Program : Alternative Energy (B5-1)
In recent years, fuel cell technology has been investigated for its potential use in transport and power generation applications in many countries in the world. Fuel cells have the capacity to replace various conventional technologies with cleaner and more efficient systems. Fuel cells are categorized by their electrolytes, the alkaline, phosphoric acid and solid polymer types are all past the fundamental development stage and are being tested or used in commercial applications, though not necessarily on a fully cost-competitive basis. The high temperature types of fuel cells, molten carbonate and solid oxide fuel cells, although still require some stage of basic research and testing before a series of primary problems are resolved, these types are still evolving with excellent technical progress. Multikilowatts of solid oxide fuel cells have been operated for thousands of hours and have shown excellent performance at present.
The commercialization of fuel cells is being fostered by various trends currently impacting the marketplace, such as the deregulation of the electric utility industry, and the increasing desire on the part of utilities to avoid costly transmission, maintenance and distribution expenditures. Fuel cell system adoption will also be encouraged by the need for clean power generation.
Prototype of 1 kW Tubular SOFC stack installed and tested at MTEC Pilot Plant
Present interest in SOFCs seems to be shifting towards lower operating temperatures because of the advantages with regards to fuel cell stack and balance of plant material costs, reduced structural problems, possibly enhanced lifetime and new markets. More recently, other oxides such as ceria (CeO2) and lanthanum gallate (LaGaO3) have gained interest as potential electrolytes for SOFCs operating at lower temperatures.
It is considered essential that MTEC carry out this project to demonstrate credibility in delivering a unit of 1-3 kW tubular solid oxide fuel cell which is capable of producing a sizeable power output and is capable of further integration (in modular form) to provide up to 250KW within a compatible footprint.
Project Leader :
Research Team :
MTEC : Dr. Duangduen Atong, Dr.Charusporn Mongkolkachit, Suda Wanakitti, Pattamaporn Thimakol
Chulalongkorn University : Kowit Lertwittayanonh
Mae Fah Luang University : Darunee Wattanasiriwech, Suthee Wattanasiriwech
U.of. S.Carolina, U.S.A. : Sirivatch Shimpalee
HyGen Power Co.,Ltd. : Chatree Vacharayan
Henson Ceramics, U.K. : Mr. Mark Henson, Dr.Matthew Hills