Fuel Cell Energy (FCE)

  Fuel Cell Energy (FCE) Copyright: PLT Aachen

Fuel cells already constitute an important source of energy in the context of ensuring our future energy supply. The variability of fuel cells means that they are suitable for diverse applications in both, mobile and stationary work spaces. As typical application areas one would you usually cite automobile construction, but also heating systems, emergency generators and thermal power stations. Since the storage and transportation of hydrogen is, for various reasons, quite problematic, the generation of the required hydrogen is envisaged to occur on-site. One possible approach of addressing this issue is to generate hydrogen from carbohydrates such as natural gas and diesel. This process is called reforming. This approach has certain advantages since it makes use of the available transport infrastructure, has a higher degree of efficiency compared with combustion processes and provides a more simple possibility of synthesizing carbohydrates.

The Chair of Process Control Engineering is currently working on a reformer-fuel-cell system that is powered by methane.

The modular structure of the system, its manifold and non-linear coherencies and the load-side driven operating states (electrical load alternates at the fuel cell) are of central interest for control-based examinations. These features are also necessary for methods that reduce the number of sensors while still operating the process efficiently. For this purpose, process-accompanying simulations offer approaches that are able to deduce additional process values from a limited number of measurement values.