Small Scale Power Generation for Road Trucks with Planar SOFC System

Tuesday, 28 July 2015: 08:40
Alsh (Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre)
U. Bossel (ALMUS AG)
There is increasing interest in small SOFC generators for the conversion of commercial butane/propane fuel into DC electricity. However, with minor modification of the pre-reformer such units can also be used for the conversion of methane, natural gas, biogas or LNG.  A consortium of six groups form the UK, Spain, Poland and Switzerland is presently engaged in the development of a small SOFC power source for road trucks powered by LNG. The project “SAFARI” is funded by the FCH-JU Programme of the European Union.

Two different types of SOFC are simultaneously prepared for comparative evaluation. While the project leader “Adelan Ltd.” is optimizing its tubular SOFC design (see separate conference presentation), ALMUS AG is perfecting its planar approach for road truck applications. Stacks of 60 mm x 60 mm foot print are used. They are composed of metal bipolar plates and anode-supported cells. To match the generator output to the power demand, up to four such stacks can be arranged in line, each delivering up to 80 Watts at 24 VDC and 700°C operating temperature. For low heat losses and maximum conversion efficiency, the stack arrangement is surrounded by a 100 mm thick thermal jacket made of the best available insulation material (silica gel). The arrangement is contained in a metal box for safe handling and mounting on the truck platform. A partial oxidation methane reformer is part of the system. Start-up heat is generated by burning small amounts of fuel.    

Technical details and first test results will be presented.