Mostly out of the public eye, Berlin-based inhouse engineering has been working for years behind the scenes on a fuel cell system that does not quite fit in with other suppliers‘ product offerings. With 5 kW capacity, it is much more powerful than devices offered by, for example, IBZ partners (see list on p. 13). Likewise, it is used mainly to supply energy for commercial multi-family and business properties, not single- or two-family homes.
It has been said that the system might now be brought to the market during the second half of this year.
The inhouse5000+ has already been field-tested for several years in projects using either natural gas or hydrogen. The fuel may be the single biggest difference to other smaller devices, as it has been the only low-temperature PEM system capable of running on hydrogen only. Most competing products have so far used fossil fuels, that is, natural gas or LPG, to power homes.
When the chief executive of inhouse engineering, Christoph Hildebrandt, was asked why the device had not yet been brought to market, he said there were several reasons development had taken longer than expected. One of them had been a shortage in catalysts used in the reformer, another the terms and conditions of KfW bank’s funding opportunity, which had initially been limited to single- and two-family homes. It also had been difficult to find partner companies that could distribute the product.
Today, inhouse engineering is in a successful collaboration with DiLiCo engineering, a Magdeburg-based supplier of instrumentation and control equipment. The supplier is not only helping to improve the CHP device but is also distributing it across the the German state of Saxony-Anhalt.
read more in H2-international May 2020