CHP1 Operation

Combined Heat & Power 1 (CHP1) was the next logical step towards developing a stand-alone SOFC powered CHP system.  The previous system design (TD1) validated the Balance of Plant (BoP) and control design assumptions; now further work was required on integrating the BoP and reducing the system size.

For the first time, design work was focussed around building a stand-alone CHP unit.  This meant that not only was a integrated BoP essential, but other services such as, power control, grid connection inverter and electrical safety systems were required.

Design Highlights

  • Integrated BoP design - heat exchanger, burner & steam generator
  • Inclusion of an inverter to export electrical power
  • Mass flow controller based flow control

Engineering Achievements

  • System designed, built and commissioned within eight months
  • BoP integration design proven
  • Electrical system and manual control strategy proven
  • Reduction in overall size of the unit

Areas for Improvement

  • Mass flow controllers are expensive and not a commercial solution
  • Start-up and shut-down strategy required nitrogen to purge the system
  • Improvements in steam generator control are needed to reduce pulsations
  • Heat loss from system burner was still too high

CHP1 made the important step from laboratory based system to stand alone installation. 

Key engineering breakthroughs within CHP1 went on to become the field trial demonstration unit - CHP2.