OTTAWA Â- Fuel cells that have the potential to provide heat and power for Canadians are one step closer to reality. The Government of Canada, through Natural Resources Canada (NRCan), has entered into a $260,000 project with Fuel Cell Technologies Ltd. (FCT) to install the first residential fuel cell in Canada. Fuel cells offer a cleaner, more efficient, and reliable source of power than conventional combustion technologies.
The fuel cell was developed by FCT , a leading Canadian company working in this field. The Kingston, Ontario-based developer focuses on small-scale stationary power systems for on-site generation of combined heat and power. The company’s world-leading solid-oxide fuel-cell power units can operate on several hydrocarbon-based fuels, such as natural gas, biogas and methanol, to provide power and heat to homes, businesses and remote sites . It can also operate at high efficiency on pure hydrogen.
Â”This is another great example of Canada’s world-class fuel-cell technology, which holds the promise of cleaner energy and helping Canada respond to its Kyoto commitments,Â” said the Honourable Herb Dhaliwal, Minister of Natural Resources Canada. Â”The Government of Canada is proud to demonstrate our commitment to this innovative technology through this partnership.Â”
FCT joins a growing list of innovative Canadian companies committed to developing a hydrogen economy. Last month, the Government of Canada announced a new $215-million climate change initiative to support the use of hydrogen and fuel-cell technologies.
NRCan is contributing $155,000 to the project. It initiated the project in collaboration with the National Research Council and the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation . The three organizations operate the Canadian Centre for Housing Technology (CCHT), an Ottawa facility where manufacturers such as FCT can test their innovative products before conducting field trials in occupied homes.
The project will allow the consortium of researchers and utilities, brought together by NRCan, to assess and optimize the performance of the fuel-cell system in a scientific environment. The sophisticated testing facility simulates occupancy through a virtual family that makes demands on the house for cooking, bathing, doing laundry and other activities. Results from this unique facility will provide the fuel-cell manufacturer with performance and integration information that is unmatched anywhere in the world.
Â”The Government of Canada’s support will allow us to assess how our fuel cell can respond to household needs in real terms,Â” said John Stannard, FCT President and CEO. Â”This gives us a critical advantage among competitors.Â”
Utilities, researchers and other potential users of small combined heat and power systems will be invited to participate on an advisory committee in order to gain an understanding of the fuel-cell system, its capabilities, and what it takes to integrate such a system into a building. Issues include system integration, electricity grid interface, storage, safety, sizing and controls.
FCT’s five-kilowatt fuel-cell system will be installed at the CCHT in early 2004. The system will be monitored throughout the project, with three-week intense monitoring periods during the winter, spring and summer to compare performance during different seasons. The resulting data is expected to help participants ass ess business opportunities, design testing protocols, validate simulation software and develop standards.
This initiative advances the Government of Canada’s commitment to the sustainable development of our natural resources Â- contributing to their economic importance and to a strong society and communities through knowledge, innovation, technology and international leadership. By integrating our economic, social and environmental goals, we can ensure our quality of life and build the Canada we want, for ourselves, and for future generations. Funding for this project is built into the existing fiscal framework.
For more information, media may contact:
Director of Communications
Office of the Minister
Natural Resources Canada
Gary Allen, Director of Sales
Natural Resources Canada