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News Link • Energy

Fraunhofer developing fuel cell system to power the home

•, By David Szondy
 Fuel cells, which are more efficient and have lower emissions than internal combustion engines seem like a logical candidate for taking up the slack, so the Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Systems (IKTS) in Dresden is partnering with the heater manufacturer Vaillant to develop a domestic fuel cell system that uses natural gas to produce both heating and electricity.

Fuel cells have been around since 1838, and have long seemed like the power source of tomorrow, but it wasn't until the 1960s that the first commercial fuel cells appeared, when they were used to power spacecraft. Though they've seen some applications in the automotive industry in the 1990s and the Ene-Farm home fuel cell became the world's first commercialized fuel cell system targeted at household heating and electricity generation with its release in Japan in 2009, fuel cells have struggled to find widespread adoption.

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