Robust and reliable general management tool for performance and dUraBility improvement of fuel cell stationarY units
RUBY aims at developing and implementing a tool able to perform integrated Monitoring, Diagnostic, Prognostic and Control functions for production ?-CHP and Backup (BUP) systems, based on SOFC and PEMFC. The proposal is the final step toward the production, installation and commercialization of stationary FCSs with new management functions that will enhance system lifetime, stack durability, availability, reliability and overall performance with improved efficiency. These enhancements will lead to TCO reduction, paving the way toward advanced maintenance service implementation, less cost and increased warranty periods, leading to a better customer satisfaction. RUBY leverages the findings of the last 8 years applied research that contributed to move the FC technologies towards the same maturity of market-available conventional energy conversion technologies. The key-feature of RUBY tool is the Electrochemical Impedance Spectroscopy (EIS)-based advanced monitoring of both SOFC and PEMFC stacks, which has been demonstrated viable for its implementation on FCSs. RUBY will finalize the work on the hardware integration with stack diagnostic and control algorithms as well as with fault detection algorithms for BOP. Then, condition monitoring algorithms will be built along with prognostic and advanced adaptive control functions. The holistic vision of the FCS and a thorough knowledge of the State of the Health will be used to evaluate the lifetime of FCS components for improved supervisory control. Artificial Intelligence-based algorithms will be exploited to elaborate grid and FCS data toward the development of control functions for perspective VPP management and future integration with smart-grid. One-year tests will be conducted in real environment for certified ?-CHP and for BUP installed in a controlled real field to concentrate long-term operations in a shorter timeframe. The tool’s components will begin with TRL5/6 and end with TRL8 for ?-CHP and TRL7 for BUP.