The world’s first solid oxide fuel cell unit has successfully completed the first phase of a validation programme, according to manufacturer Wärtsilä.

The unit has been generating about 20kW of electricity for over 1,500 hours at its New Energy validation site in Vaasa, Finland.

The WFC20 unit is based on planar solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology supplied by Topsoe Fuel Cell and is fuelled by methane-rich gas from a landfill.

The facility has demonstrated high energy efficiency levels, low gas emissions and consistency in operations despite low and fluctuating methane content in the biogas, the company said.