 power plant,” says IFC president William Miller. He says his fuel cells now provide energy in 17 countries. “Installing a fuel cell is a logical part of our ongoing efforts to promote and use sustainable energy sources,” explains Allan Jones of the Borough. Woking’s ability to supply electricity directly to customers on private wire networks enables the council to make better use of green technologies by maximizing the true value of green electricity rather than selling the electricity to the grid at a far lower price. This year, Woking became the first local authority to win Britain’s coveted commercial award, the Queen’s Award for Enterprise, in recognition of its ground-breaking approach to sustainable community energy systems and its practical steps to address global warming.

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