Vitovalor Generation D – the new fuel cells
Fuel cell heaters are especially efficient at generating energy, reaching efficiency ratings of up to 90 percent through the combined production of electricity and heat. By way of comparison, a conventional power plant generally does not exceed 40 percent. This means that around 60 percent of the energy used is lost to the atmosphere in the form of unused heat.
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The new Vitovalor fuel cell heater will have a slightly lower electrical output than its predecessor models. But that does not mean it will produce less electricity. Quite the opposite – the new fuel cell from Viessmann actually generates much more electricity than previous models. Furthermore, the fuel cell is optimized for a much longer lifetime. The guaranteed service life is now 85,000 hours rather than 80,000.
Other key innovations include the fact that the fuel cell can use up to 20 percent hydrogen, while maintenance cycles are longer – instead of every five years, maintenance now takes place every six.
In the development process, we have benefited from our collaboration with our technology partners at Panasonic, giving us access to comprehensive data from more than 150,000 fuel cells on the Japanese market. We also actively incorporated extensive customer feedback in the development process. For example, the connections on the back of the Vitovalor are spaced further apart, making them easier to isolate.
More and more professional partners are getting involved in fuel cells, and the market has been growing steadily for several years. Of course, the technology will be affordable even without subsidies in the not-too-distant future, and we aim to achieve that through scaling at European level. Building on various projects with support from the European Commission, significantly more countries are starting to roll out this highly attractive and efficient technology.