Operation of Fuel Cell Utilizing Sewage Digester Gas Successfully Tested Outdoors in Cold Weather Conditions at the Yamagata Purification Center

Fuji Electric Co., Ltd., announces today that it has successfully conducted a demonstration experiment verifying the outdoor operation of a fuel cell that utilizes sewage digester gas during cold weather conditions. The experiment was carried out at the Yamagata Purification Center in Yamagata Prefecture, Japan.
1. Overview

The Yamagata Purification Center has already been operating two 100-kilowatt fuel cells made by Fuji Electric and installed by its affiliated company Metawater Co., Ltd. For the demonstration experiment the Fuji Electric FP-100i, a new 100-kilowatt fuel cell model, was installed outdoors and sewage digester gas was used for power generation. Startup and shutdown tests were conducted and operating patterns were examined during the winter months of this cold-weather region. The experiment was designed to test for problems in the unit’s operating performance during cold weather conditions.

2. Results

The demonstration experiment was carried out from January through March 2011, and verified that no problems occurred in the operating performance of the fuel cell over approximately 2,000 hours of operation. The new FP-100i model is fitted with all the peripheral equipment required for operating fuel cells as an all-in-one unit, and is capable of analyzing thermal-fluid for optimized equipment placement. As a result, it can be installed in environments with temperatures ranging from minus 20 to 40 degrees Celsius. The low-noise, low-vibration fuel cell power-generation equipment can be installed outdoors without the need of a housing structure, thus enabling substantial savings in installation and construction costs.

In addition, at the time of the Great East Japan Earthquake that struck the area on March 11, the fuel cell continued to generate power using sewage digester gas until commercially available electric power networks were brought back on line. When the networks were restored two days later, the unit immediately switched back to normal operations.

Looking forward, Fuji Electric intends to promote its fuel cells to institutions such as national and local government bodies as an alternate power supply system, which can be used in anticipation of electricity shortages due to scheduled blackouts and other factors.

Main specifications

Item Specifications
Equipment type FP-100i model phosphoric acid fuel cell
Equipment placement Outdoors
Rated output 100kW at output terminals
Electrical efficiency 40% LHV at output terminals when outputting 100kW
Overall efficiency (two options available) 1) 60% LHV at output terminals and rated load operation when high-temperature (90℃) water is used
2) 90% LHV at output terminals and rated load operation when mid-temperature (55℃) water is used
Thermal output (two options available) 1) 50kW when 90℃ water is used with high-temperature waste-heat recovery type system
2) 130kW when 55℃ water is used with mid-temperature waste-heat recovery type system
Exhaust gas NOx: less than 5ppm; SOx: no dust detected
Operating system Fully automated, parallel operation with mains
Dimensions and weight 2.2m width x 5.6m length x 3.4m height; 16 tons


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