In April, Viessmann, a family-owned business based in Allendorf, Germany, started selling two new and improved generations of Vitovalor systems. PT2 is a whole-home solution for single-family and duplex houses. The space-saving unit has two components, a gas condensing boiler, integrated with a fuel cell, and a 220-liter tank, both with a matching height of 1.8 meters, or 5.9 feet. The boiler capacity ranges from 11.4 to 30.8 kilowatts. The unit has a minimum service life of 80,000 hours and requires maintenance only every five years.
It is the first product that can rightfully be called an integrated fuel cell unit. In the previous generation, branded 300-P, the boiler system had, basically, been “slapped” onto Panasonic fuel cell equipment. This time, the devices work in concert, as part of a system specifically designed to meet the needs of the German market.
By contrast, PA2 is used to retrofit state-of-the art gas condensing boilers. It consists of a fuel cell, a gas purifier and the controls and is 1.6 meters, or 5.2 feet, high. Rene Eickhoff, product manager at Viessmann, explained that the unit presented a good opportunity for owners of residential and commercial real estate to reduce energy costs and carbon dioxide emissions. The manufacturer’s ads zero in on its 10-year warranty and the government’s fuel cell incentive of up to EUR 11,100.