Siemens Westinghouse's 100 kW SOFC System Passes 12,000 Hours

System accumulated 16,612 hours of operation since its original start up in December 1997 and after restart of the system with a rebuilt fuel cell stack in March 1999, the system has operated for nearly 12,600 cumulative hours without any performa

Published: 05-Jan-2001

ORLANDO, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 5, 2001--Siemens Westinghouse Power Corporation announced that the world's longest operating high temperature fuel cell power system, the 100 kW solid oxide fuel cell cogeneration system located in Westervoort, the Netherlands, successfully completed its contracted operating period of two years. The SOFC system was supplied to EDB/ELSAM, a consortium of Dutch and Danish utilities, by Siemens Westinghouse in late 1997. Early in 2001 the system will be moved to a new site for continued operation.

"On November 28, 2000 we shut down the 100 kW SOFC system because we had reached the end of the operating period contracted with Siemens Westinghouse. At that time it had accumulated 16,612 hours of operation since its original start up in December 1997. After restart of the system with a rebuilt fuel cell stack in March 1999, the system operated for nearly 12,600 cumulative hours without any performance degradation," said Herman Verbeek, project manager for EnergieNed, the Federation of Energy Companies in the Netherlands, which manages the project for the EDB/ELSAM consortium. "We were very pleased with the performance of the system and it accomplished all the objectives we had set for it. I hope it continues to operate well when moved to its new location."

After its initial startup at Westervoort, the system operated for 4035 hours before being returned to Pittsburgh for modifications. The rebuilt module was installed and started up in March 1999 and has since then accumulated nearly 12,600 hours of operation.

"The performance of the 100 kW system has been extraordinary, and we are very pleased with the operation of the rebuilt module," said Ray George, Department Manager for Operations for Siemens Westinghouse's Stationary Fuel Cell group. "I believe the fact that there has been no performance degradation over such a long period of operation is unique among all types of fuel cells."

At the point of shutdown the unit was providing 110 kWe into the local grid with an electrical efficiency of over 46%. It was also providing 65 kWth as hot water into the district heating system. The emissions from the system were especially impressive with NOx, SOx, CO, and VHCs all measured below 1 ppmv. The unit normally operated unattended with a one day per week site visit by technicians employed by the local utility, NUON, which operated the system for the EDB/ELSAM consortium.

EDB is an acronym that refers to the Dutch energy distribution companies NUON, Essent and ENECO, and the Federation EnergieNed. ELSAM is an electricity production company in Denmark. Funding for the project was also provided by the Dutch government agency Novem, the U.S. Department of Energy, and Siemens Westinghouse.

The SOFC system was fabricated at the Siemens Westinghouse Science and Technology Center located in Pittsburgh, Pa. Siemens Westinghouse plans to commercialize SOFC cogeneration systems in the 250 kW to 1000 kW range with first commercial deliveries in 2004. Siemens Westinghouse is developing SOFC technology under a cooperative agreement with the DOE, through its National Energy Technology Laboratory.

Siemens Westinghouse Power Corporation is a Siemens Company headquartered in Orlando, Fla. Within Siemens' global Fossil Power Generation business, Siemens Westinghouse is the regional business division for the Americas and operates engineering and manufacturing centers in North America. In the United States and Canada, the company also is responsible for the Industrial Turbines, Instrumentation & Control, and Hydroelectric business.

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