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Fuel Cell Laboratory

Introduction

Inaugurated in 2004, the Fuel Cell Laboratory (LabCelComb) carries out Research and Development (R&D) activities in three areas: Fuel Cell-based Power Generation Systems; Development and Characterization of Fuel Cell Materials and Components; and Hydrogen Production and Conditioning.

 

The objectives of the first area are related to energy analysis, technological and economic assessment, electrothermal characterization, modeling, control and optimization of fuel cell-based power generations systems both for transportation applications as for Distributed Generation (DG) applications, either in isolated operation (standalone operation) or connected to the electrical grid (grid-connected), as well as Hydrogen-based Energy Storage Systems (ESS), synthetic fuels and electrochemistry devices.

 

Activities in the second area are related to the improvement of relevant material properties of diverse components of fuel cell systems and ESS, such as electrolytes, anodes, cathodes, bipolar plates and interconnectors, with the purpose of increasing the performance and service life of these electric power generators and related ESS. The laboratory also performs studies on failure characterization and analysis of these materials and components.

 

Finally, studies in the third area (hydrogen production and conditioning) aim to determine the best processes for energetic hydrogen production from various primary fuels (natural gas, ethanol, biogas, etc.) or energetic resources under specific conditions and scenarios. This area also includes technical and economic assessments of these processes or projects.

 

Located in the Fundão headquarters and having physical dimensions of 5 x 3 x 15m, the laboratory can perform electrothermal and electrochemical characterization of fuel cells, their materials and components.

 

The laboratory's various activities combine theoretical and experimental developments, including the implementation and operation of the first fuel cell-based system developed in Brazil, built by the company Electrocell and able to operate with hydrogen produced by natural gas reforming.

 

LabCelComb supports the projects implemented under the lines of research "Fuel Cells"; "Energy Efficiency"; "Wind Energy"; "Photovoltaic Solar Energy"; and "Nanotechnologies". Its main clients are: Eletrobras Chesf, Eletrobras Furnas and universities.

 

Infrastructure

- PEM-type 3, 5 and 6 kW fuel cell systems
- Natural gas reformer
- Fuel cell test bench
- Water deionizer
- Gas chromatograph
- Load simulators
- Oscilloscopes and instrumentation
- Analytical gas center
- Computers
- Hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) system test bench
- Ovens and Analyzers for electrothermal characterization.

 

Contact

Contact the responsible area via email:


 fuelcell@cepel.br