In the ELCORE 1 project, a low-cost, highly efficient high temperature polymer electrolyte fuel cell (HT-PEM) was developed based on innovations designed by Elcore.
These include the creation of a cost-efficient stack technology which takes into account the special features of HT-PEM technology; a low-cost and highly efficient reformer technology which can convert natural gas into a hydrogen-rich gas containing < 1 % CO; straightforward and highly efficient heat integration with optimal management of thermal flows on system levels and a closed water balance; and a clear philosophy regarding control and regulation technology that leads to stable system behaviour with the expectation of long service life. The overall efficiency of the unit is about 99 %, the highest degree of efficiency in combined heat and power units.
The development aspects mentioned above were demonstrated in comprehensive tests and (electrically) scaled in a 5 kW performance range. Compared to today’s solutions, the result represents a significantly simplified system design and drastic cost reduction, leading to the potential to commercialise fuel cellbased CHP units.