Fuel cell micro-CHP crosses into Japan’s commercial sector

Following the success of fuel cell micro-CHP in Japan’s domestic sector, Miura Kogyo has launched a 4.2 kW fuel cell aimed at small commercial applications in the country.

Designed to be installed outside buildings, the cogeneration fuel cell is targeted at welfare facilities and restaurants, according to a report in the Nikkei newspaper.

Miura building

With an output six times greater than fuel cells for residential use, the new Miura device is a significant development for micro-CHP (combined heat and power) technology, said Scott Dwyer, a senior energy analyst at Delta Energy and Environment (Delta-ee).

‘The product is important as it shows that Japanese companies are now aiming to replicate the success of domestic fuel cell micro-CHP in small commercial applications,” he told COSPP.

‘It is also significant that this product comes from the boiler giant Miura, which reflects the entry of more and more players into the fuel cell sector in Japan.’

Japan has established a global lead in fuel cell micro-CHP through the Ene-farm initiative propelled by firms such as Panasonic (NYSE:PC) and Toshiba (LSE:TOS).

The new CHP fuel cell measures 160 x 110 x 55 cm and offers a power generation efficiency of 48% and an overall efficiency of 90%, according to the Nikkei report. The device can also make 1.3 litres of hot water per minute.

Micro-CHP fuel cells convert gas into electricity and heat without a mechanical drive or generator.

Delta-ee is a Scotland-based consultancy specialized in decentralised energy.

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