The Santa Clara Demonstration Project SCDP

In April 1994, ground was broken for the plant's construction; the balance-of-plant (BOP) was completely installed by June 1995. Historically, the BOP portion of fuel cell plants have been the primary source of plant trips and malfunctions. Consequently, the SCDP's BOP was pre-tested in advance of the DFC stack submodules being installed. This conservative approach lowers the risk that a faulty BOP operation causes the new technology stacks to perform below our expectations. During the pre-testing period, a moderate amount of rework was required, not unexpected for a first-of-a-kind new technology demonstration. BOP testing was completed in March 1996.

Full plant operation began in April 1996 and is planned to continue for up to a two-year period. The SCDP was forrmally commissioned on June 3rd. More details on this program are presented in another paper at this conference. The Santa Clara testing will build confidence that a proof-of-concept carbonate fuel cell power system can function on a utility site at a scale representative of numerous utility and industrial applications. Moreover, the operation, resulting data and field experience gained, will be input to the ongoing commercial unit design effort. Succesfull operation of the SCDP is one of several keys to the FCCG buyers' advanced orders becoming firm orders. The SCDP test results and other findings are to be fedback to the commercial unit's final design and planned process development unit testing. The figure at left shows a significantly reduced footprint for the 2.8MW commercial unit.

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