(168b) Low-Cost High-Efficiency Distributed Hydrogen Production

Authors: 
DuraiSwamy, K., Intelligent Energy, Inc
Mauzey, J. L., Intelligent Energy, Inc
Chellappa, A. S., Intelligent Energy
Pena, D. A., Intelligent Energy


Intelligent Energy is developing a new-generation 1-10 kWe CHP unit that achieves the high efficiency, high durability and low cost targets simultaneously includes a bold optimization and integration of existing IE technology platforms. The CHP unit will be based on IE's open architecture integration philosophy that maintains a high purity hydrogen interface between the hydrogen generation and fuel cell subsystems. The fuel cell subsystem will be derived from IE's 2kWe CHP platform and its advanced 10kWe auxiliary power unit platform that achieves 60% efficiency on pure hydrogen. An innovative hydrogen generation subsystem will be developed to support the aggressive costs and performance targets, but will leverage IE's experience from two validated technology platforms.: - IE's 100 to 500We membrane reformer that achieves 99.9+% purity on seven different fuel types, and its 10kWe steam reformer integrated with a fast cycle pressure swing adsorption hydrogen purification system. Both of these H2 generation platforms achieve only efficiencies in the range of 60-65% currently. IE plans to investigate significant improvements in these technologies to increase the H2 generation efficiency over 75%.

The greatest challenge of the development will be to achieve an optimized balance between increased stack performance (high cell voltage at high current densities), low cost cell components, increased hydrogen generation efficiency (high fuel conversion, lower steam/carbon ratios, maximum recuperation of heat and water vapor, and high hydrogen recovery factors), low parasitic power components and efficient grid connected inverter, and least cost balance of plant in a fully integrated system.

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