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Title: High temperature ceramic heat exchanger for solid oxide fuel cell

Abstract

A ceramic heat exchanger with high effectiveness and low-pressure drop has been developed for application as a cathode air preheater for a Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC). At the operating conditions of SOFCs, typical metallic alloys as those used in commercial heat exchangers may undergo chromium volatilization, which is a known cathode degradation mechanism that reduces SOFC performance and life. Use of ceramics such as alumina or alumina-silicate instead of chromium-containing metal is one approach to eliminate the effects of chromium on the SOFC cathode. This project leverages the geometric design of a heat exchanger previously prototyped and tested [1] to fabricate a novel heat exchanger made from a ceramic material. All calculations of heat exchanger performance requirements are based on state of the art SOFC operating conditions. The alumina-silicate material selected to fabricate the modular prototype heat exchanger was made via a heat transfer based trade-off analysis that shows that for low pressure-drop devices, flow convection is the limiting heat transfer mechanism, and therefore wall conductivity becomes less relevant to heat transfer effectiveness. The modular design presented allows for incremental aggregation of modules to target a broad range of operating conditions typical of present and upcoming SOFC applications (e.g.,more » 25 to 400 kWe). The completed prototype was subjected to a series of static leak/pressure tests, dynamic pressure drop tests both at ambient and realistic service temperature conditions, and finally to a matrix of heat transfer experiments to fully characterize its heat transfer effectiveness (including tests at hot gas temperatures up to 1033 K or 1400oF). The stand-alone system was demonstrated in the laboratory to successfully satisfy the design criteria at realistic operating conditions, showing a total pressure drop at the design flow of 8 g/sec of 6 kPa (vs. 3.45 kPa approximate requirement). It was also shown to have heat transfer effectiveness of 76% (with 73% being the design requirement). Moreover, the unit was shown to operate leak-free, and the ceramic elements and seals were capable of withstanding the thermal cycling resulting from the testing procedure. The heat exchanger was then integrated into a modified fuel cell test stand and tested at steady state operation. Unfortunately, the level of performance achieved was lower than expected based on laboratory performance tests. This appears to have been the result of an unforeseen loosening of a heat exchanger structural component, which resulted into a leak that prevented proper supply of hot gas to the heat exchanger. However, in general terms, the heat exchanger/fuel cell integration process provides confidence that a future application of the unit with a SOFC is feasible, assuming structural issues are addressed. It is considered that the difficulties encountered at the last stage of the program provided invaluable input in locating shortcomings of the mechanical design and integration approach. A portion of this work was presented at the ASME Power & Energy Conference, in Charlotte, NC, on June 28th 2016 in a paper entitled “Development of a Ceramic Heat Exchanger for Application as Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Cathode Air Preheater” and the corresponding paper was published in the Proceedings of the ASME 2016 Power & Energy Conference, Paper No.: PowerEnergy2016-59333 [8].« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1]
  1. Mohawk Innovative Technology Inc., Albany, NY (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Mohawk Innovative Technology Inc., Albany, NY (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Fossil Energy (FE)
Contributing Org.:
Fuel Cell Energy, Inc.
OSTI Identifier:
1368040
Report Number(s):
DOE-MiTi-24090
DOE Contract Number:  
FE0024090
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; 20 FOSSIL-FUELED POWER PLANTS; Recuperative Ceramic Heat Exchanger; Cathode Air Preheater; Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Balance of Plant SOFC BOP HX

Citation Formats

HESHMAT, HOOSHANG, and CORDOVA, JOSE. High temperature ceramic heat exchanger for solid oxide fuel cell. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1368040.
HESHMAT, HOOSHANG, & CORDOVA, JOSE. High temperature ceramic heat exchanger for solid oxide fuel cell. United States. doi:10.2172/1368040.
HESHMAT, HOOSHANG, and CORDOVA, JOSE. Fri . "High temperature ceramic heat exchanger for solid oxide fuel cell". United States. doi:10.2172/1368040. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1368040.
@article{osti_1368040,
title = {High temperature ceramic heat exchanger for solid oxide fuel cell},
author = {HESHMAT, HOOSHANG and CORDOVA, JOSE},
abstractNote = {A ceramic heat exchanger with high effectiveness and low-pressure drop has been developed for application as a cathode air preheater for a Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC). At the operating conditions of SOFCs, typical metallic alloys as those used in commercial heat exchangers may undergo chromium volatilization, which is a known cathode degradation mechanism that reduces SOFC performance and life. Use of ceramics such as alumina or alumina-silicate instead of chromium-containing metal is one approach to eliminate the effects of chromium on the SOFC cathode. This project leverages the geometric design of a heat exchanger previously prototyped and tested [1] to fabricate a novel heat exchanger made from a ceramic material. All calculations of heat exchanger performance requirements are based on state of the art SOFC operating conditions. The alumina-silicate material selected to fabricate the modular prototype heat exchanger was made via a heat transfer based trade-off analysis that shows that for low pressure-drop devices, flow convection is the limiting heat transfer mechanism, and therefore wall conductivity becomes less relevant to heat transfer effectiveness. The modular design presented allows for incremental aggregation of modules to target a broad range of operating conditions typical of present and upcoming SOFC applications (e.g., 25 to 400 kWe). The completed prototype was subjected to a series of static leak/pressure tests, dynamic pressure drop tests both at ambient and realistic service temperature conditions, and finally to a matrix of heat transfer experiments to fully characterize its heat transfer effectiveness (including tests at hot gas temperatures up to 1033 K or 1400oF). The stand-alone system was demonstrated in the laboratory to successfully satisfy the design criteria at realistic operating conditions, showing a total pressure drop at the design flow of 8 g/sec of 6 kPa (vs. 3.45 kPa approximate requirement). It was also shown to have heat transfer effectiveness of 76% (with 73% being the design requirement). Moreover, the unit was shown to operate leak-free, and the ceramic elements and seals were capable of withstanding the thermal cycling resulting from the testing procedure. The heat exchanger was then integrated into a modified fuel cell test stand and tested at steady state operation. Unfortunately, the level of performance achieved was lower than expected based on laboratory performance tests. This appears to have been the result of an unforeseen loosening of a heat exchanger structural component, which resulted into a leak that prevented proper supply of hot gas to the heat exchanger. However, in general terms, the heat exchanger/fuel cell integration process provides confidence that a future application of the unit with a SOFC is feasible, assuming structural issues are addressed. It is considered that the difficulties encountered at the last stage of the program provided invaluable input in locating shortcomings of the mechanical design and integration approach. A portion of this work was presented at the ASME Power & Energy Conference, in Charlotte, NC, on June 28th 2016 in a paper entitled “Development of a Ceramic Heat Exchanger for Application as Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Cathode Air Preheater” and the corresponding paper was published in the Proceedings of the ASME 2016 Power & Energy Conference, Paper No.: PowerEnergy2016-59333 [8].},
doi = {10.2172/1368040},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Jun 30 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Fri Jun 30 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

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