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Sample records for fuel cells operational

  1. Fuel cell chemistry and operation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamrock, Steven J.; Herring, Andrew M.; Zawodzinski, Thomas A.

    The annual fall symposium on Fuel Cell Chemistry and Operation was held at the 232nd National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in San Francisco, CA on September 11-14, 2006. Similar symposia sponsored by the Fuel Division have been held every fall since 1999. Significantly, this symposium was part of an ACS Presidential Event on Hydrogen, and was sponsored by a number of other ACS divisions including, Polymer, Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering, Petroleum, Industrial and Engineering Chemistry, and the Inorganic divisions. Additional support was provided by the Petroleum Research Fund and the 3M Fuel Cell Components Group.

  2. Operating a fuel cell using landfill gas

    SciTech Connect

    Trippel, C.E.; Preston, J.L. Jr.; Trocciola, J.; Spiegel, R.

    1996-12-31

    An ONSI PC25{trademark}, 200 kW (nominal capacity) phosphoric acid fuel cell operating on landfill gas is installed at the Town of Groton Flanders Road landfill in Groton, Connecticut. This joint project by the Connecticut Light & Power Company (CL&P) which is an operating company of Northeast Utilities, the Town of Groton, International Fuel Cells (IFC), and the US EPA is intended to demonstrate the viability of installing, operating and maintaining a fuel cell operating on landfill gas at a landfill site. The goals of the project are to evaluate the fuel cell and gas pretreatment unit operation, test modifications to simplify the GPU design and demonstrate reliability of the entire system.

  3. Self-humidified proton exchange membrane fuel cells: Operation of larger cells and fuel cell stacks

    SciTech Connect

    Dhar, H.P.; Lee, J.H.; Lewinski, K.A.

    1996-12-31

    The PEM fuel cell is promising as the power source for use in mobile and stationary applications primarily because of its high power density, all solid components, and simplicity of operation. For wide acceptability of this power source, its cost has to be competitive with the presently available energy sources. The fuel cell requires continuous humidification during operation as a power source. The humidification unit however, increases fuel cell volume, weight, and therefore decreases its overall power density. Great advantages in terms of further fuel cell simplification can be achieved if the humidification process can be eliminated or minimized. In addition, cost reductions are associated with the case of manufacturing and operation. At BCS Technology we have developed a technology of self-humidified operation of PEM fuel cells based on the mass balance of the reactants and products and the ability of membrane electrode assembly (MEA) to retain water necessary for humidification under the cell operating conditions. The reactants enter the fuel cell chambers without carrying any form of water, whether in liquid or vapor form. Basic principles of self-humidified operation of fuel cells as practiced by BCS Technology, Inc. have been presented previously in literature. Here, we report the operation of larger self-humidified single cells and fuel cell stacks. Fuel cells of areas Up to 100 cm{sup 2} have been operated. We also show the self-humidified operation of fuel cell stacks of 50 and 100 cm{sup 2} electrode areas.

  4. GRID INDEPENDENT FUEL CELL OPERATED SMART HOME

    SciTech Connect

    Dr. Mohammad S. Alam

    2003-12-07

    A fuel cell power plant, which utilizes a smart energy management and control (SEMaC) system, supplying the power need of laboratory based ''home'' has been purchased and installed. The ''home'' consists of two rooms, each approximately 250 sq. ft. Every appliance and power outlet is under the control of a host computer, running the SEMaC software package. It is possible to override the computer, in the event that an appliance or power outage is required. Detailed analysis and simulation of the fuel cell operated smart home has been performed. Two journal papers has been accepted for publication and another journal paper is under review. Three theses have been completed and three additional theses are in progress.

  5. Towards operating direct methanol fuel cells with highly concentrated fuel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhao, T. S.; Yang, W. W.; Chen, R.; Wu, Q. X.

    A significant advantage of direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) is the high specific energy of the liquid fuel, making it particularly suitable for portable and mobile applications. Nevertheless, conventional DMFCs have to be operated with excessively diluted methanol solutions to limit methanol crossover and the detrimental consequences. Operation with diluted methanol solutions significantly reduces the specific energy of the power pack and thereby prevents it from competing with advanced batteries. In view of this fact, there exists a need to improve conventional DMFC system designs, including membrane electrode assemblies and the subsystems for supplying/removing reactants/products, so that both the cell performance and the specific energy can be simultaneously maximized. This article provides a comprehensive review of past efforts on the optimization of DMFC systems that operate with concentrated methanol. Based on the discussion of the key issues associated with transport of the reactants/products, the strategies to manage the supply/removal of the reactants/products in DMFC operating with highly concentrated methanol are identified. With these strategies, the possible approaches to achieving the goal of concentrated fuel operation are then proposed. Past efforts in the management of the reactants/products for implementing each of the approaches are also summarized and reviewed.

  6. Fuel cell power plant economic and operational considerations

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Lance, J. R.

    1984-01-01

    Fuel cell power plants intended for electric utility and cogeneration applications are now in the design and construction stage. This paper describes economic and operational considerations being used in the development and design of plants utilizing air cooled phosphoric acid fuel cells. Fuel cell power plants have some unique characteristics relative to other types of power plants. As a result it was necessary to develop specific definitions of the fuel cell power plant characteristics in order to perform cost of electricity calculations. This paper describes these characteristics and describes the economic analyses used in the Westinghouse fuel cell power plant program.

  7. Vapor diffusion electrode improves fuel cell operation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Smith, J. O.

    1966-01-01

    Vapor diffusion type fuel cell electrode presents a nonwetting barrier to the liquid feedstocks so they may contact the electrolyte only in the vapor state. Thus, it effects feedstock mixing with the electrolyte at the electrolyte/catalyst interface but prevents feedstock decomposition and catalyst poisoning from liquid mingling.

  8. Method for operating a combustor in a fuel cell system

    DOEpatents

    Clingerman, Bruce J.; Mowery, Kenneth D.

    2002-01-01

    In one aspect, the invention provides a method of operating a combustor to heat a fuel processor to a desired temperature in a fuel cell system, wherein the fuel processor generates hydrogen (H.sub.2) from a hydrocarbon for reaction within a fuel cell to generate electricity. More particularly, the invention provides a method and select system design features which cooperate to provide a start up mode of operation and a smooth transition from start-up of the combustor and fuel processor to a running mode.

  9. Solid Oxide Fuel Cells Operating on Alternative and Renewable Fuels

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Xiaoxing; Quan, Wenying; Xiao, Jing; Peduzzi, Emanuela; Fujii, Mamoru; Sun, Funxia; Shalaby, Cigdem; Li, Yan; Xie, Chao; Ma, Xiaoliang; Johnson, David; Lee, Jeong; Fedkin, Mark; LaBarbera, Mark; Das, Debanjan; Thompson, David; Lvov, Serguei; Song, Chunshan

    2014-09-30

    This DOE project at the Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) initially involved Siemens Energy, Inc. to (1) develop new fuel processing approaches for using selected alternative and renewable fuels – anaerobic digester gas (ADG) and commercial diesel fuel (with 15 ppm sulfur) – in solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) power generation systems; and (2) conduct integrated fuel processor – SOFC system tests to evaluate the performance of the fuel processors and overall systems. Siemens Energy Inc. was to provide SOFC system to Penn State for testing. The Siemens work was carried out at Siemens Energy Inc. in Pittsburgh, PA. The unexpected restructuring in Siemens organization, however, led to the elimination of the Siemens Stationary Fuel Cell Division within the company. Unfortunately, this led to the Siemens subcontract with Penn State ending on September 23rd, 2010. SOFC system was never delivered to Penn State. With the assistance of NETL project manager, the Penn State team has since developed a collaborative research with Delphi as the new subcontractor and this work involved the testing of a stack of planar solid oxide fuel cells from Delphi.

  10. Fuel cell operation characterization using simulation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schott, Pascal; Baurens, Pierre

    The first step of fuel cell stack characterization consists in experimental testing of its global electrochemical performances under various working conditions. The second step is devoted to link the collected data to local species concentrations, membrane hydration and resulting current density in the stack. In the project PICOS, we have to characterize a 1.5 kW 12-cells' stack of 330 cm 2. The stack performances are measured on a specific test bench and analyzed using a fuel cell-stack modeling tool. The test bench allows to control the oxygen (or air) and hydrogen flow rates and humidity at the inlet of the stack, the pressure at the outlet, and the delivered current. Each cell potential and the total stack potential are monitored, the produced water is condensed at the outlet in order to measure its amount. The model used is a mono-dimensional description of a single cell. It is based on a semi-empirical law for the local electrochemical response computation. The local pressures, temperatures, gas compositions and membrane hydration are computed dynamically. A semi-empirical electrochemical model of the active layer is fitted to experimental data, the gas diffusion layer porosity and electro-osmosis coefficient of the membrane have been adjusted to obtain the best fit. The simulations calculate the cell potential and the current density profile in the cell for various feeding conditions. The simulations allow us to explain the effect of gas hydration on the stack potential and to predict possible drying out of the membrane.

  11. Method for operating a combustor in a fuel cell system

    DOEpatents

    Chalfant, Robert W.; Clingerman, Bruce J.

    2002-01-01

    A method of operating a combustor to heat a fuel processor in a fuel cell system, in which the fuel processor generates a hydrogen-rich stream a portion of which is consumed in a fuel cell stack and a portion of which is discharged from the fuel cell stack and supplied to the combustor, and wherein first and second streams are supplied to the combustor, the first stream being a hydrocarbon fuel stream and the second stream consisting of said hydrogen-rich stream, the method comprising the steps of monitoring the temperature of the fuel processor; regulating the quantity of the first stream to the combustor according to the temperature of the fuel processor; and comparing said quantity of said first stream to a predetermined value or range of predetermined values.

  12. Solid oxide fuel cell operable over wide temperature range

    DOEpatents

    Baozhen, Li; Ruka, Roswell J.; Singhal, Subhash C.

    2001-01-01

    Solid oxide fuel cells having improved low-temperature operation are disclosed. In one embodiment, an interfacial layer of terbia-stabilized zirconia is located between the air electrode and electrolyte of the solid oxide fuel cell. The interfacial layer provides a barrier which controls interaction between the air electrode and electrolyte. The interfacial layer also reduces polarization loss through the reduction of the air electrode/electrolyte interfacial electrical resistance. In another embodiment, the solid oxide fuel cell comprises a scandia-stabilized zirconia electrolyte having high electrical conductivity. The scandia-stabilized zirconia electrolyte may be provided as a very thin layer in order to reduce resistance. The scandia-stabilized electrolyte is preferably used in combination with the terbia-stabilized interfacial layer. The solid oxide fuel cells are operable over wider temperature ranges and wider temperature gradients in comparison with conventional fuel cells.

  13. Intelligent Machine Learning Analysis for Fuel Cell Operations

    SciTech Connect

    Murphy, R W; Hoyt, W A

    2000-06-30

    A performance computational model for a 100 kW nominal solid oxide fuel cell generator system is described. The calculational methods are based on the FORTRAN programming language. Comprehensive parameter input options are presented, and constraints are identified. Example reactant, electrical, and efficiency outputs are demonstrated over the relevant operating ranges. A sample calculated output display at nominal operating conditions is given.

  14. FUEL CELL OPERATION ON LANDFILL GAS AT PENROSE POWER STATION

    EPA Science Inventory

    This demonstration test successfully demonstrated operation of a commercial phosphoric acid fuel cell (FC) on landfill gas (LG) at the Penrose Power Station in Sun Valley, CA. Demonstration output included operation up to 137 kW; 37.1% efficiency at 120 kW; exceptionally low sec...

  15. System for controlling the operating temperature of a fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Fabis, Thomas R.; Makiel, Joseph M.; Veyo, Stephen E.

    2006-06-06

    A method and system are provided for improved control of the operating temperature of a fuel cell (32) utilizing an improved temperature control system (30) that varies the flow rate of inlet air entering the fuel cell (32) in response to changes in the operating temperature of the fuel cell (32). Consistent with the invention an improved temperature control system (30) is provided that includes a controller (37) that receives an indication of the temperature of the inlet air from a temperature sensor (39) and varies the heat output by at least one heat source (34, 36) to maintain the temperature of the inlet air at a set-point T.sub.inset. The controller (37) also receives an indication of the operating temperature of the fuel cell (32) and varies the flow output by an adjustable air mover (33), within a predetermined range around a set-point F.sub.set, in order to maintain the operating temperature of the fuel cell (32) at a set-point T.sub.opset.

  16. Measurement of Species Distributions in Operating Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Partridge Jr, William P; Toops, Todd J; Parks, II, James E; Armstrong, Timothy R.

    2004-10-01

    Measurement and understanding of transient species distributions across and within fuel cells is a critical need for advancing fuel cell technology. The Spatially Resolved Capillary Inlet Mass Spectrometer (SpaciMS) instrument has been applied for in-situ measurement of transient species distributions within operating reactors; including diesel catalyst, air-exhaust mixing systems, and non-thermal plasma reactors. The work described here demonstrates the applicability of this tool to proton exchange membrane (PEM) and solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) research. Specifically, we have demonstrated SpaciMS measurements of (1) transient species dynamics across a PEM fuel cell (FC) associated with load switching, (2) intra-PEM species distributions, and transient species dynamics at SOFC temperatures associated with FC load switching.

  17. Cerium migration during PEM fuel cell assembly and operation

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Baker, Andrew M.; Torraco, Dennis; Judge, Elizabeth J.; Spernjak, Dusan; Mukundan, Rangachary; Borup, Rod L.; Advani, Suresh G.; Prasad, Ajay K.

    2015-10-02

    Cerium migration between PEM fuel cell components is influenced by potential-driven mobility, ionic diffusion, and gradients in water content. These factors were investigated in ex situ experiments and in operating fuel cells. Potential-induced migration was measured ex situ in hydrated window cells. Cerium-containing MEAs were also fabricated and tested under ASTs. MEA disassembly and subsequent XRF analysis were used to observe rapid cerium migration during cell assembly and operation. During MEA hot pressing, humidification, and low RH operation at OCV, ionic diffusion causes uniform migration from the membrane into the catalyst layers. During high RH operation at OCV, in-plane ceriummore » gradients arise due to variations in water content. These gradients may diminish the scavenging efficacy of cerium by reducing its proximity to generated radicals.« less

  18. Cerium migration during PEM fuel cell assembly and operation

    SciTech Connect

    Baker, Andrew M.; Torraco, Dennis; Judge, Elizabeth J.; Spernjak, Dusan; Mukundan, Rangachary; Borup, Rod L.; Advani, Suresh G.; Prasad, Ajay K.

    2015-09-14

    Cerium migration between PEM fuel cell components is influenced by potential-driven mobility, ionic diffusion, and gradients in water content. These factors were investigated in ex situ experiments and in operating fuel cells. Potential-induced migration was measured ex situ in hydrated window cells. Cerium-containing MEAs were also fabricated and tested under ASTs. MEA disassembly and subsequent XRF analysis were used to observe rapid cerium migration during cell assembly and operation. During MEA hot pressing, humidification, and low RH operation at OCV, ionic diffusion causes uniform migration from the membrane into the catalyst layers. During high RH operation at OCV, in-plane cerium gradients arise due to variations in water content. These gradients may diminish the scavenging efficacy of cerium by reducing its proximity to generated radicals.

  19. Long-term operation of manure-microbial fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Guodong; Zhao, Qingliang; Jiao, Yan; Lee, Duu-Jong

    2015-03-01

    Microbial fuel cell (MFC) is applied to produce electricity using dairy manure as a fuel. Since the way MFC utilizes manure as a fuel and the long-term operation stability of manure-MFC remains unclear, this study examined the evolution of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in anodic chamber and power generation by MFC in a 171days test. The tested MFC can produce electricity over the entire testing period by single feed of manure, with stable power output and total chemical oxygen demand (TCOD) removal rate in the period of day 30-140. The hydrophobic acid (HPO-A) and hydrophilic (HPI) fractions of manure were the principal components of anolyte DOM, with the concentrations of both being reduced over MFC operation. The degradable organic matters were converted to compounds with high aromaticity. PMID:25603729

  20. Coking suppression in solid oxide fuel cells operating on ethanol by applying pyridine as fuel additive

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Wei; Wang, Feng; Ran, Ran; Park, Hee Jung; Jung, Doh Won; Kwak, Chan; Shao, Zongping

    2014-11-01

    In this study, pyridine was used to suppress the coke formation in solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) operating on liquid fuels. Pyridine can selectively occupy acidic sites of the Ni/Al2O3 catalyst layer and solves the problem of dehydration of ethanol in principle, resulting in a significant reduction in the coke formation rate for operating on ethanol fuel. At 600 °C, by adding 12.5 vol.% pyridine into the ethanol fuel, the coke formation rate over the Ni/Al2O3 catalyst is reduced by 64% while a cell power output comparable to that operating on hydrogen is still achieved based on total potential hydrogen available from ethanol. The effective reduction of carbon deposition on the catalyst layer thus protects the anode layer from carbon deposition by strongly suppressing coke formation, especially near the anode-electrolyte interface. Pyridine is adsorbed onto the acidic sites of the Ni/Al2O3 catalyst and the adsorbed pyridine may reduce the amount of carbonium ions formed, thereby reducing coke formation. This study suggested that the addition of pyridine could suppress the coke formation in SOFCs with Ni/Al2O3 catalyst layer operated on ethanol or some other similar liquid fuels.

  1. System for operating solid oxide fuel cell generator on diesel fuel

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Singh, Prabhu (Inventor); George, Raymond A. (Inventor)

    1997-01-01

    A system is provided for operating a solid oxide fuel cell generator on diesel fuel. The system includes a hydrodesulfurizer which reduces the sulfur content of commercial and military grade diesel fuel to an acceptable level. Hydrogen which has been previously separated from the process stream is mixed with diesel fuel at low pressure. The diesel/hydrogen mixture is then pressurized and introduced into the hydrodesulfurizer. The hydrodesulfurizer comprises a metal oxide such as ZnO which reacts with hydrogen sulfide in the presence of a metal catalyst to form a metal sulfide and water. After desulfurization, the diesel fuel is reformed and delivered to a hydrogen separator which removes most of the hydrogen from the reformed fuel prior to introduction into a solid oxide fuel cell generator. The separated hydrogen is then selectively delivered to the diesel/hydrogen mixer or to a hydrogen storage unit. The hydrogen storage unit preferably comprises a metal hydride which stores hydrogen in solid form at low pressure. Hydrogen may be discharged from the metal hydride to the diesel/hydrogen mixture at low pressure upon demand, particularly during start-up and shut-down of the system.

  2. On the influence of temperature on PEM fuel cell operation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coppo, M.; Siegel, N. P.; Spakovsky, M. R. von

    The 3D implementation of a previously developed 2D PEMFC model [N.P. Siegel, M.W. Ellis, D.J. Nelson, M.R. von Spakovsky, A two-dimensional computational model of a PEMFC with liquid water transport, J. Power Sources 128 (2) (2004) 173-184; N.P. Siegel, M.W. Ellis, D.J. Nelson, M.R. von Spakovsky, Single domain PEMFC model based on agglomerate catalyst geometry, J. Power Sources 115 (2003) 81-89] has been used to analyze the various pathways by which temperature affects the operation of a proton exchange membrane fuel cell [M. Coppo, CFD analysis and experimental investigation of proton exchange membrane fuel cells, Ph.D. Dissertation, Politecnico di Torino, Turin, Italy, 2005]. The original model, implemented in a specially modified version of CFDesign ® [CFDesign ® V5.1, Blue Ridge Numerics, 2003] , accounts for all of the major transport processes including: (i) a three-phase model for water transport in the liquid, vapor and dissolved phases, (ii) proton transport, (iii) gaseous species transport and reaction, (iv) an agglomerate model for the catalyst layers and (v) gas phase momentum transport. Since the details of it have been published earlier [N.P. Siegel, M.W. Ellis, D.J. Nelson, M.R. von Spakovsky, A two-dimensional computational model of a PEMFC with liquid water transport, J. Power Sources 128 (2) (2004) 173-184; N.P. Siegel, M.W. Ellis, D.J. Nelson, M.R. von Spakovsky, Single domain PEMFC model based on agglomerate catalyst geometry, J. Power Sources 115 (2003) 81-89; N.P. Siegel, Development and validation of a computational model for a proton exchange membrane fuel cell, Ph.D. Dissertation, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA, 2003], only new features are briefly discussed in the present work. In particular, the model has been extended in order to account for the temperature dependence of all of the physical properties involved in the model formulation. Moreover, a novel model has been developed to describe liquid

  3. Fuel cells: A survey

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Crowe, B. J.

    1973-01-01

    A survey of fuel cell technology and applications is presented. The operating principles, performance capabilities, and limitations of fuel cells are discussed. Diagrams of fuel cell construction and operating characteristics are provided. Photographs of typical installations are included.

  4. TEST RESULTS FOR FUEL CELL OPERATION ON ANAEROBIC DIGESTER GAS

    EPA Science Inventory

    EPA, in conjunction with ONSI Corp., embarked on a project to define, design, test, and assess a fuel cell energy recovery system for application at anaerobic digester waste water (sewage) treatment plants. Anaerobic digester gas (ADG) is produced at these plants during the proce...

  5. TEST RESULTS FOR FUEL-CELL OPERATION ON LANDFILL GAS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Test results from a demonstration of fuel-cell (FC) energy recovery and control of landfill gas emissions are presented. The project addressed two major issues: (i) the design, construction, and testing of a landfill-gas cleanup system; and (ii) a field test of a commercial phos...

  6. Orbiter fuel cell performance constraints. STS/OPS Pratt Whitney fuel cells. Operating limits for mission planning

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kolkhorst, H. E.

    1980-01-01

    The orbiter fuel cell powerplant (FCP) performance constraints listed in the Shuttle Operational Data Book (SODB) were analyzed using the shuttle environmental control requirements evaluation tool. The effects of FCP lifetime, coolant loops, and FCP voltage output were considered. Results indicate that the FCP limits defined in the SODB are not valid.

  7. Magnetic resonance imaging of water content across the Nafion membrane in an operational PEM fuel cell.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ziheng; Martin, Jonathan; Wu, Jinfeng; Wang, Haijiang; Promislow, Keith; Balcom, Bruce J

    2008-08-01

    Water management is critical to optimize the operation of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells. At present, numerical models are employed to guide water management in such fuel cells. Accurate measurements of water content variation in polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells are required to validate these models and to optimize fuel cell behavior. We report a direct water content measurement across the Nafion membrane in an operational polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell, employing double half k-space spin echo single point imaging techniques. The MRI measurements with T2 mapping were undertaken with a parallel plate resonator to avoid the effects of RF screening. The parallel plate resonator employs the electrodes inherent to the fuel cell to create a resonant circuit at RF frequencies for MR excitation and detection, while still operating as a conventional fuel cell at DC. Three stages of fuel cell operation were investigated: activation, operation and dehydration. Each profile was acquired in 6 min, with 6 microm nominal resolution and a SNR of better than 15. PMID:18555714

  8. Analysis of long-time operation of micro-cogeneration unit with fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Patsch, Marek; Čaja, Alexander

    2015-05-01

    Micro-cogeneration is cogeneration with small performance, with maximal electric power up to 50 kWe. On the present, there are available small micro-cogeneration units with small electric performance, about 1 kWe, which are usable also in single family houses or flats. These micro-cogeneration units operate on principle of conventional combustion engine, Stirling engine, steam engine or fuel cell. Micro-cogeneration units with fuel cells are new progressive developing type of units for single family houses. Fuel cell is electrochemical device which by oxidation-reduction reaction turn directly chemical energy of fuel to electric power, secondary products are pure water and thermal energy. The aim of paper is measuring and evaluation of operation parameters of micro-cogeneration unit with fuel cell which uses natural gas as a fuel.

  9. Optimal design and operation of solid oxide fuel cell systems for small-scale stationary applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Braun, Robert Joseph

    The advent of maturing fuel cell technologies presents an opportunity to achieve significant improvements in energy conversion efficiencies at many scales; thereby, simultaneously extending our finite resources and reducing "harmful" energy-related emissions to levels well below that of near-future regulatory standards. However, before realization of the advantages of fuel cells can take place, systems-level design issues regarding their application must be addressed. Using modeling and simulation, the present work offers optimal system design and operation strategies for stationary solid oxide fuel cell systems applied to single-family detached dwellings. A one-dimensional, steady-state finite-difference model of a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) is generated and verified against other mathematical SOFC models in the literature. Fuel cell system balance-of-plant components and costs are also modeled and used to provide an estimate of system capital and life cycle costs. The models are used to evaluate optimal cell-stack power output, the impact of cell operating and design parameters, fuel type, thermal energy recovery, system process design, and operating strategy on overall system energetic and economic performance. Optimal cell design voltage, fuel utilization, and operating temperature parameters are found using minimization of the life cycle costs. System design evaluations reveal that hydrogen-fueled SOFC systems demonstrate lower system efficiencies than methane-fueled systems. The use of recycled cell exhaust gases in process design in the stack periphery are found to produce the highest system electric and cogeneration efficiencies while achieving the lowest capital costs. Annual simulations reveal that efficiencies of 45% electric (LHV basis), 85% cogenerative, and simple economic paybacks of 5--8 years are feasible for 1--2 kW SOFC systems in residential-scale applications. Design guidelines that offer additional suggestions related to fuel cell

  10. Purge gas protected transportable pressurized fuel cell modules and their operation in a power plant

    DOEpatents

    Zafred, Paolo R.; Dederer, Jeffrey T.; Gillett, James E.; Basel, Richard A.; Antenucci, Annette B.

    1996-01-01

    A fuel cell generator apparatus and method of its operation involves: passing pressurized oxidant gas, (O) and pressurized fuel gas, (F), into fuel cell modules, (10 and 12), containing fuel cells, where the modules are each enclosed by a module housing (18), surrounded by an axially elongated pressure vessel (64), where there is a purge gas volume, (62), between the module housing and pressure vessel; passing pressurized purge gas, (P), through the purge gas volume, (62), to dilute any unreacted fuel gas from the modules; and passing exhaust gas, (82), and circulated purge gas and any unreacted fuel gas out of the pressure vessel; where the fuel cell generator apparatus is transpatable when the pressure vessel (64) is horizontally disposed, providing a low center of gravity.

  11. Trial operation of a phosphoric acid fuel cell (PC25) for CHP applications in Europe

    SciTech Connect

    Uhrig, M.; Droste, W.; Wolf, D.

    1996-12-31

    In Europe, ten 200 kW phosphoric acid fuel cells (PAFCs) produced by ONSI (PC25) are currently in operation. Their operators collaborate closely in the European Fuel Cell Users Group (EFCUG). The experience gained from trial operation by the four German operators - HEAG, HGW/HEW, Thyssengas and Ruhrgas - coincides with that of the other European operators. This experience can generally be regarded as favourable. With a view to using fuel cells in combined heat and power generation (CHP), the project described in this report, which was carried out in cooperation with the municipal utility of Bochum and Gasunie of the Netherlands, aimed at gaining experience with the PC 25 in field operation under the specific operating conditions prevailing in Europe. The work packages included heat-controlled operation, examination of plant behavior with varying gas properties and measurement of emissions under dynamic load conditions. The project received EU funding under the JOULE programme.

  12. Fuel Cells

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Hawkins, M. D.

    1973-01-01

    Discusses the theories, construction, operation, types, and advantages of fuel cells developed by the American space programs. Indicates that the cell is an ideal small-scale power source characterized by its compactness, high efficiency, reliability, and freedom from polluting fumes. (CC)

  13. Molten carbonate fuel cells (MCFC): Structure and operation

    SciTech Connect

    1996-03-01

    The main components of an individual cell are the anode, the cathode, and the molten carbonate electrolyte. Electrode materials are usually porous nickel alloys for reducing atmospheres (anode) and nickel oxide for oxidizing atmospheres (cathode). The electrolyte, typically a combination of molten, alkali (Li, K, Na) carbonates, is contained within a porous ceramic matrix, commonly made of lithium aluminate (LiAlO{sub 2}). The molten carbonate electrolyte, sandwiched between the anode and cathode, partially fills these porous electrodes. Electrochemical reactions take place at a three-phase interface formed by the electrolyte, the electrodes, and the gas streams. Carbonate ions are formed at an oxidant/electrolyte interface in the cathode and are transported through the electrolyte to a fuel/electrolyte interface in the anode. There, the carbonate ions react with the fuel, releasing electrons into the anode. The electrons then travel through an external circuit and through the load, suffering a voltage drop. Finally, the circuit is completed as the electrons return to the cathode. The paper gives data on MCFC efficiency and NO{sub x} emissions compared with engines and turbines.

  14. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of PEM Dehydration and Gas Manifold Flooding During Continuous Fuel Cell Operation

    SciTech Connect

    Minard, Kevin R.; Vishwanathan, Vilanyur V.; Majors, Paul D.; Wang, Li Q.; Rieke, Peter C.

    2006-10-27

    The methods, apparatus, and results are reported for in-situ, near real time, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of MEA dehydration and gas manifold flooding in an operating PEM fuel cell. To acquire high-resolution, artifact-free images for visualizing water distribution, acquisition parameters for a standard, two-dimensional (2D), spin-echo sequence were first optimized for the measured magnetic field heterogeneity induced by fuel cell components. 2D images of water inside the fuel cell were then acquired every 128 seconds during 11.4 hours of continuous operation under constant load. Collected images revealed that MEA dehydration proceeded non-uniformly across its plane, starting from gas inlets and ending at gas outlets, and that upon completion of this dehydration process manifold flooding began. To understand these observations, acquired images were correlated to the current output and operating characteristics of the fuel cell. Results demonstrate the power of MRI for in-situ, near real-time imaging of water distribution and non-uniformity in operating PEM fuel cells, and highlight its utility for understanding PEM fuel cell operation, the causes of cell failure, and for developing new strategies of water management.

  15. High pressure operation of tubular solid oxide fuel cells and their intergration with gas turbines

    SciTech Connect

    Haynes, C.; Wepfer, W.J.

    1996-12-31

    Fossil fuels continue to be used at a rate greater than that of their natural formation, and the current byproducts from their use are believed to have a detrimental effect on the environment (e.g. global warming). There is thus a significant impetus to have cleaner, more efficient fuel consumption alternatives. Recent progress has led to renewed vigor in the development of fuel cell technology, which has been shown to be capable of producing high efficiencies with relatively benign exhaust products. The tubular solid oxide fuel cell developed by Westinghouse Electric Corporation has shown significant promise. Modeling efforts have been and are underway to optimize and better understand this fuel cell technology. Thus far, the bulk of modeling efforts has been for operation at atmospheric pressure. There is now interest in developing high-efficiency integrated gas turbine/solid oxide fuel cell systems. Such operation of fuel cells would obviously occur at higher pressures. The fuel cells have been successfully modeled under high pressure operation and further investigated as integrated components of an open loop gas turbine cycle.

  16. Dissolution of Platinum in the Operational Range of Fuel Cells

    PubMed Central

    Keeley, Gareth P.; Geiger, Simon; Zeradjanin, Aleksandar R.; Hodnik, Nejc; Kulyk, Nadiia

    2015-01-01

    Abstract One of the most important practical issues in low‐temperature fuel‐cell catalyst degradation is platinum dissolution. According to the literature, it initiates at 0.6–0.9 VRHE, whereas previous time‐ and potential‐resolved inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP–MS) experiments, however, revealed dissolution onset at only 1.05 VRHE. In this manuscript, the apparent discrepancy is addressed by investigating bulk and nanoparticulated catalysts. It is shown that, given enough time for accumulation, traces of platinum can be detected at potentials as low as 0.85 VRHE. At these low potentials, anodic dissolution is the dominant process, whereas, at more positive potentials, more platinum dissolves during the oxide reduction after accumulation. Interestingly, the potential and time dissolution dependence is similar for both types of electrode. Dissolution processes are discussed with relevance to fuel‐cell operation and plausible dissolution mechanisms are considered. PMID:27525206

  17. In-ground operation of Geothermic Fuel Cells for unconventional oil and gas recovery

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sullivan, Neal; Anyenya, Gladys; Haun, Buddy; Daubenspeck, Mark; Bonadies, Joseph; Kerr, Rick; Fischer, Bernhard; Wright, Adam; Jones, Gerald; Li, Robert; Wall, Mark; Forbes, Alan; Savage, Marshall

    2016-01-01

    This paper presents operating and performance characteristics of a nine-stack solid-oxide fuel cell combined-heat-and-power system. Integrated with a natural-gas fuel processor, air compressor, reactant-gas preheater, and diagnostics and control equipment, the system is designed for use in unconventional oil-and-gas processing. Termed a "Geothermic Fuel Cell" (GFC), the heat liberated by the fuel cell during electricity generation is harnessed to process oil shale into high-quality crude oil and natural gas. The 1.5-kWe SOFC stacks are packaged within three-stack GFC modules. Three GFC modules are mechanically and electrically coupled to a reactant-gas preheater and installed within the earth. During operation, significant heat is conducted from the Geothermic Fuel Cell to the surrounding geology. The complete system was continuously operated on hydrogen and natural-gas fuels for ∼600 h. A quasi-steady operating point was established to favor heat generation (29.1 kWth) over electricity production (4.4 kWe). Thermodynamic analysis reveals a combined-heat-and-power efficiency of 55% at this condition. Heat flux to the geology averaged 3.2 kW m-1 across the 9-m length of the Geothermic Fuel Cell-preheater assembly. System performance is reviewed; some suggestions for improvement are proposed.

  18. Method for reducing fuel cell output voltage to permit low power operation

    DOEpatents

    Reiser, Carl A.; Landau, Michael B.

    1980-01-01

    Fuel cell performance is degraded by recycling a portion of the cathode exhaust through the cells and, if necessary, also reducing the total air flow to the cells for the purpose of permitting operation below a power level which would otherwise result in excessive voltage.

  19. Influence of anode surface chemistry on microbial fuel cell operation.

    PubMed

    Santoro, Carlo; Babanova, Sofia; Artyushkova, Kateryna; Cornejo, Jose A; Ista, Linnea; Bretschger, Orianna; Marsili, Enrico; Atanassov, Plamen; Schuler, Andrew J

    2015-12-01

    Self-assembled monolayers (SAMs) modified gold anodes are used in single chamber microbial fuel cells for organic removal and electricity generation. Hydrophilic (N(CH3)3(+), OH, COOH) and hydrophobic (CH3) SAMs are examined for their effect on bacterial attachment, current and power output. The different substratum chemistry affects the community composition of the electrochemically active biofilm formed and thus the current and power output. Of the four SAM-modified anodes tested, N(CH3)3(+) results in the shortest start up time (15 days), highest current achieved (225 μA cm(-2)) and highest MFC power density (40 μW cm(-2)), followed by COOH (150 μA cm(-2) and 37 μW cm(-2)) and OH (83 μA cm(-2) and 27 μW cm(-2)) SAMs. Hydrophobic SAM decreases electrochemically active bacteria attachment and anode performance in comparison to hydrophilic SAMs (CH3 modified anodes 7 μA cm(-2) anodic current and 1.2 μW cm(-2) MFC's power density). A consortium of Clostridia and δ-Proteobacteria is found on all the anode surfaces, suggesting a synergistic cooperation under anodic conditions. PMID:26025340

  20. Analysis of Actual Operating Conditions of an Off-grid Solid Oxide Fuel Cell

    SciTech Connect

    Dennis Witmer; Thomas Johnson; Jack Schmid

    2008-12-31

    Fuel cells have been proposed as ideal replacements for other technologies in remote locations such as Rural Alaska. A number of suppliers have developed systems that might be applicable in these locations, but there are several requirements that must be met before they can be deployed: they must be able to operate on portable fuels, and be able to operate with little operator assistance for long periods of time. This project was intended to demonstrate the operation of a 5 kW fuel cell on propane at a remote site (defined as one without access to grid power, internet, or cell phone, but on the road system). A fuel cell was purchased by the National Park Service for installation in their newly constructed visitor center at Exit Glacier in the Kenai Fjords National Park. The DOE participation in this project as initially scoped was for independent verification of the operation of this demonstration. This project met with mixed success. The fuel cell has operated over 6 seasons at the facility with varying degrees of success, with one very good run of about 1049 hours late in the summer of 2006, but in general the operation has been below expectations. There have been numerous stack failures, the efficiency of electrical generation has been lower than expected, and the field support effort required has been far higher than expected. Based on the results to date, it appears that this technology has not developed to the point where demonstrations in off road sites are justified.

  1. Purge gas protected transportable pressurized fuel cell modules and their operation in a power plant

    DOEpatents

    Zafred, P.R.; Dederer, J.T.; Gillett, J.E.; Basel, R.A.; Antenucci, A.B.

    1996-11-12

    A fuel cell generator apparatus and method of its operation involves: passing pressurized oxidant gas and pressurized fuel gas into modules containing fuel cells, where the modules are each enclosed by a module housing surrounded by an axially elongated pressure vessel, and where there is a purge gas volume between the module housing and pressure vessel; passing pressurized purge gas through the purge gas volume to dilute any unreacted fuel gas from the modules; and passing exhaust gas and circulated purge gas and any unreacted fuel gas out of the pressure vessel; where the fuel cell generator apparatus is transportable when the pressure vessel is horizontally disposed, providing a low center of gravity. 11 figs.

  2. A comparison of low-pressure and supercharged operation of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell systems for aircraft applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Werner, C.; Preiß, G.; Gores, F.; Griebenow, M.; Heitmann, S.

    2016-08-01

    Multifunctional fuel cell systems are competitive solutions aboard future generations of civil aircraft concerning energy consumption, environmental issues, and safety reasons. The present study compares low-pressure and supercharged operation of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells with respect to performance and efficiency criteria. This is motivated by the challenge of pressure-dependent fuel cell operation aboard aircraft with cabin pressure varying with operating altitude. Experimental investigations of low-pressure fuel cell operation use model-based design of experiments and are complemented by numerical investigations concerning supercharged fuel cell operation. It is demonstrated that a low-pressure operation is feasible with the fuel cell device under test, but that its range of stable operation changes between both operating modes. Including an external compressor, it can be shown that the power demand for supercharging the fuel cell is about the same as the loss in power output of the fuel cell due to low-pressure operation. Furthermore, the supercharged fuel cell operation appears to be more sensitive with respect to variations in the considered independent operating parameters load requirement, cathode stoichiometric ratio, and cooling temperature. The results indicate that a pressure-dependent self-humidification control might be able to exploit the potential of low-pressure fuel cell operation for aircraft applications to the best advantage.

  3. EXPERIMENTAL AND NUMERICAL ANALYSIS OF SUBFREEZING OPERATION IN PEM FUEL CELLS

    SciTech Connect

    Mukherjee, Partha P

    2010-01-01

    In this work, we present the neutron radiography and analysis, as well as modeling predictions of cold-start operation of PEM fuel cells. Fuel cells with Gore or LANL MEAs and SGL or E-Tek ELAT GDLs are tested in varying subfreezing temperatures (-40 to 0 C) to determine time to failure, amount of water formation, and place of water formation. Theoretical modeling is also conducted and model predictions are compared with the cell voltage evolution during subfreezing operation. A higher PTFE-loading in the MPL is found to decrease loss in ESCA in our case.

  4. A Reversible Planar Solid Oxide Fuel-Fed Electrolysis Cell and Solid Oxide Fuel Cell for Hydrogen and Electricity Production Operating on Natural Gas/Biomass Fuels

    SciTech Connect

    Tao, Greg, G.

    2007-03-31

    A solid oxide fuel-assisted electrolysis technique was developed to co-generate hydrogen and electricity directly from a fuel at a reduced cost of electricity. Solid oxide fuel-assisted electrolysis cells (SOFECs), which were comprised of 8YSZ electrolytes sandwiched between thick anode supports and thin cathodes, were constructed and experimentally evaluated at various operation conditions on lab-level button cells with 2 cm2 per-cell active areas as well as on bench-scale stacks with 30 cm2 and 100 cm2 per-cell active areas. To reduce the concentration overpotentials, pore former systems were developed and engineered to optimize the microstructure and morphology of the Ni+8YSZ-based anodes. Chemically stable cathode materials, which possess good electronic and ionic conductivity and exhibit good electrocatalytic properties in both oxidizing and reducing gas atmospheres, were developed and materials properties were investigated. In order to increase the specific hydrogen production rate and thereby reduce the system volume and capital cost for commercial applications, a hybrid system that integrates the technologies of the SOFEC and the solid-oxide fuel cell (SOFC), was developed and successfully demonstrated at a 1kW scale, co-generating hydrogen and electricity directly from chemical fuels.

  5. Operating experiences with a molten carbonate fuel cell at Stuttgart-Möhringen wastewater treatment plant.

    PubMed

    Locher, C; Meyer, C; Steinmetz, H

    2012-01-01

    Fuel cells on wastewater treatment plants are a relatively new technology to convert biogas from anaerobic digestion into thermal and electrical energy. Since the end of 2007, a type of MCFC fuel cell (>250 kW(el), 180 kW(th)) has been installed at Stuttgart-Möhringen wastewater treatment plant. The goals of this research project are to raise the power self-sufficiency in Stuttgart-Möhringen, to further optimise high temperature fuel cells using biogas and to gain practical experience. After approximately 9,000 h of operation, a mean electrical 'gross'-efficiency of 44% was achieved. To fully exploit this high electrical efficiency, it is essential to keep the energy consumption of peripheral devices (gas pressure unit, gas cleaning unit, etc.) of the fuel cell as low as possible. PMID:22339011

  6. A new topology of fuel cell hybrid power source for efficient operation and high reliability

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bizon, Nicu

    2011-03-01

    This paper analyzes a new fuel cell Hybrid Power Source (HPS) topology having the feature to mitigate the current ripple of the fuel cell inverter system. In the operation of the inverter system that is grid connected or supplies AC motors in vehicle application, the current ripple normally appears at the DC port of the fuel cell HPS. Consequently, if mitigation measures are not applied, this ripple is back propagated to the fuel cell stack. Other features of the proposed fuel cell HPS are the Maximum Power Point (MPP) tracking, high reliability in operation under sharp power pulses and improved energy efficiency in high power applications. This topology uses an inverter system directly powered from the appropriate fuel cell stack and a controlled buck current source as low power source used for ripple mitigation. The low frequency ripple mitigation is based on active control. The anti-ripple current is injected in HPS output node and this has the LF power spectrum almost the same with the inverter ripple. Consequently, the fuel cell current ripple is mitigated by the designed active control. The ripple mitigation performances are evaluated by indicators that are defined to measure the mitigation ratio of the low frequency harmonics. In this paper it is shown that good performances are obtained by using the hysteretic current control, but better if a dedicated nonlinear controller is used. Two ways to design the nonlinear control law are proposed. First is based on simulation trials that help to draw the characteristic of ripple mitigation ratio vs. fuel cell current ripple. The second is based on Fuzzy Logic Controller (FLC). The ripple factor is up to 1% in both cases.

  7. Quantitative study of ruthenium cross-over in direct methanol fuel cells during early operation hours

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schoekel, A.; Melke, J.; Bruns, M.; Wippermann, K.; Kuppler, F.; Roth, C.

    2016-01-01

    In direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC), ruthenium cross-over is an important degradation phenomenon. The loss of ruthenium from the anode, its transport through the membrane and its deposition onto the cathode are detrimental to the fuel cell performance and limit the fuel cell's lifetime. Here we present a quantitative study on the fraction of ruthenium being transferred from the anode to the cathode during early operation hours (0-100 h) of a DMFC. Already during fabrication of the MEA ruthenium is transferred to the cathode. In our pristine MEAs about 0.024 wt% Ru could be found in the cathode catalyst. The cell potential during operation seems to have only a minor influence on the dissolution process. In contrast, the operation time appears to be much more important. Our data hint at two dissolution processes: a fast process dominating the first hours of operation and a slower process, which is responsible for the ongoing ruthenium transfer during the fuel cell lifetime. After 2 h held at open circuit conditions the Ru content of the cathode side was 10 times higher than in the pristine MEA. In contrast, the slower process increased that amount only by a factor of two over the course of another 100 h.

  8. The effect of operation and design parameters on the performance of the direct methanol fuel cell

    SciTech Connect

    Simpson, S.F.; Cisar, A.; Franaszczuk, K.

    1996-12-31

    Fuel cell technology continues to receive considerable attention as a potential replacement for fossil fuels as a primary source of terrestrial power. Ideally, such power systems would operate at relatively low temperatures (< 100{degrees}C) which suggests strongly the use of cell technology based upon the proton exchange membrane (PEM). Without question, hydrogen is a very desirable fuel choice for these types of systems, because of its high energy density. However, the difficulties associated with the production and routine handling of hydrogen limit severely its commercial use at present. The direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) is a particularly attractive alternative to the use of the hydrogen/oxygen cell. Although not as high as hydrogen, the energy density of methanol is the highest among the organic fuels. Furthermore, because of the similarity in liquid handling requirements between methanol and gasoline, a significant portion of the infrastructure necessary for the marketing and distribution of the fuel is already in place. Other inherent attributes of the DMFC which include rapid start-up and operation with little or no emission or noise signature have led to an intense DMFC research effort over the past twenty years and, indeed, the DMFC has even been referred to as {open_quotes}the electrochemist`s dream{close_quotes}.

  9. FUEL CELL OPERATION ON ANAEROBIC DIGESTER GAS: CONCEPTUAL DESIGN AND ASSESSMENT

    EPA Science Inventory

    The conceptual design of a fuel cell (FC) system for operation on anaerobic digester gas (ADG) is described and its economic and environmental feasibility is projected. ADG is produced at water treatment plants during the process of treating sewage anaerobically to reduce solids....

  10. Dynamic modeling and evaluation of solid oxide fuel cell - combined heat and power system operating strategies

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nanaeda, Kimihiro; Mueller, Fabian; Brouwer, Jacob; Samuelsen, Scott

    Operating strategies of solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) combined heat and power (CHP) systems are developed and evaluated from a utility, and end-user perspective using a fully integrated SOFC-CHP system dynamic model that resolves the physical states, thermal integration and overall efficiency of the system. The model can be modified for any SOFC-CHP system, but the present analysis is applied to a hotel in southern California based on measured electric and heating loads. Analysis indicates that combined heat and power systems can be operated to benefit both the end-users and the utility, providing more efficient electric generation as well as grid ancillary services, namely dispatchable urban power. Design and operating strategies considered in the paper include optimal sizing of the fuel cell, thermal energy storage to dispatch heat, and operating the fuel cell to provide flexible grid power. Analysis results indicate that with a 13.1% average increase in price-of-electricity (POE), the system can provide the grid with a 50% operating range of dispatchable urban power at an overall thermal efficiency of 80%. This grid-support operating mode increases the operational flexibility of the SOFC-CHP system, which may make the technology an important utility asset for accommodating the increased penetration of intermittent renewable power.

  11. Effectiveness of paper-structured catalyst for the operation of biodiesel-fueled solid oxide fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Quang-Tuyen, Tran; Kaida, Taku; Sakamoto, Mio; Sasaki, Kazunari; Shiratori, Yusuke

    2015-06-01

    Mg/Al-hydrotalcite (HDT)-dispersed paper-structured catalyst (PSC) was prepared by a simple paper-making process. The PSC exhibited excellent catalytic activity for the steam reforming of model biodiesel fuel (BDF), pure oleic acid methyl ester (oleic-FAME, C19H36O2) which is a mono-unsaturated component of practical BDFs. The PSC exhibited fuel conversion comparable to a pelletized catalyst material, here, conventional Ni-zirconia cermet anode for solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) with less than one-hundredth Ni weight. Performance of electrolyte-supported cell connected with the PSC was evaluated in the feed of oleic-FAME, and stable operation was achieved. After 60 h test, coking was not observed in both SOFC anode and PSC.

  12. Why solid oxide cells can be reversibly operated in solid oxide electrolysis cell and fuel cell modes?

    PubMed

    Chen, Kongfa; Liu, Shu-Sheng; Ai, Na; Koyama, Michihisa; Jiang, San Ping

    2015-12-14

    High temperature solid oxide cells (SOCs) are attractive for storage and regeneration of renewable energy by operating reversibly in solid oxide electrolysis cell (SOEC) and solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) modes. However, the stability of SOCs, particularly the deterioration of the performance of oxygen electrodes in the SOEC operation mode, is the most critical issue in the development of high performance and durable SOCs. In this study, we investigate in detail the electrochemical activity and stability of La0.8Sr0.2MnO3 (LSM) oxygen electrodes in cyclic SOEC and SOFC modes. The results show that the deterioration of LSM oxygen electrodes caused by anodic polarization can be partially or completely recovered by subsequent cathodic polarization. Using in situ assembled LSM electrodes without pre-sintering, we demonstrate that the deteriorated LSM/YSZ interface can be repaired and regenerated by operating the cells under cathodic polarization conditions. This study for the first time establishes the foundation for the development of truly reversible and stable SOCs for hydrogen fuel production and electricity generation in cyclic SOEC and SOFC operation modes. PMID:26548929

  13. Investigation of degradation effects in polymer electrolyte fuel cells under automotive-related operating conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Enz, S.; Dao, T. A.; Messerschmidt, M.; Scholta, J.

    2015-01-01

    The influence of artificial starvation effects during automotive-related operating conditions is investigated within a polymer electrolyte fuel cell (PEFC) using non-dispersive infrared sensors and a current scan shunt. Driving cycles (DC) and single load change experiments are performed with specific fuel and oxidant starvation conditions. Within the DC experiments, a maximal CO2 amount of 4.67 μmol per cycle is detected in the cathode and 0.97 μmol per cycle in the anode exhaust without reaching fuel starvation conditions during the DC. Massive cell reversal conditions occur within the single load change experiments as a result of anodic fuel starvation. As soon as a fuel starvation appears, the emitted CO2 increases exponentially in the anode and cathode exhaust. A maximal CO2 amount of 143.8 μmol CO2 on the anode side and 5.8 μmol CO2 on the cathode side is detected in the exhaust gases. The critical cell reversal conditions only occur by using hydrogen reformate as anode reactant. The influence of the starvation effects on the PEFC performance is investigated via polarization curves, cyclic and linear sweep voltammetry as well as electrochemical impedance spectroscopy. The PEFC performance is reduced by 47% as a consequence of the dynamic operation.

  14. Operation of molten carbonate fuel cells with different biogas sources: A challenging approach for field trials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Trogisch, S.; Hoffmann, J.; Daza Bertrand, L.

    In the past years research in the molten carbonate fuel cells (MCFC) area has been focusing its efforts on the utilisation of natural gas as fuel (S. Geitmann, Wasserstoff- & Brennstoffzellen-Projekte, 2002, ISBN 3-8311-3280-1). In order to increase the advantages of this technology, an international consortium has worked on the utilisation of biogas as fuel in MCFC. During the 4 years lasting RTD project EFFECTIVE two different gas upgrading systems have been developed and constructed together with two mobile MCFC test beds which were operated at different locations for approximately 2.000-5.000 h in each run with biogas from different origins and quality. The large variety of test locations has enabled to gather a large database for assessing the effect of the different biogas qualities on the complete system consisting of the upgrading and the fuel cell systems. The findings are challenging. This article also aims at giving an overview of the advantages of using biogas as fuel for fuel cells.

  15. Development of a novel computational tool for optimizing the operation of fuel cells systems: Application for phosphoric acid fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zervas, P. L.; Tatsis, A.; Sarimveis, H.; Markatos, N. C. G.

    Fuel cells offer a significant and promising clean technology for portable, automotive and stationary applications and, thus, optimization of their performance is of particular interest. In this study, a novel optimization tool is developed that realistically describes and optimizes the performance of fuel cell systems. First, a 3D steady-state detailed model is produced based on computational fluid dynamics (CFD) techniques. Simulated results obtained from the CFD model are used in a second step, to generate a database that contains the fuel and oxidant volumetric rates and utilizations and the corresponding cell voltages. In the third step mathematical relationships are developed between the input and output variables, using the database that has been generated in the previous step. In particular, the linear regression methodology and the radial basis function (RBF) neural network architecture are utilized for producing the input-output "meta-models". Several statistical tests are used to validate the proposed models. Finally, a multi-objective hierarchical Non-Linear Programming (NLP) problem is formulated that takes into account the constraints and limitations of the system. The multi-objective hierarchical approach is built upon two steps: first, the fuel volumetric rate is minimized, recognizing the fact that our first concern is to reduce consumption of the expensive fuel. In the second step, optimization is performed with respect to the oxidant volumetric rate. The proposed method is illustrated through its application for phosphoric acid fuel cell (PAFC) systems.

  16. Investigation of high temperature operation of proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Adjemian, Kevork Tro

    Proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) have garnered much attention in the media over the past years as they can provide a clean, environmentally friendly alternative to internal combustion engines. PEMFCs also have the flexibility to operate on many different types of fuels, thereby diminishing our reliance on foreign oil. PEMFCs, however, suffer from many drawbacks which need to be overcome before mass production becomes viable. One drawback is the expense of the fuel cell system, costing several times more than existing technologies. Another problem is that if the fuel cell is running on reformed fuels, trace amounts of carbon monoxide (10 ppm) in the hydrogen gas stream will completely poison the anode electrocatalyst, killing the PEMFC. Also, as a lot of waste heat is generated, a very elaborate cooling system needs to be used, making the overall system more expensive and complex. A possible solution to both the carbon monoxide poisoning and thermal management of a PEMFC is to elevate its operating temperature above 100°C. Unfortunately, current state-of-the-art electrolytes used in PEMFCs, i.e. Nafion 115, rely on water for the conduction of protons and by elevating the temperature, water loss occurs due to evaporation resulting in inadequate PEMFC performance. This thesis delves into the modification of Nafion and similar electrolytes to permit PEMFC operation above 100°C. This was accomplished by impregnating the pores of the Nafion with hydrophilic inorganic materials-silicon oxide via sol-gel processing and various inorganic particles. By performing these modifications to the various electrolytes, several composite membranes performed exceptionally well at an operating temperature of 130°C and demonstrated carbon monoxide tolerance of up to 500 ppm. In addition, a theory on how these materials help improve the water management characteristics of Nafion was developed, laying the foundation for the development of a completely novel membrane to

  17. Direct hydrocarbon fuel cells

    DOEpatents

    Barnett, Scott A.; Lai, Tammy; Liu, Jiang

    2010-05-04

    The direct electrochemical oxidation of hydrocarbons in solid oxide fuel cells, to generate greater power densities at lower temperatures without carbon deposition. The performance obtained is comparable to that of fuel cells used for hydrogen, and is achieved by using novel anode composites at low operating temperatures. Such solid oxide fuel cells, regardless of fuel source or operation, can be configured advantageously using the structural geometries of this invention.

  18. Operational optimization and real-time control of fuel-cell systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hasikos, J.; Sarimveis, H.; Zervas, P. L.; Markatos, N. C.

    Fuel cells is a rapidly evolving technology with applications in many industries including transportation, and both portable and stationary power generation. The viability, efficiency and robustness of fuel-cell systems depend strongly on optimization and control of their operation. This paper presents the development of an integrated optimization and control tool for Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel-Cell (PEMFC) systems. Using a detailed simulation model, a database is generated first, which contains steady-state values of the manipulated and controlled variables over the full operational range of the fuel-cell system. In a second step, the database is utilized for producing Radial Basis Function (RBF) neural network "meta-models". In the third step, a Non-Linear Programming Problem (NLP) is formulated, that takes into account the constraints and limitations of the system and minimizes the consumption of hydrogen, for a given value of power demand. Based on the formulation and solution of the NLP problem, a look-up table is developed, containing the optimal values of the system variables for any possible value of power demand. In the last step, a Model Predictive Control (MPC) methodology is designed, for the optimal control of the system response to successive sep-point changes of power demand. The efficiency of the produced MPC system is illustrated through a number of simulations, which show that a successful dynamic closed-loop behaviour can be achieved, while at the same time the consumption of hydrogen is minimized.

  19. Special considerations on operating a fuel cell power plant using natural gas with marginal heating value

    SciTech Connect

    Moses, L. Ng; Chien-Liang Lin; Ya-Tang Cheng

    1996-12-31

    In realizing new power generation technologies in Taiwan, a phosphoric acid fuel cell power plant (model PC2513, ONSI Corporation) has been installed in the premises of the Power Research Institute of the Taiwan Power Company in Taipei County of Taiwan. The pipeline gas supplying to the site of this power plant has a high percentage of carbon dioxide and thus a slightly lower heating value than that specified by the manufacturer. Because of the lowering of heating value of input gas, the highest Output power from the power plant is understandably less than the rated power of 200 kW designed. Further, the transient response of the power plant as interrupted from the Grid is also affected. Since this gas is also the pipeline gas supplying to the heavily populated Taipei Municipal area, it is conceivable that the success of the operations of fuel cells using this fuel is of vital importance to the promotion of the use of this power generation technology in Taiwan. Hence, experiments were set up to assess the feasibility of this fuel cell power plant using the existing pipeline gas in this part of Taiwan where fuel cells would most likely find useful.

  20. Operation of the 25 kW NASA Lewis Solar Regenerative Fuel Cell Testbed Facility

    SciTech Connect

    Voecks, G.E.; Rohatgi, N.K.; Moore, S.H.

    1996-12-31

    Assembly of the NASA Lewis Research Center Solar Regenerative Fuel Cell Testbed Facility has recently been completed and system testing is in progress. This facility includes the integration of 50 kW photovoltaic solar cell arrays, a 25 kW proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolysis unit, four 5 kW PEM fuel cells, high pressure hydrogen and oxygen storage vessels, high purity water storage containers, and computer monitoring, control and data acquisition. The purpose of this facility is multi-faceted, but was originally intended to serve as a testbed for evaluating a closed-loop powerplant for future NASA extended life support operations, such as a Lunar outpost, and also as a terrestrial powerplant example for remote or continuous back-up support operations. The fuel cell and electrolyzer subsystems design and assembly were conducted by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), the photovoltaic arrays and electrical interconnect to the electrolyzer were provided by the US Navy/China Lake Naval Weapons Center, and testing and operations are being carried out by JPL.

  1. Direct ethanol solid oxide fuel cell operating in gradual internal reforming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nobrega, S. D.; Galesco, M. V.; Girona, K.; de Florio, D. Z.; Steil, M. C.; Georges, S.; Fonseca, F. C.

    2012-09-01

    An electrolyte supported solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) using standard electrodes, doped-lanthanum manganite cathode and Ni-cermet anode, was operated with direct (anhydrous) ethanol for more than 100 h, delivering essentially the same power output as running on hydrogen. A ceria-based layer provides the catalytic activity for the gradual internal reforming, which uses the steam formed by the electrochemical oxidation of hydrogen for the decomposition of ethanol. Such a concept opens up the way for multi-fuel SOFCs using standard components and a catalytic layer.

  2. Operation of a solid oxide fuel cell on biodiesel with a partial oxidation reformer

    SciTech Connect

    Siefert, N, Shekhawat, D.; Gemmen, R.; Berry, D.

    2010-01-01

    The National Energy Technology Laboratory’s Office of Research & Development (NETL/ORD) has successfully demonstrated the operation of a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) using reformed biodiesel. The biodiesel for the project was produced and characterized by West Virginia State University (WVSU). This project had two main aspects: 1) demonstrate a catalyst formulation on monolith for biodiesel fuel reforming; and 2) establish SOFC stack test stand capabilities. Both aspects have been completed successfully. For the first aspect, in–house patented catalyst specifications were developed, fabricated and tested. Parametric reforming studies of biofuels provided data on fuel composition, catalyst degradation, syngas composition, and operating parameters required for successful reforming and integration with the SOFC test stand. For the second aspect, a stack test fixture (STF) for standardized testing, developed by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) for the Solid Energy Conversion Alliance (SECA) Program, was engineered and constructed at NETL. To facilitate the demonstration of the STF, NETL employed H.C. Starck Ceramics GmbH & Co. (Germany) anode supported solid oxide cells. In addition, anode supported cells, SS441 end plates, and cell frames were transferred from PNNL to NETL. The stack assembly and conditioning procedures, including stack welding and sealing, contact paste application, binder burn-out, seal-setting, hot standby, and other stack assembly and conditioning methods were transferred to NETL. In the future, fuel cell stacks provided by SECA or other developers could be tested at the STF to validate SOFC performance on various fuels. The STF operated on hydrogen for over 1000 hrs before switching over to reformed biodiesel for 100 hrs of operation. Combining these first two aspects led to demonstrating the biodiesel syngas in the STF. A reformer was built and used to convert 0.5 ml/min of

  3. Operational characteristics of thin film solid oxide fuel cells with ruthenium anode in natural gas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takagi, Yuto; Kerman, Kian; Ko, Changhyun; Ramanathan, Shriram

    2013-12-01

    Direct utilization of hydrocarbons in low temperature solid oxide fuel cells is of growing interest in the landscape of alternative energy technologies. Here, we report on performance of self-supported micro-solid oxide fuel cells (μSOFCs) with ruthenium (Ru) nano-porous thin film anodes operating in natural gas and methane. The μSOFCs consist of 8 mol% yttria-stabilized zirconia thin film electrolytes, porous platinum cathodes and porous Ru anodes, and were tested with dry natural gas and methane as fuels and air as the oxidant. At 500 °C, comparable power densities of 410 mW cm-2 and 440 mW cm-2 were obtained with dry natural gas and methane, respectively. In weakly humidified natural gas, open circuit voltage of 0.95 V at 530 °C with peak power density of 800 mW cm-2 was realized. The μSOFC was continuously operated at constant voltage of 0.7 V with methane, where quasi-periodic oscillatory behavior of the performance was observed. Through post-operation XPS studies it was found that the oxidation state of Ru anode surfaces significantly differs depending on the fuel used, oxidation being enhanced with methane or natural gas. The nature of the oscillation is discussed based on the transition in surface oxygen coverage states and electro-catalytic activity of Ru anodes.

  4. Fundamentals of Liquid Tin Anode Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (LTA-SOFC) Operation

    SciTech Connect

    Randall Gemmen; Harry Abernathy; Kirk Gerdes; Mark Koslowske; William A. McPhee; Tomas Tao

    2009-01-23

    An alternative high temperature fuel cell system, called Liquid Tin Anode Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (LTA-SOFC) technology, is presently under consideration by NETL for the ability to directly convert coal. Before such a fuel cell concept can be considered in system studies, a detailed assessment for the electrochemical activity and SnO and O-atom diffusion within the liquid tin needs to be performed. In addition, the fundamental thermodynamic operation of such a concept needs to be properly analyzed. Initial research efforts to characterize the tin electrochemistry on a button cell at 900°C and with a tin thickness of 6mm showed a peak power density of 40 mW/cm2, and an activation energy for total resistivity of 185600 J/gm-mol. Higher power densities are expected with a more optimized electrolyte interface, and additional tests are being planned. A review of the liquid tin anode cell theoretical operation and performance data will be presented.

  5. An efficient approach to cathode operational parameters optimization for microbial fuel cell using response surface methodology

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background In the recent study, optimum operational conditions of cathode compartment of microbial fuel cell were determined by using Response Surface Methodology (RSM) with a central composite design to maximize power density and COD removal. Methods The interactive effects of parameters such as, pH, buffer concentration and ionic strength on power density and COD removal were evaluated in two-chamber microbial batch-mode fuel cell. Results Power density and COD removal for optimal conditions (pH of 6.75, buffer concentration of 0.177 M and ionic strength of cathode chamber of 4.69 mM) improve by 17 and 5%, respectively, in comparison with normal conditions (pH of 7, buffer concentration of 0.1 M and ionic strength of 2.5 mM). Conclusions In conclusion, results verify that response surface methodology could successfully determine cathode chamber optimum operational conditions. PMID:24423039

  6. Durability of Membrane Electrode Assemblies (MEAs) in PEM Fuel Cells Operated on Pure Hydrogen and Oxygen

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Stanic, Vesna; Braun, James; Hoberecht, Mark

    2003-01-01

    Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells are energy sources that have the potential to replace alkaline fuel cells for space programs. Broad power ranges, high peak-to-nominal power capabilities, low maintenance costs, and the promise of increased life are the major advantages of PEM technology in comparison to alkaline technology. The probability of PEM fuel cells replacing alkaline fuel cells for space applications will increase if the promise of increased life is verified by achieving a minimum of 10,000 hours of operating life. Durability plays an important role in the process of evaluation and selection of MEAs for Teledyne s Phase I contract with the NASA Glenn Research Center entitled Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel cell (PEMFC) Power Plant Technology Development for 2nd Generation Reusable Launch Vehicles (RLVs). For this contract, MEAs that are typically used for H2/air operation were selected as potential candidates for H2/O2 PEM fuel cells because their catalysts have properties suitable for O2 operation. They were purchased from several well-established MEA manufacturers who are world leaders in the manufacturing of diverse products and have committed extensive resources in an attempt to develop and fully commercialize MEA technology. A total of twelve MEAs used in H2/air operation were initially identified from these manufacturers. Based on the manufacturers specifications, nine of these were selected for evaluation. Since 10,000 hours is almost equivalent to 14 months, it was not possible to perform continuous testing with each MEA selected during Phase I of the contract. Because of the lack of time, a screening test on each MEA was performed for 400 hours under accelerated test conditions. The major criterion for an MEA pass or fail of the screening test was the gas crossover rate. If the gas crossover rate was higher than the membrane intrinsic permeability after 400 hours of testing, it was considered that the MEA had failed the test. Three types of

  7. Fuel cells feasibility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Schonfeld, D.; Charng, T.

    1981-01-01

    The technical and economic status of fuel cells is assessed with emphasis on their potential benefits to the Deep Space Network. The fuel cell, what it is, how it operates, and what its outputs are, is reviewed. Major technical problems of the fuel cell and its components are highlighted. Due to these problems and economic considerations it is concluded that fuel cells will not become commercially viable until the early 1990s.

  8. Performance and durability of PEM fuel cells operated at sub-freezing temperatures

    SciTech Connect

    Mukundan, Rangachary; Davey, John R; Lujan, Roger W; Spendelow, Jacob S

    2008-01-01

    The durability of polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) fuel cells operated at sub-freezing temperatures has received increasing attention in recent years. The Department of Energy's PEM fuel cell stack technical targets for the year 2010 include unassisted start-up from -40 {sup o}C and startup from -20 {sup o}C ambient in as low as 30 seconds with < 5 MJ energy consumption. Moreover, the sub-freezing operations should not have any impact on acieving other technical targets including 5000 hours durability. The effect of MEA preparation on the performance of single-PEM fuel cells operated at sub-freezing temperatures is presented. The cell performance and durability are dependent on the MEA and are probably influenced by the porosity of the catalyst layers. When a cell is operated isothermally at -10 {sup o}C in constant current mode, the voltage gradually decreases over time and eventually drops to zero. AC impedance analysis indicated that the rate of voltage loss is initially due to an increase in the charge transfer resistance and is gradual. After a period, the rate of decay accelerates rapidly due to mass transport limitations at the catalyst and/or gas diffusion layers. The high frequency resistance also increases over time during the isothermal operation at sub-freezing temperatures and was a function of the initial membrane water content. LANL prepared MEAs showed very little loss in the catalyst surface area with multiple sub-freezing operations, whereas the commercial MEAs exhibited significant loss in cathode surface area with the anode being unaffected. These results indicate that catalyst layer ice formation is influenced strongly by the MEA and is responsible for the long-term degradation of fuel cells operated at sub-freezing temperatures. This ice formation was monitored using neutron radiography and was found to be concentrated near cell edges at the flow field turns. The water distribution also indicated that ice may be forming mainly in the GDLs at

  9. Rejuvenation of automotive fuel cells

    DOEpatents

    Kim, Yu Seung; Langlois, David A.

    2016-08-23

    A process for rejuvenating fuel cells has been demonstrated to improve the performance of polymer exchange membrane fuel cells with platinum/ionomer electrodes. The process involves dehydrating a fuel cell and exposing at least the cathode of the fuel cell to dry gas (nitrogen, for example) at a temperature higher than the operating temperature of the fuel cell. The process may be used to prolong the operating lifetime of an automotive fuel cell.

  10. Mathematical model of a plate fin heat exchanger operating under solid oxide fuel cell working conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaniowski, Robert; Poniewski, Mieczysław

    2013-12-01

    Heat exchangers of different types find application in power systems based on solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC). Compact plate fin heat exchangers are typically found to perfectly fit systems with power output under 5 kWel. Micro-combined heat and power (micro-CHP) units with solid oxide fuel cells can exhibit high electrical and overall efficiencies, exceeding 85%, respectively. These values can be achieved only when high thermal integration of a system is assured. Selection and sizing of heat exchangers play a crucial role and should be done with caution. Moreover, performance of heat exchangers under variable operating conditions can strongly influence efficiency of the complete system. For that reason, it becomes important to develop high fidelity mathematical models allowing evaluation of heat exchangers under modified operating conditions, in high temperature regimes. Prediction of pressure and temperatures drops at the exit of cold and hot sides are important for system-level studies. Paper presents dedicated mathematical model used for evaluation of a plate fin heat exchanger, operating as a part of micro-CHP unit with solid oxide fuel cells.

  11. Microscale Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Holladay, Jamie D.; Viswanathan, Vish V.

    2005-11-03

    Perhaprs some of the most innovative work on fuel cells has been the research dedicated to applying silicon fabrication techniques to fuel cells technology creating low power microscale fuel cells applicable to microelectro mechanical systems (MEMS), microsensors, cell phones, PDA’s, and other low power (0.001 to 5 We) applications. In this small power range, fuel cells offer the decoupling of the energy converter from the energy storage which may enable longer operating times and instant or near instant charging. To date, most of the microscale fuel cells being developed have been based on proton exchange membrane fuel cell technology (PEMFC) or direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) technology. This section will discuss requirements and considerations that need to be addressed in the development of microscale fuel cells, as well as some proposed designs and fabrication strategies.

  12. Fuel cells 101

    SciTech Connect

    Hirschenhofer, J.H.

    1999-07-01

    This paper discusses the various types of fuel cells, the importance of cell voltage, fuel processing for natural gas, cell stacking, fuel cell plant description, advantages and disadvantages of the types of fuel cells, and applications. The types covered include: polymer electrolyte fuel cell, alkaline fuel cell, phosphoric acid fuel cell; molten carbonate fuel cell, and solid oxide fuel cell.

  13. Analysis, operation and maintenance of a fuel cell/battery series-hybrid bus for urban transit applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bubna, Piyush; Brunner, Doug; Gangloff, John J.; Advani, Suresh G.; Prasad, Ajay K.

    The fuel cell hybrid bus (FCHB) program was initiated at the University of Delaware in 2005 to demonstrate the viability of fuel cell vehicles for transit applications and to conduct research and development to facilitate the path towards their eventual commercialization. Unlike other fuel cell bus programs, the University of Delaware's FCHB design features a battery-heavy hybrid which offers multiple advantages in terms of cost, performance and durability. The current fuel cell hybrid bus is driven on a regular transit route at the University of Delaware. The paper describes the baseline specifications of the bus with a focus on the fuel cell and the balance of plant. The fuel cell/battery series-hybrid design is well suited for urban transit routes and provides key operational advantages such as hydrogen fuel economy, efficient use of the fuel cell for battery recharging, and regenerative braking. The bus is equipped with a variety of sensors including a custom-designed cell voltage monitoring system which provide a good understanding of bus performance under normal operation. Real-time data collection and analysis have yielded key insights for fuel cell bus design optimization. Results presented here illustrate the complex flow of energy within the various subsystems of the fuel cell hybrid bus. A description of maintenance events has been included to highlight the issues that arise during general operation. The paper also describes several modifications that will facilitate design improvements in future versions of the bus. Overall, the fuel cell hybrid bus demonstrates the viability of fuel cells for urban transit applications in real world conditions.

  14. Effects of Operating Conditions on Internal Resistances in Enzyme Fuel Cells Studied via Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy

    SciTech Connect

    Aaron, D; Borole, Abhijeet P; Yiacoumi, Sotira; Tsouris, Costas

    2012-01-01

    Enzyme fuel cells (EFCs) offer some advantages over traditional precious-metal-catalyzed fuel cells, such as polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs). However, EFCs exhibit far less power output than PEMFCs and have relatively short life spans before materials must be replaced. In this work, electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) is used to analyze the internal resistances throughout the EFC at a variety of operating conditions. EIS analysis is focused primarily on the resistances of the anode, solution/membrane, and cathode. Increased enzyme loading results in improved power output and reductions in internal resistance. Conditions are identified for which enzyme loading does not limit the EFC performance. EIS experiments are also reported for EFCs operated continuously for 2 days; power output declines sharply over time, while all internal resistances increase. Drying of the cathode and enzyme/mediator degradation are believed to have contributed to this behavior. Finally, experiments are performed at varying air-humidification temperatures. Little effect on internal resistances or power output is observed. However, it is anticipated that increased air humidification can improve longevity by delivering more water to the cathode. Improvements to the enzymatic cathode are needed for EFC development. These improvements need to focus on improving transport rather than increasing enzyme loading.

  15. Novel microbial fuel cell design to operate with different wastewaters simultaneously.

    PubMed

    Mathuriya, Abhilasha Singh

    2016-04-01

    A novel single cathode chamber and multiple anode chamber microbial fuel cell design (MAC-MFC) was developed by incorporating multiple anode chambers into a single unit and its performance was checked. During 60 days of operation, performance of MAC-MFC was assessed and compared with standard single anode/cathode chamber microbial fuel cell (SC-MFC). The tests showed that MAC-MFC generated stable and higher power outputs compared with SC-MFC and each anode chamber contributed efficiently. Further, MAC-MFCs were incorporated with different wastewaters in different anode chambers and their behavior in MFC performance was observed. MAC-MFC efficiently treated multiple wastewaters simultaneously at low cost and small space, which claims its candidature for future possible scale-up applications. PMID:27090700

  16. Air Breathing Direct Methanol Fuel Cell

    DOEpatents

    Ren; Xiaoming

    2003-07-22

    A method for activating a membrane electrode assembly for a direct methanol fuel cell is disclosed. The method comprises operating the fuel cell with humidified hydrogen as the fuel followed by running the fuel cell with methanol as the fuel.

  17. Energy balance affected by electrolyte recirculation and operating modes in microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Jacobson, Kyle S; Kelly, Patrick T; He, Zhen

    2015-03-01

    Energy recovery and consumption in a microbial fuel cell (MFC) can be significantly affected by the operating conditions. This study investigated the effects of electrolyte recirculation and operation mode (continuous vs sequence batch reactor) on the energy balance in a tubular MFC. It was found that decreasing the anolyte recirculation also decreased the energy recovery. Because of the open environment of the cathode electrode, the catholyte recirculation consumed 10 to 50 times more energy than the anolyte recirculation, and resulted in negative energy balances despite the reduction of the anolyte recirculation. Reducing the catholyte recirculation to 20% led to a positive energy balance of 0.0288 kWh m(-3). The MFC operated as a sequence batch reactor generated less energy and had a lower energy balance than the one with continuous operation. Those results encourage the further development of MFC technology to achieve neutral or even positive energy output. PMID:25842536

  18. Performance of solid oxide fuel cells operated with coal syngas provided directly from a gasification process

    SciTech Connect

    Hackett, Gregory A.; Gerdes, Kirk R.; Song, Xueyan; Chen, Yun; Shutthanandan, V.; Engelhard, Mark H.; Zhu, Zihua; Thevuthasan, Suntharampillai; Gemmen, Randall

    2012-09-15

    Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are presently being developed for gasification integrated power plants that generate electricity from coal at 50+% efficiency. The interaction of trace metals in coal syngas with the Ni-based SOFC anodes is being investigated through thermodynamic analyses and in laboratory experiments, but direct test data from coal syngas exposure are sparsely available. This research effort evaluates the significance of SOFC performance losses associated with exposure of a SOFC anode to direct coal syngas. SOFC specimen of industrially relevant composition are operated in a unique mobile test skid that was deployed to the research gasifier at the National Carbon Capture Center (NCCC) in Wilsonville, AL. The mobile test skid interfaces with a gasifier slipstream to deliver hot syngas (up to 300°C) directly to a parallel array of 12 button cell specimen, each of which possesses an active area of approximately 2 cm2. During the 500 hour test period, all twelve cells were monitored for performance at four discrete operating current densities, and all cells maintained contact with a data acquisition system. Of these twelve, nine demonstrated good performance throughout the test, while three of the cells were partially compromised. Degradation associated with the properly functioning cells was attributed to syngas exposure and trace material attack on the anode structure that was accelerated at increasing current densities. Cells that were operated at 0 and 125 mA/cm² degraded at 9.1 and 10.7% per 1000 hours, respectively, while cells operated at 250 and 375 mA/cm² degraded at 18.9 and 16.2% per 1000 hours, respectively. Post-trial spectroscopic analysis of the anodes showed carbon, sulfur, and phosphorus deposits; no secondary Ni-metal phases were found.

  19. Development and operation of gold and cobalt oxide nanoparticles containing polypropylene based enzymatic fuel cell for renewable fuels.

    PubMed

    Kilic, Muhammet Samet; Korkut, Seyda; Hazer, Baki; Erhan, Elif

    2014-11-15

    Newly synthesized gold and cobalt oxide nanoparticle embedded Polypropylene-g-Polyethylene glycol was used for a compartment-less enzymatic fuel cell. Glucose oxidase and bilirubin oxidase were selected as anodic and cathodic enzymes, respectively. Electrode fabrication and EFC operation parameters were optimized to achieve high power output. Maximum power density of 23.5 µW cm(-2) was generated at a cell voltage of +560 mV vs Ag/AgCl, in 100mM PBS pH 7.4 with the addition of 20mM of synthetic glucose solution. 20 µg of polymer amount with 185 µg of glucose oxidase and 356 µg of bilirubin oxidase was sufficient to get maximum performance. The working electrodes could harvest glucose, produced during photosynthesis reaction of Carpobrotus Acinaciformis plant, and readily found in real domestic wastewater of Zonguldak City in Turkey. PMID:24951919

  20. Membrane resistance and current distribution measurements under various operating conditions in a polymer electrolyte fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brett, D. J. L.; Atkins, S.; Brandon, N. P.; Vasileiadis, N.; Vesovic, V.; Kucernak, A. R.

    The ability to make spatially resolved measurements in a fuel cell provides one of the most useful ways in which to monitor and optimise their performance. Localised membrane resistance and current density measurements for a single channel polymer electrolyte fuel cell are presented for a range of operating conditions. The current density distribution results are compared with an analytical model that exhibited generally good agreement across a broad range of operating conditions. However, under conditions of high air flow rate, an increase in current is observed along the channel which is not predicted by the model. Under such circumstances, localised electrochemical impedance measurements show a decrease in membrane resistance along the channel. This phenomenon is attributed to drying of the electrolyte at the start of the channel and is more pronounced with increasing operating temperature. Under conditions of reactant depletion, an increase in electrolyte resistance with decreasing current is observed. This is due to the hydrating effect of product water and electro-osmotic drag through the membrane when ionic current is flowing. Localised conduction is shown to be an effective means of conditioning previously unused membrane electrode assemblies by forcing passage of ionic current through the electrolyte.

  1. Parallel operation characteristics of PEM fuel cell and microturbine power plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Uzunoglu, M.; Onar, O.; El-Sharkh, M. Y.; Sisworahardjo, N. S.; Rahman, A.; Alam, M. S.

    This paper reports on the dynamic behavior of a 250 kW proton exchange membrane fuel cell power plant (PEM FCPP) and a 250 kW microturbine (MT) when operating in parallel. A load sharing control scheme is used to distribute the load equally between the PEM FCPP and the MT. For stand alone operation of a PEM FCPP, a set of batteries or ultracapacitors are needed in order to satisfy the power mismatch during transient periods. Using MT in parallel with the PEM FCPP helps in eliminating the need for storage devices. Models for the PEM FCPP and the MT with power, voltage and speed controls are used to determine the dynamic response of the system to a step change in the load. Simulation results indicate viability of parallel operation of the PEM FCPP and the MT. These results are obtained using MATLAB ®, Simulink ®, and SimPowerSystems ®.

  2. Environmental assessment of the 40 kilowatt fuel cell system field test operation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Bollenbacher, G.

    1982-01-01

    This environmental assessment examines the potential environmental consequences, both adverse and beneficial, of the 40 kW fuel cell system system field test operation. The assessment is of necessity generic in nature since actual test sites were not selected. This assessment provides the basis for determining the need for an environmental impact statement. In addition, this assessment provides siting criteria to avoid or minimize negative environmental impacts and standards for determining candidate test sites, if any, for which site specific assessments may be required.

  3. Design and operation of interconnectors for solid oxide fuel cell stacks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Winkler, W.; Koeppen, J.

    Highly efficient combined cycles with solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) need an integrated heat exchanger in the stack to reach efficiencies of about 80%. The stack costs must be lower than 1000 DM/kW. A newly developed welded metallic (Haynes HA 230) interconnector with a free stretching planar SOFC and an integrated heat exchanger was tested in thermal cycling operation. The design allowed a cycling of the SOFC without mechanical damage of the electrolyte in several tests. However, more tests and a further design optimization will be necessary. These results could indicate that commercial high-temperature alloys can be used as interconnector material in order to fullfil the cost requirements.

  4. Environmental assessment of the 40 kilowatt fuel cell system field test operation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bollenbacher, G.

    1982-05-01

    This environmental assessment examines the potential environmental consequences, both adverse and beneficial, of the 40 kW fuel cell system system field test operation. The assessment is of necessity generic in nature since actual test sites were not selected. This assessment provides the basis for determining the need for an environmental impact statement. In addition, this assessment provides siting criteria to avoid or minimize negative environmental impacts and standards for determining candidate test sites, if any, for which site specific assessments may be required.

  5. Numerical simulation of proton exchange membrane fuel cells at high operating temperature

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peng, Jie; Lee, Seung Jae

    A three-dimensional, single-phase, non-isothermal numerical model for proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell at high operating temperature (T ≥ 393 K) was developed and implemented into a computational fluid dynamic (CFD) code. The model accounts for convective and diffusive transport and allows predicting the concentration of species. The heat generated from electrochemical reactions, entropic heat and ohmic heat arising from the electrolyte ionic resistance were considered. The heat transport model was coupled with the electrochemical and mass transport models. The product water was assumed to be vaporous and treated as ideal gas. Water transportation across the membrane was ignored because of its low water electro-osmosis drag force in the polymer polybenzimidazole (PBI) membrane. The results show that the thermal effects strongly affect the fuel cell performance. The current density increases with the increasing of operating temperature. In addition, numerical prediction reveals that the width and distribution of gas channel and current collector land area are key optimization parameters for the cell performance improvement.

  6. The use of experimental design to find the operating maximum power point of PEM fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Crăciunescu, Aurelian; Pătularu, Laurenţiu; Ciumbulea, Gloria; Olteanu, Valentin; Pitorac, Cristina; Drugan, Elena

    2015-03-10

    Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cells are difficult to model due to their complex nonlinear nature. In this paper, the development of a PEM Fuel Cells mathematical model based on the Design of Experiment methodology is described. The Design of Experiment provides a very efficient methodology to obtain a mathematical model for the studied multivariable system with only a few experiments. The obtained results can be used for optimization and control of the PEM Fuel Cells systems.

  7. AuPd/polyaniline as the anode in an ethylene glycol microfluidic fuel cell operated at room temperature.

    PubMed

    Arjona, N; Palacios, A; Moreno-Zuria, A; Guerra-Balcázar, M; Ledesma-García, J; Arriaga, L G

    2014-08-01

    AuPd/polyaniline was used for the first time, for ethylene glycol (EG) electrooxidation in a novel microfluidic fuel cell (MFC) operated at room temperature. The device exhibits high electrocatalytic performance and stability for the conversion of cheap and fully available EG as fuel. PMID:24923468

  8. Performance of solid oxide fuel cells operated with coal syngas provided directly from a gasification process

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hackett, Gregory A.; Gerdes, Kirk; Song, Xueyan; Chen, Yun; Shutthanandan, Vaithiyalingam; Engelhard, Mark; Zhu, Zihua; Thevuthasan, Suntharampillai; Gemmen, Randall

    2012-09-01

    Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are being developed for integrated gasification power plants that generate electricity from coal at 50+% efficiency. The interaction of trace metals in coal syngas with Ni-based SOFC anodes is being investigated through thermodynamic analyses and in laboratory experiments, but test data from direct coal syngas exposure are sparsely available. This effort evaluates the significance of performance losses associated with exposure to direct coal syngas. Specimen are operated in a unique mobile test skid that is deployed to the research gasifier at NCCC in Wilsonville, AL. The test skid interfaces with a gasifier slipstream to deliver hot syngas to a parallel array of twelve SOFCs. During the 500 h test period, all twelve cells are monitored for performance at four current densities. Degradation is attributed to syngas exposure and trace material attack on the anode structure that is accelerated at increasing current densities. Cells that are operated at 0 and 125 mA cm-2 degrade at 9.1 and 10.7% per 1000 h, respectively, while cells operated at 250 and 375 mA cm-2 degrade at 18.9 and 16.2% per 1000 h, respectively. Spectroscopic analysis of the anodes showed carbon, sulfur, and phosphorus deposits; no secondary Ni-metal phases were found.

  9. Ice formation in PEM fuel cells operated isothermally at sub-freezing temperatures

    SciTech Connect

    Mukundan, Rangachary; Luhan, Roger W; Davey, John R; Spendelow, Jacob S; Borup, Rodney L; Hussey, Daniel S; Jacobson, David L; Arif, Muhammad

    2009-01-01

    The effect of MEA and GDL structure and composition on the performance of single-PEM fuel cells operated isothermally at subfreezing temperatures is presented. The cell performance and durability are not only dependent on the MEA/GDL materials used but also on their interfaces. When a cell is operated isothermally at sub-freezing temperatures in constant current mode, the water formation due to the current density initially hydrates the membrane/ionomer and then forms ice in the catalyst layer/GDL. An increase in high frequency resistance was also observed in certain MEAs where there is a possibility of ice formation between the catalyst layer and GDL leading to a loss in contact area. The total water/ice holding capacity for any MEA was lower at lower temperatures and higher current densities. The durability of MEAs subjected to multiple isothermal starts was better for LANL prepared MEAs as compared to commercial MEAs, and cloth GDLs when compared to paper GDLs. The ice formation was monitored using high-resolution neutron radiography and was found to be concentrated near the cathode catalyst layer. However, there was significant ice formation in the GDLs especially at the higher temperature ({approx} -10 C) and lower current density (0.02 A/cm{sup 2}) operations. These results are consistent with the longer-term durability observations that show more severe degradation at the lower temperatures.

  10. An expert system to manage the operation of the Space Shuttle's fuel cell cryogenic reactant tanks

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Murphey, Amy Y.

    1990-01-01

    This paper describes a rule-based expert system to manage the operation of the Space Shuttle's cryogenic fuel system. Rules are based on standard fuel tank operating procedures described in the EECOM Console Handbook. The problem of configuring the operation of the Space Shuttle's fuel tanks is well-bounded and well defined. Moreover, the solution of this problem can be encoded in a knowledge-based system. Therefore, a rule-based expert system is the appropriate paradigm. Furthermore, the expert system could be used in coordination with power system simulation software to design operating procedures for specific missions.

  11. Catalytic and electrochemical behaviour of solid oxide fuel cell operated with simulated-biogas mixtures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dang-Long, T.; Quang-Tuyen, T.; Shiratori, Y.

    2016-06-01

    Being produced from organic matters of wastes (bio-wastes) through a fermentation process, biogas mainly composed of CH4 and CO2 and can be considered as a secondary energy carrier derived from solar energy. To generate electricity from biogas through the electrochemical process in fuel cells is a state-of-the-art technology possessing higher energy conversion efficiency without harmful emissions compared to combustion process in heat engines. Getting benefits from high operating temperature such as direct internal reforming ability and activation of electrochemical reactions to increase overall system efficiency, solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) system operated with biogas becomes a promising candidate for distributed power generator for rural applications leading to reductions of environmental issues caused by greenhouse effects and bio-wastes. CO2 reforming of CH4 and electrochemical oxidation of the produced syngas (H2-CO mixture) are two main reaction processes within porous anode material of SOFC. Here catalytic and electrochemical behavior of Ni-ScSZ (scandia stabilized-zirconia) anode in the feed of CH4-CO2 mixtures as simulated-biogas at 800 °C were evaluated. The results showed that CO2 had strong influences on both reaction processes. The increase in CO2 partial pressure resulted in the decrease in anode overvoltage, although open-circuit voltage was dropped. Besides that, the simulation result based on a power-law model for equimolar CH4-CO2 mixture revealed that coking hazard could be suppressed along the fuel flow channel in both open-circuit and closed-circuit conditions.

  12. Statistic analysis of operational influences on the cold start behaviour of PEM fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oszcipok, M.; Riemann, D.; Kronenwett, U.; Kreideweis, M.; Zedda, M.

    For portable fuel cell systems a multitude of applications have been presented over the past few years. Most of these applications were developed for indoor use, and not optimised for outdoor conditions. The key problem concerning this case is the cold start ability of the polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC). This topic was first investigated by the automotive industry, which has the same requirements for alternative traction systems as for conventional combustion engines. The technical challenge is the fact that produced water freezes to ice after shut-down of the PEMFC and during start-up when the temperature is below 0 °C. To investigate the basic cold start behaviour isothermal, potentiostatic single cell experiments were performed and the results are presented. The cold start behaviour is evaluated using the calculated cumulated charge transfer through the membrane which directly corresponds with the amount of produced water in the PEMFC. The charge transfer curves were mathematically fitted to obtain only three parameters describing the cold start-up with the cumulated charge transfer density and the results are analysed using the statistical software Cornerstone 4.0. The results of the statistic regression analyses are used to establish a statistic-based prediction model of the cold start behaviour which describes the behaviour of the current density during the experiment. The regression shows that the initial start current mainly depends on the membrane humidity and the operation voltage. After the membrane humidity has reached its maximum, the current density drops down to zero. The current decay also depends on the constant gas flows of the reactant gases. Ionic conductivity of the membrane and charge transfer resistance were investigated by a series of ac impedance spectra during potentiostatic operation of the single cell at freezing temperatures. Cyclic voltammetry and polarisation curves between cold start experiments show degradation

  13. Operating experience with a 250 kW el molten carbonate fuel cell (MCFC) power plant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bischoff, Manfred; Huppmann, Gerhard

    The MTU MCFC program is carried out by a European consortium comprising the German companies MTU Friedrichshafen GmbH, Ruhrgas AG and RWE Energie AG as well as the Danish company Energi E2 S/A. MTU acts as consortium leader. The company shares a license and technology exchange agreement with Fuel Cell Energy Inc., Danbury, CT, USA (formerly Energy Research Corp., ERC). The program was started in 1990 and covers a period of about 10 years. The highlights of this program to date are: Considerable improvements regarding component stability have been demonstrated on laboratory scale. Manufacturing technology has been developed to a point which enables the consortium to fabricate the porous components on a 250 cm 2 scale. Several large area stacks with 5000-7660 cm 2 cell area and a power range of 3-10 kW have been tested at the facilities in Munich (Germany) and Kyndby (Denmark). These stacks have been supplied by FCE. As far as the system design is concerned it was soon realized that conventional systems do not hold the promise for competitive power plants. A system analysis led to the conclusion that a new innovative design approach is required. As a result the "Hot Module" system was developed by the consortium. A Hot Module combines all the components of a MCFC system operating at the similar temperatures and pressures into a common thermally insulated vessel. In August 1997 the consortium started its first full size Hot Module MCFC test plant at the facilities of Ruhrgas AG in Dorsten, Germany. The stack was assembled in Munich using 292 cell packages purchased from FCE. The plant is based on the consortium's unique and proprietary "Hot Module" concept. It operates on pipeline natural gas and was grid connected on 16 August 1997. After a total of 1500 h of operation, the plant was intentionally shut down in a controlled manner in April 1998 for post-test analysis. The Hot Module system concept has demonstrated its functionality. The safety concept has been

  14. Operational Concept Evaluation of Solid Oxide Fuel Cells for Space Vehicle Applications

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Poast, Kenneth I.

    2011-01-01

    With the end of the Space Shuttle Program, NASA is evaluating many different technologies to support future missions. Green propellants, like liquid methane and liquid oxygen, have potential advantages for some applications. A Lander propelled with LOX/methane engines is one such application. When the total vehicle design and infrastructure are considered, the advantages of the integration of propulsion, heat rejection, life support and power generation become attractive for further evaluation. Scavenged residual propellants from the propulsion tanks could be used to generate needed electric power, heat and water with a Solid Oxide Fuel Cell(SOFC). In-Situ Resource Utilization(ISRU) technologies may also generate quantities of green propellants to refill these tanks and/or supply these fuel cells. Technology demonstration projects such as the Morpheus Lander are currently underway to evaluate the practicality of such designs and operational concepts. Tethered tests are currently in progress on this vertical test bed to evaluate the propulsion and avionics systems. Evaluation of the SOFC seeks to determine the feasibility of using these green propellants to supply power and identify the limits to the integration of this technology into a space vehicle prototype.

  15. Fuel cell-fuel cell hybrid system

    DOEpatents

    Geisbrecht, Rodney A.; Williams, Mark C.

    2003-09-23

    A device for converting chemical energy to electricity is provided, the device comprising a high temperature fuel cell with the ability for partially oxidizing and completely reforming fuel, and a low temperature fuel cell juxtaposed to said high temperature fuel cell so as to utilize remaining reformed fuel from the high temperature fuel cell. Also provided is a method for producing electricity comprising directing fuel to a first fuel cell, completely oxidizing a first portion of the fuel and partially oxidizing a second portion of the fuel, directing the second fuel portion to a second fuel cell, allowing the first fuel cell to utilize the first portion of the fuel to produce electricity; and allowing the second fuel cell to utilize the second portion of the fuel to produce electricity.

  16. Durability of Low Platinum Fuel Cells Operating at High Power Density

    SciTech Connect

    Polevaya, Olga; Blanchet, Scott; Ahluwalia, Rajesh; Borup, Rod; Mukundan, Rangachary

    2014-03-19

    Understanding and improving the durability of cost-competitive fuel cell stacks is imperative to successful deployment of the technology. Stacks will need to operate well beyond today’s state-of-the-art rated power density with very low platinum loading in order to achieve the cost targets set forth by DOE ($15/kW) and ultimately be competitive with incumbent technologies. An accelerated cost-reduction path presented by Nuvera focused on substantially increasing power density to address non-PGM material costs as well as platinum. The study developed a practical understanding of the degradation mechanisms impacting durability of fuel cells with low platinum loading (≤0.2mg/cm2) operating at high power density (≥1.0W/cm2) and worked out approaches for improving the durability of low-loaded, high-power stack designs. Of specific interest is the impact of combining low platinum loading with high power density operation, as this offers the best chance of achieving long-term cost targets. A design-of-experiments approach was utilized to reveal and quantify the sensitivity of durability-critical material properties to high current density at two levels of platinum loading (the more conventional 0.45 mgPt.cm–1 and the much lower 0.2 mgPt.cm–2) across several cell architectures. We studied the relevance of selected component accelerated stress tests (AST) to fuel cell operation in power producing mode. New stress tests (NST) were designed to investigate the sensitivity to the addition of electrical current on the ASTs, along with combined humidity and load cycles and, eventually, relate to the combined city/highway drive cycle. Changes in the cathode electrochemical surface area (ECSA) and average oxygen partial pressure on the catalyst layer with aging under AST and NST protocols were compared based on the number of completed cycles. Studies showed elevated sensitivity of Pt growth to the potential limits and the initial particle size distribution. The ECSA loss

  17. Study of the long-term operation of a vanadium/oxygen fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Noack, Jens; Cognard, Gwenn; Oral, Meryem; Küttinger, Michael; Roznyatovskaya, Nataliya; Pinkwart, Karsten; Tübke, Jens

    2016-09-01

    A vanadium/oxygen fuel cell (VOFC) with a geometrically active area of 51 cm2 and two membranes was discontinuously operated over a period of over 676 h with 47 successive tests at room temperature with a current density of 19.6 mA/cm2 in order to investigate signs of ageing. As well as measuring cell voltages, the test setup was also used to measure anode and redox potentials as well as cell and half-cell impedances. The performance data of the VOFC fluctuated widely over the course of the test period, due to different V2+ concentrations and instabilities of the starting solutions on the one hand and complex changes in cathode conditions on the other. The desired behaviour of the anode reactions was achieved primarily through improved methods for producing the V2+ solutions, and remained stable at the end of the experiments. The kinetics of the cathode reactions were temporarily increased by purging with 2 M H2SO4, however their performance decreased over time. The VOFC had symptoms of ageing by complex and overlaid changes in the cathode's triple phase boundary layer and in the special conditions between the two electrodes and membranes.

  18. Identifying the microbial communities and operational conditions for optimized wastewater treatment in microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Ishii, Shun'ichi; Suzuki, Shino; Norden-Krichmar, Trina M; Wu, Angela; Yamanaka, Yuko; Nealson, Kenneth H; Bretschger, Orianna

    2013-12-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) are devices that exploit microorganisms as "biocatalysts" to recover energy from organic matter in the form of electricity. MFCs have been explored as possible energy neutral wastewater treatment systems; however, fundamental knowledge is still required about how MFC-associated microbial communities are affected by different operational conditions and can be optimized for accelerated wastewater treatment rates. In this study, we explored how electricity-generating microbial biofilms were established at MFC anodes and responded to three different operational conditions during wastewater treatment: 1) MFC operation using a 750 Ω external resistor (0.3 mA current production); 2) set-potential (SP) operation with the anode electrode potentiostatically controlled to +100 mV vs SHE (4.0 mA current production); and 3) open circuit (OC) operation (zero current generation). For all reactors, primary clarifier effluent collected from a municipal wastewater plant was used as the sole carbon and microbial source. Batch operation demonstrated nearly complete organic matter consumption after a residence time of 8-12 days for the MFC condition, 4-6 days for the SP condition, and 15-20 days for the OC condition. These results indicate that higher current generation accelerates organic matter degradation during MFC wastewater treatment. The microbial community analysis was conducted for the three reactors using 16S rRNA gene sequencing. Although the inoculated wastewater was dominated by members of Epsilonproteobacteria, Gammaproteobacteria, and Bacteroidetes species, the electricity-generating biofilms in MFC and SP reactors were dominated by Deltaproteobacteria and Bacteroidetes. Within Deltaproteobacteria, phylotypes classified to family Desulfobulbaceae and Geobacteraceae increased significantly under the SP condition with higher current generation; however those phylotypes were not found in the OC reactor. These analyses suggest that species

  19. High performance catalyzed-reaction layer for medium temperature operating solid oxide fuel cells

    SciTech Connect

    Watanabe, M.; Uchida, H.; Shibata, M.; Mochizuki, N.; Amikura, K. . Lab. of Electrochemical Energy Conversion)

    1994-02-01

    New concepts for a high performance catalyzed-reaction layer for medium temperature operating solid oxide fuel cells were proposed. Mixed conducting oxide particles, samaria-doped ceria (SDC), were employed as the anode material utilizing highly dispersed noble metal catalysts on their surface. As the cathode material, Sr-doped LaMnO[sub 3] (LSM) particles catalyzed with microcrystalline Pt were employed. Performances of the anode or cathode were examined in the cell using yttria-stabilized zirconia electrolyte at a series of operating temperatures. It was found that the anodic polarization resistance and its activation energy were greatly decreased by loading only a small amount of the catalysts (such as Ru, Rh, and Pt) onto the SDC particles. The polarization loss at the anode showed a minimum value by using the SDC particles with a mean diameter of 1.5 to 2.0 [mu]m. A large depolarizing effect was also observed with a Pt-catalyzed LSM cathode, especially at high current densities.

  20. Specific features of operation of a membrane-electrode assembly of an air-hydrogen fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nechitailov, A. A.; Glebova, N. V.; Koshkina, D. V.; Tomasov, A. A.; Zelenina, N. K.; Terukova, E. E.

    2013-09-01

    Specific features of the operation of the membrane-electrode assembly with high catalytic activity that are a part of the simplified design of a low-temperature air-hydrogen fuel cell under conditions of forced and natural convection of air on the cathode are studied. The governing effect of water balance on the specific power of the fuel cell in the stationary mode (˜1 h) is shown, and the range of the operating conditions of the cell with self-control is determined. The power of the fuel cell at an efficiency of ˜50% and the surface density of platinum on a cathode of ≈0.2 mg/cm2 is 200-250 and 100 mW/cm2 in the forced and natural air-convection modes, respectively, which is comparable with the advanced results.

  1. In-situ diagnostic tools for hydrogen transfer leak characterization in PEM fuel cell stacks part II: Operational applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niroumand, Amir M.; Homayouni, Hooman; DeVaal, Jake; Golnaraghi, Farid; Kjeang, Erik

    2016-08-01

    This paper describes a diagnostic tool for in-situ characterization of the rate and distribution of hydrogen transfer leaks in Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) fuel cell stacks. The method is based on reducing the air flow rate from a high to low value at a fixed current, while maintaining an anode overpressure. At high air flow rates, the reduction in air flow results in lower oxygen concentration in the cathode and therefore reduction in cell voltages. Once the air flow rate in each cell reaches a low value at which the cell oxygen-starves, the voltage of the corresponding cell drops to zero. However, oxygen starvation results from two processes: 1) the electrochemical oxygen reduction reaction which produces current; and 2) the chemical reaction between oxygen and the crossed over hydrogen. In this work, a diagnostic technique has been developed that accounts for the effect of the electrochemical reaction on cell voltage to identify the hydrogen leak rate and number of leaky cells in a fuel cell stack. This technique is suitable for leak characterization during fuel cell operation, as it only requires stack air flow and voltage measurements, which are readily available in an operational fuel cell system.

  2. Vertically aligned carbon nanotube electrodes for high current density operating proton exchange membrane fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Murata, Shigeaki; Imanishi, Masahiro; Hasegawa, Shigeki; Namba, Ryoichi

    2014-05-01

    We successfully developed cathode electrodes for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) that enable operation at high current densities by incorporating vertically aligned carbon nanotubes (CNTs) as the catalyst support; additionally, we prepared 236 cm2 membrane electrodes assemblies (MEAs) for vehicular use. The electrode structure improved the mass transport of reactants, i.e. oxygen, proton, electron and water, in systems performing at a 2.6 A cm-2 current density and 0.6 V with extremely low platinum (Pt) loading at the cathode (0.1 mg cm-2). The improved mass transport caused the 70 mV dec-1 Tafel slope to continue up to 1.0 A cm-2. The mass transport was improved because the pores were continuous, the catalyst support materials did not agglomerate and the catalyst layer made good electrical contact with the microporous layer. Utilizing wavy coil-shaped CNTs was also crucial. These CNTs displayed anti-agglomerative characteristics during the wet manufacturing process and maintained a continuous pore structure framing the layered catalyst structure. Because the CNTs had elastic characteristics, they might fill the space between catalyst and microporous layers to prevent flooding. However, the compressed CNTs in the cells were no longer vertically aligned. Therefore, vertically aligning the nanotubes was important during the MEA manufacturing process but was irrelevant for cell performance.

  3. Organic fuel cells and fuel cell conducting sheets

    DOEpatents

    Masel, Richard I.; Ha, Su; Adams, Brian

    2007-10-16

    A passive direct organic fuel cell includes an organic fuel solution and is operative to produce at least 15 mW/cm.sup.2 when operating at room temperature. In additional aspects of the invention, fuel cells can include a gas remover configured to promote circulation of an organic fuel solution when gas passes through the solution, a modified carbon cloth, one or more sealants, and a replaceable fuel cartridge.

  4. Fuel cells: A handbook

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kinoshita, K.; McLarnon, F. R.; Cairns, E. J.

    1988-05-01

    The purpose of this handbook is to present information describing fuel cells that is helpful to scientists, engineers, and technical managers who are not experienced in this technology, as well as to provide an update on the current technical status of the various types of fuel cells. Following the introduction, contents of this handbook are: fuel cell performance variables; phosphoric acid fuel cell; molten carbonate fuel cell; solid oxide fuel cell; alternative fuel cell technologies; fuel cell systems; and concluding remarks.

  5. Handbook of fuel cell performance

    SciTech Connect

    Benjamin, T.G.; Camara, E.H.; Marianowski, L.G.

    1980-05-01

    The intent of this document is to provide a description of fuel cells, their performances and operating conditions, and the relationship between fuel processors and fuel cells. This information will enable fuel cell engineers to know which fuel processing schemes are most compatible with which fuel cells and to predict the performance of a fuel cell integrated with any fuel processor. The data and estimates presented are for the phosphoric acid and molten carbonate fuel cells because they are closer to commercialization than other types of fuel cells. Performance of the cells is shown as a function of operating temperature, pressure, fuel conversion (utilization), and oxidant utilization. The effect of oxidant composition (for example, air versus O/sub 2/) as well as fuel composition is examined because fuels provided by some of the more advanced fuel processing schemes such as coal conversion will contain varying amounts of H/sub 2/, CO, CO/sub 2/, CH/sub 4/, H/sub 2/O, and sulfur and nitrogen compounds. A brief description of fuel cells and their application to industrial, commercial, and residential power generation is given. The electrochemical aspects of fuel cells are reviewed. The phosphoric acid fuel cell is discussed, including how it is affected by operating conditions; and the molten carbonate fuel cell is discussed. The equations developed will help systems engineers to evaluate the application of the phosphoric acid and molten carbonate fuel cells to commercial, utility, and industrial power generation and waste heat utilization. A detailed discussion of fuel cell efficiency, and examples of fuel cell systems are given.

  6. Influence of gadolinium doping on the structure and defects of ceria under fuel cell operating temperature

    SciTech Connect

    Acharya, S. A. Gaikwad, V. M.; Sathe, V.; Kulkarni, S. K.

    2014-03-17

    Correlation between atomic positional shift, oxygen vacancy defects, and oxide ion conductivity in doped ceria system has been established in the gadolinium doped ceria system from X-ray diffraction (XRD) and Raman spectroscopy study at operating temperature (300–600 °C) of Intermediate Temperature Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (IT-SOFC). High temperature XRD data are used to quantify atomic positional shift from mean position with temperature. The Raman spectroscopy study shows additional vibration modes related to ordering of defect spaces (Gd{sub Ce}{sup ′}−V{sub o}{sup ••}){sup *} and (2Gd{sub Ce}{sup ′}−V{sub o}{sup ••}){sup x} generated due to association of oxygen vacancies and reduced cerium or dopant cations site (Gd{sup 3+}), which disappear at 450 °C; indicating oxygen vacancies dissociation from the defect complex. The experimental evidences of cation-anion positional shifting and oxygen vacancies dissociation from defect complex in the IT-SOFC operating temperature are discussed to correlate with activation energy for ionic conductivity.

  7. CAM operated fuel valve

    SciTech Connect

    Kelly, S.T.; Katchka, J.R.

    1991-09-03

    This patent describes improvement in a fuel control valve construction comprising a housing means having an inlet means adapted to be interconnected to a fuel source and a main outlet means adapted to be interconnected to a main burner means, the housing means having a main valve seat for interconnecting the inlet means with the main outlet means, the housing means having a movable main valve member for opening and closing the main valve seat, the housing means having a movable lever operatively associated with the main valve member and having a manually operable actuator means for controlling the operating positions of the lever, the lever having an intermediate cam follower portion and opposed ends disposed on each side of the cam follower portion with one end of the opposed ends being pivotally mounted to the housing means and with the other end of the opposed ends for operating the main valve member, the housing means having biasing means operatively interconnected to the lever to tend to pivot the lever in one direction that opens the main valve member away from its the main valve seat. The improvement comprises; the housing means has a thermostatically controlled means that is operatively associated with the lever and is adapted to engage and hold the lever in a position wherein the main valve member is in a closed condition against its the main valve seat when the thermostatically controlled means is in one operating condition thereof and the actuator means is in the on condition thereof.

  8. Fuel dissipater for pressurized fuel cell generators

    DOEpatents

    Basel, Richard A.; King, John E.

    2003-11-04

    An apparatus and method are disclosed for eliminating the chemical energy of fuel remaining in a pressurized fuel cell generator (10) when the electrical power output of the fuel cell generator is terminated during transient operation, such as a shutdown; where, two electrically resistive elements (two of 28, 53, 54, 55) at least one of which is connected in parallel, in association with contactors (26, 57, 58, 59), a multi-point settable sensor relay (23) and a circuit breaker (24), are automatically connected across the fuel cell generator terminals (21, 22) at two or more contact points, in order to draw current, thereby depleting the fuel inventory in the generator.

  9. Sinusoidal potential cycling operation of a direct ethanol fuel cell to improving carbon dioxide yields

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Majidi, Pasha; Pickup, Peter G.

    2014-12-01

    A direct ethanol fuel cell has been operated under sinusoidal (AC) potential cycling conditions in order to increase the yield of carbon dioxide and thereby increase cell efficiency relative to operation at a fixed potential. At 80 °C, faradaic yields of CO2 as high as 25% have been achieved with a PtRu anode catalyst, while the maximum CO2 production at constant potential was 13%. The increased yields under cycling conditions have been attributed to periodic oxidative stripping of adsorbed CO. These results will be important in the optimization of operating conditions for direct ethanol fuel cells, where the benefits of potential cycling are projected to increase as catalysts that produce CO2 more efficiently are implemented.

  10. Water outlet control mechanism for fuel cell system operation in variable gravity environments

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Vasquez, Arturo (Inventor); McCurdy, Kerri L. (Inventor); Bradley, Karla F. (Inventor)

    2007-01-01

    A self-regulated water separator provides centrifugal separation of fuel cell product water from oxidant gas. The system uses the flow energy of the fuel cell's two-phase water and oxidant flow stream and a regulated ejector or other reactant circulation pump providing the two-phase fluid flow. The system further uses a means of controlling the water outlet flow rate away from the water separator that uses both the ejector's or reactant pump's supply pressure and a compressibility sensor to provide overall control of separated water flow either back to the separator or away from the separator.

  11. Method to improve reliability of a fuel cell system using low performance cell detection at low power operation

    DOEpatents

    Choi, Tayoung; Ganapathy, Sriram; Jung, Jaehak; Savage, David R.; Lakshmanan, Balasubramanian; Vecasey, Pamela M.

    2013-04-16

    A system and method for detecting a low performing cell in a fuel cell stack using measured cell voltages. The method includes determining that the fuel cell stack is running, the stack coolant temperature is above a certain temperature and the stack current density is within a relatively low power range. The method further includes calculating the average cell voltage, and determining whether the difference between the average cell voltage and the minimum cell voltage is greater than a predetermined threshold. If the difference between the average cell voltage and the minimum cell voltage is greater than the predetermined threshold and the minimum cell voltage is less than another predetermined threshold, then the method increments a low performing cell timer. A ratio of the low performing cell timer and a system run timer is calculated to identify a low performing cell.

  12. Characterization of wastewater treatment by two microbial fuel cells in continuous flow operation.

    PubMed

    Kubota, Keiichi; Watanabe, Tomohide; Yamaguchi, Takashi; Syutsubo, Kazuaki

    2016-01-01

    A two serially connected single-chamber microbial fuel cell (MFC) was applied to the treatment of diluted molasses wastewater in a continuous operation mode. In addition, the effect of series and parallel connection between the anodes and the cathode on power generation was investigated experimentally. The two serially connected MFC process achieved 79.8% of chemical oxygen demand removal and 11.6% of Coulombic efficiency when the hydraulic retention time of the whole process was 26 h. The power densities were 0.54, 0.34 and 0.40 W m(-3) when electrodes were in individual connection, serial connection and parallel connection modes, respectively. A high open circuit voltage was obtained in the serial connection. Power density decreased at low organic loading rates (OLR) due to the shortage of organic matter. Power generation efficiency tended to decrease as a result of enhancement of methane fermentation at high OLRs. Therefore, high power density and efficiency can be achieved by using a suitable OLR range. PMID:26109271

  13. Dual membrane hollow fiber fuel cell and method of operating same

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Ingham, J. D.; Lawson, D. D. (Inventor)

    1978-01-01

    A gaseous fuel cell is described which includes a pair of electrodes formed by open-ended, ion-exchange hollow fibers, each having a layer of metal catalyst deposited on the inner surface and large surface area current collectors such as braided metal mesh in contact with the metal catalyst layer. A fuel cell results when the electrodes are immersed in electrolytes and electrically connected. As hydrogen and oxygen flow through the bore of the fibers, oxidation and reduction reactions develop an electrical potential. Since the hollow fiber configuration provides large electrode area per unit volume and intimate contact between fuel and oxidizer at the interface, and due to the low internal resistance of the electrolyte, high power densities can be obtained.

  14. The electrolyte challenge for a direct methanol-air polymer electrolyte fuel cell operating at temperatures up to 200 C

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Savinell, Robert; Yeager, Ernest; Tryk, Donald; Landau, Uziel; Wainright, Jesse; Gervasio, Dominic; Cahan, Boris; Litt, Morton; Rogers, Charles; Scherson, Daniel

    1993-01-01

    Novel polymer electrolytes are being evaluated for use in a direct methanol-air fuel cell operating at temperatures in excess of 100 C. The evaluation includes tests of thermal stability, ionic conductivity, and vapor transport characteristics. The preliminary results obtained to date indicate that a high temperature polymer electrolyte fuel cell is feasible. For example, Nafion 117 when equilibrated with phosphoric acid has a conductivity of at least 0.4 Omega(exp -1)cm(exp -1) at temperatures up to 200 C in the presence of 400 torr of water vapor and methanol vapor cross over equivalent to 1 mA/cm(exp 2) under a one atmosphere methanol pressure differential at 135 C. Novel polymers are also showing similar encouraging results. The flexibility to modify and optimize the properties by custom synthesis of these novel polymers presents an exciting opportunity to develop an efficient and compact methanol fuel cell.

  15. PEM regenerative fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Swette, Larry L.; Laconti, Anthony B.; Mccatty, Stephen A.

    1993-01-01

    This paper will update the progress in developing electrocatalyst systems and electrode structures primarily for the positive electrode of single-unit solid polymer proton exchange membrane (PEM) regenerative fuel cells. The work was done with DuPont Nafion 117 in complete fuel cells (40 sq cm electrodes). The cells were operated alternately in fuel cell mode and electrolysis mode at 80 C. In fuel cell mode, humidified hydrogen and oxygen were supplied at 207 kPa (30 psi); in electrolysis mode, water was pumped over the positive electrode and the gases were evolved at ambient pressure. Cycling data will be presented for Pt-Ir catalysts and limited bifunctional data will be presented for Pt, Ir, Ru, Rh, and Na(x)Pt3O4 catalysts as well as for electrode structure variations.

  16. PEM regenerative fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Swette, Larry L.; Laconti, Anthony B.; McCatty, Stephen A.

    1993-11-01

    This paper will update the progress in developing electrocatalyst systems and electrode structures primarily for the positive electrode of single-unit solid polymer proton exchange membrane (PEM) regenerative fuel cells. The work was done with DuPont Nafion 117 in complete fuel cells (40 sq cm electrodes). The cells were operated alternately in fuel cell mode and electrolysis mode at 80 C. In fuel cell mode, humidified hydrogen and oxygen were supplied at 207 kPa (30 psi); in electrolysis mode, water was pumped over the positive electrode and the gases were evolved at ambient pressure. Cycling data will be presented for Pt-Ir catalysts and limited bifunctional data will be presented for Pt, Ir, Ru, Rh, and Na(x)Pt3O4 catalysts as well as for electrode structure variations.

  17. Composition changes in liquid oxygen as a result of evaporation and relation to fuel cell operation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Easter, R. W.

    1973-01-01

    An expression is presented which may be used to estimate changes in composition as a consequence of evaporation during the storage of liquid oxygen. The sensitivity of fuel-cell systems to such changes is discussed, and sample calculations are presented.

  18. Zirconia fuel cells and electrolyzers

    SciTech Connect

    Isaacs, H.S.

    1980-01-01

    A review of the historical development, operation, and problems of solid oxide electrolyte fuel cells and electrolyzers is given. The thermodynamic principles of operation are reviewed, and the overvoltage losses during operation of fuel cells and steam electrolyzers are discussed including physical factors and electrochemical factors. (WHK)

  19. Charge, mass and heat transfer interactions in solid oxide fuel cells operated with different fuel gases-A sensitivity analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nagel, Florian P.; Schildhauer, Tilman J.; Biollaz, Serge M. A.; Stucki, Samuel

    The interaction between charge, heat and mass transfer occurring in SOFCs is investigated applying a finite-volume-based SOFC model. The strong interactions are the consequence of the high degree of integration of different processes (chemical/electrochemical reactions, diffusion, heat and mass transfer) within SOFCs. The understanding of these interactions is a key for the future development and application of SOFCs. The investigation was conducted by means of a sensitivity analysis for two different fuel gases, where one gas features a considerable amount of methane inducing steam reforming reactions as additional disturbance factor in the energy and mass balance system of SOFCs. In order to isolate the impact of the varied model parameters and the according changes in the interactions of charge, mass and heat transfer from side effects, the sensitivity analysis was conducted at constant fuel utilization. It was found that the impact of different fuel gases on the operational conditions of SOFCs dominates geometrical and material-induced phenomena. The power output was most affected by the fuel, followed by the values for the activation polarization activation energy that reflects the employed electrode catalysts activity.

  20. Fuel Processors for PEM Fuel Cells

    SciTech Connect

    Levi T. Thompson

    2008-08-08

    Fuel cells are being developed to power cleaner, more fuel efficient automobiles. The fuel cell technology favored by many automobile manufacturers is PEM fuel cells operating with H2 from liquid fuels like gasoline and diesel. A key challenge to the commercialization of PEM fuel cell based powertrains is the lack of sufficiently small and inexpensive fuel processors. Improving the performance and cost of the fuel processor will require the development of better performing catalysts, new reactor designs and better integration of the various fuel processing components. These components and systems could also find use in natural gas fuel processing for stationary, distributed generation applications. Prototype fuel processors were produced, and evaluated against the Department of Energy technical targets. Significant advances were made by integrating low-cost microreactor systems, high activity catalysts, π-complexation adsorbents, and high efficiency microcombustor/microvaporizers developed at the University of Michigan. The microreactor system allowed (1) more efficient thermal coupling of the fuel processor operations thereby minimizing heat exchanger requirements, (2) improved catalyst performance due to optimal reactor temperature profiles and increased heat and mass transport rates, and (3) better cold-start and transient responses.

  1. Modelling for part-load operation of solid oxide fuel cell-gas turbine hybrid power plant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chan, S. H.; Ho, H. K.; Tian, Y.

    This paper presents the work on part-load operation of a power generation system composed of a solid oxide fuel cell and a gas turbine (SOFC-GT) which operate on natural gas. The system consists of an internal reforming SOFC (IRSOFC) stack, an external combustor, two turbines, two compressors, two recuperators and one heat-recovery steam generator (HRSG). Based on experience in different levels of modelling of the fuel cell, fuel cell stack and integrated system and the inherent characteristics of a IRSOFC-GT hybrid power plant, a practical approach for simplifying part-load operation of the system is proposed. Simulation results show that an IRSOFC-GT hybrid system could achieve a net electrical efficiency and system efficiency (including waste heat recovery for steam generation) of greater than 60 and 80%, respectively, under full-load operation. Due to the complexity of the interaction of the components and safety requirements, the part-load performance of a IRSOFC-GT hybrid power plant is poorer than that under full-load operation.

  2. Performance study of a solid oxide fuel cell and gas turbine hybrid system designed for methane operating with non-designed fuels

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Yang; Weng, Yiwu

    This paper presents an analysis of the fuel flexibility of a methane-based solid oxide fuel cell-gas turbine (SOFC-GT) hybrid system. The simulation models of the system are mathematically defined. Special attention is paid to the development of an SOFC thermodynamic model that allows for the calculation of radial temperature gradients. Based on the simulation model, the new design point of system for new fuels is defined first; the steady-state performance of the system fed by different fuels is then discussed. When the hybrid system operates with hydrogen, the net power output at the new design point will decrease to 70% of the methane, while the design net efficiency will decrease to 55%. Similar to hydrogen, the net output power of the ethanol-fueled system will decrease to 88% of the methane value due to the lower cooling effect of steam reforming. However, the net efficiency can remain at 61% at high level due to increased heat recuperation from exhaust gas. To increase the power output of the hybrid system operating with non-design fuels without changing the system configuration, three different measures are introduced and investigated in this paper. The introduced measures can increase the system net power output operating with hydrogen to 94% of the original value at the cost of a lower efficiency of 45%.

  3. Coke-free direct formic acid solid oxide fuel cells operating at intermediate temperatures

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Yubo; Su, Chao; Zheng, Tao; Shao, Zongping

    2012-12-01

    Formic acid is investigated as a fuel for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs) for the first time. Thermodynamic calculations demonstrate that carbon deposition is avoidable above 600 °C. The carbon deposition properties are also investigated experimentally by first treating a nickel plus yttria-stabilized zirconia (Ni-YSZ) anode material in particle form under a formic acid-containing atmosphere for a limited time at 500-800 °C and then analyzing the particles by O2-TPO. This analysis confirms that carbon deposition on Ni-YSZ is weak above 600 °C. We further treat half-cells composed of YSZ electrolyte and Ni-YSZ anode under formic acid-containing atmosphere at 600, 700 and 800 °C; the anodes maintain their original geometric shape and microstructure and show no obvious weight gain. It suggests that formic acid can be directly fed into SOFCs constructed with conventional nickel-based cermet anodes. I-V tests show that the cell delivers a promising peak power density of 571 mW cm-2 at 800 °C. In addition, the cells also show good performance stability. The results indicate that formic acid is highly promising as a direct fuel for SOFCs without the need for cell material modifications.

  4. Performance evaluation of a liquid tin anode solid oxide fuel cell operating under hydrogen, argon and coal

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Khurana, Sanchit; LaBarbera, Mark; Fedkin, Mark V.; Lvov, Serguei N.; Abernathy, Harry; Gerdes, Kirk

    2015-01-01

    A liquid tin anode solid oxide fuel cell is constructed and investigated under different operating conditions. Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS) is used to reflect the effect of fuel feed as the EIS spectra changes significantly on switching the fuel from argon to hydrogen. A cathode symmetric cell is used to separate the impedance from the two electrodes, and the results indicate that a major contribution to the charge-transfer and mass-transfer impedance arises from the anode. The OCP of 0.841 V for the cell operating under argon as a metal-air battery indicates the formation of a SnO2 layer at the electrolyte/anode interface. The increase in the OCP to 1.1 V for the hydrogen fueled cell shows that H2 reduces the SnO2 film effectively. The effective diffusion coefficients are calculated using the Warburg element in the equivalent circuit model for the experimental EIS data, and the values of 1.9 10-3 cm2 s-1 at 700 °C, 2.3 10-3 cm2 s-1 at 800 °C and 3.5 10-3 cm2 s-1 at 900 °C indicate the system was influenced by diffusion of hydrogen in the system. Further, the performance degradation over time is attributed to the irreversible conversion of Sn to SnO2 resulting from galvanic polarization.

  5. Fuel Cell Handbook, Fifth Edition

    SciTech Connect

    Energy and Environmental Solutions

    2000-10-31

    Progress continues in fuel cell technology since the previous edition of the Fuel Cell Handbook was published in November 1998. Uppermost, polymer electrolyte fuel cells, molten carbonate fuel cells, and solid oxide fuel cells have been demonstrated at commercial size in power plants. The previously demonstrated phosphoric acid fuel cells have entered the marketplace with more than 220 power plants delivered. Highlighting this commercial entry, the phosphoric acid power plant fleet has demonstrated 95+% availability and several units have passed 40,000 hours of operation. One unit has operated over 49,000 hours. Early expectations of very low emissions and relatively high efficiencies have been met in power plants with each type of fuel cell. Fuel flexibility has been demonstrated using natural gas, propane, landfill gas, anaerobic digester gas, military logistic fuels, and coal gas, greatly expanding market opportunities. Transportation markets worldwide have shown remarkable interest in fuel cells; nearly every major vehicle manufacturer in the U.S., Europe, and the Far East is supporting development. This Handbook provides a foundation in fuel cells for persons wanting a better understanding of the technology, its benefits, and the systems issues that influence its application. Trends in technology are discussed, including next-generation concepts that promise ultrahigh efficiency and low cost, while providing exceptionally clean power plant systems. Section 1 summarizes fuel cell progress since the last edition and includes existing power plant nameplate data. Section 2 addresses the thermodynamics of fuel cells to provide an understanding of fuel cell operation at two levels (basic and advanced). Sections 3 through 8 describe the six major fuel cell types and their performance based on cell operating conditions. Alkaline and intermediate solid state fuel cells were added to this edition of the Handbook. New information indicates that manufacturers have stayed

  6. Startup, testing, and operation of the Santa Clara 2MW direct carbonate fuel cell demonstration plant

    SciTech Connect

    Skok, A.J.; Leo, A.J.; O`Shea, T.P.

    1996-12-31

    The Santa Clara Demonstration Project (SCDP) is a collaboration between several utility organizations, Fuel Cell Engineering Corporation (FCE), and the U.S. Dept. Of Energy aimed at the demonstration of Energy Research Corporation`s (ERC) direct carbonate fuel cell (DFC) technology. ERC has been pursuing the development of the DFC for commercialization near the end of this decade, and this project is an integral part of the ERC commercialization effort. The objective of the Santa Clara Demonstration Project is to provide the first full, commercial scale demonstration of this technology. The approach ERC has taken in the commercialization of the DFC is described in detail elsewhere. An aggressive core technology development program is in place which is focused by ongoing interaction with customers and vendors to optimize the design of the commercial power plant. ERC has selected a 2.85 MW power plant unit for initial market entry. Two ERC subsidiaries are supporting the commercialization effort: the Fuel Cell Manufacturing Corporation (FCMC) and the Fuel Cell Engineering Corporation (FCE). FCMC manufactures carbonate stacks and multi-stack modules, currently from its production facility in Torrington, CT. FCE is responsible for power plant design, integration of all subsystems, sales/marketing, and client services. FCE is serving as the prime contractor for the design, construction, and testing of the SCDP Plant. FCMC has manufactured the multi-stack submodules used in the DC power section of the plant. Fluor Daniel Inc. (FDI) served as the architect-engineer subcontractor for the design and construction of the plant and provided support to the design of the multi-stack submodules. FDI is also assisting the ERC companies in commercial power plant design.

  7. Alkaline fuel cells applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kordesch, Karl; Hacker, Viktor; Gsellmann, Josef; Cifrain, Martin; Faleschini, Gottfried; Enzinger, Peter; Fankhauser, Robert; Ortner, Markus; Muhr, Michael; Aronson, Robert R.

    On the world-wide automobile market technical developments are increasingly determined by the dramatic restriction on emissions as well as the regimentation of fuel consumption by legislation. Therefore there is an increasing chance of a completely new technology breakthrough if it offers new opportunities, meeting the requirements of resource preservation and emission restrictions. Fuel cell technology offers the possibility to excel in today's motive power techniques in terms of environmental compatibility, consumer's profit, costs of maintenance and efficiency. The key question is economy. This will be decided by the costs of fuel cell systems if they are to be used as power generators for future electric vehicles. The alkaline hydrogen-air fuel cell system with circulating KOH electrolyte and low-cost catalysed carbon electrodes could be a promising alternative. Based on the experiences of Kordesch [K. Kordesch, Brennstoffbatterien, Springer, Wien, 1984, ISBN 3-387-81819-7; K. Kordesch, City car with H 2-air fuel cell and lead-battery, SAE Paper No. 719015, 6th IECEC, 1971], who operated a city car hybrid vehicle on public roads for 3 years in the early 1970s, improved air electrodes plus new variations of the bipolar stack assembly developed in Graz are investigated. Primary fuel choice will be a major issue until such time as cost-effective, on-board hydrogen storage is developed. Ammonia is an interesting option. The whole system, ammonia dissociator plus alkaline fuel cell (AFC), is characterised by a simple design and high efficiency.

  8. Fuel Cell Handbook, Fourth Edition

    SciTech Connect

    Stauffer, D.B; Hirschenhofer, J.H.; Klett, M.G.; Engleman, R.R.

    1998-11-01

    Robust progress has been made in fuel cell technology since the previous edition of the Fuel Cell Handbook was published in January 1994. This Handbook provides a foundation in fuel cells for persons wanting a better understanding of the technology, its benefits, and the systems issues that influence its application. Trends in technology are discussed, including next-generation concepts that promise ultra high efficiency and low cost, while providing exceptionally clean power plant systems. Section 1 summarizes fuel cell progress since the last edition and includes existing power plant nameplate data. Section 2 addresses the thermodynamics of fuel cells to provide an understanding of fuel cell operation at two levels (basic and advanced). Sections 3 through 6 describe the four major fuel cell types and their performance based on cell operating conditions. The section on polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells has been added to reflect their emergence as a significant fuel cell technology. Phosphoric acid, molten carbonate, and solid oxide fuel cell technology description sections have been updated from the previous edition. New information indicates that manufacturers have stayed with proven cell designs, focusing instead on advancing the system surrounding the fuel cell to lower life cycle costs. Section 7, Fuel Cell Systems, has been significantly revised to characterize near-term and next-generation fuel cell power plant systems at a conceptual level of detail. Section 8 provides examples of practical fuel cell system calculations. A list of fuel cell URLs is included in the Appendix. A new index assists the reader in locating specific information quickly.

  9. A microbial fuel cell operating at low pH using an acidophile, Acidiphilium cryptum.

    SciTech Connect

    Borole, Abhijeet P; Cesar, Scott A; O'Neill, Hugh Michael; Tsouris, Costas

    2008-01-01

    A microbial fuel cell using an acidophilic microorganism, Acidiphilium cryptum, as the anode biocatalyst was investigated. The mode of electron transfer by this organism to the electrode was studied. Electricity production in the presence of a mediator was demonstrated using its natural electron acceptor, iron, as well as phenosafranin as the electron mediating agent. Production of Fe(II), as a result of iron reduction, at a pH of 4.0 or below was found to support electricity production. Accumulation of the oxidized iron, Fe(III) as a result of electron donation to the electrode, however, restricted higher current output. Addition of nitrilotriacetic acid helped resolve the problem by redissolution of deposited Fe(III). Further, use of phenosafranin as a secondary mediator resulted in improvement in power output. At a cell loading equivalent to OD600 of 1.0, a power output of 12.7 mW/m2 was obtained in a two-chamber air-sparged fuel cell. Potential for direct electron transfer was also investigated but not detected under the conditions studied.

  10. More Than 410,000 Hours of Real-World Fuel Cell System Operation Have Been Analyzed by NREL's Technology Validation Team (Fact Sheet)

    SciTech Connect

    Kurtz, J.; Wipke, K.; Sprik, S.; Ramsden, T.

    2011-02-01

    This fact sheet discusses how researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are working to validate hydrogen and fuel cell systems in real-world settings. NREL strives to provide an independent third-party technology assessment that focuses on fuel cell system and hydrogen infrastructure performance, operation, maintenance, and safety.

  11. CLIMATE CHANGE FUEL CELL PROGRAM

    SciTech Connect

    Steven A. Gabrielle

    2004-12-03

    This report discusses the first year of operation of a fuel cell power plant located at the Sheraton Edison Hotel, Edison, New Jersey. PPL EnergyPlus, LLC installed the plant under a contract with the Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. A DFC{reg_sign}300 fuel cell, manufactured by FuelCell Energy, Inc. of Danbury, CT was selected for the project. The fuel cell successfully operated from June 2003 to May 2004. This report discusses the performance of the plant during this period.

  12. Comprehensive characterization and understanding of micro-fuel cells operating at high methanol concentrations

    PubMed Central

    Gago, Aldo S; Esquivel, Juan-Pablo; Sabaté, Neus; Santander, Joaquín

    2015-01-01

    Summary We report on the analysis of the performance of each electrode of an air-breathing passive micro-direct methanol fuel cell (µDMFC) during polarization, stabilization and discharge, with CH3OH (2–20 M). A reference electrode with a microcapillary was used for separately measuring the anode the cathode potential. Information about the open circuit potential (OCP), the voltage and the mass transport related phenomena are available. Using 2 M CH3OH, the anode showed mass transport problems. With 4 and 6 M CH3OH both electrodes experience this situation, whereas with 10 and 20 M CH3OH the issue is attributed to the cathode. The stabilization and fuel consumption time depends mainly on the cathode performance, which is very sensitive to fuel crossover. The exposure to 20 M CH3OH produced a loss in performance of more than 75% of the highest power density (16.3 mW·cm−2). PMID:26665070

  13. In situ PEM fuel cell water measurements

    SciTech Connect

    Borup, Rodney L; Mukundan, Rangachary; Davey, John R; Spendalow, Jacob S

    2008-01-01

    Efficient PEM fuel cell performance requires effective water management. The materials used, their durability, and the operating conditions under which fuel cells run, make efficient water management within a practical fuel cell system a primary challenge in developing commercially viable systems. We present experimental measurements of water content within operating fuel cells. in response to operational conditions, including transients and freezing conditions. To help understand the effect of components and operations, we examine water transport in operating fuel cells, measure the fuel cell water in situ and model the water transport within the fuel cell. High Frequency Resistance (HFR), AC Impedance and Neutron imaging (using NIST's facilities) were used to measure water content in operating fuel cells with various conditions, including current density, relative humidity, inlet flows, flow orientation and variable GDL properties. Ice formation in freezing cells was also monitored both during operation and shut-down conditions.

  14. Operation of the 25 kW NASA Lewis Research Center solar regenerative fuel cell testbed facility

    SciTech Connect

    Voecks, G.E.; Rohatgi, N.K.; Jan, D.L.; Ferraro, N.W.; Moore, S.H.; Warshay, M.; Prokopius, P.R.; Edwards, H.S.; Smith, G.D.

    1997-12-31

    Assembly of the NASA Lewis Research Center (LeRC) Solar Regenerative Fuel Cell (RFC) Testbed Facility has been completed and system testing has proceeded. This facility includes the integration of two 25 kW photovoltaic solar cell arrays, a 25 kW proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolysis unit, four 5 kW PEM fuel cells, high pressure hydrogen and oxygen storage vessels, high purity water storage containers, and computer monitoring, control and data acquisition. The fuel cell and electrolyzer subsystems` installation was carried out by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The photovoltaic arrays and electrical interconnect to the electrolyzer were provided by the US Navy/China Lake Naval Air Warfare Center. JPL is responsible for conducting the testing and operations at the LeRC facility. There are multiple objectives for this program. The near term objectives are: (1) design, assemble, and test the solar RFC power plant system to serve as a pre-prototype operational testbed facility; (2) evaluate performance criteria of the total system, subsystems, and components against various operational duty cycles; and (3) develop automation and controls commensurate with advanced system operating requirements. The long term objectives are: (1) develop a highly reliable, long life, highly efficient solar RFC power system for future manned space missions; and (2) demonstrate the dual use aspects of RFCs applicable to commercial and military applications. The system description and initiation of system testing constitute Phase 1 of multiple activities planned to take place in the next few years. System modeling is being performed in parallel with the experimental testing and will be used to determine the most efficient system design, from the standpoint of weight, volume and cost of electrical power.

  15. ARPA advanced fuel cell development

    SciTech Connect

    Dubois, L.H.

    1995-08-01

    Fuel cell technology is currently being developed at the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA) for several Department of Defense applications where its inherent advantages such as environmental compatibility, high efficiency, and low noise and vibration are overwhelmingly important. These applications range from man-portable power systems of only a few watts output (e.g., for microclimate cooling and as direct battery replacements) to multimegawatt fixed base systems. The ultimate goal of the ARPA program is to develop an efficient, low-temperature fuel cell power system that operates directly on a military logistics fuel (e.g., DF-2 or JP-8). The absence of a fuel reformer will reduce the size, weight, cost, and complexity of such a unit as well as increase its reliability. In order to reach this goal, ARPA is taking a two-fold, intermediate time-frame approach to: (1) develop a viable, low-temperature proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell that operates directly on a simple hydrocarbon fuel (e.g., methanol or trimethoxymethane) and (2) demonstrate a thermally integrated fuel processor/fuel cell power system operating on a military logistics fuel. This latter program involves solid oxide (SOFC), molten carbonate (MCFC), and phosphoric acid (PAFC) fuel cell technologies and concentrates on the development of efficient fuel processors, impurity scrubbers, and systems integration. A complementary program to develop high performance, light weight H{sub 2}/air PEM and SOFC fuel cell stacks is also underway. Several recent successes of these programs will be highlighted.

  16. Fuel cell technology program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1972-01-01

    A program to advance the technology for a cost-effective hydrogen/oxygen fuel cell system for future manned spacecraft is discussed. The evaluation of base line design concepts and the development of product improvements in the areas of life, power, specific weight and volume, versatility of operation, field maintenance and thermal control were conducted from the material and component level through the fabrication and test of an engineering model of the fuel cell system. The program was to be accomplished in a 13 month period.

  17. TESTING AND PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS OF NASA 5 CM BY 5 CM BI-SUPPORTED SOLID OXIDE ELECTROLYSIS CELLS OPERATED IN BOTH FUEL CELL AND STEAM ELECTROLYSIS MODES

    SciTech Connect

    R. C. O'Brien; J. E. O'Brien; C. M. Stoots; X. Zhang; S. C. Farmer; T. L. Cable; J. A. Setlock

    2011-11-01

    A series of 5 cm by 5 cm bi-supported Solid Oxide Electrolysis Cells (SOEC) were produced by NASA for the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and tested under the INL High Temperature Steam Electrolysis program. The results from the experimental demonstration of cell operation for both hydrogen production and operation as fuel cells is presented. An overview of the cell technology, test apparatus and performance analysis is also provided. The INL High Temperature Steam Electrolysis laboratory has developed significant test infrastructure in support of single cell and stack performance analyses. An overview of the single cell test apparatus is presented. The test data presented in this paper is representative of a first batch of NASA's prototypic 5 cm by 5 cm SOEC single cells. Clearly a significant relationship between the operational current density and cell degradation rate is evident. While the performance of these cells was lower than anticipated, in-house testing at NASA Glenn has yielded significantly higher performance and lower degradation rates with subsequent production batches of cells. Current post-test microstructure analyses of the cells tested at INL will be published in a future paper. Modification to cell compositions and cell reduction techniques will be altered in the next series of cells to be delivered to INL with the aim to decrease the cell degradation rate while allowing for higher operational current densities to be sustained. Results from the testing of new batches of single cells will be presented in a future paper.

  18. Electricity production from Azo dye wastewater using a microbial fuel cell coupled constructed wetland operating under different operating conditions.

    PubMed

    Fang, Zhou; Song, Hai-liang; Cang, Ning; Li, Xian-ning

    2015-06-15

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) have got tremendous attention for their capability to enhance the degradation of some recalcitrant pollutants and simultaneous electricity production. A microbial fuel cell coupled constructed wetland (CW-MFC) is a new device to treat the wastewater and produce energy which has more wastewater treatment volume and more easily to maintenance than others MFCs. The studies on the performance of CW-MFCs are necessary. In this work, the effects of hydraulic residence time (HRT), reactive brilliant red X-3B (ABRX3) proportion and COD concentration on the electricity production of CW-MFC and the degradation characteristics of ABRX3 were investigated. The decolorization rate and the electricity production increased to a peak before slowing down with the elongation of HRT. The highest decolorization rate and electricity production were obtained when HRT was 3 days. The ABRX3 proportion (calculated as COD) in the wastewater played an important role in decolorization and electricity production, which may influence the distribution of electrons in the system. The power density of CW-MFC and the decolorization rate decreased concomitantly with an increasing ABRX3 proportion. The COD concentration influenced the CW-MFC performance slightly. The highest decolorization rate and power density reached 95.6% and 0.852 W/m(3), respectively, when the COD concentration was 300 mg/L while the ABRX3 proportion was 30%. The coulombic efficiency of the CW-MFC depended on glucose and ABRX3 proportions in the wastewater. ABRX3 acquired more electrons than the anode. Further investigations are needed to optimize CW-MFC performance and explain the mechanism of biorefractory compounds degradation and electron motion in CW-MFCs. PMID:25562740

  19. Operation of Nafion ®-based PEM fuel cells with no external humidification: influence of operating conditions and gas diffusion layers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Williams, Minkmas V.; Kunz, H. Russell; Fenton, James M.

    Polarization tests were conducted on proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs) at cell temperatures between 60 and 80 °C with various reactant humidification levels; varied from no external humidification to fully saturated on both the anode and the cathode. Elimination of cathode external humidification, while maintaining a fully humidified anode inlet, resulted in cell performance loss of only 5% or 33 mV (from 0.674 to 0.641 V) at 400 mA/cm 2 at an anode stoichiometry of 3 and a cathode stoichiometry of 4. When both the anode and the cathode humidification were removed ("dry operation"), cell performance strongly depended on the cell operating temperature and the inlet gas stoichiometric flow rates. High performance of non-humidified PEMFCs was demonstrated by optimizing the operating cell temperature and the inlet gas stoichiometric flow rates, to find a balance between cell "flooding", oxygen mole fraction, and proton conductivity. Performance of a cell with an in-house cathode gas diffusion layer (GDL) showed a loss of only 4% or 29 mV (from 0.674 to 0.645 V) compared to the near-saturated condition, at 400 mA/cm 2 and optimum stoichiometry. Using a commercial E-TEK_V.2.11 carbon cloth cathode GDL showed significantly greater loss when operated with no external humidification at the same optimized condition. An overall system analysis suggested that at optimum stoichiometric flow rates and cell temperatures, with the in-house GDL, while the net power output might be reduced by at most 17% under dry operation the total required non-stack energy duty would be cut by over 46% when compared to operation with saturated inlet gases.

  20. Fuel economy of hybrid fuel cell vehicles.

    SciTech Connect

    Ahluwalia, R.; Wang, X.; Rousseau, A.; Nuclear Engineering Division

    2004-01-01

    The potential improvement in fuel economy of a mid-size fuel-cell vehicle by combining it with an energy storage system has been assessed. An energy management strategy is developed and used to operate the direct hydrogen, pressurized fuel-cell system in a load-following mode and the energy storage system in a charge-sustaining mode. The strategy places highest priority on maintaining the energy storage system in a state where it can supply unanticipated boost power when the fuel-cell system alone cannot meet the power demand. It is found that downsizing a fuel-cell system decreases its efficiency on a drive cycle which is compensated by partial regenerative capture of braking energy. On a highway cycle with limited braking energy the increase in fuel economy with hybridization is small but on the stop-and-go urban cycle the fuel economy can improve by 27%. On the combined highway and urban drive cycles the fuel economy of the fuel-cell vehicle is estimated to increase by up to 15% by hybridizing it with an energy storage system.

  1. Fuel cells seminar

    SciTech Connect

    1996-12-01

    This year`s meeting highlights the fact that fuel cells for both stationary and transportation applications have reached the dawn of commercialization. Sales of stationary fuel cells have grown steadily over the past 2 years. Phosphoric acid fuel cell buses have been demonstrated in urban areas. Proton-exchange membrane fuel cells are on the verge of revolutionizing the transportation industry. These activities and many more are discussed during this seminar, which provides a forum for people from the international fuel cell community engaged in a wide spectrum of fuel cell activities. Discussions addressing R&D of fuel cell technologies, manufacturing and marketing of fuel cells, and experiences of fuel cell users took place through oral and poster presentations. For the first time, the seminar included commercial exhibits, further evidence that commercial fuel cell technology has arrived. A total of 205 papers is included in this volume.

  2. Advanced fuel cell development

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pierce, R. D.; Baumert, B.; Claar, T. D.; Fousek, R. J.; Huang, H. S.; Kaun, T. D.; Krumpelt, M.; Minh, N.; Mrazek, F. C.; Poeppel, R. B.

    1985-01-01

    Fuel cell research and development activities at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) during the period January through March 1984 are described. These efforts have been directed principally toward seeking alternative cathode materials to NiO for molten carbonate fuel cells. Based on an investigation of the thermodynamically stable phases formed under cathode conditions, a number of prospective alternative cathode materials have been identified. From the list of candidates, LiFeO2, Li2MnO3, and ZnO were selected for further investigation. During this quarter, they were doped to promote conductivity and tested for solubility and ion migration in the cell environment. An investigation directed to understanding in cell densification of anode materials was initiated. In addition, calculations were made to evaluate the practicality of controlling sulfur accumulation in molten carbonate fuel cells by bleed off of a portion of the anode gas that could be recycled to the cathode. In addition, a model is being developed to predict the performance of solid oxide fuel cells as a function of cell design and operation.

  3. Anode regeneration following carbon depositions in an industrial-sized anode supported solid oxide fuel cell operating on synthetic diesel reformate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Subotić, Vanja; Schluckner, Christoph; Mathe, Jörg; Rechberger, Jürgen; Schroettner, Hartmuth; Hochenauer, Christoph

    2015-11-01

    Carbon deposition is a primary concern during operation of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) fueled with carbon-containing fuels. It leads to cell degradation and thus reduces SOFC sustained operation and durability. This paper reports on an experimental investigation of carbon formation on the nickel/yttria-stabilized zirconia (Ni/YSZ) anode of an anode-supported SOFC and its regeneration. The cell was fueled with a synthetically produced diesel reformate to investigate and simulate the cell behavior under real operating conditions. For this purpose the cell was operated under load to determine the critical operating time. Rapid carbon generation, such as at open circuit voltage (OCV), can be prevented when the cell is under load. Carbon depositions were detected using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and further analyzed by Raman spectroscopy. Industrial-size cells suitable for commercial applications were studied. This study proves the reversibility of carbon formation and the reproducibility of the regeneration process. It shows that carbon formations can be recognized and effectively, fully and cell-protecting regenerated. It indicates the excellent possibility of using SOFCs in the automotive industry as an auxiliary power unit (APU) or combined power-heat unit, operated with diesel reformate, without danger from cell degradation caused by carbon-containing fuels.

  4. Multiple cathodic reaction mechanisms in seawater cathodic biofilms operating in sediment microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Babauta, Jerome T; Hsu, Lewis; Atci, Erhan; Kagan, Jeff; Chadwick, Bart; Beyenal, Haluk

    2014-10-01

    In this study, multiple reaction mechanisms in cathodes of sediment microbial fuel cells (SMFCs) were characterized by using cyclic voltammetry and microelectrode measurements of dissolved oxygen and pH. The cathodes were acclimated in SMFCs with sediment and seawater from San Diego Bay. Two limiting current regions were observed with onset potentials of approximately +400 mVAg/AgCl for limiting current I and -120 mVAg/AgCl for limiting current II. The appearance of two catalytic waves suggests that multiple cathodic reaction mechanisms influence cathodic performance. Microscale oxygen concentration measurements showed a zero surface concentration at the electrode surface for limiting current II but not for limiting current I, which allowed us to distinguish limiting current II as the conventional oxygen reduction reaction and limiting current I as a currently unidentified cathodic reaction mechanism. Microscale pH measurements further confirmed these results. PMID:25154833

  5. Small stack performance of intermediate temperature-operating solid oxide fuel cells using stainless steel interconnects and anode-supported single cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bae, Joongmyeon; Lim, Sungkwang; Jee, Hyunjin; Kim, Jung Hyun; Yoo, Young-Sung; Lee, Taehee

    We are developing 1 kW class solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) system for residential power generation (RPG) application supported by Korean Government. Anode-supported single cells with thin electrolyte layer of YSZ (yttria-stabilized zirconia) or ScSZ (scandia-stabilized zirconia) for intermediate temperature operation (650-750 °C), respectively, were fabricated and small stacks were built and evaluated. The LSCF/ScSZ/Ni-YSZ single cell showed performance of 543 mW cm -2 at 650 °C and 1680 mW cm -2 at 750 °C. The voltage of 15-cell stack based on 5 cm × 5 cm single cell (LSM/YSZ/Ni-YSZ) at 150 mW was 12.5 V in hydrogen as fuel of 120 sccm per cell at 750 °C and decreased to about 10.9 V at 500 h operation time. A 5-cell stack based on the LSCF/YSZ/FL/Ni-YSZ showed the maximum power density of 30 W, 25 W and 20 W at 750 °C, 700 °C and 650 °C, respectively. LSCF/ScSZ/Ni-YSZ-based stack showed better performance than LSCF/YSZ/Ni-YSZ stack from the experiment temperature range. I- V characteristics by using hydrogen gas and reformate gas of methane as fuel were investigated at 750 °C in LSCF/ScSZ/FL/Ni-YSZ-based 5-cell stack.

  6. Intermediate-temperature operation of solid oxide fuel cells (IT-SOFCs) with thin film proton conductive electrolyte

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kariya, T.; Uchiyama, K.; Tanaka, H.; Hirono, T.; Kuse, T.; Yanagimoto, K.; Henmi, M.; Hirose, M.; Kimura, I.; Suu, K.; Funakubo, H.

    2015-12-01

    A novel solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) structure, which is fabricated on a Pd-plated porous stainless steel substrate, was proposed for low-temperature SOFC operation. The surface of the substrate was covered with Pd layer without any pores, which reduces the difficulty of depositing thin film electrolyte on the porous substrate. A 1.2-μm thick proton conductive Sr(Zr0.8Y0.2)O3-δ (SZYO) layer and the cathode of a 100-nm thick (La0.6Sr0.4)(Co0.2Fe0.8)O3-δ (LSCF) layer were deposited on the Pd-plated substrates by the pulsed laser deposition (PLD) method. The low temperature operations at 400 and 450 °C were demonstrated with proposed SOFC cells.

  7. Climate Change Fuel Cell Program

    SciTech Connect

    Alice M. Gitchell

    2006-09-15

    A 200 kW, natural gas fired fuel cell was installed at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. The purpose of this project was to demonstrate the financial and operational suitability of retrofit fuel cell technology at a medium sized college. Target audience was design professionals and the wider community, with emphasis on use in higher education. ''Waste'' heat from the fuel cell was utilized to supplement boiler operations and provide domestic hot water. Instrumentation was installed in order to measure the effectiveness of heat utilization. It was determined that 26% of the available heat was captured during the first year of operation. The economics of the fuel cell is highly dependent on the prices of electricity and natural gas. Considering only fuel consumed and energy produced (adjusted for boiler efficiency), the fuel cell saved $54,000 in its first year of operation. However, taking into account the price of maintenance and the cost of financing over the short five-year life span, the fuel cell operated at a loss, despite generous subsidies. As an educational tool and market stimulus, the fuel cell attracted considerable attention, both from design professionals and the general public.

  8. Modeling a 5 kWe planar solid oxide fuel cell based system operating on JP-8 fuel and a comparison with tubular cell based system for auxiliary and mobile power applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tanim, Tanvir; Bayless, David J.; Trembly, Jason P.

    2014-01-01

    A steady state planar solid oxide fuel cell (P-SOFC) based system operating on desulfurized JP-8 fuel was modeled using Aspen Plus simulation software for auxiliary and mobile power applications. An onboard autothermal reformer (ATR) employed to reform the desulfurized JP-8 fuel was coupled with the P-SOFC stack to provide for H2 and CO as fuel, minimizing the cost and complexity associated with hydrogen storage. Characterization of the ATR reformer was conducted by varying the steam to carbon ratio (H2O/C) from 0.1 to 1.0 at different ATR operating temperatures (700-800 °C) while maintaining the P-SOFC stack temperature at 850 °C. A fraction of the anode recycle was used as the steam and heat source for autothermal reforming of the JP-8 fuel, intending to make the system lighter and compact for mobile applications. System modeling revealed a maximum net AC efficiency of 37.1% at 700 °C and 29.2% at 800 °C ATR operating temperatures, respectively. Parametric analyses with respect to fuel utilization factor (Uf) and current density (j) were conducted to determine optimum operating conditions. Finally, the P-SOFC based system was compared with a previously published [1] tubular solid oxide fuel cell based (T-SOFC) system to identify the relative advantages over one another.

  9. Mixotrophic operation of photo-bioelectrocatalytic fuel cell under anoxygenic microenvironment enhances the light dependent bioelectrogenic activity.

    PubMed

    Chandra, Rashmi; Venkata Subhash, G; Venkata Mohan, S

    2012-04-01

    Electrogenic activity of photo-bioelectrocatalytic /photo-biological fuel cell (PhFC) was evaluated in a mixotrophic mode under anoxygenic microenvironment using photosynthetic consortia as biocatalyst. An acetate rich wastewater was used as anolyte for harnessing energy along with additional treatment. Mixotrophic operation facilitated good electrogenic activity and wastewater treatment associated with biomass growth. PhFC operation documented feasible microenvironment for the growth of photosynthetic bacteria compared to algae which was supported by pigment (total chlorophyll and bacteriochlorophyll) and diversity analysis. Pigment data also illustrated the association between bacterial and algal species. The synergistic interaction between anoxygenic and oxygenic photosynthesis was found to be suitable for PhFC operation. Light dependent deposition of electrons at electrode was relatively higher compared to dark dependent electron deposition under anoxygenic condition. PhFC documented for good volatile fatty acids removal by utilizing them as electron donor. Bioelectrochemical behavior of PhFC was evaluated by voltammetric and chronoamperometry analysis. PMID:22297047

  10. A flexible all-inorganic fuel cell membrane with conductivity above Nafion, and durable operation at 150 °C

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ansari, Y.; Tucker, T. G.; Huang, W.; Klein, I. S.; Lee, S.-Y.; Yarger, J. L.; Angell, C. A.

    2016-01-01

    The search for fuel cell membranes has focused on carbon backbone polymers, among which Nafion seems to best survive the most severe of the degradation mechanisms - attack by peroxide radicals. Less attention has been given to inorganic membranes because of their generally inflexible nature and lower conductivity, though some SiO2-Nafion composites have shown improved properties. Nafion dominates, despite needing hydration, which then restricts operation to below 100 °C (so CO poisoning problems persist). Described herein is a low cost, flexible, and all-inorganic fiberglass reinforced gel membrane with conductivity exceeding that of Nafion at any temperature above 60 °C. Using Teflon fuel cells, maximum currents > 1 Acm-2 and OCV of 1.03 V at 150 °C are demonstrated. No detectable loss of cell potential was observed over 24 h during 50 mAcm-2 constant current operation at 120 °C while, at 150 °C and maximum power, the degradation rate is intermediate among other high conductivity H3PO4-PBI type membranes. The structure of the membrane is deduced, mainly from 29Si solid state-NMR. The -115 ppm resonance, which is extreme for Q4 Si(O) structures, identifies a zeolite-like SiO2 network, which is "floppy". 31P and 1H NMR establish nano-permeating H3PO4 as the source of the exceptional conductivity.

  11. Effects of operating conditions on durability of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell Pt cathode catalyst layer

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ohyagi, Shinsuke; Matsuda, Toshihiko; Iseki, Yohei; Sasaki, Tatsuyoshi; Kaito, Chihiro

    In this study, we investigated the effects of humidity and oxygen reduction on the degradation of the catalyst of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) in a voltage cycling test. To elucidate the effect of humidity on the voltage cycling corrosion of a carbon-supported Pt catalyst with 3 nm Pt particles, voltage cycling tests based on 10,000 cycles were conducted using 100% relative humidity (RH) hydrogen as anode gas and nitrogen of varying humidities as cathode gas. The degradation rate of an electrochemical surface area (ECSA) was almost 50% under 189% RH nitrogen atmosphere and the Pt average particle diameter after 10,000 cycles under these conditions was about 2.3 times that of a particle of fresh catalyst because of the agglomeration of Pt particles. The oxygen reduction reaction (ORR) that facilitated Pt catalyst agglomeration when oxygen was employed as the cathode gas also demonstrated that Pt agglomeration was prominent in higher concentrations of oxygen. The ECSA degradation figure in 100% RH oxygen was similar to that in 189% RH nitrogen. It was concluded that liquid water, which was dropped under a supersaturated condition or generated by ORR, accelerated Pt agglomeration. In this paper, we suggest that the Pt agglomeration degradation occurs in a flooding area in a cell plane.

  12. Cost related sensitivity analysis for optimal operation of a grid-parallel PEM fuel cell power plant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    El-Sharkh, M. Y.; Tanrioven, M.; Rahman, A.; Alam, M. S.

    Fuel cell power plants (FCPP) as a combined source of heat, power and hydrogen (CHP&H) can be considered as a potential option to supply both thermal and electrical loads. Hydrogen produced from the FCPP can be stored for future use of the FCPP or can be sold for profit. In such a system, tariff rates for purchasing or selling electricity, the fuel cost for the FCPP/thermal load, and hydrogen selling price are the main factors that affect the operational strategy. This paper presents a hybrid evolutionary programming and Hill-Climbing based approach to evaluate the impact of change of the above mentioned cost parameters on the optimal operational strategy of the FCPP. The optimal operational strategy of the FCPP for different tariffs is achieved through the estimation of the following: hourly generated power, the amount of thermal power recovered, power trade with the local grid, and the quantity of hydrogen that can be produced. Results show the importance of optimizing system cost parameters in order to minimize overall operating cost.

  13. Unitized regenerative fuel cell system

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Burke, Kenneth A. (Inventor)

    2008-01-01

    A Unitized Regenerative Fuel Cell system uses heat pipes to convey waste heat from the fuel cell stack to the reactant storage tanks. The storage tanks act as heat sinks/sources and as passive radiators of the waste heat from the fuel cell stack. During charge up, i.e., the electrolytic process, gases are conveyed to the reactant storage tanks by way of tubes that include dryers. Reactant gases moving through the dryers give up energy to the cold tanks, causing water vapor in with the gases to condense and freeze on the internal surfaces of the dryer. During operation in its fuel cell mode, the heat pipes convey waste heat from the fuel cell stack to the respective reactant storage tanks, thereby heating them such that the reactant gases, as they pass though the respective dryers on their way to the fuel cell stacks retrieve the water previously removed.

  14. Proton exchange membrane fuel cell reversible performance loss induced by carbon monoxide produced during operation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Decoopman, B.; Vincent, R.; Rosini, S.; Paganelli, G.; Thivel, P.-X.

    2016-08-01

    Cyclic voltammetry measurements at the anode have been carried out and reveal the presence of carbon monoxide in steady-state operation, with pure hydrogen. Experiments have been performed both in single cell and in stack to find out its origin. The contamination of the anode catalyst is partly due the reverse-water gas shift (RWGS) with carbon dioxide from the cathode. However, this study shows a temperature-activated and time-related corrosion mechanism which appears under humidified hydrogen. Due to this degradation mechanism, a reversible 25 mV-loss of performances is observed and can be recovered by oxidizing carbon monoxide on the anode.

  15. Proton exchange membrane fuel cell reversible performance loss induced by carbon monoxide produced during operation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Decoopman, B.; Vincent, R.; Rosini, S.; Paganelli, G.; Thivel, P.-X.

    2016-08-01

    Cyclic voltammetry measurements at the anode have been carried out and reveal the presence of carbon monoxide in steady-state operation, with pure hydrogen. Experiments have been performed both in single cell and in stack to find out its origin. The contamination of the anode catalyst is partly due the reverse-water gas shift (RWGS) with carbon dioxide from the cathode. However, this study shows a temperature-activated and time-related corrosion mechanism which appears under humidified hydrogen. Due to this degradation mechanism, a reversible 25 mV-loss of performances is observed and can be recovered by oxidizing carbon monoxide on the anode.

  16. Fuel cell technology program

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1971-01-01

    The results of a solid polymer electrolyte fuel cell development program are summarized. A base line design was defined, and materials and components of the base line configuration were fabricated and tested. Concepts representing base line capability extensions in the areas of life, power, specific weight and volume, versatility of operation, field maintenance, and thermal control were identified and evaluated. Liaison and coordination with space shuttle contractors resulted in the exchange of engineering data.

  17. Optimal operation management of fuel cell/wind/photovoltaic power sources connected to distribution networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niknam, Taher; Kavousifard, Abdollah; Tabatabaei, Sajad; Aghaei, Jamshid

    2011-10-01

    In this paper a new multiobjective modified honey bee mating optimization (MHBMO) algorithm is presented to investigate the distribution feeder reconfiguration (DFR) problem considering renewable energy sources (RESs) (photovoltaics, fuel cell and wind energy) connected to the distribution network. The objective functions of the problem to be minimized are the electrical active power losses, the voltage deviations, the total electrical energy costs and the total emissions of RESs and substations. During the optimization process, the proposed algorithm finds a set of non-dominated (Pareto) optimal solutions which are stored in an external memory called repository. Since the objective functions investigated are not the same, a fuzzy clustering algorithm is utilized to handle the size of the repository in the specified limits. Moreover, a fuzzy-based decision maker is adopted to select the 'best' compromised solution among the non-dominated optimal solutions of multiobjective optimization problem. In order to see the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed algorithm, two standard distribution test systems are used as case studies.

  18. Optimal operation management of fuel cell/wind/photovoltaic power sources connected to distribution networks

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Niknam, Taher; Kavousifard, Abdollah; Tabatabaei, Sajad; Aghaei, Jamshid

    2011-10-01

    In this paper a new multiobjective modified honey bee mating optimization (MHBMO) algorithm is presented to investigate the distribution feeder reconfiguration (DFR) problem considering renewable energy sources (RESs) (photovoltaics, fuel cell and wind energy) connected to the distribution network. The objective functions of the problem to be minimized are the electrical active power losses, the voltage deviations, the total electrical energy costs and the total emissions of RESs and substations. During the optimization process, the proposed algorithm finds a set of non-dominated (Pareto) optimal solutions which are stored in an external memory called repository. Since the objective functions investigated are not the same, a fuzzy clustering algorithm is utilized to handle the size of the repository in the specified limits. Moreover, a fuzzy-based decision maker is adopted to select the ‘best' compromised solution among the non-dominated optimal solutions of multiobjective optimization problem. In order to see the feasibility and effectiveness of the proposed algorithm, two standard distribution test systems are used as case studies.

  19. Oxygen-reducing biocathodes operating with passive oxygen transfer in microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Xia, Xue; Tokash, Justin C; Zhang, Fang; Liang, Peng; Huang, Xia; Logan, Bruce E

    2013-02-19

    Oxygen-reducing biocathodes previously developed for microbial fuel cells (MFCs) have required energy-intensive aeration of the catholyte. To avoid the need for aeration, the ability of biocathodes to function with passive oxygen transfer was examined here using air cathode MFCs. Two-chamber, air cathode MFCs with biocathodes produced a maximum power density of 554 ± 0 mW/m(2), which was comparable to that obtained with a Pt cathode (576 ± 16 mW/m(2)), and 38 times higher than that produced without a catalyst (14 ± 3 mW/m(2)). The maximum current density with biocathodes in this air-cathode MFC was 1.0 A/m(2), compared to 0.49 A/m(2) originally produced in a two-chamber MFC with an aqueous cathode (with cathode chamber aeration). Single-chamber, air-cathode MFCs with the same biocathodes initially produced higher voltages than those with Pt cathodes, but after several cycles the catalytic activity of the biocathodes was lost. This change in cathode performance resulted from direct exposure of the cathodes to solutions containing high concentrations of organic matter in the single-chamber configuration. Biocathode performance was not impaired in two-chamber designs where the cathode was kept separated from the anode solution. These results demonstrate that direct-air biocathodes can work very well, but only under conditions that minimize heterotrophic growth of microorganisms on the cathodes. PMID:23360098

  20. Increased power generation from primary sludge by a submersible microbial fuel cell and optimum operational conditions.

    PubMed

    Vologni, Valentina; Kakarla, Ramesh; Angelidaki, Irini; Min, Booki

    2013-05-01

    Microbial fuel cells (MFCs) have received attention as a promising renewable energy technology for waste treatment and energy recovery. We tested a submersible MFC with an innovative design capable of generating a stable voltage of 0.250 ± 0.008 V (with a fixed 470 Ω resistor) directly from primary sludge. In a polarization test, the maximum power density was 0.18 W/m(2) at a current density of 0.8 A/m(2) with an external resistor of 300 Ω. The anodic solution of the primary sludge needs to be adjusted to a pH 7 for high power generation. The modified primary sludge with an added phosphate buffer prolonged the current generation and increased the power density by 7 and 1.5 times, respectively, in comparison with raw primary sludge. These findings suggest that energy recovery from primary sludge can be maximized using an advanced MFC system with optimum conditions. PMID:23420478

  1. Mathematical model for the analysis of structure and optimal operational parameters of a solid oxide fuel cell generator

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coralli, Alberto; Villela de Miranda, Hugo; Espiúca Monteiro, Carlos Felipe; Resende da Silva, José Francisco; Valadão de Miranda, Paulo Emílio

    2014-12-01

    Solid oxide fuel cells are globally recognized as a very promising technology in the area of highly efficient electricity generation with a low environmental impact. This technology can be advantageously implemented in many situations in Brazil and it is well suited to the use of ethanol as a primary energy source, an important feature given the highly developed Brazilian ethanol industry. In this perspective, a simplified mathematical model is developed for a fuel cell and its balance of plant, in order to identify the optimal system structure and the most convenient values for the operational parameters, with the aim of maximizing the global electric efficiency. In this way it is discovered the best operational configuration for the desired application, which is the distributed generation in the concession area of the electricity distribution company Elektro. The data regarding this configuration are required for the continuation of the research project, i.e. the development of a prototype, a cost analysis of the developed system and a detailed perspective of the market opportunities in Brazil.

  2. Fuel cell/gas turbine integration

    SciTech Connect

    Knickerbocker, T.

    1995-10-19

    The Allison Engine Company`s very high efficiency fuel cell/advanced turbine power cycle program is discussed. The power cycle has the following advantages: high system efficiency potential, reduced emissions inherent to fuel cells, unmanned operation(no boiler) particularly suited for distributed power, and existing product line matches fuel cell operating environment. Cost effectiveness, estimates, and projections are given.

  3. An economic feasibility analysis of distributed electric power generation based upon the Natural Gas-Fired Fuel Cell: a model of the operations cost.

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-06-30

    This model description establishes the revenues, expenses incentives and avoided costs of Operation of a Natural Gas-Fired Fuel Cell-Based. Fuel is the major element of the cost of operation of a natural gas-fired fuel cell. Forecasts of the change in the price of this commodity a re an important consideration in the ownership of an energy conversion system. Differences between forecasts, the interests of the forecaster or geographical areas can all have significant effects on imputed fuel costs. There is less effect on judgments made on the feasibility of an energy conversion system since changes in fuel price can affect the cost of operation of the alternatives to the fuel cell in a similar fashion. The forecasts used in this model are only intended to provide the potential owner or operator with the means to examine alternate future scenarios. The operations model computes operating costs of a system suitable for a large condominium complex or a residential institution such as a hotel, boarding school or prison. The user may also select large office buildings that are characterized by 12 to 16 hours per day of operation or industrial users with a steady demand for thermal and electrical energy around the clock.

  4. Simultaneous visualization of oxygen distribution and water blockages in an operating triple-serpentine polymer electrolyte fuel cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Takada, Kenji; Ishigami, Yuta; Inukai, Junji; Nagumo, Yuzo; Takano, Hiroshi; Nishide, Hiroyuki; Watanabe, Masahiro

    2011-03-01

    Visualization inside polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) is important for elucidating reaction distributions to improve the performance and durability of the cells. An O2-sensitive porphyrin luminescent dye film was used to visualize oxygen partial pressures and water blockages simultaneously in triple-serpentine gas flow channels in an operating PEFC. Water droplets formed near the exit of a gas-flow channel lowered the oxygen partial pressure noticeably over the channel by blocking air flow near the entrance. Meanwhile, air was continuously supplied from the other channels through the gas diffusion layer, thus allowing power to be generated in the blocked channel. With water blockages, however, the catalyst layer under the channel became flooded by the water produced during the reaction, and the flooded state continued to exist in the catalyst and/or porous layers, even after blowing the water droplet out, so that the power generation was lowered along the channel.

  5. Fuel cell arrangement

    DOEpatents

    Isenberg, Arnold O.

    1987-05-12

    A fuel cell arrangement is provided wherein cylindrical cells of the solid oxide electrolyte type are arranged in planar arrays where the cells within a plane are parallel. Planes of cells are stacked with cells of adjacent planes perpendicular to one another. Air is provided to the interior of the cells through feed tubes which pass through a preheat chamber. Fuel is provided to the fuel cells through a channel in the center of the cell stack; the fuel then passes the exterior of the cells and combines with the oxygen-depleted air in the preheat chamber.

  6. Fuel cell arrangement

    DOEpatents

    Isenberg, A.O.

    1987-05-12

    A fuel cell arrangement is provided wherein cylindrical cells of the solid oxide electrolyte type are arranged in planar arrays where the cells within a plane are parallel. Planes of cells are stacked with cells of adjacent planes perpendicular to one another. Air is provided to the interior of the cells through feed tubes which pass through a preheat chamber. Fuel is provided to the fuel cells through a channel in the center of the cell stack; the fuel then passes the exterior of the cells and combines with the oxygen-depleted air in the preheat chamber. 3 figs.

  7. The influence of operating temperature on the efficiency of a combined heat and power fuel cell plant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Au, S. F.; McPhail, S. J.; Woudstra, N.; Hemmes, K.

    It is generally accepted that the ideal operating temperature of a molten carbonate fuel cell (MCFC) is 650 °C. Nevertheless, when waste heat utilization in the form of an expander and steam production cycle is introduced in the system, another temperature level might prove more productive. This article is a first attempt to the optimization of MCFC operating temperatures of a MCFC system by presenting a case study in which the efficiency of a combined heat and power (CHP) plant is analyzed. The fuel cell plant under investigation is designed around a 250 kW-class MCFC fuelled by natural gas, which is externally reformed by a heat exchange reformer (HER). The operating temperature of the MCFC is varied over a temperature range between 600 and 700 °C while keeping the rest of the system the same as far as possible. Changes in energetic efficiency are given and the causes of these changes are further analyzed. Furthermore, the exergetic efficiencies of the system and the distribution of exergy losses in the system are given. Flowsheet calculations show that there is little dependency on the temperature in the first order. Both the net electrical performance and the overall exergetic performance show a maximum at approximately 675 °C, with an electrical efficiency of 51.9% (LHV), and an exergy efficiency of 58.7%. The overall thermal efficiency of this CHP plant increases from 87.1% at 600 °C to 88.9% at 700 °C. Overall, the change in performance is small in this typical range of MCFC operating temperature.

  8. Dry gas operation of proton exchange membrane fuel cells with parallel channels: Non-porous versus porous plates

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Litster, Shawn; Santiago, Juan G.

    We present a study of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells with parallel channel flow fields for the cathode, dry inlet gases, and ambient pressure at the outlets. The study compares the performance of two designs: a standard, non-porous graphite cathode plate design and a porous hydrophilic carbon plate version. The experimental study of the non-porous plate is a control case and highlights the significant challenges of operation with dry gases and non-porous, parallel channel cathodes. These challenges include significant transients in power density and severe performance loss due to flooding and electrolyte dry-out. Our experimental study shows that the porous plate yields significant improvements in performance and robustness of operation. We hypothesize that the porous plate distributes water throughout the cell area by capillary action; including pumping water upstream to normally dry inlet regions. The porous plate reduces membrane resistance and air pressure drop. Further, IR-free polarization curves confirm operation free of flooding. With an air stoichiometric ratio of 1.3, we obtain a maximum power density of 0.40 W cm -2, which is 3.5 times greater than that achieved with the non-porous plate at the same operating condition.

  9. Stationary Fuel Cell Evaluation (Presentation)

    SciTech Connect

    Kurtz, J.; Wipke, K.; Sprik, S.; Ramsden, T.; Ainscough, C.

    2012-05-01

    This powerpoint presentation discusses its objectives: real world operation data from the field and state-of-the-art lab; collection; analysis for independent technology validation; collaboration with industry and end users operating stationary fuel cell systems and reporting on technology status, progress and technical challenges. The approach and accomplishments are: A quarterly data analysis and publication of first technical stationary fuel cell composite data products (data through June 2012).

  10. Aircraft Fuel Cell Power Systems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Needham, Robert

    2004-01-01

    In recent years, fuel cells have been explored for use in aircraft. While the weight and size of fuel cells allows only the smallest of aircraft to use fuel cells for their primary engines, fuel cells have showed promise for use as auxiliary power units (APUs), which power aircraft accessories and serve as an electrical backup in case of an engine failure. Fuel cell MUS are both more efficient and emit fewer pollutants. However, sea-level fuel cells need modifications to be properly used in aircraft applications. At high altitudes, the ambient air has a much lower pressure than at sea level, which makes it much more difficult to get air into the fuel cell to react and produce electricity. Compressors can be used to pressurize the air, but this leads to added weight, volume, and power usage, all of which are undesirable things. Another problem is that fuel cells require hydrogen to create electricity, and ever since the Hindenburg burst into flames, aircraft carrying large quantities of hydrogen have not been in high demand. However, jet fuel is a hydrocarbon, so it is possible to reform it into hydrogen. Since jet fuel is already used to power conventional APUs, it is very convenient to use this to generate the hydrogen for fuel-cell-based APUs. Fuel cells also tend to get large and heavy when used for applications that require a large amount of power. Reducing the size and weight becomes especially beneficial when it comes to fuel cells for aircraft. My goal this summer is to work on several aspects of Aircraft Fuel Cell Power System project. My first goal is to perform checks on a newly built injector rig designed to test different catalysts to determine the best setup for reforming Jet-A fuel into hydrogen. These checks include testing various thermocouples, transmitters, and transducers, as well making sure that the rig was actually built to the design specifications. These checks will help to ensure that the rig will operate properly and give correct results

  11. Fuel cell stack monitoring and system control

    DOEpatents

    Keskula, Donald H.; Doan, Tien M.; Clingerman, Bruce J.

    2004-02-17

    A control method for monitoring a fuel cell stack in a fuel cell system in which the actual voltage and actual current from the fuel cell stack are monitored. A preestablished relationship between voltage and current over the operating range of the fuel cell is established. A variance value between the actual measured voltage and the expected voltage magnitude for a given actual measured current is calculated and compared with a predetermined allowable variance. An output is generated if the calculated variance value exceeds the predetermined variance. The predetermined voltage-current for the fuel cell is symbolized as a polarization curve at given operating conditions of the fuel cell.

  12. DIGESTER GAS - FUEL CELL - PROJECT

    SciTech Connect

    Dr.-Eng. Dirk Adolph; Dipl.-Eng. Thomas Saure

    2002-03-01

    GEW has been operating the first fuel cell in Europe producing heat and electricity from digester gas in an environmentally friendly way. The first 9,000 hours in operation were successfully concluded in August 2001. The fuel cell powered by digester gas was one of the 25 registered ''Worldwide projects'' which NRW presented at the EXPO 2000. In addition to this, it is a key project of the NRW State Initiative on Future Energies. All of the activities planned for the first year of operation were successfully completed: installing and putting the plant into operation, the transition to permanent operation as well as extended monitoring till May 2001.

  13. Micro fuel cell

    SciTech Connect

    Zook, L.A.; Vanderborgh, N.E.; Hockaday, R.

    1998-12-31

    An ambient temperature, liquid feed, direct methanol fuel cell device is under development. A metal barrier layer was used to block methanol crossover from the anode to the cathode side while still allowing for the transport of protons from the anode to the cathode. A direct methanol fuel cell (DMFC) is an electrochemical engine that converts chemical energy into clean electrical power by the direct oxidation of methanol at the fuel cell anode. This direct use of a liquid fuel eliminates the need for a reformer to convert the fuel to hydrogen before it is fed into the fuel cell.

  14. Fuel cell electric power production

    DOEpatents

    Hwang, Herng-Shinn; Heck, Ronald M.; Yarrington, Robert M.

    1985-01-01

    A process for generating electricity from a fuel cell includes generating a hydrogen-rich gas as the fuel for the fuel cell by treating a hydrocarbon feed, which may be a normally liquid feed, in an autothermal reformer utilizing a first monolithic catalyst zone having palladium and platinum catalytic components therein and a second, platinum group metal steam reforming catalyst. Air is used as the oxidant in the hydrocarbon reforming zone and a low oxygen to carbon ratio is maintained to control the amount of dilution of the hydrogen-rich gas with nitrogen of the air without sustaining an insupportable amount of carbon deposition on the catalyst. Anode vent gas may be utilized as the fuel to preheat the inlet stream to the reformer. The fuel cell and the reformer are preferably operated at elevated pressures, up to about a pressure of 150 psia for the fuel cell.

  15. Corrosion resistant PEM fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Li, Y.; Meng, W.J.; Swathirajan, S.; Harris, S.J.; Doll, G.L.

    1997-04-29

    The present invention contemplates a PEM fuel cell having electrical contact elements (including bipolar plates/septums) comprising a titanium nitride coated light weight metal (e.g., Al or Ti) core, having a passivating, protective metal layer intermediate the core and the titanium nitride. The protective layer forms a barrier to further oxidation/corrosion when exposed to the fuel cell`s operating environment. Stainless steels rich in Cr, Ni, and Mo are particularly effective protective interlayers. 6 figs.

  16. Fuel cell CO sensor

    DOEpatents

    Grot, Stephen Andreas; Meltser, Mark Alexander; Gutowski, Stanley; Neutzler, Jay Kevin; Borup, Rodney Lynn; Weisbrod, Kirk

    1999-12-14

    The CO concentration in the H.sub.2 feed stream to a PEM fuel cell stack is monitored by measuring current and/or voltage behavior patterns from a PEM-probe communicating with the reformate feed stream. Pattern recognition software may be used to compare the current and voltage patterns from the PEM-probe to current and voltage telltale outputs determined from a reference cell similar to the PEM-probe and operated under controlled conditions over a wide range of CO concentrations in the H.sub.2 fuel stream. A CO sensor includes the PEM-probe, an electrical discharge circuit for discharging the PEM-probe to monitor the CO concentration, and an electrical purging circuit to intermittently raise the anode potential of the PEM-probe's anode to at least about 0.8 V (RHE) to electrochemically oxidize any CO adsorbed on the probe's anode catalyst.

  17. Fuel Cell Handbook update

    SciTech Connect

    Owens, W.R.; Hirschenhofer, J.H.; Engleman, R.R. Jr.; Stauffer, D.B.

    1993-11-01

    The objective of this work was to update the 1988 version of DOE`s Fuel Cell Handbook. Significant developments in the various fuel cell technologies required revisions to reflect state-of-the-art configurations and performance. The theoretical presentation was refined in order to make the handbook more useful to both the casual reader and fuel cell or systems analyst. In order to further emphasize the practical application of fuel cell technologies, the system integration information was expanded. In addition, practical elements, such as suggestions and guidelines to approximate fuel cell performance, were provided.

  18. Fuel Cell Handbook update

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Owens, W. R.; Hirschenhofer, J. H.; Engleman, R. R., Jr.; Stauffer, D. B.

    The objective of this work was to update the 1988 version of DOE's Fuel Cell Handbook. Significant developments in the various fuel cell technologies required revisions to reflect state-of-the-art configurations and performance. The theoretical presentation was refined in order to make the handbook more useful to both the casual reader and fuel cell or systems analyst. In order to further emphasize the practical application of fuel cell technologies, the system integration information was expanded. In addition, practical elements, such as suggestions and guidelines to approximate fuel cell performance, were provided.

  19. Open end protection for solid oxide fuel cells

    DOEpatents

    Zafred, Paolo R.; Dederer, Jeffrey T.; Tomlins, Gregory W.; Toms, James M.; Folser, George R.; Schmidt, Douglas S.; Singh, Prabhakar; Hager, Charles A.

    2001-01-01

    A solid oxide fuel cell (40) having a closed end (44) and an open end (42) operates in a fuel cell generator (10) where the fuel cell open end (42) of each fuel cell contains a sleeve (60, 64) fitted over the open end (42), where the sleeve (60, 64) extends beyond the open end (42) of the fuel cell (40) to prevent degradation of the interior air electrode of the fuel cell by fuel gas during operation of the generator (10).

  20. Self-sustained operation of a kW e-class kerosene-reforming processor for solid oxide fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoon, Sangho; Bae, Joongmyeon; Kim, Sunyoung; Yoo, Young-Sung

    In this paper, fuel-processing technologies are developed for application in residential power generation (RPG) in solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs). Kerosene is selected as the fuel because of its high hydrogen density and because of the established infrastructure that already exists in South Korea. A kerosene fuel processor with two different reaction stages, autothermal reforming (ATR) and adsorptive desulfurization reactions, is developed for SOFC operations. ATR is suited to the reforming of liquid hydrocarbon fuels because oxygen-aided reactions can break the aromatics in the fuel and steam can suppress carbon deposition during the reforming reaction. ATR can also be implemented as a self-sustaining reactor due to the exothermicity of the reaction. The kW e self-sustained kerosene fuel processor, including the desulfurizer, operates for about 250 h in this study. This fuel processor does not require a heat exchanger between the ATR reactor and the desulfurizer or electric equipment for heat supply and fuel or water vaporization because a suitable temperature of the ATR reformate is reached for H 2S adsorption on the ZnO catalyst beds in desulfurizer. Although the CH 4 concentration in the reformate gas of the fuel processor is higher due to the lower temperature of ATR tail gas, SOFCs can directly use CH 4 as a fuel with the addition of sufficient steam feeds (H 2O/CH 4 ≥ 1.5), in contrast to low-temperature fuel cells. The reforming efficiency of the fuel processor is about 60%, and the desulfurizer removed H 2S to a sufficient level to allow for the operation of SOFCs.

  1. Climate Change Fuel Cell Program

    SciTech Connect

    Paul Belard

    2006-09-21

    Verizon is presently operating the largest Distributed Generation Fuel Cell project in the USA. Situated in Long Island, NY, the power plant is composed of seven (7) fuel cells operating in parallel with the Utility grid from the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA). Each fuel cell has an output of 200 kW, for a total of 1.4 mW generated from the on-site plant. The remaining power to meet the facility demand is purchased from LIPA. The fuel cell plant is utilized as a co-generation system. A by-product of the fuel cell electric generation process is high temperature water. The heat content of this water is recovered from the fuel cells and used to drive two absorption chillers in the summer and a steam generator in the winter. Cost savings from the operations of the fuel cells are forecasted to be in excess of $250,000 per year. Annual NOx emissions reductions are equivalent to removing 1020 motor vehicles from roadways. Further, approximately 5.45 million metric tons (5 millions tons) of CO2 per year will not be generated as a result of this clean power generation. The project was partially financed with grants from the New York State Energy R&D Authority (NYSERDA) and from Federal Government Departments of Defense and Energy.

  2. Operation of the 25kW NASA Lewis Research Center Solar Regenerative Fuel Cell Tested Facility

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moore, S. H.; Voecks, G. E.

    1997-01-01

    Assembly of the NASA Lewis Research Center(LeRC)Solar Regenerative Fuel Cell (RFC) Testbed Facility has been completed and system testing has proceeded. This facility includes the integration of two 25kW photovoltaic solar cell arrays, a 25kW proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolysis unit, four 5kW PEM fuel cells, high pressure hydrogen and oxygen storage vessels, high purity water storage containers, and computer monitoring, control and data acquisition.

  3. Effect of fabrication technique on direct methanol fuel cells designed to operate at low airflow

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Valdez, T. I.; Narayanan, S. R.

    2002-01-01

    This study investigates the effects of catalyst ink constituents and MEA fabrication techniques on improving cell performance. Particular attention was focused on increasing the overall cell efficiency.

  4. Fuel cells and fuel cell catalysts

    DOEpatents

    Masel, Richard I.; Rice, Cynthia A.; Waszczuk, Piotr; Wieckowski, Andrzej

    2006-11-07

    A direct organic fuel cell includes a formic acid fuel solution having between about 10% and about 95% formic acid. The formic acid is oxidized at an anode. The anode may include a Pt/Pd catalyst that promotes the direct oxidation of the formic acid via a direct reaction path that does not include formation of a CO intermediate.

  5. Optimum Operation Condition on Distributed Power Supply System with Micro Gas Turbine/Solid Oxide Fuel Cell

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suzuki, Hiroshi; Yamada, Miki; Usui, Hiromoto; Komoda, Yoshiyuki

    In order to find the optimum operation condition of a distributed power supply system of 30kW class micro gas turbine (MGT) and solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) hybrid system with the combination of line electric power and supplied gas, a system analysis has been performed. In this study, an absorption chiller and a boiler were mounted to utilize the exhausted heat from the MGT/SOFC system. The time variation of energy consumption in 24 hours for house and market models was taken into consideration for the calculation of the energy saving ratio of the present system. The operation ratio defined with the ratio of power supply of MGT/SOFC system to the power required at the peak load was changed as a parameter. From the comparison with the system using line power and gas, it is found that the present system shows high energy saving ratio around 0.4 of the operation ratio, but the energy saving ratio severely decreases in the range of high operation ratio. In this study, it is revealed that the thermal storage system effectively improves the energy saving ratio especially for the house model in winter season.

  6. On-demand supply of slurry fuels to a porous anode of a direct carbon fuel cell: Attempts to increase fuel-anode contact and realize long-term operation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Chengguo; Yi, Hakgyu; Lee, Donggeun

    2016-03-01

    In this paper, we propose a novel idea that might allow resolution of the two biggest challenges that hinder practical use of direct carbon fuel cells (DCFC). This work involved 1) the use of three types of porous Ni anode with different pore sizes, 2) size matching between the anode pores and solid fuel particles in a molten-carbonate (MC) slurry, and 3) provision of a continuous supply of fuel-MC slurry through the porous Ni anode. As a result, larger numbers of smaller pores in the anode were preferred for extending the triple phase boundary (TPB), as long as the fuel particles were sufficiently small to have full access to the inner pore spaces of the anode. For example, the maximal power density achieved in the case of optimal size matching, reached 645 mW cm-2, which is 14-times greater than that for the case of poorest size-matching and 64-times larger than that for a non-porous anode, and lasted for more than 20 h. After 20 h of steady operation at a fixed current density (700 mA cm-2), the electric potential slightly decreased due to partial consumption of the fuel. The cell performance readily recovered after restarting the supply of MC-fuel slurry.

  7. Fuel cell generator

    DOEpatents

    Isenberg, Arnold O.

    1983-01-01

    High temperature solid oxide electrolyte fuel cell generators which allow controlled leakage among plural chambers in a sealed housing. Depleted oxidant and fuel are directly reacted in one chamber to combust remaining fuel and preheat incoming reactants. The cells are preferably electrically arranged in a series-parallel configuration.

  8. Chemometrical assessment of the electrical parameters obtained by long-term operating freshwater sediment microbial fuel cells.

    PubMed

    Mitov, Mario; Bardarov, Ivo; Mandjukov, Petko; Hubenova, Yolina

    2015-12-01

    The electrical parameters of nine freshwater sediment microbial fuel cells (SMFCs) were monitored for a period of over 20 months. The developed SMFCs, divided into three groups, were started up and continuously operated under different constant loads (100, 510 and 1100 Ω) for 2.5 months. At this stage of the experiment, the highest power density values, reaching 1.2 ± 0.2 mW/m(2), were achieved by the SMFCs loaded with 510 Ω. The maximum power obtained at periodical polarization during the rest period, however, ranged between 26.2 ± 2.8 and 35.3 ± 2.8 mW/m(2), strongly depending on the internal cell resistance. The statistical evaluation of data derived from the polarization curves shows that after 300 days of operation all examined SMFCs reached a steady-state and the system might be assumed as homoscedastic. The estimated values of standard and expanded uncertainties of the electric parameters indicate a high repeatability and reproducibility of the SMFCs' performance. Results obtained in subsequent discharge-recovery cycles reveal the opportunity for practical application of studied SMFCs as autonomous power sources. PMID:26073675

  9. Employing FAD-dependent glucose dehydrogenase within a glucose/oxygen enzymatic fuel cell operating in human serum.

    PubMed

    Milton, Ross D; Lim, Koun; Hickey, David P; Minteer, Shelley D

    2015-12-01

    Flavin adenine dinucleotide-dependent glucose dehydrogenase (FAD-GDH) is emerging as an oxygen-insensitive alternative to glucose oxidase (GOx) as the biocatalyst for bioelectrodes and bioanodes in glucose sensing and glucose enzymatic fuel cells (EFCs). Glucose EFCs, which utilize oxygen as the oxidant and final electron acceptor, have the added benefit of being able to be implanted within living hosts. These can then produce electrical energy from physiological glucose concentrations and power internal or external devices. EFCs were prepared with FAD-GDH and bilirubin oxidase (BOx) to evaluate the suitability of FAD-GDH within an implantable setting. Maximum current and power densities of 186.6±7.1 μA cm(-2) and 39.5±1.3 μW cm(-2) were observed when operating in human serum at 21 °C, which increased to 285.7±31.3 μA cm(-2) and 57.5±5.4 μW cm(-2) at 37 °C. Although good stability was observed with continual near-optimal operation of the EFCs in human serum at 21 °C for 24 h, device failure was observed between 13-14 h when continually operated at 37 °C. PMID:25890695

  10. Reforming of fuel inside fuel cell generator

    DOEpatents

    Grimble, R.E.

    1988-03-08

    Disclosed is an improved method of reforming a gaseous reformable fuel within a solid oxide fuel cell generator, wherein the solid oxide fuel cell generator has a plurality of individual fuel cells in a refractory container, the fuel cells generating a partially spent fuel stream and a partially spent oxidant stream. The partially spent fuel stream is divided into two streams, spent fuel stream 1 and spent fuel stream 2. Spent fuel stream 1 is burned with the partially spent oxidant stream inside the refractory container to produce an exhaust stream. The exhaust stream is divided into two streams, exhaust stream 1 and exhaust stream 2, and exhaust stream 1 is vented. Exhaust stream 2 is mixed with spent fuel stream 2 to form a recycle stream. The recycle stream is mixed with the gaseous reformable fuel within the refractory container to form a fuel stream which is supplied to the fuel cells. Also disclosed is an improved apparatus which permits the reforming of a reformable gaseous fuel within such a solid oxide fuel cell generator. The apparatus comprises a mixing chamber within the refractory container, means for diverting a portion of the partially spent fuel stream to the mixing chamber, means for diverting a portion of exhaust gas to the mixing chamber where it is mixed with the portion of the partially spent fuel stream to form a recycle stream, means for injecting the reformable gaseous fuel into the recycle stream, and means for circulating the recycle stream back to the fuel cells. 1 fig.

  11. Reforming of fuel inside fuel cell generator

    DOEpatents

    Grimble, Ralph E.

    1988-01-01

    Disclosed is an improved method of reforming a gaseous reformable fuel within a solid oxide fuel cell generator, wherein the solid oxide fuel cell generator has a plurality of individual fuel cells in a refractory container, the fuel cells generating a partially spent fuel stream and a partially spent oxidant stream. The partially spent fuel stream is divided into two streams, spent fuel stream I and spent fuel stream II. Spent fuel stream I is burned with the partially spent oxidant stream inside the refractory container to produce an exhaust stream. The exhaust stream is divided into two streams, exhaust stream I and exhaust stream II, and exhaust stream I is vented. Exhaust stream II is mixed with spent fuel stream II to form a recycle stream. The recycle stream is mixed with the gaseous reformable fuel within the refractory container to form a fuel stream which is supplied to the fuel cells. Also disclosed is an improved apparatus which permits the reforming of a reformable gaseous fuel within such a solid oxide fuel cell generator. The apparatus comprises a mixing chamber within the refractory container, means for diverting a portion of the partially spent fuel stream to the mixing chamber, means for diverting a portion of exhaust gas to the mixing chamber where it is mixed with the portion of the partially spent fuel stream to form a recycle stream, means for injecting the reformable gaseous fuel into the recycle stream, and means for circulating the recycle stream back to the fuel cells.

  12. Low cost, lightweight fuel cell elements

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kindler, Andrew (Inventor)

    2001-01-01

    New fuel cell elements for use in liquid feed fuel cells are provided. The elements including biplates and endplates are low in cost, light in weight, and allow high efficiency operation. Electrically conductive elements are also a part of the fuel cell elements.

  13. Fuel issues for fuel cell vehicles

    SciTech Connect

    Borroni-Bird, C.E.

    1995-12-31

    In the near-term, infrastructure and energy density concerns dictate that the most appropriate fuel for a light-duty fuel cell vehicle is probably not hydrogen; there are also several concerns with using methanol, the generally accepted most convenient fuel. In order to accelerate fuel cell commercialization it may be necessary to use petroleum-based fuels and on-board fuel processors. In the near-term, this approach may reduce fuel cell system efficiency to a level comparable with advanced diesel engines but in the long-term fuel cells powered by hydrogen should be the most efficient and cleanest of all automotive powertrains.

  14. Corrosion resistant PEM fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Li, Yang; Meng, Wen-Jin; Swathirajan, Swathy; Harris, Stephen Joel; Doll, Gary Lynn

    2002-01-01

    The present invention contemplates a PEM fuel cell having electrical contact elements (including bipolar plates/septums) comprising a titanium nitride coated light weight metal (e.g., Al or Ti) core, having a passivating, protective metal layer intermediate the core and the titanium nitride. The protective layer forms a barrier to further oxidation/corrosion when exposed to the fuel cell's operating environment. Stainless steels rich in CR, Ni, and Mo are particularly effective protective interlayers.

  15. Corrosion resistant PEM fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Li, Yang; Meng, Wen-Jin; Swathirajan, Swathy; Harris, Stephen Joel; Doll, Gary Lynn

    2001-07-17

    The present invention contemplates a PEM fuel cell having electrical contact elements (including bipolar plates/septums) comprising a titanium nitride coated light weight metal (e.g., Al or Ti) core, having a passivating, protective metal layer intermediate the core and the titanium nitride. The protective layer forms a barrier to further oxidation/corrosion when exposed to the fuel cell's operating environment. Stainless steels rich in CR, Ni, and Mo are particularly effective protective interlayers.

  16. Corrosion resistant PEM fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Li, Yang; Meng, Wen-Jin; Swathirajan, Swathy; Harris, Stephen J.; Doll, Gary L.

    1997-01-01

    The present invention contemplates a PEM fuel cell having electrical contact elements (including bipolar plates/septums) comprising a titanium nitride coated light weight metal (e.g., Al or Ti) core, having a passivating, protective metal layer intermediate the core and the titanium nitride. The protective layer forms a barrier to further oxidation/corrosion when exposed to the fuel cell's operating environment. Stainless steels rich in CR, Ni, and Mo are particularly effective protective interlayers.

  17. Operando fuel cell spectroscopy

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kendrick, Ian Michael

    The active state of a catalyst only exists during catalysis (1) provided the motivation for developing operando spectroscopic techniques. A polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) was designed to interface with commercially available instruments for acquisition of infrared spectra of the catalytic surface of the membrane electrode assembly (MEA) during normal operation. This technique has provided insight of the complex processes occurring at the electrode surface. Nafion, the solid electrolyte used in most modern-day polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC), serves many purposes in fuel cell operation. However, there is little known of the interface between Nafion and the electrode surface. Previous studies of complex Stark tuning curves of carbon monoxide on the surface of a platinum electrode were attributed the co-adsorption of bisulfite ions originating from the 0.5M H2SO4 electrolyte used in the study(2). Similar tuning curves obtained on a fuel cell MEA despite the absence of supplemental electrolytes suggest the adsorption of Nafion onto platinum (3). The correlation of spectra obtained using attenuated total reflectance spectroscopy (ATR) and polarization modulated IR reflection-absorption spectroscopy (PM-IRRAS) to a theoretical spectrum generated using density functional theory (DFT) lead to development of a model of Nafion and platinum interaction which identified participation of the SO3- and CF3 groups in Nafion adsorption. The use of ethanol as a fuel stream in proton exchange membrane fuel cells provides a promising alternative to methanol. Relative to methanol, ethanol has a greater energy density, lower toxicity and can be made from the fermentation of biomass(4). Operando IR spectroscopy was used to study the oxidation pathway of ethanol and Stark tuning behavior of carbon monoxide on Pt, Ru, and PtRu electrodes. Potential dependent products such as acetaldehyde, acetic acid and carbon monoxide are identified as well as previously

  18. Molten carbonate fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Kaun, Thomas D.; Smith, James L.

    1987-01-01

    A molten electrolyte fuel cell with an array of stacked cells and cell enclosures isolating each cell except for access to gas manifolds for the supply of fuel or oxidant gas or the removal of waste gas, the cell enclosures collectively providing an enclosure for the array and effectively avoiding the problems of electrolyte migration and the previous need for compression of stack components, the fuel cell further including an inner housing about and in cooperation with the array enclosure to provide a manifold system with isolated chambers for the supply and removal of gases. An external insulated housing about the inner housing provides thermal isolation to the cell components.

  19. Molten carbonate fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Kaun, T.D.; Smith, J.L.

    1986-07-08

    A molten electrolyte fuel cell is disclosed with an array of stacked cells and cell enclosures isolating each cell except for access to gas manifolds for the supply of fuel or oxidant gas or the removal of waste gas. The cell enclosures collectively provide an enclosure for the array and effectively avoid the problems of electrolyte migration and the previous need for compression of stack components. The fuel cell further includes an inner housing about and in cooperation with the array enclosure to provide a manifold system with isolated chambers for the supply and removal of gases. An external insulated housing about the inner housing provides thermal isolation to the cell components.

  20. Fuel cell market applications

    SciTech Connect

    Williams, M.C.

    1995-12-31

    This is a review of the US (and international) fuel cell development for the stationary power generation market. Besides DOE, GRI, and EPRI sponsorship, the US fuel cell program has over 40% cost-sharing from the private sector. Support is provided by user groups with over 75 utility and other end-user members. Objectives are to develop and demonstrate cost-effective fuel cell power generation which can initially be commercialized into various market applications using natural gas fuel by the year 2000. Types of fuel cells being developed include PAFC (phosphoric acid), MCFC (molten carbonate), and SOFC (solid oxide); status of each is reported. Potential international applications are reviewed also. Fuel cells are viewed as a force in dispersed power generation, distributed power, cogeneration, and deregulated industry. Specific fuel cell attributes are discussed: Fuel cells promise to be one of the most reliable power sources; they are now being used in critical uninterruptible power systems. They need hydrogen which can be generated internally from natural gas, coal gas, methanol landfill gas, or other fuels containing hydrocarbons. Finally, fuel cell development and market applications in Japan are reviewed briefly.

  1. Micro-Tubular Fuel Cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kimble, Michael C.; Anderson, Everett B.; Jayne, Karen D.; Woodman, Alan S.

    2004-01-01

    Micro-tubular fuel cells that would operate at power levels on the order of hundreds of watts or less are under development as alternatives to batteries in numerous products - portable power tools, cellular telephones, laptop computers, portable television receivers, and small robotic vehicles, to name a few examples. Micro-tubular fuel cells exploit advances in the art of proton-exchange-membrane fuel cells. The main advantage of the micro-tubular fuel cells over the plate-and-frame fuel cells would be higher power densities: Whereas the mass and volume power densities of low-pressure hydrogen-and-oxygen-fuel plate-and-frame fuel cells designed to operate in the targeted power range are typically less than 0.1 W/g and 0.1 kW/L, micro-tubular fuel cells are expected to reach power densities much greater than 1 W/g and 1 kW/L. Because of their higher power densities, micro-tubular fuel cells would be better for powering portable equipment, and would be better suited to applications in which there are requirements for modularity to simplify maintenance or to facilitate scaling to higher power levels. The development of PEMFCs has conventionally focused on producing large stacks of cells that operate at typical power levels >5 kW. The usual approach taken to developing lower-power PEMFCs for applications like those listed above has been to simply shrink the basic plate-and-frame configuration to smaller dimensions. A conventional plate-and-frame fuel cell contains a membrane/electrode assembly in the form of a flat membrane with electrodes of the same active area bonded to both faces. In order to provide reactants to both electrodes, bipolar plates that contain flow passages are placed on both electrodes. The mass and volume overhead of the bipolar plates amounts to about 75 percent of the total mass and volume of a fuel-cell stack. Removing these bipolar plates in the micro-tubular fuel cell significantly increases the power density.

  2. Fuel cell system for transportation applications

    DOEpatents

    Kumar, R.; Ahmed, S.; Krumpelt, M.; Myles, K.M.

    1993-09-28

    A propulsion system is described for a vehicle having pairs of front and rear wheels and a fuel tank. An electrically driven motor having an output shaft operatively connected to at least one of said pair of wheels is connected to a fuel cell having a positive electrode and a negative electrode separated by an electrolyte for producing dc power to operate the motor. A partial oxidation reformer is connected both to the fuel tank and to the fuel cell and receives hydrogen-containing fuel from the fuel tank and uses water and air for partially oxidizing and reforming the fuel in the presence of an oxidizing catalyst and a reforming catalyst to produce a hydrogen-containing gas. The hydrogen-containing gas is sent from the partial oxidation reformer to the fuel cell negative electrode while air is transported to the fuel cell positive electrode to produce dc power for operating the electric motor. 3 figures.

  3. Fuel cell system for transportation applications

    DOEpatents

    Kumar, Romesh; Ahmed, Shabbir; Krumpelt, Michael; Myles, Kevin M.

    1993-01-01

    A propulsion system for a vehicle having pairs of front and rear wheels and a fuel tank. An electrically driven motor having an output shaft operatively connected to at least one of said pair of wheels is connected to a fuel cell having a positive electrode and a negative electrode separated by an electrolyte for producing dc power to operate the motor. A partial oxidation reformer is connected both to the fuel tank and to the fuel cell receives hydrogen-containing fuel from the fuel tank and water and air and for partially oxidizing and reforming the fuel with water and air in the presence of an oxidizing catalyst and a reforming catalyst to produce a hydrogen-containing gas. The hydrogen-containing gas is sent from the partial oxidation reformer to the fuel cell negative electrode while air is transported to the fuel cell positive electrode to produce dc power for operating the electric motor.

  4. Anode purge strategy optimization of the polymer electrode membrane fuel cell system under the dead-end anode operation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Zhe; Yu, Yi; Wang, Guangjin; Chen, Xuesong; Chen, Pei; Chen, Jun; Zhou, Su

    2016-07-01

    Dead-ended anode (DEA) mode is commonly applied in fuel cell vehicles for the hydrogen purge at the anode side, to reduce fuel waste and enhance fuel cell efficiency. Anode purge is necessary and is definitely important with respect to removing liquid water and accumulated nitrogen in the gas diffusion layer and the flow field of the DEA-mode fuel cell. In this paper, the effect of different purge strategies on the stack performance and system efficiency is investigated experimentally using fast data acquisition and advanced tools, such as the fast cell voltage measurement (CVM) system and the mass spectrum. From the fast data acquisition, the voltage stability, liquid water and nitrogen concentration measurement in the anode exhaust are compared and analyzed under different purge strategy designs and using different purge valves. The results show that under the optimal purge strategy, the DEA fuel cell stack can achieve the desired stability and system efficiency based on the analysis of the cell voltage and purge volume. Moreover, the diameter of the purge valve has a great impact on the voltage stability because a diameter change will result in a different pressure drop and purge volume when the purge valve is open.

  5. The TMI regenerable solid oxide fuel cell

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cable, Thomas L.

    1995-01-01

    Energy storage and production in space requires rugged, reliable hardware which minimizes weight, volume, and maintenance while maximizing power output and usable energy storage. These systems generally consist of photovoltaic solar arrays which operate during sunlight cycles to provide system power and regenerate fuel (hydrogen) via water electrolysis; during dark cycles, hydrogen is converted by the fuel cell into system. The currently preferred configuration uses two separate systems (fuel cell and electrolyzer) in conjunction with photovoltaic cells. Fuel cell/electrolyzer system simplicity, reliability, and power-to-weight and power-to-volume ratios could be greatly improved if both power production (fuel cell) and power storage (electrolysis) functions can be integrated into a single unit. The Technology Management, Inc. (TMI), solid oxide fuel cell-based system offers the opportunity to both integrate fuel cell and electrolyzer functions into one unit and potentially simplify system requirements. Based an the TMI solid oxide fuel cell (SOPC) technology, the TMI integrated fuel cell/electrolyzer utilizes innovative gas storage and operational concepts and operates like a rechargeable 'hydrogen-oxygen battery'. Preliminary research has been completed on improved H2/H2O electrode (SOFC anode/electrolyzer cathode) materials for solid oxide, regenerative fuel cells. Improved H2/H2O electrode materials showed improved cell performance in both fuel cell and electrolysis modes in reversible cell tests. ln reversible fuel cell/electrolyzer mode, regenerative fuel cell efficiencies (ratio of power out (fuel cell mode) to power in (electrolyzer model)) improved from 50 percent (using conventional electrode materials) to over 80 percent. The new materials will allow the TMI SOFC system to operate as both the electrolyzer and fuel cell in a single unit. Preliminary system designs have also been developed which indicate the technical feasibility of using the TMI SOFC

  6. Fuel cell stack monitoring and system control

    DOEpatents

    Keskula, Donald H.; Doan, Tien M.; Clingerman, Bruce J.

    2005-01-25

    A control method for monitoring a fuel cell stack in a fuel cell system in which the actual voltage and actual current from the fuel cell stack are monitored. A preestablished relationship between voltage and current over the operating range of the fuel cell is established. A variance value between the actual measured voltage and the expected voltage magnitude for a given actual measured current is calculated and compared with a predetermined allowable variance. An output is generated if the calculated variance value exceeds the predetermined variance. The predetermined voltage-current for the fuel cell is symbolized as a polarization curve at given operating conditions of the fuel cell. Other polarization curves may be generated and used for fuel cell stack monitoring based on different operating pressures, temperatures, hydrogen quantities.

  7. A review on durability issues and restoration techniques in long-term operations of direct methanol fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mehmood, Asad; Scibioh, M. Aulice; Prabhuram, Joghee; An, Myung-Gi; Ha, Heung Yong

    2015-11-01

    Direct methanol fuel cells (DMFCs) remain attractive among advanced energy conversion technologies due to their high energy density and simple system configuration. Although they made an early market entry but failed to attain a large-scale commercialization mainly because of their inferior performance sustainment in lifetime operations and high production costs. There have been lots of R&D efforts made to upgrade the long-term durability of DMFCs to a commercially acceptable standard. These rigorous efforts have been useful in gaining insights about various degradation mechanisms and their origins. This review first briefly describes the recent progress in lifetime enhancement of DMFC technology reported by various groups in academia and industry. Then, it is followed by comprehensive discussions on the major performance degradation routes and associated physico-chemical origins, and influence of operational parameters, together with the methods which have been employed to alleviate and restore the performance losses. Finally, a brief summary of the presented literature survey is provided in conjunction with some possible future research directions.

  8. Microstructural analysis of mass transport phenomena in gas diffusion media for high current density operation in PEM fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kotaka, Toshikazu; Tabuchi, Yuichiro; Mukherjee, Partha P.

    2015-04-01

    Cost reduction is a key issue for commercialization of fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV). High current density operation is a solution pathway. In order to realize high current density operation, it is necessary to reduce mass transport resistance in the gas diffusion media commonly consisted of gas diffusion layer (GDL) and micro porous layer (MPL). However, fundamental understanding of the underlying mass transport phenomena in the porous components is not only critical but also not fully understood yet due to the inherent microstructural complexity. In this study, a comprehensive analysis of electron and oxygen transport in the GDL and MPL is conducted experimentally and numerically with three-dimensional (3D) microstructural data to reveal the structure-transport relationship. The results reveal that the mass transport in the GDL is strongly dependent on the local microstructural variations, such as local pore/solid volume fractions and connectivity. However, especially in the case of the electrical conductivity of MPL, the contact resistance between carbon particles is the dominant factor. This suggests that reducing the contact resistance between carbon particles and/or the number of contact points along the transport pathway can improve the electrical conductivity of MPL.

  9. Investigation of the flow field inside the manifold of a real operated fuel cell stack using optical measurements and Computational Fluid Mechanics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmieder, Felix; Kinaci, Mustafa E.; Wartmann, Jens; König, Jörg; Büttner, Lars; Czarske, Jürgen; Burgmann, Sebastian; Heinzel, Angelika

    2016-02-01

    The versatility of fuel cells enables a wide range of applications. Usually fuel cells are combined to stacks such that the reactant supply of the single cells is achieved via a pipe branching system, the manifold. The overall performance significantly depends on cell flow rates which are related to the fluidic interaction of the manifold and the cells. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations, which are often used to find a suitable design, lack experimental flow data for validation of the numerical results. To enable flow measurements within the small geometries of the manifold and to provide reliable velocity information inside a real fuel cell stack, a low-coherence Laser Doppler Anemometer (LDA) is applied, which uses multi-mode laser light to achieve a spatial resolution of <100 μm. The use of fluorescent particles and backward scatter mode make the sensor highly suitable for the application in small manifold geometries like in fuel cell stacks. Sensor and measurement technique are validated in simplified stack models and the applicability to air flows is demonstrated. Finally, for the first time, velocity profiles with high spatial resolution inside an operated fuel cell stack are presented, which serve as benchmark for CFD to find an optimal geometry.

  10. Fuel cell technology for prototype logistic fuel cell mobile systems

    SciTech Connect

    Sederquist, R.A.; Garow, J.

    1995-08-01

    Under the aegis of the Advanced Research Project Agency`s family of programs to develop advanced technology for dual use applications, International Fuel Cells Corporation (IFC) is conducting a 39 month program to develop an innovative system concept for DoD Mobile Electric Power (MEP) applications. The concept is to integrate two technologies, the phosphoric acid fuel cell (PAFC) with an auto-thermal reformer (ATR), into an efficient fuel cell power plant of nominally 100-kilowatt rating which operates on logistic fuels (JP-8). The ATR fuel processor is the key to meeting requirements for MEP (including weight, volume, reliability, maintainability, efficiency, and especially operation on logistic fuels); most of the effort is devoted to ATR development. An integrated demonstration test unit culminates the program and displays the benefits of the fuel cell system, relative to the standard 100-kilowatt MEP diesel engine generator set. A successful test provides the basis for proceeding toward deployment. This paper describes the results of the first twelve months of activity during which specific program aims have remained firm.

  11. Automotive Fuel Processor Development and Demonstration with Fuel Cell Systems

    SciTech Connect

    Nuvera Fuel Cells

    2005-04-15

    The potential for fuel cell systems to improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions over conventional power systems has generated significant interest in fuel cell technologies. While fuel cells are being investigated for use in many applications such as stationary power generation and small portable devices, transportation applications present some unique challenges for fuel cell technology. Due to their lower operating temperature and non-brittle materials, most transportation work is focusing on fuel cells using proton exchange membrane (PEM) technology. Since PEM fuel cells are fueled by hydrogen, major obstacles to their widespread use are the lack of an available hydrogen fueling infrastructure and hydrogen's relatively low energy storage density, which leads to a much lower driving range than conventional vehicles. One potential solution to the hydrogen infrastructure and storage density issues is to convert a conventional fuel such as gasoline into hydrogen onboard the vehicle using a fuel processor. Figure 2 shows that gasoline stores roughly 7 times more energy per volume than pressurized hydrogen gas at 700 bar and 4 times more than liquid hydrogen. If integrated properly, the fuel processor/fuel cell system would also be more efficient than traditional engines and would give a fuel economy benefit while hydrogen storage and distribution issues are being investigated. Widespread implementation of fuel processor/fuel cell systems requires improvements in several aspects of the technology, including size, startup time, transient response time, and cost. In addition, the ability to operate on a number of hydrocarbon fuels that are available through the existing infrastructure is a key enabler for commercializing these systems. In this program, Nuvera Fuel Cells collaborated with the Department of Energy (DOE) to develop efficient, low-emission, multi-fuel processors for transportation applications. Nuvera's focus was on (1) developing fuel processor

  12. Annular feed air breathing fuel cell stack

    DOEpatents

    Wilson, Mahlon S.

    1996-01-01

    A stack of polymer electrolyte fuel cells is formed from a plurality of unit cells where each unit cell includes fuel cell components defining a periphery and distributed along a common axis, where the fuel cell components include a polymer electrolyte membrane, an anode and a cathode contacting opposite sides of the membrane, and fuel and oxygen flow fields contacting the anode and the cathode, respectively, wherein the components define an annular region therethrough along the axis. A fuel distribution manifold within the annular region is connected to deliver fuel to the fuel flow field in each of the unit cells. In a particular embodiment, a single bolt through the annular region clamps the unit cells together. In another embodiment, separator plates between individual unit cells have an extended radial dimension to function as cooling fins for maintaining the operating temperature of the fuel cell stack.

  13. Miniature ceramic fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    Lessing, Paul A.; Zuppero, Anthony C.

    1997-06-24

    A miniature power source assembly capable of providing portable electricity is provided. A preferred embodiment of the power source assembly employing a fuel tank, fuel pump and control, air pump, heat management system, power chamber, power conditioning and power storage. The power chamber utilizes a ceramic fuel cell to produce the electricity. Incoming hydro carbon fuel is automatically reformed within the power chamber. Electrochemical combustion of hydrogen then produces electricity.

  14. Anode supported single chamber solid oxide fuel cells operating in exhaust gases of thermal engine

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Briault, Pauline; Rieu, Mathilde; Laucournet, Richard; Morel, Bertrand; Viricelle, Jean-Paul

    2014-12-01

    This project deals with the development and the electrochemical characterization of anode supported single chamber SOFC in a simulated environment of thermal engine exhaust gas. In the present work, a gas mixture representative of exhaust conditions is selected. It is composed of hydrocarbons (HC: propane and propene), oxygen, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, hydrogen and water. Only oxygen content is varied leading to different gas mixtures characterized by three ratios R = HC/O2. Concerning the cell components, a cermet made of nickel and an electrolyte material, Ce0.9Gd0.1O1.95 (CGO) is used as anode and two cathode materials, La0.6Sr0.4Co0.2Fe0.8O3-δ (LSCF) and Pr2NiO4+δ (PNO), are evaluated. The prepared cells are investigated in the various gas mixtures for temperatures ranging from 450 °C to 600 °C. Ni-CGO/CGO/LSCF-CGO cell has delivered a maximum power density of 15 mW cm-2 at 500 °C with R = HC/O2 = 0.21, while lower power densities are obtained for the other ratios, R = 0.44 and R = 0.67. Afterwards, LSCF and PNO cathode materials are compared and LSCF is found to deliver the highest power densities. Finally, by improving the electrolyte microstructure, some cells presenting a maximum power density of 25 mW cm-2 at 550 °C are produced. Moreover, up to 17% of initial HC are eliminated in the gas mixture.

  15. Soft X-ray imaging and spectromicroscopy: new insights in chemical state and morphology of the key components in operating fuel-cells.

    PubMed

    Bozzini, Benedetto; Abyaneh, Majid Kazemian; Amati, Matteo; Gianoncelli, Alessandra; Gregoratti, Luca; Kaulich, Burkhard; Kiskinova, Maya

    2012-08-13

    Fuel cells are one of the most appealing environmentally friendly devices for the effective conversion of chemical energy into electricity and heat, but still there are key barriers to their broad commercialization. In addition to efficiency, a major challenge of fuel-cell technology is the durability of the key components (interconnects, electrodes, and electrolytes) that can be subject to corrosion or undesired morphology and chemical changes occurring under operating conditions. The complementary capabilities of synchrotron-based soft X-ray microscopes in terms of imaging, spectroscopy, spatial and time resolution, and variable probing depths are opening unique opportunities to shed light on the multiple processes occurring in these complex systems at microscopic length scales. This type of information is prerequisite for understanding and controlling the performance and durability of such devices. This paper reviews the most recent efforts in the implementation of these methods for exploring the evolving structure and chemical composition of some key fuel cell components. Recent achievements are illustrated by selected results obtained with simplified versions of proton-exchange fuel-cells (PEFC) and solid-oxide fuel-cells (SOFC), which allow in situ monitoring of the redox reactions resulting in: 1) undesired deposits at interconnects and electrodes (PEFC); 2) material interactions at the electrode-electrolyte interface (PEFC); 3) release of corrosion products to the electrolyte phase (PEFC, and 4) mass-transport processes and structural changes occurring at the high operation temperatures of SOFC and promoted by the polarization. PMID:22836392

  16. Long-term operation of double chambered microbial fuel cell for bio-electro denitrification.

    PubMed

    Oon, Yoong-Sin; Ong, Soon-An; Ho, Li-Ngee; Wong, Yee-Shian; Oon, Yoong-Ling; Lehl, Harvinder Kaur; Thung, Wei-Eng

    2016-06-01

    The main aim of this study is to investigate the performance of organic oxidation and denitrification of the system under long-term operation. The MFC reactor was operated in continuous mode for 180 days. Nitrate was successfully demonstrated as terminal electron acceptor, where nitrate was reduced at the cathode using electron provided by acetate oxidation at the anode. The removal efficiencies of chemical oxygen demand (COD) and nitrate were higher in the closed circuit system than in open circuit system. Both COD and nitrate reduction improved with the increase of organic loading and subsequently contributed to higher power output. The maximum nitrate removal efficiency was 88 ± 4 % (influent of 141 ± 14 mg/L). The internal resistant was 50 Ω, which was found to be low for a double chambered MFC. The maximum power density was 669 mW/m(3) with current density of 3487 mA/m(3). PMID:26894384

  17. A lithotrophic microbial fuel cell operated with pseudomonads-dominated iron-oxidizing bacteria enriched at the anode

    PubMed Central

    Nguyen, Thuy Thu; Luong, Tha Thanh Thi; Tran, Phuong Hoang Nguyen; Bui, Ha Thi Viet; Nguyen, Huy Quang; Dinh, Hang Thuy; Kim, Byung Hong; Pham, Hai The

    2015-01-01

    In this study, we attempted to enrich neutrophilic iron bacteria in a microbial fuel cell (MFC)-type reactor in order to develop a lithotrophic MFC system that can utilize ferrous iron as an inorganic electron donor and operate at neutral pHs. Electrical currents were steadily generated at an average level of 0.6 mA (or 0.024 mA cm–2 of membrane area) in reactors initially inoculated with microbial sources and operated with 20 mM Fe2+ as the sole electron donor and 10 ohm external resistance; whereas in an uninoculated reactor (the control), the average current level only reached 0.2 mA (or 0.008 mA cm–2 of membrane area). In an inoculated MFC, the generation of electrical currents was correlated with increases in cell density of bacteria in the anode suspension and coupled with the oxidation of ferrous iron. Cultivation-based and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis analyses both show the dominance of some Pseudomonas species in the anode communities of the MFCs. Fluorescent in-situ hybridization results revealed significant increases of neutrophilic iron-oxidizing bacteria in the anode community of an inoculated MFC. The results, altogether, prove the successful development of a lithotrophic MFC system with iron bacteria enriched at its anode and suggest a chemolithotrophic anode reaction involving some Pseudomonas species as key players in such a system. The system potentially offers unique applications, such as accelerated bioremediation or on-site biodetection of iron and/or manganese in water samples. PMID:25712332

  18. CLIMATE CHANGE FUEL CELL PROGRAM

    SciTech Connect

    Mike Walneuski

    2004-09-16

    ChevronTexaco has successfully operated a 200 kW PC25C phosphoric acid fuel cell power plant at the corporate data center in San Ramon, California for the past two years and seven months following installation in December 2001. This site was chosen based on the ability to utilize the combined heat (hot water) and power generation capability of this modular fuel cell power plant in an office park setting . In addition, this project also represents one of the first commercial applications of a stationary fuel cell for a mission critical data center to assess power reliability benefits. This fuel cell power plant system has demonstrated outstanding reliability and performance relative to other comparably sized cogeneration systems.

  19. Electrochemical cell operation and system

    DOEpatents

    Maru, Hansraj C.

    1980-03-11

    Thermal control in fuel cell operation is affected through sensible heat of process gas by providing common input manifolding of the cell gas flow passage in communication with the cell electrolyte and an additional gas flow passage which is isolated from the cell electrolyte and in thermal communication with a heat-generating surface of the cell. Flow level in the cell gas flow passage is selected based on desired output electrical energy and flow level in the additional gas flow passage is selected in accordance with desired cell operating temperature.

  20. Liquid fuel cells

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Summary The advantages of liquid fuel cells (LFCs) over conventional hydrogen–oxygen fuel cells include a higher theoretical energy density and efficiency, a more convenient handling of the streams, and enhanced safety. This review focuses on the use of different types of organic fuels as an anode material for LFCs. An overview of the current state of the art and recent trends in the development of LFC and the challenges of their practical implementation are presented. PMID:25247123

  1. Tilted fuel cell apparatus

    DOEpatents

    Cooper, John F.; Cherepy, Nerine; Krueger, Roger L.

    2005-04-12

    Bipolar, tilted embodiments of high temperature, molten electrolyte electrochemical cells capable of directly converting carbon fuel to electrical energy are disclosed herein. The bipolar, tilted configurations minimize the electrical resistance between one cell and others connected in electrical series. The tilted configuration also allows continuous refueling of carbon fuel.

  2. Fuel Cells for Society

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1999-01-01

    Through a SBIR contract with Lewis Research Center, ElectroChem, Inc. developed a hydrogen/oxygen fuel cell. The objective for Lewis Research Center's collaboration with ElectroChem was to develop a fuel cell system that could deliver 200-W (minimum) approximately to 10kWh of electrical energy.

  3. PLATINUM AND FUEL CELLS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Platinum requirements for fuel cell vehicles (FCVS) have been identified as a concern and possible problem with FCV market penetration. Platinum is a necessary component of the electrodes of fuel cell engines that power the vehicles. The platinum is deposited on porous electrodes...

  4. Regenerative fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Swette, Larry L.; Kackley, Nancy D.; Laconti, Anthony B.

    1992-01-01

    A development status evaluation is presented for moderate-temperature, single-unit, regenerative fuel cells using either alkaline or solid polymer proton-exchange membrane (PEM) electrolytes. Attention is given to the results thus far obtained for Pt, Ir, Rh, and Na(x)Pt3O4 catalysts. Alkaline electrolyte tests have been performed on a half-cell basis with a floating-electrode cell; PEM testing has been with complete fuel cells, using Nafion 117.

  5. PEM fuel cell monitoring system

    DOEpatents

    Meltser, M.A.; Grot, S.A.

    1998-06-09

    Method and apparatus are disclosed for monitoring the performance of H{sub 2}--O{sub 2} PEM fuel cells. Outputs from a cell/stack voltage monitor and a cathode exhaust gas H{sub 2} sensor are corrected for stack operating conditions, and then compared to predetermined levels of acceptability. If certain unacceptable conditions coexist, an operator is alerted and/or corrective measures are automatically undertaken. 2 figs.

  6. PEM fuel cell monitoring system

    DOEpatents

    Meltser, Mark Alexander; Grot, Stephen Andreas

    1998-01-01

    Method and apparatus for monitoring the performance of H.sub.2 --O.sub.2 PEM fuel cells. Outputs from a cell/stack voltage monitor and a cathode exhaust gas H.sub.2 sensor are corrected for stack operating conditions, and then compared to predetermined levels of acceptability. If certain unacceptable conditions coexist, an operator is alerted and/or corrective measures are automatically undertaken.

  7. Hybrid Cars Now, Fuel Cell Cars Later

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Demirdöven, Nurettin; Deutch, John

    2004-08-01

    We compare the energy efficiency of hybrid and fuel cell vehicles as well as conventional internal combustion engines. Our analysis indicates that fuel cell vehicles using hydrogen from fossil fuels offer no significant energy efficiency advantage over hybrid vehicles operating in an urban drive cycle. We conclude that priority should be placed on hybrid vehicles by industry and government.

  8. General Motors automotive fuel cell program

    SciTech Connect

    Fronk, M.H.

    1995-08-01

    The objectives of the second phase of the GM/DOE fuel cell program is to develop and test a 30 kW fuel cell powerplant. This powerplant will be based on a methanol fuel processor and a proton exchange membrane PM fuel cell stack. In addition, the 10 kW system developed during phase I will be used as a {open_quotes}mule{close_quotes} to test automotive components and other ancillaries, needed for transient operation.

  9. Fuel Cell Applied Research Project

    SciTech Connect

    Lee Richardson

    2006-09-15

    Since November 12, 2003, Northern Alberta Institute of Technology has been operating a 200 kW phosphoric acid fuel cell to provide electrical and thermal energy to its campus. The project was made possible by funding from the U.S. Department of Energy as well as by a partnership with the provincial Alberta Energy Research Institute; a private-public partnership, Climate Change Central; the federal Ministry of Western Economic Development; and local natural gas supplier, ATCO Gas. Operation of the fuel cell has contributed to reducing NAIT's carbon dioxide emissions through its efficient use of natural gas.

  10. Separation of gaseous hydrogen from a water-hydrogen mixture in a fuel cell power system operating in a weightless environment

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Romanowski, William E. (Inventor); Suljak, George T. (Inventor)

    1989-01-01

    A fuel cell power system for use in a weightless environment, such as in space, includes a device for removing water from a water-hydrogen mixture condensed from the exhaust from the fuel cell power section of the system. Water is removed from the mixture in a centrifugal separator, and is fed into a holding, pressure operated water discharge valve via a Pitot tube. Entrained nondissolved hydrogen is removed from the Pitot tube by a bleed orifice in the Pitot tube before the water reaches the water discharge valve. Water discharged from the valve thus has a substantially reduced hydrogen content.

  11. Microscale measurements of oxygen concentration across the thickness of diffusion media in operating polymer electrolyte fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Epting, William K.; Litster, Shawn

    2016-02-01

    Although polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) offer promise as efficient, low emission power sources, the large amount of platinum catalyst used for the cathode's oxygen reduction (ORR) results in high costs. One approach to using less Pt is to increase the oxygen concentration at the catalyst by reducing the oxygen transport resistances. An important resistance is that of the diffusion media (DM). The DM are highly heterogeneous porous carbon fiber substrates with a graded composition of additives across their thickness. In this work we use an oxygen microsensor with a micro-positioning system to measure the oxygen concentration and presence of liquid water in the pores at discrete points across the thickness of a commercial carbon felt DM in operating PEFCs. Under conditions with no liquid water, the DM accounts for 60% of the oxygen depletion, with 60-70% of that depletion being due to the thin microporous layer (MPL) on the catalyst layer (CL) side. Using concentration gradient data, we quantify the non-uniform local transport resistance across the DM and relate it to high resolution 3D X-ray computed tomography of the same DM.

  12. Electricity generation and bivalent copper reduction as a function of operation time and cathode electrode material in microbial fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wu, Dan; Huang, Liping; Quan, Xie; Li Puma, Gianluca

    2016-03-01

    The performance of carbon rod (CR), titanium sheet (TS), stainless steel woven mesh (SSM) and copper sheet (CS) cathode materials are investigated in microbial fuel cells (MFCs) for simultaneous electricity generation and Cu(II) reduction, in multiple batch cycle operations. After 12 cycles, the MFC with CR exhibits 55% reduction in the maximum power density and 76% increase in Cu(II) removal. In contrast, the TS and SSM cathodes at cycle 12 show maximum power densities of 1.7 (TS) and 3.4 (SSM) times, and Cu(II) removal of 1.2 (TS) and 1.3 (SSM) times higher than those observed during the first cycle. Diffusional resistance in the TS and SSM cathodes is found to appreciably decrease over time due to the copper deposition. In contrast to CR, TS and SSM, the cathode made with CS is heavily corroded in the first cycle, exhibiting significant reduction in both the maximum power density and Cu(II) removal at cycle 2, after which the performance stabilizes. These results demonstrate that the initial deposition of copper on the cathodes of MFCs is crucial for efficient and continuous Cu(II) reduction and electricity generation over prolonged time. This effect is closely associated with the nature of the cathode material. Among the materials examined, the SSM is the most effective and inexpensive cathode for practical use in MFCs.

  13. Modulated ionomer distribution in the catalyst layer of polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells for high temperature operation.

    PubMed

    Choo, Min-Ju; Oh, Keun-Hwan; Kim, Hee-Tak; Park, Jung-Ki

    2014-08-01

    Ionomer distribution is an important design parameter for high performance polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFCs); however, the nano-scale modulation of the ionomer morphology has not been intensively explored. Here, we propose a new route to modulate the ionomer distribution that features the introduction of poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) to the cathode catalyst layer and the leaching the PEG phase from the catalyst layer using a water effluent during operation. The key concept in the approach is the expansion of the ionomer thin film through the PEG addition. We demonstrate that the modulated ionomer distribution increases the electrochemical active area and proton transport property, without loss in oxygen transport, at a fixed ionomer content. At a high temperature of 120 °C, the power performance at 0.6 V is increased by 1.73-fold with the modulated ionomer distribution as a result of 1.25-fold increase in the electrochemical active area and two-fold increase in the proton transport rate in the catalyst layer. PMID:24777945

  14. Fuel-cell-powered golf cart

    SciTech Connect

    Bobbett, R.E.; McCormick, J.B.; Lynn, D.K.; Kerwin, W.J.; Derouin, C.R.; Salazar, P.H.

    1980-01-01

    The implementation of a battery/fuel-cell-powered golf cart test bed designed to verify computer simulations and to gain operational experience with a fuel cell in a vehicular environment is described. A technically untrained driver can easily operate the golf cart because the motor and fuel cell controllers automatically sense and execute the appropriate on/off sequencing. A voltage imbalance circuit and a throttle compress circuit were developed that are directly applicable to electric vehicles in general.

  15. Corrigendum to "Sinusoidal potential cycling operation of a direct ethanol fuel cell to improving carbon dioxide yields" [J. Power Sources 268 (5 December 2014) 439-442

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Majidi, Pasha; Pickup, Peter G.

    2016-09-01

    The authors regret that Equation (5) is incorrect and has resulted in errors in Fig. 4 and the efficiencies stated on p. 442. The corrected equation, figure and text are presented below. In addition, the title should be 'Sinusoidal potential cycling operation of a direct ethanol fuel cell to improve carbon dioxide yields', and the reversible cell potential quoted on p. 441 should be 1.14 V. The authors would like to apologise for any inconvenience caused.

  16. Fuel cell water transport

    DOEpatents

    Vanderborgh, Nicholas E.; Hedstrom, James C.

    1990-01-01

    The moisture content and temperature of hydrogen and oxygen gases is regulated throughout traverse of the gases in a fuel cell incorporating a solid polymer membrane. At least one of the gases traverses a first flow field adjacent the solid polymer membrane, where chemical reactions occur to generate an electrical current. A second flow field is located sequential with the first flow field and incorporates a membrane for effective water transport. A control fluid is then circulated adjacent the second membrane on the face opposite the fuel cell gas wherein moisture is either transported from the control fluid to humidify a fuel gas, e.g., hydrogen, or to the control fluid to prevent excess water buildup in the oxidizer gas, e.g., oxygen. Evaporation of water into the control gas and the control gas temperature act to control the fuel cell gas temperatures throughout the traverse of the fuel cell by the gases.

  17. Microfluidic fuel cells

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kjeang, Erik

    Microfluidic fuel cell architectures are presented in this thesis. This work represents the mechanical and microfluidic portion of a microfluidic biofuel cell project. While the microfluidic fuel cells developed here are targeted to eventual integration with biocatalysts, the contributions of this thesis have more general applicability. The cell architectures are developed and evaluated based on conventional non-biological electrocatalysts. The fuel cells employ co-laminar flow of fuel and oxidant streams that do not require a membrane for physical separation, and comprise carbon or gold electrodes compatible with most enzyme immobilization schemes developed to date. The demonstrated microfluidic fuel cell architectures include the following: a single cell with planar gold electrodes and a grooved channel architecture that accommodates gaseous product evolution while preventing crossover effects; a single cell with planar carbon electrodes based on graphite rods; a three-dimensional hexagonal array cell based on multiple graphite rod electrodes with unique scale-up opportunities; a single cell with porous carbon electrodes that provides enhanced power output mainly attributed to the increased active area; a single cell with flow-through porous carbon electrodes that provides improved performance and overall energy conversion efficiency; and a single cell with flow-through porous gold electrodes with similar capabilities and reduced ohmic resistance. As compared to previous results, the microfluidic fuel cells developed in this work show improved fuel cell performance (both in terms of power density and efficiency). In addition, this dissertation includes the development of an integrated electrochemical velocimetry approach for microfluidic devices, and a computational modeling study of strategic enzyme patterning for microfluidic biofuel cells with consecutive reactions.

  18. TECHNICAL ASSESSMENT OF FUEL CELL OPERATION ON ANAEROBIC DIGESTER GAS AT THE YONKERS, NY, WASTEWATER TREATMENT PLANT

    EPA Science Inventory

    The paper summarizes the results of a 2-year field test to assess the performance of a specially modified commercial phosphoric acid 200 kW fuel cell power plant to recover energy from anaerobic digester gas (ADG) which has been cleansed of contaminants (sulfur and halide compoun...

  19. Fuel economy of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ahluwalia, Rajesh K.; Wang, X.; Rousseau, A.; Kumar, R.

    On the basis of on-road energy consumption, fuel economy (FE) of hydrogen fuel cell light-duty vehicles is projected to be 2.5-2.7 times the fuel economy of the conventional gasoline internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEV) on the same platforms. Even with a less efficient but higher power density 0.6 V per cell than the base case 0.7 V per cell at the rated power point, the hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are projected to offer essentially the same fuel economy multiplier. The key to obtaining high fuel economy as measured on standardized urban and highway drive schedules lies in maintaining high efficiency of the fuel cell (FC) system at low loads. To achieve this, besides a high performance fuel cell stack, low parasitic losses in the air management system (i.e., turndown and part load efficiencies of the compressor-expander module) are critical.

  20. Apparatus and method for grounding compressed fuel fueling operator

    DOEpatents

    Cohen, Joseph Perry; Farese, David John; Xu, Jianguo

    2002-06-11

    A safety system for grounding an operator at a fueling station prior to removing a fuel fill nozzle from a fuel tank upon completion of a fuel filling operation is provided which includes a fuel tank port in communication with the fuel tank for receiving and retaining the nozzle during the fuel filling operation and a grounding device adjacent to the fuel tank port which includes a grounding switch having a contact member that receives physical contact by the operator and where physical contact of the contact member activates the grounding switch. A releasable interlock is included that provides a lock position wherein the nozzle is locked into the port upon insertion of the nozzle into the port and a release position wherein the nozzle is releasable from the port upon completion of the fuel filling operation and after physical contact of the contact member is accomplished.

  1. Bipolar fuel cell

    DOEpatents

    McElroy, James F.

    1989-01-01

    The present invention discloses an improved fuel cell utilizing an ion transporting membrane having a catalytic anode and a catalytic cathode bonded to opposite sides of the membrane, a wet-proofed carbon sheet in contact with the cathode surface opposite that bonded to the membrane and a bipolar separator positioned in electrical contact with the carbon sheet and the anode of the adjacent fuel cell. Said bipolar separator and carbon sheet forming an oxidant flowpath, wherein the improvement comprises an electrically conductive screen between and in contact with the wet-proofed carbon sheet and the bipolar separator improving the product water removal system of the fuel cell.

  2. Preventing CO poisoning in fuel cells

    DOEpatents

    Gottesfeld, Shimshon

    1990-01-01

    Proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cell performance with CO contamination of the H.sub.2 fuel stream is substantially improved by injecting O.sub.2 into the fuel stream ahead of the fuel cell. It is found that a surface reaction occurs even at PEM operating temperatures below about 100.degree. C. to oxidatively remove the CO and restore electrode surface area for the H.sub.2 reaction to generate current. Using an O.sub.2 injection, a suitable fuel stream for a PEM fuel cell can be formed from a methanol source using conventional reforming processes for producing H.sub.2.

  3. Fuel cell sesquicentennial

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cohn, E. M.

    1979-01-01

    The development of fuel cell technology is summarized, and the potential for utility-type fuel cell installations is assessed on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the construction of the first fuel cell by Sir William Grove. The only functional fuel-cell systems developed to date, the hydrogen-oxygen cells used by NASA, are indicated, and hydrazine and alcohol (methanol) cells are considered. Areas requiring development before the implementation of fuel cells as general purpose utility-type electric generators include catalysts for naturally occurring hydrocarbons or processes for low-cost methanol or hydrazine production, efficient means of scrubbing and enriching air, self-regulating systems, and 15- to 20-fold power density increases. It is argued that although ideas for eliminating certain of the above-mentioned problems have been proposed, fuel-cell systems can never be expected to equal the efficiency, reliability and low cost of conventional power plants, and thus developmental support should be discontinued.

  4. Fuel processors for fuel cell APU applications

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Aicher, T.; Lenz, B.; Gschnell, F.; Groos, U.; Federici, F.; Caprile, L.; Parodi, L.

    The conversion of liquid hydrocarbons to a hydrogen rich product gas is a central process step in fuel processors for auxiliary power units (APUs) for vehicles of all kinds. The selection of the reforming process depends on the fuel and the type of the fuel cell. For vehicle power trains, liquid hydrocarbons like gasoline, kerosene, and diesel are utilized and, therefore, they will also be the fuel for the respective APU systems. The fuel cells commonly envisioned for mobile APU applications are molten carbonate fuel cells (MCFC), solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC), and proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC). Since high-temperature fuel cells, e.g. MCFCs or SOFCs, can be supplied with a feed gas that contains carbon monoxide (CO) their fuel processor does not require reactors for CO reduction and removal. For PEMFCs on the other hand, CO concentrations in the feed gas must not exceed 50 ppm, better 20 ppm, which requires additional reactors downstream of the reforming reactor. This paper gives an overview of the current state of the fuel processor development for APU applications and APU system developments. Furthermore, it will present the latest developments at Fraunhofer ISE regarding fuel processors for high-temperature fuel cell APU systems on board of ships and aircrafts.

  5. Stabilizing platinum in phosphoric acid fuel cells

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Remick, R. J.

    1982-01-01

    Platinum sintering on phosphoric acid fuel cell cathodes is discussed. The cathode of the phosphoric acid fuel cell uses a high surface area platinum catalyst dispersed on a conductive carbon support to minimize both cathode polarization and fabrication costs. During operation, however, the active surface area of these electrodes decreases, which in turn leads to decreased cell performance. This loss of active surface area is a major factor in the degradation of fuel cell performance over time.

  6. Alternate switching between microbial fuel cell and microbial electrolysis cell operation as a new method to control H2O2 level in Bioelectro-Fenton system

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Yifeng; Wang, Yong; Angelidaki, Irini

    2015-09-01

    Sustainable H2O2 supply and cost-effective elimination of residual H2O2 are two key challenges associated with the successful application of Fenton reaction for contaminant removal. In this study, an innovative Bioelectro-Fenton system capable of alternate switching between microbial electrolysis cell (MEC) and microbial fuel cell (MFC) mode of operation was developed to meet the challenges. In the MEC mode, a bioelectrochemical system (BES) produces H2O2 which reacts with Fenton's reagent (Fe II) to form hydroxyradical. The unused H2O2 (residual H2O2) is removed as electron acceptor by switching the system to MFC mode of operation. Complete decolorization and mineralization of 50 mg L-1 methylene blue (MB) was achieved in the MEC mode with apparent first order rate constants of 0.43 and 0.22 h-1, respectively. After switching to the MFC mode, residual H2O2 of 180 mg L-1 was removed at a removal rate of 4.61 mg L-1 h-1 while generating a maximum current density of 0.49 A m-2. The MB degradation and residual H2O2 removal were affected by external resistance, cathode pH and initial MB concentration. Furthermore, the system performance was enhanced under stack operation. This study provides a proof-in-concept new system for efficient and cost-effective H2O2 control and recalcitrant pollutants removal.

  7. Transient analysis of gas transport in anode channel of a polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cell with dead-ended anode under pressure swing operation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ichikawa, Yasushi; Oshima, Nobuyuki; Tabuchi, Yuichiro; Ikezoe, Keigo

    2014-12-01

    Further cost reduction is a critical issue for commercialization of fuel-cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) based on polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs). The cost of the fuel-cell system is driven by the multiple parts required to maximize stack performance and maintain durability and robustness. The fuel-cell system of the FCEV must be simplified while maintaining functionality. The dead-ended anode is considered as a means of simplification in this study. Generally, if hydrogen is supplied under constant pressure during dead-ended operation, stable power generation is impossible because of accumulation of liquid water produced by power generation and of nitrogen via leakage from the cathode through the membrane. Herein, pressure oscillation is applied to address this issue. Empirical and CFD data are employed to elucidate the mechanism of stable power generation using the pressure swing supply. Simultaneous and time-continuous measurements of the current distribution and gas concentration distribution are also conducted. The results demonstrate that the nitrogen concentration in the anode channel under pressure constant operation differs from that under pressure swing supply conditions. The transient two-dimensional CFD results indicate that oscillatory flow is generated by pressure swing supply, which periodically sweeps out nitrogen from the active area, resulting in stable power generation.

  8. Fuel Cells: Reshaping the Future

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Toay, Leo

    2004-01-01

    In conjunction with the FreedomCAR (Cooperative Automotive Research) and Fuel Initiative, President George W. Bush has pledged nearly two billion dollars for fuel cell research. Chrysler, Ford, and General Motors have unveiled fuel cell demonstration vehicles, and all three of these companies have invested heavily in fuel cell research. Fuel cell…

  9. Fuel cell generator energy dissipator

    DOEpatents

    Veyo, Stephen Emery; Dederer, Jeffrey Todd; Gordon, John Thomas; Shockling, Larry Anthony

    2000-01-01

    An apparatus and method are disclosed for eliminating the chemical energy of fuel remaining in a fuel cell generator when the electrical power output of the fuel cell generator is terminated. During a generator shut down condition, electrically resistive elements are automatically connected across the fuel cell generator terminals in order to draw current, thereby depleting the fuel

  10. Fuel Cell Animation

    NASA Video Gallery

    Oxygen (O2) and hydrogen (H2) migrate into the fuel cell. The oxygen molecules migrate to the catalyst where the anode strips some of their electrons. This allows them to move through the cathode a...