Fuel Cell Power Generator

PROJECT Abstract
March, 2015
Project J
Catalytic Carbon – Hydrogen on Demand (CC-HOD) / Fuel Cell Power Generator
RETECH Engineering, Inc. (REI) is developing a hydrogen production system for commercial deployment. CC-HOD
is a patented process which we have opportunity to license for use with a fuel cell for small home generators (1
kW – 10 kW); we also have a Provisional Patent application pending for a Continuous Flow Hydrogen production
system, which an ECE 191 team worked on in the Winter Quarter, 2015. The team built a model to simulate
performance and optimize the design of the reactor system and developed a logic control scheme for the system.
Prototypes for CC-HOD production systems have been built, tested and tracked in the lab and in-situ for over
three years. The current prototype was built and tested by a third party. The RETECH SolidWorks design includes
automated production, sampling, monitoring and control. Little of our work today has incorporated the use of
the hydrogen in a fuel cell, which is a primary application we seek to develop.
CC-HOD addresses challenges previously purported by research of the reaction of aluminum with water to
produce Hydrogen. The proposed system offers solutions to the challenges including a mechanism for unloading
spent materials and loading fresh materials, a reactor that would allow controlled quantities of materials to be
disbursed, react, and be removed from the system. The streamline designed reactor can endure multiple cycles
to produce consistent quantities of hydrogen. The design also address the challenge of thermodynamics of the
material by maintaining the equilibrium hydrogen pressure at a given temperature.
The current design produces hydrogen at the attractive cost of approximately $0.64/gallon without recycling the
aluminum. The production system oxidizes aluminum to produce hydrogen, which results in oxidized aluminum.
Through design optimization using multi-physics software, we are confident this cost can be significantly
reduced. Design optimization modeling and engineering economics to optimize the material stability and
geometric configuration of a continuous flow reactor. The pure hydrogen produced can be used as a fuel
supplement for diesel power generators (current preferred target application) or in numerous other settings not
limited to the transportation, power, medical or food processing industries.
This project may eligible to apply for funding through the Department of Energy (DOE) Hydrogen Contest, DOE
Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-e) funding, through California Energy Commission (CEC)
programs, and other private or public Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOA’s). We may pursue these
contest and funding opportunities concurrently with development of the project.
Next steps require electrical system design to incorporate stackable fuel cells and disperse back up power for
residential service. Budget permitting we will obtain a fuel cell for testing so that the project team can build and
test the finalized system, using produced hydrogen to power the fuel cells.
Objectives of the Student Team Project:
1) Design electronic control/interface and wiring diagram for entire system and coordination of the fuel
cell(s) to deliver external power;
2) Build, bench-test and record performance results of prototype unit.
PROJECT Abstract
March, 2015
Additional Information:
Current System Diagram:
Several other drawings will be made available to the team, including the control schematics and the terminal block
for wiring schematics inside electrical panel for the hydrogen production control system designed by the previous ECE 191
team. No wiring diagram has been designed for the management of the fuel cell or delivery of power, which should be a
primary objective of this project.
Ahmed Arif
Chief Systems Engineer | RETECH Engineering, Inc.
Mark G. Anderson, PE
Senior Project Manager | RETECH Engineering, Inc.
760-889-1327 (direct) Skype ID: Evisionary [email protected]