BOSCH AND FUEL-CELL EXPERT CERES POWER WORKING ON SOFC TECHNOLOGY
Fuel cell and hydrogen technology are getting more and more attention. The European Union has subsidized several projects with city buses with a fuel cell as part of the driveline. But there are also other means of usage possible. German company Bosch is teaming up with Ceres Power, based in Horsham, U.K., to develop the next stage of solid-oxide fuel-cell (SOFC) technology.
SOFC technology uses an electrochemical reaction in the fuel cell stack to convert fuel such as natural gas or hydrogen into electricity. It is the intention of Ceres Power and Bosch to make SOFC technology available for various applications. It is their vision to have small power stations set up throughout cities, as well as in industrial areas. Both companies find that because standardized plants are highly flexible, they will be able to cover peak demand better than conventional plants. The aim is for one SOFC module to generate 10 kW of electrical power. Where more electricity is needed, any number of modules with the same output can simply be interconnected. With urbanization on the increase, Bosch and Ceres find that fuel-cell technology will have a crucial role to play in securing power supplies. Using fuel cells, considerable power can be generated locally and highly efficiently and practically without emissions.
Bosch plans to take a 4 percent equity stake in Ceres Power. The two companies signed at the end of August a collaboration and license agreement for the further development of technology, and establishment of small-volume production operations at Bosch, as well as a share purchase agreement.