Ceres Power says significant progress has been made in improving its core technology power degradation performance and combined heat and power (CHP) product reliability. This underpins the company’s goal of meeting mass-market product specification for commercial launch in 2016.
Degradation rates of around 3% per 1,000 hours had previously been achieved in stacks running on a reformate mix. Contamination from the test equipment was identified as the significant cause of power degradation, and this was addressed. Degradation of around 1% per 1,000 hours has now been achieved.
The company has also confirmed that it has tested its fuel processing unit for over 1,500 hours and that methane conversion efficiency is within the required performance levels. This means that the compact fuel processor design is capable of meeting stack fuel requirements in a CHP product. Ceres is currently in the process of implementing and testing the engineering modifications to the CHP product, and is confident that it will see a significant reduction in the CHP degradation rate compatible with the degradation rates achieved at stack level.
Other improvements have also been made in CHP product reliability, such as upgraded power electronics to support continued operation of the CHP product by handling temporary and intermittent failures in the mains electricity grid. CHP products have been running at improved levels of availability (greater than 97%). Further reductions in power degradation and increased reliability are expected.