HotModule Is First Fuel Cell to Run on Biomethane

HotModule design is said to be scaleable up to 2000 kW.

Published: 19-Jun-2007

This yields two advantages for utilisation in the HotModule. Firstly, the CO2-neutral fuel can be produced at any desired location, which allows biogas production to be decoupled from biogas consumption; and secondly, the cost of gas purification at the HotModule can be reduced significantly because biomethane and natural gas have a much lower concentration of sulphur compounds than regular biogas. Sulphur is harmful to the HotModule’s nickel catalyzer, and it must be filtered out by a gas treatment stage if biogas or sewer gas is used directly.

The biomethane for the HotModule in the T-Systems computer centre is produced in a plant belonging to Aufwind Schmack GmbH Neue Energien in Pliening. The plant processes energy crops, which makes CO2-neutral energy supply possible because the crops absorb the same amount of CO2 while they are growing as is released when the biomethane is burnt. This is the first plant in Germany that feeds biomethane into the network in compliance with the Renewable Energy Sources Act. The customer for this fuel is E.ON Bayern AG, which resells it in the same manner as green electricity, in this case to PASM Power and Air Condition Solution Management GmbH & Co. KG. This subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom AG is responsible for energy procurement for the Group, which includes the Munich computer centre.

‘Feeding biomethane into the natural-gas network marks a quantum leap for climate protection in Bavaria and all of Germany’, said Dr Werner Schnappauf, Bavarian Minister of State for People and the Environment, on the occasion of the dedication of the Pliening biomethane plant in May. ‘What’s more, the production of biomass, biogas and bio-natural gas is a purely national value creation chain, which means it creates jobs in Germany’, according to Michael Glos, German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Technology, in his speech on the occasion of the dedication. The Minister had already learned about the potential of the Hot- Module fuel cells at last year’s Hanover Fair.

‘The application in the Munich computer centre marks not only the conjunction of a climate-friendly fuel and a high-efficiency energy converter, but also the harmonious interaction of two technologies that can create jobs and may be among Germany’s major export successes’, commented Michael Bode, Board of Management of CFC Solutions GmbH.

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