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April 4, 2002
Osaka Gas Co., Ltd.
Osaka Gas plans to start shortly a test operation of two PEFC (polymer electrolyte fuel cell) units in residential installations. A 0.5kW unit will be installed at NEXT 21, the experimental multi-family building owned by Osaka Gas in Osaka city, and its test operation will commence on April 5. The other, a 1kW PEFC system, will be installed at a house in Kyoto and will go into testing by the end of this month.
Osaka Gas jointly developed the 0.5kW system with H Power and Mistui & Co., while the 1kW unit was developed in cooperation with Sanyo Electric. For the two systems, Osaka Gas provided the manufacturers with its compact and efficient natural gas reformer.
In the testing process for a one-year period, various tests and analysis will be made on different operational modes, load following, automatic start-up and shut-down, and other points. Upon completion of the one-year test, Osaka Gas plans to continue the testing with improved units at additional locations for two more years. It is believed that the test will generate important insights into the development of the PEFC which will be used for acceleration of the commercialization of the systems.