Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


POWER-UP Report Summary

Project ID: 325356
Funded under: FP7-JTI
Country: United Kingdom

Periodic Report Summary 3 - POWER-UP (Demonstration of 500 kWe alkaline fuel cell systemwith heat capture)

Project Context and Objectives:
In project POWER-UP, the coordinator has manufactured, installed and operated an industrial-scale alkaline fuel (AFC) power plant in a commercial environment, and exported its power to the local electricity grid. This was the first time an alkaline fuel cell system had been demonstrated on an industrial scale anywhere in the world.

Operating data from the demonstration has and is being used to determine the system’s technical and environmental performance, total cost of ownership, and social and environmental impacts. The technical Milestones will be independently validated until the end of the project.

During the 2RP, the Partners have made important progress toward the final project goals. The KORE system has now been installed in Stade, and was successfully operated during a commissioning process. A contract is now in place that allows the electricity to be exported and sold to the local electricity grid.

Project Results:
Installation of the KORE system at Stade took place over several weeks ending with system functional testing and commissioning. The Coordinator’s team at Stade affirmed the safety and integrity of the system to the satisfaction of the site hosts (Air Products) and the relevant German authorities and introduced hydrogen into the fuel cells in July 2015 and electricity into the local grid in October 2015.

In addition to preparing the site and meeting health and safety requirements, the Coordinator made advances in several aspects of its technology, specifically:

1. System scale-up: the balance of plant has been scaled up to accommodate 24 Cartridges and has been manufactured. Shipping to Stade and start of commissioning took place during July 2015 when the fuel cell achieved a peak output of 7.56kWe from a single operational cartridge. Subsequently, the KORE system was connected to the grid and one of three levels of the system produced 40kWe for the first time in October 2015. Finally, the complete KORE module operating with all three levels produced 205kWe in January 2016.
2. Fuel cell manufacturing capacity was expanded while maintaining and even improving quality of the fuel cells.

In addition, the following steps were achieved:
• All permits required by the Partners to operate the demonstration fuel cell have been issued by the relevant authorities, with the exception of the final stage operating licence, which requires data from the KORE operating at capacity and the final review and approval of up-to-date building permit, operating licence and risk assessments. This final permit award will be done after an on-site visit of the local planning authorities.
• Automated stack assembly. The automation system was installed and used to assemble all the cartridges sent to Stade.
• Hydrogen leakage simulation – completed.
• Life cycle, technical and socio economic analyses (WP8) – preparations are complete and PSI have started processing operating data from Stade.
• Dissemination – the project has been presented at a number of high-profile events, including the Hannover Messe.

Potential Impact:
The electrodes are the main working element of the AFC KORE system. 1 anode and 1 cathode form a fuel cell and it is this functional unit, that when supplied with a suitable environment will perform the fuel cell reaction. Fuel cells are low voltage high current devices. Therefore, many must be linked together in series to achieve a suitable voltage that can be used by an inverter and the electricity grid. This series of cells is known as a stack. The AFCEN stack contains 101 fuel cells. The stack provides the operating environment for the fuel cells by delivering the hydrogen, air and electrolyte to the correct chambers while also transporting away the electricity, water, heat and unspent fuel.

The cartridge houses the stack and contains the basic controls and electronics. It provides the interface between the stack and balance of plant (BoP). The cartridge is designed not to be user serviceable.

The current cartridge has a rated power of 10kWe.
The BoP houses 24 cartridges and provides the utility functions by delivering, metering and controlling the air, hydrogen and electrolyte to and from the cartridge. The BoP contains storage tanks for the KOH electrolyte, ionic decoupling modules, CO2 scrubber tanks, associated pumps, blowers and pipework, the control and monitoring system and the power electronics.

The BoP is located within a specially designed and manufactured building on a site in Stade. The site has been specially prepared; foundations, building and a range of infrastructure have been installed, including connections to the local electricity grid, which will receive the electricity produced by the KORE during the demonstration.

Significant resources were allocated to fuel cell manufacture. Production was scaled-up by introducing of automation (INMC), and by implementing modern manufacturing techniques that help ensure the quality of the fuel cells is maintained (and improved) as volumes increase.

Two partners will provide independent verification of:
- Key project milestones (ZBT)
- Technical performance, environmental impacts, technical performance and cost of ownership (PSI)

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United Kingdom
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