Ceres reaches final development stage of 1kW domestic units for British Gas

Ceres Power, the company behind the fuel cell technology to be used for British Gas' micro CHP unit, has successfully completed testing and is in the final development stage before production begins.

According to Ceres, the 1kW unit, which should be commercially available in just over two years, has been tested on mains natural gas under “representative residential operating conditions, meeting most of a typical home's electricity requirements as well as exporting and importing power to and from the grid as required”.

The product integrates the company's 1kW fuel cell module with all of the ancillary boiler components into a single unit meeting a home's hot water and central heating requirements, avoiding the need for a separate boiler.

The tests were witnessed and verified by British Gas and an independent third party gas appliance testing company and met the necessary performance, size, weight and regulatory compliance requirements.

Ceres has now started the design and procurement of the beta phase of the CHP programme to produce units for field trials.

Gearoid Lane, managing director of British Gas New Energy, said: “We are delighted that the alpha phase CHP product testing has been successfully completed and all of the agreed deliverables have been completed on schedule.

“This significant achievement underpins the potential mass market opportunity of the Ceres CHP product for the UK residential market.”

The fitout of the new manufacturing plant in Horsham is now under way, with initial operations scheduled to begin in the second half of 2009.