In September 2015, a new European R&D project INNO-SOFC for developing next-generation 50kW fuel cell systems for efficient and low-emission electricity production was started. Convion is a member of a large European consortium aiming to collaborate on forming an efficient value chain for entire fuel cell systems.
An EU Horizon 2020 funded project is co-ordinated by VTT and will be completed by April 2018.The project budget is EUR 4 million, of which the Finnish SME’s Convion and Elcogen will be allocated a total of EUR 2.3 million.
Project objective and focus
Within the project, a next-generation CHP ready 50kW fuel cell system is developed. Targeted figures of merit of the system are electrical efficiency of 60% Net-AC, total efficiency of 85% and halving of system cost as compared to the state-of-the-art. Additionally, doubling of fuel cell stack lifetime is aimed for. By default, Convion fuel cell systems are fuel flexible and can utilize natural gas or digester quality biogas at a very high efficiency. Recent extension of LNG delivery infrastructure enables also use of fuel cell systems outside the coverage of current gas distribution networks.
Compared with competing technologies, e.g. internal combustion engine generators, fuel cell systems exhibit a superior electrical efficiency, low CO2 emissions, low noise and negligible local emissions of nitrogen oxides, sulfur oxides or particulate matter. Improved efficiency is especially pronounced in sub-megawatt scale, in which fuel cells may exhibit an efficiency double that of competing technologies and produce CO2 emissions that are correspondingly lower. The target power output of 50kW is well suited for commercial and industrial applications.
Consortium and value chain
The project consortium built by VTT consists of Convion, which is responsible of system integration, design, manufacturing and validation of the new system, Elcogen, which is a SOFC stack supplier, and VTT as a co-ordinator of the project participating also in validation of performance and lifetime of the system and fuel cell stacks. Other members of the project consortium are Dutch Energy Matters, Italian ENEA, Dutch ElringKlinger AG and Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany.
Please, see the original press release of the project by VTT.