Case Study Embedded Generation — Madeley Charity and Housing 21

Background

The Madeley Centre is a unique and innovative development which provides a whole range of community facilities to support the health, welfare and well-being of local people. It includes a community café, a computer learning centre, a services hub, a health room, charity shop, community rooms, a children’s centre and a community hall. Through these facilities the Centre delivers a whole range of opportunities for young and old, which are run for the benefit of the community in a sustainable way.

The Opportunity

For a number of years Ceramic Fuel Cells Ltd has been developing a fuel cell micro CHP unit which has been commercialised under the BlueGen name. Manufactured in Germany the product is accredited in the UK with CE1 and MCSapproval; it also qualifies under the UK Government ‘Feed in Tariff’ scheme.

The appliance, that can be retrofitted to existing heating systems, is designed primarily for generating electricity at source at a leading net efficiency of 60%, and as part of the refraction process produces heat and hot water of 200 litres per day. In addition to the energy savings, BlueGen contributes significantly to carbon reduction compared to conventional power generation as a result of using less fuel to provide more power. BlueGen can generate approximately 13,100 kW/hr of electricity on a continual basis in a year and is ideally suited for the social housing sector or sheltered accommodation where a number of properties can be linked via the technology.

Process

Bluegen Unit Installed At Madeley Community Centre

BlueGen unit installed at Madeley Community Centre

Working in partnership with the Madeley Charity and Housing 21, we part funded and installed a BlueGen unit in February 2013. BlueGen is the world’s most efficient small-scale electricity generator, using fuel cells to convert natural gas into power and heat.

As well as its efficiency benefits, it offers the following key innovations:

  • Remotely monitored and controlled over the internet
  • Generates power 24/7, all year round
  • Generates approximately 13,000 kW/hr of electricity per year
  • All power generated used on-site
  • Heat utilised for hot water
  • World’s highest electrical efficiency
  • Peak electrical efficiency of up to 60%
  • Only UK Fuel Cell Micro CHP unit with Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) approval

Initial Outputs

Through data received via our online monitoring, the table below indicates the performance of the product over a one week period. It can be seen from these results that the BlueGen unit is operating at optimum performance and receipts from Feed in Tariff are entirely consistent with financial projections.

Benefits

The electricity generated is being used to ‘off-set’ the centre’s previous ‘grid’ requirement with the savings made passed on to the residents of the sheltered accommodation. This installation at the Madeley Centre is part of a £150,000 investment by AWS into a number of BlueGen units to similar community developments. AWS have also engaged NEA to carry out an independent study to better understand the benefits to vulnerable customers and to transfer this knowledge into the wider social sector.

1 CE — The CE marking confirms a product has been assessed against, and meets EU safety, health and environmental protection requirements. 2MCS — Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) 

Madeley Centre Project

(snap shot of one week performance)

Operational Hours168h
Average Electrical Efficiency59.10%
Generated Electricity246kWh
CO2 Emissions85.2kg
CO2 Savings43.9kg
Average Electrical Generation1.46kWh
Feed in Tariff Receipts this week£31.71
Deemed Value£5.66
Total Return£37.37
Potential Yearly Return£1,943.24

* Based on Feed in Tariff at 12.89p and Deemed Value 4.6p