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Coming soon in NRW: Europe's first solid oxide fuel cell



The system is intended to contribute to environmentally friendly energy production, for example with hydrogen. Mitsubishi Power Europe supplies the necessary technology.

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy carrier of the future, since the gas burns with almost no emissions. This makes research in this field all the more relevant – and here North Rhine-Westphalia, with Essen as a location, plays a leading role: Due to its research structure, the city was chosen as the location for Europe's first solid oxide fuel cell. The system was developed by Mitsubishi Power. The company has already installed nine such systems in Japan, and Essen is the first location outside Japan.

The plant is to be commissioned at the Essen Gas and Heat Institute (GWI) by March 2022. The highly efficient system generates electricity and heat independently of the power grid or other sources such as wind and sun. Besides hydrogen, the solid oxide fuel cell can also be operated with other fuels such as natural gas or biogas.

In the course of the project, the Gas and Heat Institute Essen (GWI) would also like to intensify its exchange with Japan: "The collaboration between GWI, the Japanese research center FREA and Mitsubishi Power Europe is an excellent example of successful international cooperation," says Andre Boschem, Managing Director of the Essen Economic Development Agency (EWG).