Space-age fuel cell powers London development


The Quadrant 3 redevelopment in London is the first in the UK to install a highly efficient and sustainable fuel cell that draws its power from the same technology used to provide energy to the Space Shuttle.

Emitting 38 per cent less carbon dioxide than using electricity from the grid and heat and gas fired boilers, the 300KWe molten carbonate cell is the most efficient of its kind in Europe.


The cell forms part of one of the world’s most sophisticated central energy systems which serves over 46,500m2 of offices, retail, residential, restaurant and hotel space in the Regent Street Quadrant area. The development is owned and operated by The Crown Estate.

By converting natural gas into electricity through an electrochemical process, which avoids creating any of the by-products of combustion and drastically reducing emissions, a projected 350 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions will be saved per year.

As well as reducing the building’s carbon footprint, the electrochemical process makes the cell highly efficient as no energy is wasted between the power station and the building, or in moving the mechanical parts needed to induce combustion.

The Crown Estate head of development Alastair Smart said: “Occupiers are increasingly looking to operate more sustainably and this includes factoring in the green credentials of their premises. The fuel cell is a real flag in the sand, demonstrating what is possible in terms of energy efficiency and carbon reduction, and it will only enhance the building’s reputation as a world leading example of sustainable development.”

The fuel cell installation was completed by Edinburgh-based Logan Energy.