Hydrogen generation and fuel cells
El.Ma. has operated in the fuel cell sector since 1997. On behalf of CLC/Ansaldo El.Ma. carried out a collaborative activity with ONSI/IF, today known as UTC, to execute a cost-reduction program regarding Phosphoric Acid Fuel Cells (PAFC) for 200kW systems operating at mid-level temperatures of about 200°C (394°F). The society acquired an elevated know-how regarding materials such as graphite and carbon fiber, as well as carbonization technology, graphite application, and mechanical work such as milling, lamination, and stamping. Ink fabrication technologies, with relative spreading and impregnation respective to sealing and the containment of phosphoric acid electrolytes, were affronted.
El.Ma has therefore acquired all the necessary knowledge to employ the technology utilized in the serial production of fuel cells with graphite electrodes of great size.
Such technologies are transportable, with opportune adaptations, in the realization of Alkaline Fuel Cells (AFC) and Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel cells.
All of the arguments have been examined regarding the production and storage of hydrogen using metal hydrides and viscous liquid hydrides.
El.Ma. completely possesses the scientific technical ability for development of system engineering with the integration of all the components through its process control, that can guarantee the monitoring and regulation of the parameters involved in the operation of the systems that the fuel cells employ.
With the development of complementary programs between them, technology exchange, stabilized alliances, the network of scientific technical abilities necessary to assure the correct execution of research activities can be considered extended to a world-wide level allotting in the same network that more important societies operate for the employment of hydrogen as a carrier for the production of stationary energy distributed with fuel cells operating at low temperatures.
Following image shows the generation of electric energy from Sodium-Borohydride: in this way Hydrogen producted by HOD generator supplies E8 - 2.4kW AFC generator connected to a resistive test load.
Studies and experiments due to aquire the know-how of AFC technology are done by El.Ma. using a test-bench composed by two 300 W AFC stacks and two test load connected with PC, in order to set the power generated by fuel cells.
One stack is managed manually, the other one is fully automated thanks to CN2 control by El.Ma., that regulates process parameters on the basis of the requested power.
Using the program installed on PC connected with the test loads, it's possible to view and save in real time all the parameters of the fuel cells, for example stack voltage, cells voltage, stack temperature and electrolyte temperature.
Thanks to the experience acquired in the field of AFC technology, El.Ma. has realized an experimental generator equipped with 2 AFC stacks, and completely automatized and supplied by all the sensors necessary for the control of the working parameters.
The AFC generator has been tested with the hydrogen produced by a revised version of HOD, for the production of gas on demand.
Studies and experiments due to aquire the know-how of PEMFC technology are done by El.Ma. using a test-bench composed by one 400W and one 100W PEMFC stacks, that are composed of electrodes done with different kinds of materials.
Some generated energy is used by a battery recharger developed by El.Ma. connected with several batteries that makes the test-bench sustain itself.
In both cases it's possible to show the fuel cells polarization curve and save all data.