Weichai Group / News

Weichai breaks new ground in eco-friendly energy

By YUAN SHENGGAO |  China Daily |  Updated:2023-02-22

Weichai, a prominent Chinese powertrain manufacturer, announced the world's first high-power metal-supported commercial solid oxide fuel cell product on Saturday, as part of their efforts to enhance the efficiency of power generation devices and advance industrial upgrades.

With a cogeneration efficiency of 92.55 percent, the product sets a new world record for high power SOFC cogeneration system efficiency and has been certified by TUV SUD, a leading German certification and testing service provider.

This is also the world's first high-power metal-supported commercial SOFC product with a system power of 120 kilowatts, which can be extended to the megawatt level by installing new modules.

The SOFC is a new generation fuel cell that converts the chemical energy of fuel into electric energy directly at medium or high temperatures. Not only is it highly efficient, but it also has no reliance on precious metals, making it an environmentally friendly option.

By utilizing a flexible array of fuel sources such as natural gas, hydrogen, coal-to-gas, biomass gas, or methanol, the technology can significantly reduce carbon emissions.

The latest product release boasts even more advantages over traditional technologies, including lower operating temperatures and greater resistance to thermal shock, all while maintaining electrolyte and anode support.

Weichai, a company situated in the Weifang Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone in East China's Shandong province, has been expanding its presence in the SOFC industry since 2018.

It has accomplished this through strategic investments in Helis, a leading SOFC technology company based in the United Kingdom, which is one of Weichai's largest shareholders.

After devoting five years of effort into developing the next generation of SOFC key technology, the two entities have formed a research and development team, consisting primarily of about 100 PhD degree researchers.

Weichai, as a prominent player in China's equipment manufacturing industry, upholds the "dual drive "strategy of embracing both traditional and new energy sources, the company said.

Last year, it released the world's first diesel engine with bulk thermal efficiency of 51 percent and 52 percent successively.

Weichai is actively driving the shift toward new energy technologies, including the three major routes of power cells, hydrogen fuel cells, and solid oxide fuel cells.

Among these, SOFC is a key component of Weichai's diversified development framework, offering advantages such as high efficiency, good reliability, wide fuel adaptability, and stable power energy output.

The product has demonstrated its feasibility and reliability, having operated for over 30,000 hours in Weichai Fuel Cell Industrial Park and Weifang Energy Group. It can be used in various settings such as industrial parks, buildings, and data centers, providing potential solutions for green and low-carbon energy needs in the future.

A recent estimate suggests that when the installed capacity of its SOFC products reaches 1 gigawatt, it could reduce carbon emissions by about 2 million metric tons per year compared to grid electricity, and save around 600 million cubic meters of natural gas compared to traditional natural gas internal combustion engine generating units.

This news showcases the potential of SOFC technology to help China meet its carbon reduction goals and transition towards a more sustainable energy system.

In addition, Weichai SOFC products offer a new solution for distributed energy and microgrid, ensuring secure power supply and providing technological reserves and innovative capabilities for new business forms for Weichai Power's development in the next few decades.

Yin Bo, a business insider from Weifang Energy Group, praised the stable performance of Weichai SOFC products and their ability to adjust to peak-valley pricing, which can bring significant economic benefits.

Tan Xuguang, director of the State Key Laboratory of Engine and Powertrain System, also praised the product as a major innovation achievement of Weichai's scientific and technological workers. He noted that Weichai is making great efforts to provide new solutions and strengths in technological innovation to actively respond to China's "dual carbon" national strategies.


A high-power metal-supported commercial solid oxide fuel cell product, with high cogeneration efficiency, is launched by Weichai on Saturday. CHINA DAILY

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