Positive interim assessment: fuel cells pass the practice test

WINGAS promotes the use of natural gas powered fuel cells together with municipal utility companies

Fuel cells are particularly attractive financially for small companies, apartment buildings and offices | Active climate protection – technology efficiency more than 85 percent


Kassel. The right technology for a decentral supply of heat and power:  WINGAS GmbH is currently testing various modern natural gas powered fuel cell facilities across Germany together with municipal utility companies in a nationwide test as part of a cooperation agreement to promote the new technology. After one year the midway results are positive. “The fuel cells used function reliably and, above all, efficiently – as the first phase of our test series shows impressively,” explains WINGAS Managing Director Dr. Ludwig Möhring, responsible for sales. “The test makes it clear that the technology can be used in practice. All the test devices worked without any difficulties.” WINGAS is a strong proponent of this technology and supports the application of various fuel cell products with the WINGAS Partner Bonus Program for utilities. The public utility companies currently taking part in the test include Aachen (STAWAG), Stadtwerke Gütersloh (SWG) and Bielefeld as well as Technischen Werke Ludwigshafen (TWL), which have installed the fuel cells primarily in small companies, apartment buildings and larger office blocks.  
WINGAS has been promoting the use of efficient natural gas technologies in boiler rooms for a long time now. “Efficient natural gas technologies such as condensing boilers and heat pumps, or fuel cells as the most efficient form of so-called “micro CHP” facilities, can make an important contribution to climate protection,” Möhring explains. “More than 85 percent of primary energy consumption in German households is attributed to heating and warm water systems.” But this is also where a lot of energy gets lost. “Many of the approx. 20.5 million heating systems in Germany are outdated or inefficient and consume much more energy than they need,” the WINGAS Managing Director continues. “By using modern technology, the energy consumption for heat generation could be reduced by at least 30 percent and considerable CO2 savings could be made at the same time,” Möhring explains in reference to the newly adopted energy efficiency directive.
Test results convince participating utility companies
“The fuel cell technology tested can reach an overall efficiency of more than 85 percent thanks to the combined use of heat and power,” explains Detlef Mirsch, Head of Technical Services at WINGAS. “Furthermore, there are 20 to 30 percent fewer CO2 emissions compared to a conventional power supply from a condensing power plant and separate heat generation.” The first test phase already showed that all the participating utility companies had positive experiences with the fuel cells. “The evaluation of the test phase clearly demonstrates that the fuel cell technology can be used most cost-effectively when the entire CHP power generation can be used for one’s own consumption.” The use of fuel cells is particularly appealing to smaller and medium-sized businesses as well as larger office buildings which consume more than about 15,000 kWh a year.

“For utility companies the trend towards more energy efficiency in the building sector represents a major opportunity,” Mirsch underlines. They could secure greater customer loyalty as a local partner, offering attractive energy services that use highly efficient gas technologies and tapping into new business fields. “This way they evolve from being mere energy suppliers to all-round solutions providers – which not only benefits companies, but also the environment,” Mirsch says.

WINGAS is one of the largest suppliers of natural gas in Germany. The energy company is active in natural gas trading in Belgium, Denmark, France, the UK, Austria, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic. Its customers include municipal utilities, regional gas suppliers, industrial firms and power plants.

More energy – together. www.wingas.com

For interested customers:
If you are interested in the WINGAS Partner Bonus Program, please get in touch with:

Detlef Mirsch
Head of Technical Services
Phone: +49 561 301-1536
E-mail: detlef.mirsch[at]wingas.de

Your contact

Königstor 20
34117 Kassel
Phone: +49 (0) 561 99858-0
E-mail: presse[at]wingas.de