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A very efficient SOFC

By Tetsuo Satoh |

Hitachi Zosen Corp. (HITZ, Osaka and Tokyo, Japan; www.hitachizosen.co.jp) has installed a solid-oxide fuel cell (SOFC) demonstration unit at Osaka Research Institute of Industrial Science and Technology, Izumi Center (Orist; Osaka, http://orist.jp), and has been performing tests since June. The SOFC has achieved a total efficiency of 90% (50% electrical, 40% thermal), which is said to be the highest level obtained thus far. Researchers say the unit has undergone 4,000 hours of continuous operation under actual load conditions. The unit is part of a three-year project — supported by the NEDO — that is scheduled for completion in November. HITZ plans to start marketing SOFCs with capacities of 20 to several hundred kilowatts for power generation of stores, office buildings and apartment buildings in the 2017 fiscal year, after surveying the market volumes and economic feasibility. The company says the technology is also suitable for truck-loaded emergency power generation during disasters. The HITZ SOFC technology uses H2 fuel obtained by reforming city gas.
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