Power & Energy
Solid Oxide Fuel Cells
The Department of Defense (DoD), Department of Energy (DOE) and NASA all have interest in developing solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology as this is a path to enable efficient power systems.
The DoD vision for SOFC technology is to develop lightweight logistic fuel-compatible systems for multiple applications, including: silent watch auxiliary power units, battery chargers, range extenders for electric vehicles and power for unmanned aerial vehicles. By providing power at a higher efficiency this reduces the burden on the supply lines, which ultimately can save our soldiers’ lives.
The DOE sees this technology as a means to achieving cost-effective electricity generation from abundant domestic coal and natural gas resources, with minimal use of water and near-zero atmospheric emissions of carbon dioxide and pollutants. Read the DOE article.
Nexceris’ Fuel Cell Business Unit works closely with partners from these agencies to develop our SOFC technology to meet their specific goals.
Energy storage is proliferating as our modern societies become increasingly mobile, efficient, and environmentally conscious. Energy densities provided by modern technology such as lithium-ion batteries enable valuable use cases for energy storage in mobile phones to electric vehicles and grid-connected energy storage systems.
Nexceris has been working with the U.S. Navy since 2010 to develop and deliver safety monitoring products to ensure the use of storage energy is safe, responsible and resilient. Our Li-ion Tamer® technology is being used in energy storage systems to detect and protect against thermal runaway of lithium-ion battery systems.
In the Nexceris Sensors division, monitors can be used for lithium-ion or hydrogen emissions. Doing so can improve their situational awareness of the system while providing valuable warning of a failing battery so they can ensure safe and reliable energy.
Solar energy is one of the many forms of green energy storage methods utilized to support utility grids, EV charging stations, and residential energy storage. Energy is captured by the solar panels and then often stored in lithium-ion battery systems for long-term use. Those battery systems require multiple safety layers, with off-gas detection being just one.
Nexceris has developed the Li-ion Tamer® off-gas monitoring system to improve the safety and resiliency of energy storage systems for solar technology of any scale. The early warning of battery failure provided by our technology can help to protect against thermal runaway of lithium-ion battery systems. Li-ion Tamer® is currently in use worldwide, increasing customer confidence and energy reliability throughout the industry.
Hydrogen leaks can occur within nuclear power plants both from the fuel reactor and from the battery banks that provide backup power to the control systems.
The versatility of the NTM SenseH2® enables installation in high-risk locations throughout nuclear facilities, providing early warning of hydrogen leaks that could indicate a potential problem within the plant. The solid state relays and other safety features offered by the NTM SenseH2 Alarm System allow plant operators to take mitigating action when hydrogen concentrations reach predetermined threshold levels.
In the Nexceris Sensors division, Li-ion Tamer® for lithium-ion battery system can be used to provide monitoring of all venting categories outlined in their standard. The NTM hydrogen monitors would be a good fit for the lead acid batteries. Doing so can improve their situational awareness of the system, while providing Grid modernization efforts currently forming the future of our energy grid. The infrastructure that has powered over a century of growth is looking to a future to deliver resilient, reliable, affordable, and environmentally responsible electricity to fuel growth.
Oil & Gas Refining
Nexceris Fuel Cell Applications
Auxiliary Power Generation
Auxiliary power units (APU) are used in a wide variety of applications, including:
- Power for deicing equipment and sensor arrays on high altitude long endurance (HALE) UAVs
- Battery charging or hotel power after vehicles reach their destination
- Power for communications for command and control applications.
These systems typically require lightweight and high-efficiency operation. Nexceris’ SOFC Stack Design can be tailored for achieving increased efficiency and fuel flexibility for use in these applications. What separates our technology from the competition is our sulfur tolerant cell/stack formations which enable the use of logistic fuel such as JP-8 or JP-5.
Residential Power Generation
Another area being explored for solid oxide and other fuel cell technologies is residential power generation. Fuel cell systems installed in or outside residential dwellings can be used for primary or backup power, providing anywhere from less than 1 kW and up to 5 kW of power. These systems are small and quiet and can operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. In addition, they can provide power as well as heating for air and/or water using a process called Combined Heat and Power (CHP). The most successful example of the use of fuel cells for residential applications is Japan’s Ene-Farm program, which had over 300,000 systems as of 2019.
Sergio Ibanez, a Senior Process Engineer at Nexceris, presented an update on Advanced Coatings to Enhance the Durability of SOEC Stacks at the DOE Hydrogen Program: 2022 Annual Merit Review and Peer Evaluation Meeting.