NEWS AND EVENTS

This section archives all the news and events of the SWITCH project.

SWITCH and the annual date with the EFCF

The European SOFC & SOE Forum is a high-level international fuel cell & electrolyser event that every year offers a presentation of the state-of-the-art technology.

In 2022, Switzerland hosted the 15th edition of EFCF and focused on “science, engineering, materials, systems, applications and markets for all types of Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC), Solid Oxide Electrolysers (SOE) and Solid Oxide Electrochemical Reactors” also addressing the established issue of CO2 emission reduction and reuse.

More information about the conference here: https://www.efcf.com/2022. The agenda can be read and downloaded here

SWITCH project participated in the conference on several occasion. This year, three presentations have been given by three partners: Solydera, EFPL and the Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt (DLR)

Solydera focused on the large stack module and system development for SOFC, SOE and reversible operation in industrial processes.

DLR presented the transient simulation and experimental validation of a solid oxide cell module in electrolysis and polygeneration mode.

EPFL reported the results of local investigation of a segmented reversible-SOC.

Furthermore, SWITCH participated with a workshop in the final event of CH2P project, as already written in a this news.

2022 was not the first year that saw the participation of SWITCH project in EFCF. Represented by SolidPower, the project took part also in the virtual event European Fuel Cell Forum 2020, where the development and testing of a 25 kWe Large Stack Module for SOFC and SOE applications was presented.

New scientific paper published in the EDP Science Journal

SWITCH’s researchers Michele Bolognese, Matteo Testi, Lorenzo De Bortoli, Ruben Bartali and Luigi Crema of the Centre for Sustainable Energy of Fondazione Bruno Kessler (Italy) published the article “Experimental validation of a dynamic modelling of a Reversible Solid Oxide Cells (rSOCs)”.
The work is the result of the participation of the researcher in the EFC21 – European Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Piero Lunghi Conference.

Abstract:
The integration of Hydrogen technologies in different end-uses such as transport, electric microgrids, residential and industrial applications, will increase exponentially soon. Hydrogen as energy carrier allows more favourable energy conversion than other conventional systems and is crucial in worldwide decarbonize end uses. The production of green hydrogen, using RES, is a key area for the evolution of this technology. In this context, SWITCH is a Horizon 2020 European Project that aims to design, build and test an in-situ fully integrated and continuous multisource hydrogen production system, based on solid oxide cell technology. Reversible Solid Oxide Cell (rSOCs) technologies allow to convert renewable energy as hydrogen in the power-to-gas application (P2G) and in reversible mode is able to produce electricity from hydrogen stored, power-to-power application (P2P). rSOCs are really interesting to stabilize the random nature of RES because a combined electrolysis and fuel cell system should be able to switch between the two modes as quickly as possible in order to optimize the integration and the use of RES. However, rSOCs need a complex BoP from the thermal point of view, able to guarantee high efficiency even at partial load mode as well as easy start-up and shutdown procedures. In this work, a Stack Box Module dynamic model was developed in Modelica environment as a dynamic tool for the definition and optimization of BoP requirements. Stack model was validated in SOFC (Solid Oxide Fuel Cell) and SOE (Solid Oxide Electrolyser). The results of the simulation provide verification of the technical/thermodynamic behaviour and flexibility of a stack box of 70 cells. Dynamic modelling allows to evaluate the effect of the reagent inlet temperatures on the operation and hydrogen production/consumption in terms of yield as well as the transients between the different operative modes. Model has been validated by experimental measurements performed in the laboratory. In particular, the kinetics of the reactions governing steam methane reforming (SMR) was considered from data found in the literature, while the ASR (Area Specific Resistance) value was calibrated according to experimental data. The results of the dynamic model show as model can be a useful design and optimization tool for the SOCs technology.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1051/e3sconf/202233401003

The article is available in Open access at this link: https://www.e3s-conferences.org/articles/e3sconf/abs/2022/01/e3sconf_efc2022_01003/e3sconf_efc2022_01003.html

SWITCH presented at Modelon Innovate 2022

The researcher Michele Bolognese, from Fondazione Bruno Kessler – FBK, participated in the Conference Modelon Innovate 2022 in Stockholm, last 19th of October. 

With the presentation “rSOC System: Modeling and Control Development With Modelica-Based Language“, the researcher wished to present the model developed for the H2020 Projects PROMETEO and SWITCH

The model enables the evaluation of a detailed system analysis and operation, which can also be used as a design tool for the upscale of the rSOCs technology in different scenarios and applications, and to test and optimize the control strategy. 

Modelon Innovate 2022 is a global event focused on system simulation for innovation and product design within commercial industries. 

If you are interested in the presentation, you can find it in the publications section!

SWITCH at the European Hydrogen Week!

The European Hydrogen Week is the biggest annual event dedicated to hydrogen with a series of great events all around hydrogen.

The third edition of the event took place in Brussels, from 24 to 28 October 2022, included an agenda rich of events, activities and panels. 

Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK) attended the event and was present at the Exhibition, an important occasion to give visibility and showcase SWITCH project results!

SWITCH – CH2P Joint Workshop

On July 7, 2022 the SWITCH project presented the future exploitation during the final event of the CH2P Project.

The CH2P project designed, constructed and tested a novel 20 kg/day SOFC prototype for flexible and multimodal co-generation of hydrogen, heat and power using bio-methane.

The SWITCH project exploits and upscales the CH2P prototype by adding SOE operations for green hydrogen production. The SWITCH prototype will operate in five SOE/SOFC modes and it will produce 100 kg/day in SOE mode.

The workshop ended with a debate on the lesson learned from the two projects and the next steps for technology upscaling and application at Hydrogen Refueling Stations. 

The event was hosted by the 15th European SOFC and SOE Forum (EFCF 2022), with the possibility to join both on-site and remote. The event was attended by 54 participants: 38 people connected from remote and 16 attended in presence at KKL in Lucerne.

EPFL at ECOS 2022

Xinyi Wei, researcher at the EPFL (École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne), partner of the SWITCH project, gave the presentation entitled “Life cycle Assessment of different hydrogen production routes” at ECOS 2022, the 35th International Conference on Efficiency, Cost, Optimization, Simulation and Environmental Impact of Energy Systems.

The presentation aimed to give an overview of the LCA made and results achieved on different hydrogen production routes, and one of them has been assessed within the SWITCH project. 

ECOS is the name of a series of international conferences that focus on modern aspects of Thermal Sciences with particular emphasis on Thermodynamics and its applications in energy conversion systems and processes. ECOS22 has been held in Copenhagen, Denmark from 3 to 7 July 2022.

Read more about ECOS here: https://ecos2022.dtu.dk/

EXPERIMENTAL VALIDATION OF LSM DYNAMIC MODELLING PRESENTED AT EFC21

Our researcher Michele Bolognese presented today at  European Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Conference (EFC21) the results of the experimental validation of the SWITCH Large Stack Module. The results of the dynamic modelling of the Reversible Stack Module and of the External Reformer were validated by the experimental activities performed in Fondazione Bruno Kessler – FBK with 3% of discrepancy. The results confirm the robustness of the model, that can be used for future modelling of hydrogen stationary applications

More details will be shared in the conference proceedings.

For more information, visit http://www.europeanfuelcell.it

SWITCH PRESENTS RESULTS AT FCH JU PROGRAMME REVIEW 2021

What is the state of the art of R&D on Electrolysers for Clean Hydrogen production in Europe? Luigi Crema presented the development activities of the SWITCH Project at the Programme Review Days 2021 organized by Fuel Cells & Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU).

The project goals is to design, construct and test a novel system prototype for “mostly green, always secured” hydrogen production for hydrogen refueling stations. The final SWITCH prototype comprising two Solid Oxide Large Stack Modules (LSM) will be a 50kW (SOFC)/150kW(SOE) system producing up to 100 kg/day of hydrogen. The prototype will be operated in a relevant industrial environment for at least 5000 hours until full validation.

Stay tuned to know more on the testing activities.

SWITCH project at the SOFC-XVII

The project partner EPFL (École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne), on July 2021, participated in the digital meeting of the 17th International Symposium on Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC-XVII).

The event, sponsored by the High-temperature Energy, Materials and processes division of the Electrochemical Society, Inc. and the SOFC Society of Japan, saw the participation of the SOC community from academia and industry. ECS has indeed a large network of over 8,000 scientists and engineers.

The two presentations given by EPFL, within the scope of the SWITCH project, were 

1- Local Characterization of a Solid Oxide Cell Operated in Fuel Cell and Electrolysis Mode Using Lock-in Thermograph

Abstract: 

Operando characterization of SOCs generally relies on current–voltage measurements that provide the spatially averaged electrochemical response of the SOC. However, these methods do not fully capture the spatial distribution of the operating conditions (e.g., gas composition, current density). Local information on the operating conditions can be gained by using operando optical characterization methods. In this work, the spatial distribution of the electro-thermal response of an SOC with a 15 cm2 active area operated in fuel cell and electrolysis mode was investigated using lock-in thermography. Lock-in thermography consists of stimulating the solid oxide cell with a sinusoidal current perturbation and analyzing the local thermal response using Fourier transforms. A camera with a silicon-based sensor was used to record the transient temperature field on the oxygen electrode (i.e., the cathode in fuel cell operation) via a specifically designed optical access. The field of view of each pixel was approximately 0.03 mm x 0.03 mm. The Fourier transform generates a compact data set that can be conveniently represented by a phase and amplitude or a real and imaginary image. Using a real–imaginary representation provided a better thermal response contrast than an amplitude–phase representation. The local thermal response was found to be dependent on the direct current bias and the frequency of the current perturbation. The thermal response of the SOC was laterally and longitudinally inhomogeneous, thereby demonstrating the capability of active thermography to characterize the local behavior of an SOC in operando. Lock-in thermography is thus a promising method for defining regions of interest for post-mortem analysis using electron microscopy and helping to link highly localized post-test analysis with spatially averaged operando characterization methods.

More information at this link

2 – Modeling Nickel Microstructural Evolution in Ni-YSZ Electrodes Using a Mathematical Morphology Approach

Abstract: 

Microstructural evolution of Nickel in Ni-YSZ fuel electrodes is one of the main limiting degradation mechanisms in solid oxide cells [1]. The redistribution of Nickel is ascribed to its high mobility and low wettability with YSZ, related to interfacial surface tensions. Practically, the degradation manifests as the agglomeration of Ni, potentially accompanied by its migration, mainly reported in electrolysis mode.

Extensive efforts have been made to understand Ni agglomeration and relocation. In this frame, advanced imaging techniques have been employed to characterize the microstructure of electrodes after aging in a wide range of conditions. In order to support these observations and gain fundamental insights, a number of computer simulations methods such as: multistate kinetic Potts-Monte Carlo models, cellular automata, phase field, and topological boundary dynamics have been successfully employed in modelling grain growth and recrystallization phenomena. Nevertheless, questions still remain on the exact underlying mechanisms of Ni migration.

In the shadow of this lack of clear understanding, a morphological modelling approach aiming at mimicking Ni depletion based on the most fundamental definition of chemical potential and surface curvature minimization would be very helpful to guide researchers into gaining clearer insights of this phenomenon. Moreover, the morphological simulations are very fast compared to the physically based models. Therefore, they can offer the possibility to emulate large database of numerical microstructures in order to study the impact of Ni evolution on the microstructural properties [2].

The current work falls within this framework and aims at modelling the two main Ni degradation phenomena, namely coarsening and migration. For this purpose, a novel model based on morphological operations from mathematical morphology [3] has been developed and adapted to the Ni-YSZ specificities. The considered driving force for Ni evolution is the minimization of its surface curvature, and implicitly its chemical potential, which strongly depends on the local operating conditions. After calibration, the model showed a capability to predict, starting from an initial 3-D microstructure as input data, Ni relocation that was in agreement with that observed in a large dataset of 3-D reconstructions from pristine and aged cells. This helps understanding the associated microstructural evolutions which are linked to the cell Area Specific Resistance (ASR) through an adapted in-house model. This coupling of microstructural and electrochemical models allows giving clearer insights and practical recommendations for the design of fuel electrodes with improved stability and electro-catalytic activity.

More information at this link.  

The presentation resulted then into two proceedings, which you can read in the publications section: https://switch-fch.eu/publications/   

PIME Workshop : a roadmap for an hydrogen economy in energy and transport in Poland

The SWITCH project has been presented in the online workshop “Hydrogen in power combined heat and power energy -intensive industry and agriculture”. The workshop has been organised by the PIME Knowledge Academy , which is promoting knowledge exchange to develop a hydrogen economy in energy and transport in Poland.

During the workshop, Matteo Testi (FBK) presented the talk “Reversible Solid Oxide Cells at support of flexible production of hydrogen, power and heat”, focusing on the R&D activities performed on the SWITCH Large Stack Module. The new LSM will significantly enhance the efficiency of green hydrogen production while securing production independently from renewable energy.

For more information, please download the workshop brochure.

 

This project has received funding from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking (now Clean Hydrogen Partnership) under Grant Agreement No 875148. This Joint Undertaking receives support from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation program, Hydrogen Europe and Hydrogen Europe Research

EN V Co-funded by_POS

Project Coordinator

Luigi Crema
Fondazione Bruno Kessler – FBK

Chief Engineer

Ilaria Mirabelli
HyGEAR B.V. (HYG)

Knowledge Manager

Ilaria Alberti

Fondazione Bruno Kessler – FBK

Fondazione Bruno Kessler – content production and content management