TD1 Systems

Technical Demonstrator 1 (TD1) was CFCL's first complete fuel cell system operating without the need for a furnace surrounding the fuel cell stack.  This was a significant achievement within itself, as beforehand SOFC systems required an electric furnace to heat the fuel cell stack to the necessary operating temperature.  By designing the hot section of the Balance of Plant (BoP) the exhaust gasses could preheat the incoming air and fuel streams to reduce the thermal necessity of a furnace. 

TD1 allowed CFCL to validate the early design concepts for the BoP and essential control system.

Design Highlights

  • Heat recovery using and air/fuel/exhaust heat exchanger
  • Use of electrical heaters to compensate for heat loss
  • Design concept using steam generation for fuel reforming
  • Mass flow controller based operation
  • Capable of using natural gas & propane fuels

Engineering Achievements

  • System designed, built and commissioned within eight months
  • The trio heat exchanger design successfully validated
  • System operated for nearly 4000 hours continuously
  • Stable performance of BoP and control system
  • Established core design of heat exchanger & pre-reformer used in later systems
  • Successfully demonstrated fuel cell stack operation without a furnace Validated several key control system loops

Areas for Improvement

  • Still a large & expensive system
  • The system reliant on incoming electrical power for electrical heaters
TD1 In Operation
TD1 is still used today for fuel cell research purposes, as the system is extremely flexible and can operate on different fuels

The TD1 system was the foundation for the next generation system known as - CHP1.   CFCL still utilise the TD1 systems for research and development of fuel cells, as the system allows variable operating conditions and processes.