The Ceres plan is to mass produce fuel cell generator/ water heaters which may be run from mains gas supply.
This is clever because while a fuel cell is much more efficient than an internal combustion engine these efficiency figures are based on hydrogen input and there is no ready hydrogen supply. The hydrogen must be split off an existing fuel, this however releases heat which results in the actual efficiency being comparable to an internal combustion engine which just burns the source fuel. If however that heat is captured and given a use, like heating one's home, then we are once again ahead of the game.
The vision is for homes and offices to install the Ceres "CHP" unit (Combined Heat and Power unit) instead of a traditional boiler. This would be connected to the gas, water and power grids. The CHP would heat the home/ office and supply electricity and excess electricity would be sold to the grid and any shortfall bought in. The units would operate very efficiently and save consumers money IF the cost of manufacture is low enough and the units are durable enough.( Cost savings to the consumer using a 1KW CHP are estimated to be between 274 and 396 pounds annually)
Ceres has completed its alpha testing and is commencing beta testing. Volume launch is scheduled for 2011.
Anyone with any views? The concept is great, the market is huge...can they produce something cheap and reliable?