Fuel cell laboratory

Laboratorio Celle a Combustibile

The Fuel Cell Laboratory carries out studies about high-temperature fuel cells and related components, particularly Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC) which have been identified as the best fuel cell technologies for co-generation application in the residential and commercial end-use markets. Current research topics include the assessment of commercial products and the development of home-made innovative components to overcome some key technological constraints which currently limit fuel cells large-scale applications.

The laboratory is equipped with four test benches, each providing an oven to host cells and short stacks, electric and gas supplies and a programmable electronic load to control the current set-point. Single cells and short stacks are tested with accelerated test protocols, simulating co-generation applications, under different conditions of operating temperatures, fuels and power output.

The laboratory infrastructure includes a net of sensors and safety systems (such as ventilation apparatus and safety valves) which enable testing for thousands of hours without interruption, also in unmanned operations.