Microtubular SOFC (mSOFC) System in Truck APU Application

Tuesday, 28 July 2015: 08:20
Alsh (Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre)
K. Kendall, J. Newton, and M. Kendall (Adelan Ltd)
One of the most sought after applications for small-scale SOFCs has been the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) for trucks. A mSOFC could provide heat for the cab whilst powering the electrical loads required when the engine is shut down. Significant development efforts have been made by several large companies including Delphi, AVL and Volvo, all using planar configurations with diesel as the fuel. However the planar construction is prone to damage via cracking and use of diesel fuel is known to require problematic reforming. Despite large research funding from SECA and other sources, directed especially toward the 5kWe unit since 2000, there is still no commercial product in the market. The purpose of this paper is to discuss three novel ideas applied to this attractive market area:-
  1. Replacing the planar stacks with mSOFCs to give greater robustness
  2. Downsizing to 100We to allow more rapid evolution
  3. Focusing on dual fuel trucks using LNG as clean fuel for the SOFC

An EU project was initiated in 2014 to develop these ideas under the heading SAFARI (SOFC APUs For Auxiliary Road-truck Installations) funded by FCH-JU with 6 partners in the UK, Spain, Poland and Switzerland.  This paper describes results from the first 18 months of the project and shows that mSOFCs operating on LNG can give significant impact in the marketplace.