CCS and Power Systems

Advanced Energy Systems - Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

Understanding of Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Stack in Pressurized Conditions

Performer: US Department of the Navy

Project No: FE0005652

Project Description

The Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) will procure a Solid State Energy Conversion Alliance (SECA) Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) stack and install it into a test platform capable of producing pressurized and air-independent operating conditions. Pure oxygen usage at the cathode will simulate the air-independent performance needed for unmanned undersea vehicles (UUV) operations. Reliable methods for pressure control and stack operation will be refined in order to test the SECA SOFC stack at elevated pressure.

NUWC will construct a test cell that includes pressure controls, gas analysis, and data acquisition. While the SOFC stack will be the main item under test, NUWC will also be testing its own control algorithms and back pressure regulators that equalize the pressures at the cathode, anode, and ambient zones (external to the SOFC stack). Minimizing the pressure differentials between any two zones limits the amount of gas leakage while also increasing efficiency and reliability.

NUWC will assemble the system and will use (and purchase if necessary) appropriate heaters and insulation to ensure the proper operating temperature of the SOFC stack. A mass spectrometer will be used to monitor gas compositions at various locations in the system, and a condenser will collect water at the anode exhaust.

Project Details