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Content archived on 2024-04-19

System optimisation by heat management improvement


Fuel cells are electrochemical electricity generators which operate at high efficiency.
However, improvement of heat management can even improve further the total efficiency of fuel cells. This project will optimize, in terms of efficiency and simplicity, molten carbonate fuel cells systems (MCFC) by the introduction of a separate cooling flow and reduction of the heat generated in the stack. Both external and internal reforming systems will be considered. The technical feasibility of such a system at small scale will be evaluated.

The project will study the effect of various methods of cell cooling on the balance-of-plant requirements for MCFC systems. The use of a separate cooling system for the stack will be examined by theoretical process studies, and also tested experimentally. Balance-of-plant studies will be carried out by computer process simulation (materials and energy balances). The technical feasibility of methods of cell cooling will be tested experimentally using suitably modified small MCFC stacks.

For the study, the reference system for an external reforming system will be provided by BCN. This will be on a 250kW demonstration of ECN MCFC technology. For the internal reforming system, the collaborative development by BCN and British Gas for a 10kW demonstration will be used as the starting point. British Gas will be developing a system design for a 250 kW natural gas fuelled plant as part of another JOULE II project.

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Ashby Road
LE11 3GR Loughborough - Leicestershire
United Kingdom

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Participants (2)