Diesel-fed SOFC Auxiliary Power Unit

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Diesel-fed SOFC Auxiliary
Power Unit
Challenges/Problems addressed
Technical target
The main innovation in this project is the
The target data of the APU at the end of the
combination of a diesel reformer using Catalytic
Partial Oxidation with the Solid Oxide Fuel Cell
• Rated Power: 5 kWe
for mobile application under the condition where
• Efficiency: 40% “tank to electricity”
no other consumables e.g. additional water are
• Fuel: - Diesel (50 ppm sulphur tolerance)
needed. Since in 2005 – the most probable
- Biodiesel/Synthetic Diesel
time of market introduction of the new system
• Oxidant: Air
While there has been significant progress
– a sulphur limit of 50 ppm is obligatory, we
• GHG emissions: 0,68 kg/kWh locally
in the development of fuel cells over the
decided to make this our objective with regard
• Volume: <350 l
past ten years, two main road blocks
to fuel quality. We are considering an active
• Weight: <100 kg
remain to be solved: the overall system
sulphur absorber before or after the diesel-
• Costs: 2500 €/kW in 2008
cost and the fuel issues. Unfortunately,
reformer. The target is to avoid any additional
• Durability: 10.000 operating hours forecast
there is a link between these two
maintenance for the vehicle in operation.
Project structure
questions namely the refuelling
infrastructure. This consortium addresses
A further problem will be the start up time and
The project consor tium consists of Arsenal
this problem by using diesel – an existing
the dynamics of the SOFC. We expect a long term
Research as the Project Coordinator, ALPPS Fuel
standard fuel – and therefore offering a
target of 5 minutes to warm up the stack.
Cell Systems as the Scientific Coordinator, being
faster and inexpensive introduction of the
Furthermore the SOFC is sensitive to thermal
also responsible for system specification, control
new technology. The result of the project
gradients. Load changes can be made within 5
system and mechanical integration of the system,
will be a scalable compact CPOX reformer
sec. but reduce the lifetime of the stack. Thermal
and six further contractors: The role of Sued
and SOFC system for vehicle auxiliary
management and power output control (vehicle
Chemie is the development of the desulphurisation
power unit (APU) application in a power
battery as buffer) are therefore considered the
unit as well as the catalyst for the CPOX reformer.
range of 5kWe using the standard diesel of
major challenges in order to ensure high system
The CPOX structure will be developed and provided
year 2005.
efficiency and customer friendly operation.
by Converter Technology. Prototech is in charge of
Viewing the fact that today’s car needs
The costs of our system correspond closely to
developing and supplying the SOFC stack. The
more and more electricity either for
the costs of the SOFC technology at the time of
system layout and thermal integration of
controls or for comfort and safety features
market introduction. We expect our system to be
components is simulated be Arsenal Research.
and that trucks during loading often use
competitive with existing diesel generators when
C.R.F. will carry out vehicle tests with the APU.
their idling Internal Combustion Engine or a
the cost for SOFC are lower than 1000€ per kW.
Leyland and MIRA will provide their know-how in
diesel generator, the APU has a high
system testing and specifications. Close
potential for toxic emission reduction.
co-operation between the partners is required
because of the many interacting tasks.
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Expected impact and exploitation
The DIRECT Project addresses the huge mobile
The result of the project will be a prototype of a
power supply market. The first application is the
new system for auxiliar y energy for vehicles
future market of auxiliary power supply in road
consisting of an SOFC and a reformer operating
vehicles. While a market for stand by heating
on standard diesel fuel, biodiesel and synthetic
equipment or cooling units in heavy duty vehicles
diesel. The unit will have 5 kWe power, be portable
already exists, the future tendency is in the
for use in a vehicle, sulphur tolerant to 50 ppm
direction of separating more and more vehicle
and optimised regarding size, operating range,
internal electrical consumption from the IC engine
lifetime and efficiency. Major milestones consist
as source. The reason for this is the continuous
of the desulphurisation system decision, catalyst
effort to reduce vehicle emissions and the fact that
decision and thermal management optimisation.
References: ENK6-CT-2002-00644
The process of developing the desulphurisation
FP5 - Energy, Environment, Sustainable
running the engine is often forbidden during rest
module will be given special importance as the
The first important market segment the consortium
relative position of this sub-process significantly
will work in is the Heavy Duty Truck market. The
influences the overall system design, e.g. the
inclusion of a desulphurisation module opens
question whether the actual reformer can be
the market even further to stationary as well as
made without the use of Platinum/Rhodium
marine applications and others.
combinations or the absorbent capacity necessary.
Diesel Reforming by Catalytic
Technologies (DIRECT)
Duration: 36 months
- Österreichisches Forschungs- und
Prüfzentrum Arsenal (A)
- ALLPS Fuel Cell Systems (A)
- Süd-Chemie (D)
- Prototech (NO)
- Converter Technology (A)
- Centro Ricerche Fiat (I)
- Leyland Product Developments (UK)
- Motor Industry Research
Association (UK)
Contact point:
Gerhard Oertelt
Tel: +43-676-84815614
Fax: +43-316-681642
EC Scientific Officer:
Joaquin Martin Bermejo
Tel: +32-2-2958332
Fax: +32-2-2964288
Status: Ongoing