Major Options

• Peak-shaving natural gas, liquid fuel, and other special fuels

• Seismic Rating: UBC Zones 3 and 4

• "Islanded" operation

• Cogeneration

MANUFACTURING - ERC's wholly-owned subsidiary, Fuel Cell Manufacturing Corporation located in Torrington, CT, has been focusing on scalerup of cell component area and production capability. On a three-shift basis, production capacity with the new 9000 cm2 cells is expected to be 17 MW/year. The facility has already produced 3MW equivalent stacks. New equipment has been installed for production rate increase as well as quality control. While the capacity and production rates are increased, yields are being increased almost 20%, simultaneously reducing thickness variation by 50%.

Figure 1. COMPARISON OF COMMERCIAL DESIGN WITH SANTA CLARA DEMONSTRATION POWER PLANT:

An Order of Magnitude Decrease in Footprint (m2/kW) is Anticipated

Figure 1. COMPARISON OF COMMERCIAL DESIGN WITH SANTA CLARA DEMONSTRATION POWER PLANT:

An Order of Magnitude Decrease in Footprint (m2/kW) is Anticipated

Significant cost reductions have been achieved through design changes and weight reductions through close cooperation with ERC and vendor development. A 3-fold reduction as compared with previous design in cell component cost (on $/m2 basis) is anticipated. ERC's European technology partner, Motoren-und Turbinen-Union Friedrichshafen GmbH, an affiliate of Daimler Benz, has contributed a significant manufacturing advancement to reduce corrosion protection cost.

TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPMENT AND VERIFICATION - This activity focuses on the improved cell and stack designs to meet performance, endurance and cost goals. The first 9000 cm2 area subscale stack has already been tested. The results show that the large area cell design can achieve an excellent temperature uniformity. The second subscale stack is getting ready for testing as of this writing. An intermediate-height stack test is planned before testing of the full-height stack in 1997.

Prior to building the Hill-height stack, a stack simulator has been built for verification of assembly procedures, manifold designs, new light-weight auxiliary hardware and gas flow distribution designs. A photograph of the simulator is shown in Figure 2. The gas flow model and the hydrodynamic experiments were utilized to define tall stack manifold designs for

Figure 2. FULL HEIGHT 9000 cm1 CELL AREA STACK SIMULATOR:

Verified Assembly, Auxiliary Component Designs and Flow Distribution

Figure 2. FULL HEIGHT 9000 cm1 CELL AREA STACK SIMULATOR:

Verified Assembly, Auxiliary Component Designs and Flow Distribution achieving uniform cell-to-cell flow distribution. Less than 2% flow variation between cells is projected. A fuel cell "module" will contain four full-size stacks. Design of the gas flow distribution system within the module was defined with the help of modeling and cold flow tests. Flow variations between stacks of less than 1% are projected.

Construction of a 400kW subscale power plant for integrated testing of a full-height stack is expected to be completed before the end of this year. The system will also be used to verify critical BOP equipment designs. Significant test experience with diffferent size stacks as well as Santa Clara project has been accumulated. Oyer 1000 MWh of electricity has been produced, much of it supplied to utility grid.

Demonstration of 2.85MW prototype power plant is planned to be constructed adjacent to ERC's Danbury, CT facilities. Work on environmental and other permitting has been initiated. Construction will begin upon acquisition of necessary permits.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT - The support of DOE and DOD/DARPA for the system and technology development and verification is gratefully acknowledged. The keen insight and support of MBTC Contracting Officer's representative, Mr. Tom George, is greatly appreciated.

REFERENCES:

1. Farooque, M., et al, "Direct Carbonate Fuel Cell Development", Fuel Cell Seminar Abstracts, Courtesy Associates, Washington, DC, 1994.

2. Leo, T., "Santa Clara Demonstration Status," Advanced Fuel Cells 1996 Review Meeting, Department of Energy, Aug. 20-21,1996.

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