Operation of a Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Based Power System with Ammonia as a Fuel: Experimental Test and System Design


Ammonia has strong potentialities as sustainable fuel for energy applications. NH3 is carbon free and can be synthetized from renewable energy sources (RES). In Solid Oxide Fuel Cells, NH3 reacts electrochemically thereby avoiding the production of typical combustion pollutants such as NOx. In this study, an ammonia-fueled solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) system design is proposed and a thermodynamic model is developed to evaluate its performance. A SOFC short stack was operated with NH3 in a wide range of conditions. Experimental results are implemented in the thermodynamic model. Electrical efficiency of 52.1% based on ammonia Lower Heating Value is calculated at a net power density of 0.36 W cmFC −2 . The operating conditions of the after burner and of the ammonia decomposition reactor are studied by varying the values of specific parameters. The levelized cost of energy of 0.221 $ kWh−1 was evaluated, as introduced by the International Energy Agency, for a system that operates at nominal conditions and at a reference power output of 100 kW. This supports the feasibility of ammonia-fueled SOFC systems with reference to the carbon free energy market, specifically considering the potential development of green ammonia production.

Funding source: The study was supported by the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking under grant agreement No. 736,648 (NET-Tools project). The activities were also supported by ENVIU, PROTON VENTURES BV and C-JOB & PARTNERS BV, in the frame of a scientific collaboration.
Keywords: Ammonia ; Model ; SOFC ; Stack Test ; System
Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: Italy

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