Durable Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Tri-generation system for low carbon Buildings
Design, optimise and build a 1.5 kW low-cost durable LT-SOFC tri-generation prototype, based on the integration of a novel LT-SOFC stack and a desiccant unit.
- LT-SOFC Power 200-1,500 W
- System efficiency (based on natural gas) > 90 %
- Electricity efficiency (based on natural gas) > 45 %
- Lifetime > 40,000 hours
- Cost targets < 400 €/kWe
Achievements to date
Deliverable D9.1 - WT9.1 project website – a website has been set up and developed as part of the dissemination work package WP9. Six pages have been set up, home page, TriSOFC system, Project partners, Project news, published work, project gallery. Only documents specified in the description of work (DOW) shall be publicly accessible. Restricted access documents will be shared through the drop box file sharing system https://www.dropbox.com/. All partners have been given access so that files and documents can be shared in a secure site.
Dissemination of work carried out by the consortium will be available through the project website. The website will be updated regularly and information such as publications in peer reviewed journals and international conferences, invitations to lectures and presentations by the partners, news items in the local, national and international media outlets.
Due to the increasing concern over the provision of future energy and global warming, there is a significant interest in the development of alternative clean energy sources and efficient power generators. Buildings consume over 40% of the world’s primary energy used for cooling, heat and power, and most of it is from electricity generated at centralised power stations, where at present up to 70% of available energy is lost. Reducing the energy consumption of buildings can make a substantial contribution towards attaining the European Union’s 20/20/20 targets and at least 80% reduction in its carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.
One of the more promising possibilities for this future energy generation is the solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC), which uses the hydrogen from the gas stream to generate electricity through chemical reactions in the anodes, and the only by-product is water vapour and a modest amount of carbon dioxide. This is more efficient than simply combusting the fuel. A CHP (combined heat and power) technology using SOFC could improve system efficiency up to 90%.
Unfortunately, the durability and lifetime of the SOFC system needs to be addressed.. Sulfur poisoning and carbon deposition from methane are two major problems inhibiting application of conventional SOFCs. High operating temperature is another considerable challenge. One of the applicants, KTH, has made a breakthrough in low temperature SOFC materials based on nanocomposite able to operate at temperatures as low as 500 °C.
Desiccant systems are used primarily where simultaneous maintenance of temperature and humidity control is important. This technology is often used in tri-generation, where the desiccant system is driven by the waste heat. If the waste heat from SOFCs is used to drive the desiccant unit, then a tri-generation system will result, supplying not only the power and heat as the conventional CHP technology to the buildings, but also cooling and humidity controlling.