Japan Co plans to market to home users

Japan’s Idemitsu Kosan Co plans to begin marketing fuels cells as power sources for the home starting in 2006. Initially, the fuel cells will run on LPG but the company plans to include cells that run on kerosene (paraffin) by 2008.

The LPG fuel cells, that will produce both heat and power, are presently under trials being conducted by Idemitsu. Trial runs of a kerosene fuel cell are expected to begin in 2006 following the Idemitsu development of a reformer to extract hydrogen from kerosene with an efficiency of around 80%.

The company intends to partner an electrical manufacturer for development of commercial products. While the exact specifications are still being worked out, the company reportedly plans to market the smallest fuel cell in the industry with an energy efficiency of more than 30%. The cells will be rented for ¥60,000 – ¥100,000 ($577 – $961) a year.