Sunfire company, devoloping Solid Oxide Electrolysis (SOEC) technology for liquid fuel production, has been present on a COP22 summit to present their technology. Very nice information. I had a true pleasure to listen to Dr. von Olshausen presenting this technology at Risø Campus. LINK
SOFC stack onboard the van is using bio-ethanol for production of electricity, charging batteries and thus forming a hybrid ethanol-battery van. Interesting and complex idea. Combining EV with a complex SOFC stack technology. 5 kW stack is quite high power for a stack in my opinion, would be nice to know the size and parameters.
This application is something I was not expecting! Who knows how it will develop! Truly a great example of SOFC technology.
Link to Nissan press release: LINK
I don't normally "believe" in ratings of universities. Maybe rating of research groups in their field would be more valuable from my perspective. But it is of course not easily doable. In my opinion, trying to rank everything in our life is a wrong social idea.
Recently there have been some rankings that have put DTU relatively high. So I just want to mention it here. I think, that working tradition and culture at DTU is very high. I can maybe only write about DTU Energy, but I truly believe this is an extraordinary place to work. It is motivating and encouraging to work for our better future. Hard and focused work of the management seems to be noticed in these ratings.
In one of the rankings, DTU has been placed 2nd in the world in the category of Energy Science and Engineering on the Academic Ranking of World Universities 2016 from Shanghai Jiao University (LINK). It must be mentioned that first place is for Tshingua University from China. DTU has been also second in Civil Engineering and 12th in Chemical Engineering. Full ranking can be find here - LINK.
Through LinkedIn I have found a very nice movie about fuel cells from Ceres Power. Although on YouTube I see that the movie has been uploaded two years ago, I think that it is a very nice commercial for the SOFC technology.
Please see the movie on YouTube:
There are also some other movies including Ceres Power with a newest one:
For me Ceres Power technology is especially important and interesting, as I have been working with metal supported SOFCs, interconnects etc. It seems that using cheap steels has proven to be the proper way towards success in this hard and competetive field.
While cycling to work few weeks ago I noticed some strange construction. After some time it revealed to be a new Vestas windmill, consisting of four smaller windmills! Really original and prototype construction!
If you would like to see more, please visit Vestas web page:
It is a great pleasure to work at a campus where so much innovation into renewable energy takes place!
For two years now I have been downloading and printing a very nice corrosion related calendar prepared by FZ Julich. It has really very nice pictures related to high temperature corrosion. Very nice idea and preparation!!
You can download the calendar by going to FZ Julich webpage or by clicking on the direct link below. On the webpage of FZ Julich there is also other useful information about events etc. Also older calendars can be downloaded to see some beautiful images.
On 12th August 2014 it was announced (see the link below) tha Topsoe Fuel Cell company will be closed. It is currently employing ~120 people. The company was from the beginning linked to DTU Energyconversion (before Risø National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy). It was of a very few companies in Europe and around the globe. The closure is a bad news for SOFC research both in Denmark and in the EU in general.
For myself and some other researchers working at DTU it is especially bad news as many projects were run together with TOFC and the future seems not clear not. But as always, challenges are to be overcome and I believe finally only good things will come out of it.
Link to the announcement:
In July 2014 Bloom Energy (BE) signed a new contract for delivery of 21MW of SOFC energy to 75 generating places. Contract was signed with an Exelon Corporation. When considering BE ES-5700 Energy Saver unit, it gives more than 100 Energy Savers! This is a huge amount of stacks and cells. Together with the entry to the Japananese market (in collaboration with Softbank) the position of BE is becoming stronger and stronger. This announcement quite clearly indicates that SOFCs are becoming a fully commercial technology. Scale of BE activities is orders of magnitude higher then its European competitors. Maybe Japan (MHI and Kyocera) will be able to compete on the scale basis.
Link to the source: LINK
In some countries, like Germany, Spain and Denmark, a lot of electrical energy is produced by intermittent energy sources (wind turbines, solar panels). It is hard to accommodate the excess of energy and usually wind turbines must be turned off wasting their time. Currently available energy storage solutions like batteries are expensive on this scale, direct storage of electricity is expensive and troublesome. One of the possible solutions is to produce hydrogen through the electrolysis process that might be then injected into the national gas grid. In this way energy is stored in the produced gas. As reported by a Thuga and ITM Power companies, in Germany there is enough capacity in the gas grid to store of the excess energy coming from wind in the next years. This processes, generally called Power-to-Gas (P2G) are becoming a very hot topic. The first demonstration pland started working in Germany on 4th December 2014 and is now fully operational. It is based on a 360 kW PEM electrolysis cell operating at 80 bars. Though for now it is a relatively small plant, it is an excellent demonstration of the technological potential.
One of the reasons I find this topic interesting is that the SOFCs, when operated as electrolysis cells offer high efficiency advantages and are also planned to be deployed for P2G applications in the future.
Definitely due to attractiveness of the technology, we should see new plants being commissioned in the developed countries.
Link to the company delivering the PEM technology
Link to the info about the first P2G plant
Similarily to devices I described earlier on this blog (e.g. HALO and Voto SOFC generators by Pointsourcepower), this PowerPot is ideally suited for camping fans needing energy. It has been successfully funded on the Kickstarter platform. Thermoelectric generator embedded in the bottom of the pot generates electrical energy by using the temperature difference between its two sides.
Company offers 5W (available now, 149 USD) and 10W (available in May 2014, 219 USD) thermoelectric power generators and several peripheral devices. Thermoelectric generators are quite simple in construction in comparison to SOFCs and can thus be really a good source of energy in the wild camping environment.
Link to company webpage: POWER PRACTICAL
My name is Sebastian Molin, currently an Industrial Researcher working with high temperature corrosion of alloys used in waste incineration plants as well as at SOFC/SOEC development group at DTU Energy, Denmark. I have been interested in fuel cells and ceramic technology in a broad sense for around 10 years and still counting :)