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Investigation of startup, performance and cycling of a residential furnace integrated with micro-tubular flame-assisted fuel cells for micro-combined heat and power

Author:
Milcarek, Ryan J., DeBiase, Vincent P., Ahn, Jeongmin
Source:
Energy 2020 v.196 pp. 117148
ISSN:
0360-5442
Subject:
air, cathodes, combustion, cooling, electrochemistry, emissions, energy conservation, fuel cells, furnaces, heat, natural gas, nitrogen oxides, synthesis gas, temperature
Abstract:
Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs) offer advantages for micro-Combined Heat and Power (μCHP), but currently suffer from slow startup (>1 h) and limited thermal cycling which reduces the applications, energy savings and economics. In this work, a micro-Tubular SOFC stack is integrated into a residential furnace to create a micro-Tubular Flame-assisted Fuel Cell (mT-FFC) μCHP system. A high power density of 202 mW cm⁻² is reported operating in synthesis gas generated from fuel-rich combustion of natural gas/air. Unlike previous reports, instabilities in the polarization are attributed to low temperature of the oxygen reduction reaction at the cathode. The mT-FFC stack achieved peak power density in 6 min after ignition. 200 thermal cycles at an average heating rate of 215 °C.min⁻¹ and average cooling rate of 176 °C.min⁻¹ were conducted and a low degradation rate of 0.0325 V per 100 cycles per fuel cell was achieved. Low NOₓ emissions (10 ppm) and high combined efficiency is reported.
Agid:
6841835