Solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology is showing promise with regard to future electricity production. VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has built a system that uses fuel cells to produce grid electricity from natural gas. What makes the system unique is that the electric power produced comes from a single 10 kW planar SOFC stack. The technology is being developed as part of the Tekes Fuel Cell Programme.
Construction of the large SOFC power plants of the future will require high-power fuel cell stacks. This is the first time a 10 kW power class planar SOFC fuel stack is being operated as part of a complete fuel cell system.
The system is currently undergoing endurance testing to determine component reliability, durability and development needs. Some of the system’s components are prototypes developed at VTT that have not yet reached mass production. Since the beginning of November 2010 the system has completed more than 1,500 hours of reliable and continuous operation. The electricity produced equates to the average annual consumption of five apartments in an apartment block.
SOFC fuel cell technology is an extremely low-emission energy source. The SOFC technology can be used to utilize a wide range of different fuels, including biogas, which is normally difficult to exploit efficiently using other technologies.
Lappeenranta University of Technology and Aalto University are among those participating in the project, which is coordinated by VTT and jointly funded by Tekes - the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation and Finnish industrial companies. Development of the system’s power electronics, used in transforming direct current produced by the SOFC into alternating current suitable for the grid, was carried out at Lappeenranta University of Technology. Aalto University has participated in the unit’s mechanical design. The SOFC stack for the system was supplied by Versa Power Systems Inc. of Canada.
Apart from funding, Finnish companies are also involved in development and gathering of experience regarding the application of their own products to SOFC systems. Wärtsilä Finland Oy, among others, is exploiting experiences garnered under the research project in its own SOFC system development work.
Additional information:Research Scientist Matias Halinen
A big nano boost for solar cells
18.01.2017 | Kyoto University and Osaka Gas effort doubles current efficiencies
Multiregional brain on a chip
16.01.2017 | Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...
Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...
Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.
While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...
Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales
Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...
Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.
As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...
19.01.2017 | Event News
10.01.2017 | Event News
09.01.2017 | Event News
19.01.2017 | Earth Sciences
19.01.2017 | Life Sciences
19.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy