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Innovative fuel cell systems at intermediate power range for distributed combined heat and power generation


Specific challenge: It is necessary to improve competitiveness and prepare for the commercialisation of fuel cell products for distributed CHP applications in intermediate power range. Also, it is necessary to increase the value proposition of fuel cell based products by increasing power security and reducing exploitation of primary energy resources. Power generation is not limited to electricity only, but including heat, cold and potentially hydrogen as by-products. This topic targets development, manufacturing and validation of a new generation of fuel cell systems with properties that significantly improve competitiveness. New innovative system technologies are implemented and validated in a new product with lower product cost, maintenance need and extended lifetime. Only through development of competitive technologies can fuel cell products achieve market readiness and radically improve the sustainability and security of energy supply.

Building and validating first prototypes of the new product generation will build trust among the stakeholders and build a basis for further growth of the industry. The project will engage dedicated suppliers to establish close cooperation with system integrators to further develop efficient value chains that will support commercialization.

Reduction of primary energy by CHP or other ways of co- and polygeneration, also including co-generation of H2 as side product (links to mobility).

Scope:  The primary objective of the call is to manufacture and validate 10 – 100 kW next generation fuel cell products having premium electrical efficiency and capability for CHP generation. The products operate on low carbon fuels such as natural gas biogas or LNG. The new innovative system solutions will improve energy efficiency, reliability and product lifetime, thus decreasing the TCO.

•             Development and manufacturing of innovative fuel cell systems and the key system components

•             Validation of improved system solutions

•             Long term operational experience over fuel cell system - Target: 3,000 h operation

•             Proof of reliability and durability of fuel cell system

•             Development of value chains and innovative business models to enable further growth

•             Concept analysis of innovative exhaust heat recovery solutions, including co- and polygeneration

•             Concept analysis of co-generation of hydrogen as side product

•             Concept analysis of utilizing hydrogen rich low carbon fuels to enable conversion of hydrogen to power

Expected impact:             Demonstrate breakthrough system innovations related to fuel cell system components and their thermal integration that improve energy efficiency and competitiveness of fuel cell products. Create next generation product that create basis for commercialization and further growth of fuel cell industry. The targeted impact of the project to the product properties compared with state of the art (SoA) in 2014 is the following:

•             Improved electrical efficiency by min. +10% points, reaching 57% for SOFC and 47% for PEM technology

•             Higher than 82% total energy efficiency by Improved thermal integration

•             Improved stack lifetime in system operation from SoA by 50%, reaching >30,000h

•             Improved design, manufacturing and supply chain to reduce product cost by 30%

•             Improved maintenance interval by 100%, reaching 2 years of operation without planned shut down