BlueGen uses ceramic fuel cells to electrochemically convert gas into electricity.
To understand the technology behind BlueGen, it's important to understand how BlueGen fits in with the technology of electricity generation. Click on the headings below to find out more.
Would you believe most of the energy required to generate electricity is wasted?
The above diagram highlights efficiency losses when electricity is generated by a coal fired power station and delivered to the home through traditional networks in use today.
The efficiency losses from centralised generation include losses from power plant, high-voltage transmission lines and, low voltage distribution networks. Most of the energy required to generate electricity is actually lost as heat.
Distributed Generation avoids losses & recovers wasted heat
Rather than a large centralised power plant, there are many smaller ‘generators' producing electricity where it's needed. Distributed Generation (DG), allows homes and businesses to generate electricity on-site - any excess electricity can be exported to the grid.
Using BlueGen® to produce power means electricity can be generated at up to 60 per cent electrical efficiency. When the thermal energy from BlueGen is recovered the total efficiency can increase to 85 per cent.
The efficiency of a large power plant in the size of a washing machine
For small-scale co-generation applications, (also called micro Combined Heat & Power, or micro-CHP), there are a number of different technologies that can produce electricity. Only BlueGen® produces electricity at high efficiency – up to 60 per cent electrical efficiency. That's the same electrical efficiency as a large Combined Cycle Gas Turbine (CCGT).
High electrical efficiency means more power and less heat – that’s ideal for continuous operation and great for the environment.
BlueGen connects to the natural gas and electricity supply and your hot water tank
Using ceramic fuel cells, BlueGen® electrochemically converts natural gas into electricity at up to 60 per cent electrical efficiency. Electricity is consumed locally, with unused power being exported to the grid.
When the integrated heat recovery system is connected, the waste heat from BlueGen can be used to produce hot water - which improves the total efficiency to approximately 85 per cent. You can also monitor and control BlueGen remotely via the internet.
Need more information? Download the BlueGen brochure.
Fuel cells mean more efficient, cleaner electricity
A fuel cell is a device that generates electricity efficiently from hydrogen rich fuels, through a clean electrochemical reaction rather than dirty combustion.
It is similar to a battery in that it provides continuous DC electricity from a chemical reaction. Like a battery, it has an anode, a cathode and an electrolyte. Unlike batteries, fuel cells cannot store electrical energy, do not ‘run flat', or require electricity to charge them again. Fuel cells can continuously generate electricity as long as they have a supply of fuel and air.
Unlike internal combustion engines or coal/gas powered turbines, fuel cells do not burn fuel. This means there are no noisy high-pressure rotors or loud exhaust noise and vibration. Fuel cells produce electricity though a silent electrochemical reaction, generating it 2-3 times more efficiently than other, more traditional methods. They also convert the chemical energy in the fuel directly into electricity, heat and water.
And because fuel cells don't burn the fuel through combustion, they don't produce large quantities of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrogen oxide (NOx). Fuel cell emissions amount to water in the form of steam and low levels of carbon dioxide (or no CO2 at all, if the cell uses pure hydrogen as a fuel).