Wärtsilä is taking a step forward in its fuel cell development programme by demonstrating its solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology in the field for the first time.

The Finland-based company is to install a fuel cell unit at the site of a housing fair this summer to produce electricity and heat using biogas from a nearby landfill. The power plant will be the first of its kind in the world, says Wärtsilä.

The SOFC plant will be installed at the Vaasa Housing Fair in western Finland and will initially produce an output of 20 kWe and 17 kWth. The project is part of Wärtsilä’s long-term product development programme.

Wärtsilä’s fuel cell unit is based on planar SOFC technology, which operates at high temperatures and which is able to use a variety of fuels. The company is developing the technology at a site in Espoo, Finland in collaboration with Topsoe Fuel Cells of Denmark and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.

Wärtsilä is developing fuel cell technology as part of a long-term strategy to diversify its product portfolio with clean, sustainable energy production technologies.