International Fuel Cells & Burderus Heiztechnik to Develop Fuel Cells for European Residential Market

Initial tests to commence by mid-2003 in important European markets.

Published: 28-Mar-2001

SOUTH WINDSOR, Conn. and WETZLAR, Germany, Mar 28, 2001 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- International Fuel Cells, a unit of United Technologies Corp. (NYSE: UTX), and Buderus Heiztechnik GmbH, a unit of Buderus AG (Xetra: BUD), today announced they will work together to develop and market fuel cell systems for residential applications.

Under terms of the agreement, Buderus will market in Europe the IFC fuel cell system now being developed for homes and light commercial buildings. The two expect to test initial units in important European markets beginning mid 2003. IFC and Buderus will also explore other opportunities for fuel cells in Europe.

"This joint effort with Buderus, one of the largest and most respected heating equipment companies in Europe, is an important step in IFC's efforts to establish itself as the world leader in residential fuel cell units," said IFC President William Miller. "We look forward to working with Buderus in bringing this environmentally friendly technology to European customers."

Uwe Luders, chairman of management of Buderus Heiztechnik, said that in the coming years Buderus will grow its European business particularly in technologically sophisticated product areas. "Fuel cell systems for residential applications have the potential to become an important part of our long-term growth strategy," he said. "And with IFC, we have now gained our partner of first choice to develop this promising business."

A fuel cell is an electrochemical device that combines hydrogen fuel, which can be obtained from fossil fuels such as natural gas, with oxygen from air to produce electrical energy, heat and water. Because fuel cells create electricity without combustion, they produce significantly fewer pollutants and are more efficient.

IFC is currently developing a five-kilowatt fuel cell for residential and light commercial applications. These units, which operate on natural gas or propane, will be used to generate electricity for assured electrical power or as primary power.

Buderus will offer fuel cells in co-generation units, using the heat generated by the fuel cell for space heating and domestic hot water. The electricity produced will replace or reduce use of electricity from the electrical grid.

The fuel cell units will expand Buderus' current offerings for co-generation units. Buderus already markets gas-engine based co-generation units in the range of 17 to 230 kilowatts.

International Fuel Cells is the world leader in fuel cell development and production for commercial, transportation, residential and space applications. IFC is the only company in the world producing a commercially available fuel cells system, the PC25(TM) powerplant, and is the sole supplier of fuel cells for all U.S. space missions since 1966.

IFC is aggressively developing proton exchange membrane (PEM) technology for commercial and residential applications, as well as for buses, fleet vehicles and automobiles.

Buderus Heiztechnik is a European market leader for heating products. Buderus manufactures boilers, storage tanks, radiators, oil burners, solar energy panels and co-generation units.

SOURCE International Fuel Cells

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