The research partners Volvo Technology (Sweden), Johnson-Matthey (United Kingdom), Modelon AB (Sweden), PowerCell AB (Sweden), Jožef Stefan Institute (Slovenia), Forschungszentrum Jülich (Germany) and Fraunhofer ICT-IMM (Germany) have reached their final goal by the end of the FCGEN project: they have developed a diesel-powered fuel cell system and successfully demonstrated its functionality in autonomous operation mode.
The system consists of a diesel and a water tank, a hydrogen generating module (reformer) and a fuel cell module including a low-temperature-PEM-fuel-cell (LT-PEM) with 55 cells as well as a battery and power electronics.
The system is designed for the use in truck, recreational vehicle and yacht applications. It generates up to three kilowatts electrical power but can easily be modified for larger power ranges. Therewith enough output is available to run electric and electronic small consumers as well as „power guzzlers” like for instance air conditioning or refrigerators.
Hydrogen generation from diesel
To extract the hydrogen, which is needed for the fuel cell, out of the Diesel, the Diesel fuel in the tank is converted into a hydrogen-rich gas by autothermal reforming. This process was developed at Forschungszentrum Jülich and has already proven its high stability for a duration in the range of 10,000 hours.
Carbon monoxide which is also generated by the reforming process is initially converted to a remaining low concentration (< 10 ppm) by means of further reactors (plate heat exchangers by Fraunhofer ICT-IMM) being part of the fuel processor. This is also valid for the sulfur which is contained in the fuel in minor amounts. The resulting gas is primarily composed of hydrogen, carbon dioxide and steam of which the hydrogen is processed in the fuel cell to generate electricity.
Fuel cell system as environmentally friendly option
The catalytic processes needed to convert diesel fuel were realized by using catalysts made by the catalyst producer Johnson-Matthey. The fuel cell developed by PowerCell is characterized by a high long-term stability. The whole system is started up by the combustion of diesel fuel and is running fully automated thanks to the control system developed at the Jožef Stefan Institute. The battery of the system is recharged automatically by the fuel cell.
In the power range from three to ten kilowatt so far only gasoline or diesel fueled electricity generators based on combustion engines (APU) are available at the market. The FCGEN fuel cell system is working with a low noise emission and is virtually environmentally compatible. A further development of the system is planned.
The FCGEN project was funded by the European Community Joint Technology Initiative Hydrogen and Fuel Cells.
Dr. Stefan Kiesewalter | Fraunhofer ICT-IMM
Saving energy by taking a close look inside transistors
10.01.2019 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
Tandem Solar Cells – Record Efficiency for Silicon-based Multi-junction Solar Cell
08.01.2019 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Solare Energiesysteme ISE
World first experiments on sensor that may revolutionise everything from medical devices to unmanned vehicles
The new sensor - capable of detecting vibrations of living cells - may revolutionise everything from medical devices to unmanned vehicles.
Dead and alive at the same time? Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics have implemented Erwin Schrödinger’s paradoxical gedanken experiment employing an entangled atom-light state.
In 1935 Erwin Schrödinger formulated a thought experiment designed to capture the paradoxical nature of quantum physics. The crucial element of this gedanken...
Cellulose obtained from wood has amazing material properties. Empa researchers are now equipping the biodegradable material with additional functionalities to produce implants for cartilage diseases using 3D printing.
It all starts with an ear. Empa researcher Michael Hausmann removes the object shaped like a human ear from the 3D printer and explains:
The phenomenon of so-called superlubricity is known, but so far the explanation at the atomic level has been missing: for example, how does extremely low friction occur in bearings? Researchers from the Fraunhofer Institutes IWM and IWS jointly deciphered a universal mechanism of superlubricity for certain diamond-like carbon layers in combination with organic lubricants. Based on this knowledge, it is now possible to formulate design rules for supra lubricating layer-lubricant combinations. The results are presented in an article in Nature Communications, volume 10.
One of the most important prerequisites for sustainable and environmentally friendly mobility is minimizing friction. Research and industry have been dedicated...
Just in time for Christmas, a Mars-analogue mission in Morocco, coordinated by the Robotics Innovation Center of the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) as part of the SRC project FACILITATORS, has been successfully completed. SRC, the Strategic Research Cluster on Space Robotics Technologies, is a program of the European Union to support research and development in space technologies. From mid-November to mid-December 2018, a team of more than 30 scientists from 11 countries tested technologies for future exploration of Mars and Moon in the desert of the Maghreb state.
Close to the border with Algeria, the Erfoud region in Morocco – known to tourists for its impressive sand dunes – offered ideal conditions for the four-week...
16.01.2019 | Event News
14.01.2019 | Event News
12.12.2018 | Event News
17.01.2019 | Physics and Astronomy
17.01.2019 | Materials Sciences
17.01.2019 | Information Technology