25 high effiiciency electricity generators, known as BlueGen, are to be delivered to Australia’s first commercial smart-grid system to be the backbone of Newcastle’s Smart City project, funded by the NSW government.
The small scale gas to electricity units will be used as part of a project trialling new technology for households, and will also make use of distributed storage to provide extra electricity in peak hours.
Emerging energy technology company, Ceramic Fuel Cells Ltd, based in Victoria, is to provide the BlueGen units to Ausgrid, formerly EnergyAustralia, which is testing whether fuel cells can make the grid more efficient by flattening out peaks in electricity demand.
Ausgrid has been trialling the new technology at its ‘smart home’ in Sydney since August last year. According to Ceramic Fuels, the BlueGen has generated about twice as much electricity as the family has been using to run their household appliances, and charge their electric vehicle.
In total, the trial has generated 9,283 kw of power and saved 10.4 tonnes of carbon dioxide, compared with power from the local grid, with excess electricity being exported to the grid.
Ceramic’s managing director, Brendan Dow, told the SMH: “The distributed generation of electricity – creating electricity near the place of use, rather than centrally – is an important part of the future of smart grids.”