Diesel Based SOFC Demonstrator for Maritime Applications

Thursday, 27 July 2017
Grand Ballroom East (The Diplomat Beach Resort)
P. Nehter (thyssenkrupp Marine Systems GmbH), B. Wildrath, A. Bauschulte (OEL-WAERME-INSTITUT gGmbH), and K. Leites (thyssenkrupp Marine Systems GmbH)
Emission regulations for ships are forcing ship-owners and shipyards to drastically reduce harmful species for the Emission Control Areas (ECA) along the US coast, Baltic Sea and North Sea. SOFC systems are seen as most efficient and clean alternative to conventional diesel engines. In this context, the project SchIBZ has been initiated to develop a fuel cell based generator set for seagoing ships. A consortium of industrial and academic partners has been joined to develop a diesel based SOFC demonstrator with a rated power of around 50 kW. Adiabatic prereforming of diesel is one of the most efficient type of fuel processing for SOFC systems. The feasibility of adiabatic prereforming of commercial ultra-low sulphur diesel has successfully been tested with one of Haldor Topsoe’s catalyst.

The demonstrator was built to demonstrate the feasibility of the process and the robustness of the SOFC. It consists of 2 submodules supplying each 27 kW gross power. The key feature of the process is the anode gas recirculation that allows us to handle the diesel within the adiabatic prereformer without any deep desulphurization technologies on the one hand side and to increase the overall fuel utilization on the other hand side. Furthermore, an additional anode off-gas blower is used to levelize the pressure between the anode and the cathode, which reduces the risk of oxidation of the anode in case of leakages. The demonstrator was started on commercial road diesel containing 11 ppm_wt sulphur, 6.2%_vol FAME and 24%_wt aromatics. An electrical gross efficiency of 55% and fuel utilization of 73% could be demonstrated already during the first hours of operation.