Fuel Cells for Zero Emission Heat and Power - SP4

Senior Research Scientist
458 30 447

This subproject investigates the use of fuel cell technology, considering the varying requirements of heat and power, hydrogen management and integration into the offshore energy system. Specific research includes high-efficiency, compact and robust systems fueled with hydrogen and/or ammonia. The development of reversible fuel cell technology for production of electricity and pressurisation of dry hydrogen is planned.

Main objective

The overall objective of SP4 is to investigate the use of fuel cell technologies on offshore installations, either to replace or hybridise with gas turbines for heat and power supply. By
hybridisation, fuel cells may contribute with 5-10% reduction in CO2-emissions. The research covers both low and high temperature technologies, respectively PEMFC and SOFC.

  • PEMFC aims at finding the optimal design and operational strategies of large-scale PEMFC power plant under dynamic loads.
  • Evaluate and optimise the inherent possibilities of SOFC technology integrated with the onsite energy system (intermittent renewable energy and gas turbines).
  • Assess the materials and long-term stability of reversible proton ceramic fuel cells (PCFC) (i.e., H+-SOFC) for production of electricity and pressurized dry H2.

Results 2021

MAIN RESULTS IN 2021

  • Report providing an overview of fuel cell system performance under dynamic conditions including BoP. The report is based on an extensive literature review and technology survey to evaluate and compare PEMFC and SOFC/PCFC technologies with respect to system integration on offshore platforms using hydrogen, ammonia, or natural gas as the fuel.
  • Testing of a PEMFC stack (8kW) provided by an industrial partner was successfully carried out under defined dynamic load profile and preliminary results show a good response under the given operating conditions.
  • Report describing solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) systems where various balance-of-plant components were described. Different options for how to combine these in a system for stationary applications were evaluated based on fuel (H2 and NH3) input and requirements for dynamic response and efficiency.
  • A tubular proton ceramic electrochemical cell was tested for its performance and durability in reversible operation (H2-production and power generation). The test-cell – developed primarily for electrolysis operation – displayed better electrode kinetics in electrolysis mode than in fuel cell mode. A long-term stability test of 520 hours was conducted. The cell displayed very stable and robust performance with degradation rates of 1-2%/khr and 6-8%/ khr in electrolysis mode and fuel cell mode, respectively.

IMPACT AND INNOVATIONS

Collecting and summarising the offshore suitability of current available fuel cell technologies will enable further required, and more targeted investigations and developments to allow for real tests and implementation.

Results 2020

  • Survey of available fuel cell technologies and suppliers of systems for offshore use completed and disseminated to the Low Emission partners through a report and a webinar.
  • Procedure for testing PEMFC stacks established and measurements under a dynamic load profi le completed, demonstrating good response to sudden changes in current density.
  • Completed a risk assessment and lab upgrade to enable reversible SOFC tests.
  • Reversible SOFC test performed at 600°C, showing performance improvement in fuel cell mode during long-term aging for 375h but significant degradation when operated in reverse mode (switching from fuel cell to electrolysis operation every 2h).

Impact and innovations

The work in 2020 has mainly focused on establishing the basis for further work and development in the Centre (identified key features fuel cells must cover and the current status in relevant technologies). In itself, the work has not yet contributed to major overall impact and innovations.

PCMFC stack measurements under a dynamic load profile

Results 2019

This SP investigates the use of fuel cell technology, considering the varying requirements of heat and power, hydrogen management and integration into the offshore energy system. Specific research includes high-efficiency, compact and robust systems fueled with hydrogen and/or ammonia. The development of reversible fuel cell technology for production of electricity and pressurization of dry hydrogen is planned.

Main objective

The overall objective is to investigate the use of fuel cell technologies on offshore installations, either to replace or hybridise with gas turbines for heat and power supply. The research covers both low and high temperature technologies, respectively PEMFC and SOFC.

Main results

  • Discussions with project stakeholders on applying fuel cells on offshore installations. Identifying initial opportunities and limitations.
  • Test protocols established for detailed characterization and long-term tests of PEMFCs
  • Cell-level performance targets defined for the PCFC technology developed by CoorsTek Membrane Sciences (BaZrO3-based electrolytes)
  • Literature review completed based on key performance indicators for SOFC and PCFC single cells operated in fuel cell, electrolyser and reversible mode.
  • Test protocols established for detailed characterization and long-term tests of cells from CoorsTek (fuel cell and electrolyser mode).

Impact and innovations

The work in 2019 has mainly focused on establishing the basis for further work and development in the centre, i.e. identified key features fuel cells must cover and the current status quo in relevant technologies. In itself the, work has not yet contributed to major overall impact and innovations.

Possible use of fuel cells is to stabilise electricity from wind to offshore installations. Illustration: TechnipFMC