Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

Final Activity Report Summary - FC CHAIN (An interdisciplinary programme for overcoming technical, social and market issues of solid oxide fuel cells energy systems)

Activity 0 was a preliminary activity to analyse the state of art of the present European situation on residential electricity and heat market and distributed generation as well as requirements of SOFC systems as possible distributed generation technology.

Activity 1 has been characterised by a strong transfer of knowledge between the researchers, their home organisation and EBZ, the main hosting institution within this phase. EBZ integrated the researchers into the company environment, focusing the work on SOFC component and system development and manufacturing. On the other hand, researchers brought in their know-how and improved theoretical and practical R&D basis at EBZ. Exemplary, simulation tools at EBZ were extended by models developed by EPFL (Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne) researcher L. Tsikonis who, by experimental EBZ tests results, had the opportunity to validate and review the models. Analogically, researcher L. Hildebrandt executed theoretical investigations concerning chemical processes in fuel reforming and water treatment, facing the practical results of analysis's done with probes, obtained at several process stages of the real EBZ SOFC system. The aim of E. Mamut's work at EBZ was, among others, to analyze the thermo-fluidic components of the CHP system design and to improve the performance of high temperature heat exchangers combined with low manufacturing costs. Based on his thermodynamic background he designed a new type of spiral heat exchangers. With the approved EBZ test equipment, benchmarking of the technology will be done in the very near future.

Activity 2 has been also characterised by a strong transfer of knowledge between the researchers, their home organisation and HTC, the main hosting institution within this phase. The researchers had the possibility to work in strong collaboration with HTC and EPFL personnel increasing the effectiveness of the transfer of knowledge and allowing extending general activities of the FC CHAIN in the main internal developments in stack design and testing. A main development task related to the FC Chain activity was formulated and positive results have been generated by the guests in HTC. Moreover, the researchers have actively participated to additional work tasks strictly related to the main HTC development's efforts. J. Rank from TU-BAF (TU Bergakademie Freiberg) focused his work on the identification and optimization of the HTC S-design air manifold. This work is the basis for the design of the new air manifold for the next HTC design. Dr Rank also contributed to 1 kW-class stack assembly, testing and disassembly providing positive feedbacks and ideas on further design improvements. L. Hildebrandt from KTH (Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan, Sweden) worked in the identification and optimisation of a new active cathode actually in development in HTC. The research project was performed on a specific cathode material and carried out in collaboration with HTC engineers working on similar activities and different cathode materials. The work of L. Hildebrandt successfully showed optimization routes and characterized the cathode material. New investigation techniques have been implemented during the activity by L. Hildebrandt like iR images to determine the cathode delamination after sintering.

Activity 3 at the University of Perugia just started because of the death of Prof. Lunghi.

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