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EU-funding for research of pro-environmental fuel cells

The European Union has awarded a grant of 5.8 Million Euro to a European consortium to develop Large Solid Oxide Fuel Cell-based (SOFC) power plants. The project “Towards a Large SOFC Power Plant” lasts for three years, and it was started on January 1, 2007. Total budget of the project is 11 Million Euros.

The project focuses on materials, components and systems required for efficient, reliable and cost effective large scale SOFC power plants. Systems design, balance of plant component engineering, such as heat exchangers, and the processes and materials required for low cost stack production are included in the project. Possibility for stack production will be critical for the successful commercialization of the concept. Therefore, the project focuses among other things to production of large quantities of stack for non-pressurized CHP units and pressurized units producing only power. Reviewing the issues of grid connection, fuels and environmental impact are also included in the project.

SOFC-based power plants are currently under rapid development. First demonstrations can be expected in the end of the decade. Sizes of the plants will range from 20 – 50 kW to 250 kW and up to 1 MW, using pressurized and non-pressurized technologies. These units will be suitable both for CHP and power-only in distributed generation applications. The units are expected to be commercialized in the middle of the next decade. Success of the units will be based on their operational benefits of high fuel efficiencies, low emissions, multi-fuel capabilities and utilization of bio-fuels including gas from biomass gasification and natural gas.

The research consortium coordinated by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland comprises nine collaborators from European countries: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Wärtsilä Corporation, Rolls-Royce Fuel Cell Systems Ltd, Topsoe Fuel Cell A/S, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Dipartimento di Ingegneria Chimica e di Processo "G.B. Bonino" - Università di Genova, BOSAL RESEARCH nv, Verteco Oy and Inmatec Technologies GmbH.

Sirpa Posti | alfa
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