Five companies are participating in the project: Hokkaido Gas Co. Ltd., Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd., Toho Gas, Ltd., Osaka Gas Co., Ltd. and Saibu Gas Co., Ltd.
Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) and Aisin Seiki Co., Ltd. (Aisin) announce that they plan to provide 60 2010-model1 residential, solid-oxide fuel-cell (SOFC2) cogeneration systems jointly developed by Osaka Gas Co., Ltd. (Osaka Gas), Kyocera Corporation (Kyocera), TMC and Aisin to the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization’s (NEDO’s) Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Verification Project3. Five companies are participating in the project: Hokkaido Gas Co. Ltd., Tokyo Gas Co., Ltd., Toho Gas, Ltd., Osaka Gas Co., Ltd. and Saibu Gas Co., Ltd.
TMC and Aisin provided equipment for the project’s 2009 test program, which confirmed the exceptional performance of SOFCs as energy-saving devices. The 2010 models have overcome the technological development issues identified through earlier test programs to achieve even greater energy savings and CO2 reductions. They feature higher load efficiency of the power-generating unit during low output (referred to as “partial load efficiency”) and greater hot water tank capacity, resulting in more effective use of waste heat. In addition, durability and ease-of-maintenance have also been improved to enhance product marketability.
By providing the new models to the project, TMC and Aisin hope to accelerate development of residential SOFC cogeneration systems, completing development within the first half of the 2010s.
Outline of 2010-model SOFC cogeneration systems provided to NEDO project
A higher partial load efficiency was achieved through improved heat insulation of the module (made up of cell stacks4 and fuel reformers) as well as greater use of waste heat by increasing the capacity of the hot water tank.
- Insulation material surrounding the module has been increased to reduce radiant heat loss, and the temperature distribution within the module has been optimized. Thus, partial load efficiency has been improved and generating efficiency when generating volume is below the set rating is higher than the 2009 model.
- The depth of the hot water tank has been increased by 10 mm, raising the tank capacity from 70 liters to 90 liters and achieving more effective use of waste heat. As a result, high generating efficiency can be maintained regardless of the electrical power demand, cutting both running costs and CO2 emissions.
The coating material on the metal current collector material placed between the cells in the cell stack has been modified and the temperature distribution within the module has been optimized, improving durability.
The amount of the desulfurizing agent added to the natural gas as an odorant has been increased, making the desulfurization unit maintenance-free for 10 years. In addition, temperature management of the desulfurizing agent prevents deterioration from water vapor in the gas.
Energy savings have been increased by switching to a latent-heat-recovery boiler from a boiler that did not recover heat from the condensed water in the exhaust gas (latent heat).
Power Generating Unit
|Fuel||Processed natural gas (13A)|
|Rated power generation output||700 W|
|Rated generation efficiency||LHV*1||At least 45%|
|HHV*2||At least 41%|
|Rated exhaust recovery efficiency||LHV||At least 40%|
|HHV||At least 36%|
|*1Lower heating value. Does not include latent heat of vaporization of water; *2Higher heating value. Includes latent heat of vaporization of water.|
Waste Heat Utilization Hot Water Heating Unit (Detached house specifications)
|Hot water tank volume||90 liter|
|Hot water temperature||Approx. 70°C|
1Unless otherwise noted, years mentioned are from April 1 to March 31.
2Fuel cells using ceramic electrolytes. Oxygen is ionized and, by passing through an electrolyte, chemically reacts with hydrogen and carbon monoxide, generating electricity. One of the notable characteristics of this system is that it uses carbon monoxide.
3Begun in 2007; the project’s aim is to install residential SOFC cogeneration systems in regular households to identify future technological development issues based on the data acquired. Unless otherwise noted, years mentioned are from April 1 to March 31.
4Fuel cells (electric power generator) composed of a cathode, electrolyte and an anode. A single cell has an electromotive force of less than one volt and an output of only a few watts, so cells are connected sequentially in a stack to increase voltage and power output.