KT embarks on development of solid oxide fuel cell power generators for buildings

29, Nov. 2019

SEOUL, AJU - South Korea's top telecom company, KT, partnered with a domestic company to develop solid oxide fuel cell power generators for buildings, combined with a smart energy management platform that uses AI to collect and analyze data in real time

KT said Thursday that it signed a business agreement for hydrogen fuel cell cooperation with MiCo, a provider of high-quality ceramic materials and components. They will test a fuel cell power generation system that can respond to the pattern of building energy use and develop an energy management system (EMS) for self-consumption fuel cells for buildings.

KT will monitor the real-time operation of fuel cell power generation facilities with its KT-Micro Energy Grid (KT-MEG), a smart energy management platform. MiCo will supply and maintain a solid oxide fuel cell, which is an electrochemical conversion device that produces electricity directly from oxidizing a fuel.

Fuel cells produce heat, electricity and water through a thermochemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen. Hydrocarbon fuels such as natural gas, biogas and landfill gas are used in the thermochemical process to produce electricity. Because of its eco-friendly characteristics, fuel cells are considered the next-generation renewable power source.

In October 2018, KT started the commercial operation of a fuel cell power plant in the eastern highland area of Daegwanryeong to use artificial intelligence and other advanced technologies for the establishment of an intelligent virtual power plant that links different power sources to provide a stable power supply. The plant's operation was monitored by KT-MEG.

The use of hydrogen in buildings and stationary fuel cells has an important potential, but challenges still remain in terms of customer awareness, professional skills and financing. Hyundai Mobis, a car parts-making wing of South Korea's Hyundai auto group, hopes to use hydrogen fuel cells, developed for cars, at buildings.