Fuel cell technology market leaders create partnership

EUROPE – BDR Thermea have announced that they are to form a partnership with Toshiba Fuel Cell Power Systems Corporation to exclusively co-develop and market fuel cell micro-CHP heating systems for European homes.
The new series of fuel cell micro-CHP heating solutions, which are expected to enter into full production in 2015, have been designed to not only deliver energy savings and environmental benefits for end users but also to be more affordable thanks to increased production volumes and a modular design.
This new partnership sees two market leaders join forces. BDR Thermea is considered to be one of the leading companies in micro-CHP technology in Europe, and boasts an extensive sales and service network. The company has been at the forefront in Europe in terms of developing fuel cells and CHP solutions for residential heating applications. Equally, Toshiba Fuel Cell Power Systems Corporation is one of the world’s leading companies in the development, production and marketing of PEM fuel cell systems. Each company has produced approximately 35,000 appliances for their respective markets.
Speaking about their new partnership, Rob van Banning, CEO of BDR Thermea, said: “This is a mutually beneficial partnership, joining together two market leaders in CHP technology to help grow market share and influence take-up of CHP technology on a European scale.
“From both an environmental and energy management perspective, the widespread use of CHP represents a significant step toward the reduction of CO2 emissions as well as a more sustainable approach to the management of energy resources.”
The design of the fuel cell micro-CHP system, which is due to be presented at ISH in 2015, is a modular formation comprising a fuel cell micro-CHP unit, auxiliary heating unit, a hydraulic module, a storage module and an energy manager tool. Smart home and smart grid options will also be integrated to ensure that the product is future-ready.
“Until now, cost has been an inhibitive factor for many homeowners but through an increase in the total production volume of the markets in Japan and Europe, as well as its modular formation, cost reductions can be achieved,” continued van Banning.
He concluded by saying “We identified that we needed to find a partner that could complement our knowledge and leadership in delivering micro-CHP systems in Europe, and in Toshiba, we have found such a partner.”

Toshiba Fuel Cell Power Systems Corporation have been searching for a partner to give them access to the European market. The President & CEO of Toshiba Fuel Cell Power Systems Corporation, Yukihiro Sumiyoshi, said: “As the two markets have different requirements, we were looking for a leading partner who understands the technical demands in Europe and has the appropriate sales structures in place.”
The goal of the partnership is to develop an environmentally responsible, technically reliable and, above all, an economically viable fuel cell micro-CHP heating appliance for the home by combining the expertise of BDR Thermea and Toshiba Fuel Cell Power Systems Corporation.
Fuel cell technology is an innovative solution that will be implemented over the next number of years to replace and upgrade more than 100 million gas and oil-fired boilers currently installed throughout Europe.