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DEMOSOFC Report Summary

Project ID: 671470
Funded under: H2020-EU.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - DEMOSOFC (DEMOnstration of large SOFC system fed with biogas from WWTP)

Reporting period: 2015-09-01 to 2016-08-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

DEMOSOFC is a five year project with an aim of demonstrating a medium-scale distributed CHP system (sub-MW, electric power of 175 kW and thermal recovery of 90 kW) based on SOFC and fed with locally available biogas produced in a waste water treatment plant. The overall objectives of the project are:
• Demonstration (DEMO) and in-deep analysis of an innovative solution for distributed CHP generation based on SOFC, with high interest in industrial/commercial environments as it would represent the best-in-class solution in terms of efficiency and emissions in the domain of sub-MW distributed CHP.
• DEMO of a distributed CHP system fed by a biogenous CO2-neutral fuel. The considered fuel is digester gas from anaerobic digestion of municipal wastewater.
• DEMO in a real industrial site, i.e., the wastewater treatment plant providing biogas to the SOFC.
• ACHIEVEMENT of the high performance of the integrated SOFC system in terms of electrical efficiency, thermal recovery, low emissions, plant integration, economic interest for a better use of renewable fuels in a context of decreasing incentives to green technologies.
• EXPLOITATION and BUSINESS analysis scenarios for the implementation of several integrated biogas SOFC plants across Europe.
• DISSEMINATION of the higher energy and environmental performance of such systems and analysis of available market opportunities.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

In general, the work is advancing in good agreement with the schedule. Only, some activities related to the installation have suffered a delay, that has been communicated to the FCH2-JU and that will be described below. The activities are analysed in the Technical Report (Part B).
WP1: Management and Coordination.
The project management has been defined since the beginning of the project.
A Project Management Handbook has been issued at M5 (January 11, 2016). It describes the structure of DEMOSOFC project, the partners responsibilities and the timescales for the Project activities.
In April 2016, we have filled in all the data related to the project into the TEMONAS System, with all the quantitative data collected so far. The same information has been supplied in the Deliverable D1.2 “Annual data Reporting”, issued in M8 (April 2017).
WP2: Energy modelling, design and detailed engineering of the DEMO plant.
First, the Energy Planning (M4, December 2015) and Optimization (M5, January 2016) of the DEMO has been achieved in. In this activity, the main characteristics of the wastewater treatment plant in which the DEMOSOFC plant is installed have been analysed and reviewed.
Second, and most important, the Detailed Engineering of the DEMO has been achieved in M7 (March 2016). All the issues related to the design for installation of the DEMO have been addressed. The Detailed Engineering has been used for: (a) permitting certificates at the local level; (b) the tenders for the acquisition of some technical parts of the plant. We have still to complete the last part of the activity, related to the safety analysis of the complete system: this last part will be completed in February 2017.
Third, the preliminary cost-benefit analysis of the DEMO has been achieved in M7 (March 2017). In this activity, an analysis of the techno-economics of a range of SOFC system configurations operating in a waste water treatment plant setting has been developed.
Finally: the Deliverable D2.3 “Survey of commercial biogas cleaning systems and creating base for cleaning system investment”, is related to the issue of biogas cleaning, as from our experience it has a significant technical and economic impact on the complete plant.
WP3: Installation of the DEMO.
The installation of the DEMO has already started in M14 (October 2016) but it has a short (but already significant) delay compared to the schedule. This new scheduling has been communicated to the FCH2-JU on August 2nd, 2016.
The revision of the timing for the Installation plan was required because operative procedures to finalize the plant installation had a delay not recoverable either by the Consortium or by the SMAT project group.
Actually, the detailed engineering was already completed at the end of March 2016 (in line with the original scheduling in the project), but the approval process, in order to move on with the activities (tenders, etc.) has been completed only at the end of June 2016 (3 months later). The justifications for this delay is extensively described in the Technical Report (Part B) of this First Periodic Report.
As a conclusion: the complete DEMOSOFC plant will be fully in operation from April 2017 (M20 of the project), with a foreseen operation of 40 months inside the project.
WP7: Dissemination, communication.
The WEB Portal ( is active since the first day of the project (September 1st, 2015), and is updated every week. The Dissemination and Communication Plan has been produced in M4 (December 2015). The objective will be reached though different media channels, events and communications strategies. Finally, we have hired a Manager for the Dissemination in charge of all the activities and especially of the day by day communications through the social media (Facebook, Twitter, and so on) and the standard press.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The main progresses beyond the state of the art, achieved so far and in the near future, are here listed:
• OBJECTIVE: the projects will target primarily demonstration of solutions integrating the following: (a) 50 kW up to several MW capacity production of power and heat from natural gas, biogas or hydrogen; (b) Integration of a FC power plant in industrial/commercial processes. DEMOSOFC has under construction a plant of 174 kWe (+ 89 kWth) fed by biogas from WWTP. No industrial size SOFC-based systems are present in EU so far.
• OBJECTIVE: To ensure a world leading, competitive European FCH industry. The EU target is CAPEX 6000-1000 €/kW. The target will be achieved in the project. Moreover, we have foreseen the installation of 1 module (out of 3) based on a new generation stack, with improved performances and lower unit costs.
• OBJECTIVE: increase the electrical efficiency and the durability of the different fuel cells used for CHP and power only production, while reducing costs, to levels competitive with conventional technologies. We foresee an electrical efficiency of around 53%, and an overall efficiency of around 80-90% according to the temperature of the released exhaust streams.
• OBJECTIVE: meaningfully reduce harmful emissions. The CO2 emissions will be neutral (biogas fuel) but also significantly lower compared to an ICE (reduction of 27%). The other contaminants (CO, PM, VOC, sulphur, halogens) are negligible.
The socio-economic benefits consist of:
1) Green House Gas (GHG) reduction
2) Localized air quality improvements
3) Energy security benefits
4) Energy efficiency
5) Creating jobs: a reliable fuel cell industry will enable the creation of high skilled, high value jobs, thus decreasing the unemployment statistics.
6) Boosting investment: the fuel cell industry will create business opportunities which will attract significant investors from all over the world, thus improving Europe’s economy.
7) If the market entry of fuel cell will be pushed by the positive effect of the project, a new market area could be created with related job opportunities at different levels.

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