The "Fuel Cells" research line is divided into three main areas: Fuel Cell Based Energy Generation Systems; Development and Characterization of Fuel Cell Materials and Components; Production and Conditioning of Hydrogen.
In the first case, the objectives are related to energy analysis, technological evaluation, electrothermal characterization and optimization of Distributed Generation (GD) systems, formed by fuel cells or hybrid systems, operating in isolation (stand alone) or connected to the grid (grid connected). It also studies modeling, simulation and control of these systems, as well as technical-economic and business evaluation of fuel cell systems.
In the second, the objectives are related to the improvement of the relevant material properties of various components of fuel cell systems, such as electrolytes, anodes, cathodes, bipolar plates and interconnectors, in order to increase the performance and the useful life of these generators power. In addition, characterization studies and fault analysis of these materials and components are carried out.
As regards the third area, hydrogen production and conditioning studies aim to determine the best processes for the generation of energy hydrogen from various primary fuels (natural gas, ethanol, biogas, etc.) or energy resources under specific conditions and scenarios. It also includes the technical-economic evaluation of these processes or projects.
The various activities of the "Fuel Cells" research line combine theoretical and experimental developments, including the implementation and operation of the first fuel cell-based system capable of operating with hydrogen produced by natural gas reform. This system was developed in Brazil by Electrocell.
As a result of the studies of the research line, we can mention: the book "Fuel Cells: An Alternative for Power Generation and its Insertion in the Brazilian Market"; technical reports on research and development; published articles; developments of new formulations for solid oxide fuel cell electrolytes and bipolar plates for proton swapping membrane fuel cells.
Cepel's main partners in the implementation of the research line were Eletrobras, Chesf, Electrocell, Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio) and UFRJ (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro). Currently, the Cepel Fuel Cell Laboratory cooperates with the Hydrogen Laboratory of the Itaipu Technological Park Foundation, developing works on the production of hydrogen from renewable resources and their storage.
The research line is developed with the support of the following laboratories: "Fuel Cells"; "Metallography"; "Chemical Analysis" and "Superconductivity", located in the Fundão Unit.
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