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DEMOSOFC Report Summary

Project ID: 671470
Funded under: H2020-EU.

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - DEMOSOFC (DEMOnstration of large SOFC system fed with biogas from WWTP)

Reporting period: 2016-09-01 to 2017-08-31

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

WP2: Energy modelling, design and detailed engineering of the DEMO plant.
First, the Detailed Engineering of the DEMO has been extended to include a very detailed safety analysis developed following the Failure Mode Effects Analysis (FMEA) approach. The Failure Mode Effects Analysis (FMEA) approach was preferred to the HAZOP methodology.
Second, the preliminary cost-benefit analysis of the DEMO has been updated in M18 (February 2017) , with an updated version of the Deliverable D2.5 “Cost/benefit analysis of the system”. This deliverable studies the optimal energy and economic performance of the wastewater treatment facility in Collegno (Torino) retrofitted with a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) based combined heat and power (CHP) plant.
WP3: Installation of the DEMO.
The installation of the DEMO started in M14 (October 2016) but it had a significant delay compared to the schedule. This updated scheduling has been continuously communicated (by letter or email or oral communications) to the FCH2-JU.
At M24 the advancement is the following:
• In M22 (June 2017) we have installed the equipment for the clean-up of the biogas, and for the on-line monitoring of the biogas (macro-components and micro-contaminants), after a long step of design and selection of the components (completed in M13, September 2016)
• After the long activity started in M12 (August 2016) related to the tenders for the equipment (biogas clean-up module; electrical plant), we have completed the installation on-site of all the sections (civil, mechanical, electrical) in M24 (August 2017): the site is then ready to host the 3 SOFC modules
• The protocols of control of the complete system have been completed in M21 (May 2017) and implemented in the PLC in M23-M24 (July-August 2017)
• In the meantime, we have successfully obtained all the Authorizations for installation issued by the Local Authorities
The reasons for the delay of 1 year are completely related to the delay of the DEMO installation procedure, described above, and reported in details in the Deviation section of the Part B.
WP4: Operation of the DEMO.
The activities of WP4 were expected to start in M12 (September 2016) and to end in M60 (August 2020), and be concerned with the operation of the DEMO. Nevertheless, due to the delays of the activities of the Installation of the DEMO (WP3), explained above, the activities of WP4 have been shifted too, and they have started on M26 (October 2017).
WP5: Data collection and analysis of the DEMO.
In the same way, due to the delays of the activities of the Installation of the DEMO (WP3), explained above, the activities of WP5 have been shifted too, and they have started on M26 (October 2017).
WP6: Exploitation.
The activities of WP6 are expected to start in M36 (September 2018), but the Consortium decided to start earlier the activities. So far, we have mostly analysed the application of SOFC systems in the following markets at the European scale:
• Waste water treatment plans (the typology of application developed in the DEMO of the project)
• Recovery of OFMSW (organic fraction of municipal solid wastes) to produce energy
• Farms producing biogas from agricultural wastes
• Landfill, delivering biogas
WP7: Dissemination, communication.
The WEB Portal ( is active since the first day of the project (September 1st, 2015): it is updated every week and it will be implemented with more dynamic sections. 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 6000-10000 €/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 ranging from 53% to 58% (depending on the in-stack installed in the SOFC module), 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 (NOx, SOx, CO, PM, VOC) 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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