ReforCELL - Advanced Multi-Fuel Reformer for Fuel CELL CHP Systems - ReforCELL

ReforCELL - Advanced multi-fuel Reformer for CHP-fuel CELL systems


Distributed power generation via Micro Combined Heat and Power (m-CHP) systems, has been proven to overcome disadvantages of centralized plant since it can give savings in terms of Primary Energy consumption and energy costs. The main advantage is that m-CHP systems are able to recover and use the heat that in centralized systems is often lost. Wide exploitation of these systems is still hindered by high costs and low reliability due to the complexity of the system.

ReforCELL aims at developing a high efficient heat and power cogeneration system based on: i) design, construction and testing of an advanced reformer for pure hydrogen production with optimization of all the components of the reformer (catalyst, membranes, heat management etc) and ii) the design and optimization of all the components for the connection of the membrane reformer to the fuel cell stack.

The main idea of ReforCELL is to develop a novel more efficient and cheaper multi-fuel membrane reformer for pure hydrogen production in order to intensify the process of hydrogen production through the integration of reforming and purification in one single unit.

To increase the efficiency and lifetime of the reformer, novel stable catalysts and high permeable and more stable membranes will be developed. Afterwards, suitable reactor designs for increasing the mass and heat transfer will be realized and tested at laboratory scale. The most suitable reactor design will be scaled up at prototype scale (5 Nm3/h of pure hydrogen) and tested in a CHP system.

The connection of the novel reformer within the CHP will be optimized by designing heat exchangers and auxiliaries required in order to decrease the energy losses in the system. The project aims to increase the electric efficiency of the system above 42% and the overall efficiency above 90%.

A complete lifecycle analysis of the system will be carried out and cost analysis and business plan for reformer manufacturing and CHP system will be supplied.

For a maximum impact on the European industry this research, covering the complete value chain of micro-CHP fuel cell systems, can only be carried out with a multidisciplinary and complementary team having the right expertise, including top level European Research Institutes and Universities (6 RES) working together with representative top industries (4 SME and 1 IND) in different sectors (from materials to micro-CHP developers).

The ReforCELL Project has been funded under Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking. The Project has started the 1st of February of 2012 and it will last for 47 months.