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Panasonic household fuel cells coming in 2010

electric.jpgGreenbang likes to think of darts-related quiz show Bullseye as something of a sociological artefact. Bully’s Prize Board saw contestants competing for what were considered the most desirable household items of their day – lead crystal decanters, trouser presses, cutlery sets and a Goblin Teasmaid. If Bullseye were able to time-travel, what would next year’s household must-haves be?

Greenbang would put a few bob on the Goblin Teasmaid being substituted for a household fuel cell.

Yep, after being the tech du jour for cars, fuel cells will be coming to the home of Joe Public soon, after Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., also known as Panasonic, announced its developed a fuel cell and will start manufacturing from June, with commercialisation set for 2010.

The “polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) cogeneration system” should last for 10 years or 40,000 hours of use.

Here’s a buffet of info from Panasonic:

When installed in an ordinary household, the new system can reduce primary energy consumption by 22% (about 1.4 times more than the conventional system) and can cut CO2 emissions by 12% based on the basic unit for all power sources. With year-round operation, it can save 3,262 kWh of primary energy and reduce CO2 emissions by 330 kg. The new system

can reduce CO2 emissions by 37% based on the basic unit for thermal power source. With year-round operation, it can cut CO2 emissions by1,175 kg.

The three-year field tests also found that the system was often operated in a power output range between 500 W and 1 kW in ordinary households. Within this practical use range, the new system has achieved drastically improved power-generating efficiency compared to conventional systems. The Panasonic system has achieved the world’s highest power-generating efficiencies 39% (LHV) at 750 W; 38% or higher in the 500 W – 1 kW range and 34% at 300 W. The system has also satisfied durability requirements for home-use equipment.[…]

Panasonic has made the system feasible by using cell stack technology that employs highly-durable Membrane Electrode Assemblies (MEA), fuel processing technology that allows stable operation in a wide range at high efficiency and low-loss boost inverter technology.

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