DOI: 10.3390/en16155671 ISSN: 1996-1073

Experimental Activities on a Hydrogen-Powered Solid Oxide Fuel Cell System and Guidelines for Its Implementation in Aviation and Maritime Sectors

Petronilla Fragiacomo, Francesco Piraino, Matteo Genovese, Orlando Corigliano, Giuseppe De Lorenzo
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Control and Optimization
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Building and Construction

Solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) systems are spreading worldwide and, for limited applications, also in the transport sector where high power rates are required. In this context, this paper investigates the performance of a six-cell SOFC stack by means of experimental tests at different power levels. The experimental campaign is based on two different stages: the heating phase, useful for leading the system temperature to approximately 750 °C, and the test stage, in which the experimental activities are properly carried out with varying input parameters, such as the DC current load. In addition, a detailed post-processing activity is conducted to investigate the main performance that could be used in the scale-up processes to design and size a SOFC-based system for transportation. The experimental results concern the electrical power, which reaches 165 W, roughly 27 W for each cell and with 52% electrical efficiency, as well as the theoretical thermal power and efficiency, useful for cogeneration processes, with maximum values of 80 W and 25%, respectively, achieved at maximum load. This discussion then shifts to an in-depth analysis of the possible applications of SOFCs in sustainable mobility, particularly in the maritime and aviation industries. The complexities of the issues presented underscore the field’s multidisciplinary nature, ranging from materials science to system integration, and environmental science to regulatory standards. The findings presented could be useful to scientists, engineers, policymakers, and industry stakeholders working on the development and commercialization of SOFC systems in the sustainable transportation sectors.

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