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Research Papers

The Tests of 1kWe Diesel Reformer and Solid Oxide Fuel Cell System

[+] Author and Article Information
Inyong Kang

Department of Chemical Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, 1500 Illinois Street, Golden, CO 80401

Sangho Yoon, Gyujong Bae, Junghyun Kim, Seungwhan Baek

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), 355 Gwahangno, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 305-701, Republic of Korea

Joongmyeon Bae1

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), 355 Gwahangno, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 305-701, Republic of Koreajmbae@kaist.ac.kr

1

Corresponding author.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 7(3), 031012 (Mar 12, 2010) (5 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3207875 History: Received August 25, 2008; Revised March 25, 2009; Published March 12, 2010; Online March 12, 2010

The high temperatures required to operate solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) allow for internal reforming of hydrocarbon fuels over a Ni-based anode. With their capability of being fuel flexible, SOFCs have operated under a wide range of fuels including diesel as examined in this study. But in order to reduce high possibilities of deposit formation in diesel internal reforming, additional external reforming technology was used for our system. The final goal of this research is to develop 1kWe diesel-powered SOFC systems for residential power generation. Before constructing a complete 1kWe SOFC system, a series of durability experiments were conducted on individual components of the system including the fuel reformer and stack. After testing the full-scale 1kWe diesel reformer, deposit formation was visible within the catalyst and on the surface of the reactor head, which seriously degraded the performance. With several individual components tested, the construction of one-box type 1kWe SOFC system is in progress. In a preliminary six-cell stack test using sulfur-free synthetic diesel, the system initially showed an output power of 110kWe at a 0.8 V average cell potential. However, there was a significant drop off in output power after a few hours of operation, which was likely caused by severe deposit formation on the SOFC stack. Light hydrocarbons such as ethylene and/or “less reformed” heavier hydrocarbons caused by gas reactions under the incomplete fuel mixing upstream of the catalyst were likely responsible for the deposit formation.

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Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

The system layout (left) and the complete diesel-SOFC system (right)

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Figure 2

The P-V-I characteristics of the six-cell stack using pure hydrogen: (a) individual cell performance and (b) stack performance (operating temperature is 750°C, anode flow rates are H2–N2 mixture of 3600 sccm(H2/N2=2), fuel utilization of 0.7, and cathode flow rates of air are 10,800 sccm, where sccm is standard (1°C, 1 bar) cubic centimeter per minute)

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Figure 3

The full-scale 1 kWe bench reactor for diesel autothermal reforming tests (upper-left is the reactor head after reaction, upper-right is the fresh catalyst before reaction, and lower-right is the aged catalyst after reaction)

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Figure 4

Product distributions obtained from 1 kWe size diesel autothermal reforming tests (commercial diesel, O2/C=0.8, H2O/C=3, and GHSV is 12,500 h−1)

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Figure 5

Inner temperature profiles with axial direction (a) and with radial direction at the middle of catalyst bed (b) (commercial diesel, O2/C=0.8, H2O/C=0(450°C) and three (700°C,800°C), and GHSV is 12,500 h−1)

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Figure 6

The P-V-I Characteristics of each cell (a) and the stack (b) fueled by diesel autothermal reformer (750°C, anode: diesel reformate, cathode: air of 1.8 l/min, and reformer inlet: fuel of 1.6 ml/min, water of 1.53 ml/min, and air of 3.95 l/min)

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Figure 7

The cell performance with respect to the operating time under 30 A loading (750°C, anode: diesel reformate, cathode: air of 1.8 l/min, and reformer inlet: fuel of 1.6 ml/min, water of 1.53 ml/min, and air of 3.95 l/min)

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