Demonstration of 500 kWe alkaline fuel cell system with heat capture (POWER UP)
In project POWER-UP, a 500 kWe alkaline fuel cell (AFC) system will be demonstrated at Air Products (AIRP) industrial gas plant at Stade (in Lower Saxony, in northern Germany). This ambitious project will be the world’s first demonstration of an alkaline fuel cell system on a large scale. In order to achieve the goal of demonstrating a 500 kWe alkaline fuel cell system in a real industrial setting. The Paul Scherrer Institute’s Technology Assessment Group (PSI) leads Work Package 8. The primary objective of this WP is to determine the potential environmental, human health and socio-economic burdens and impacts of using the proposed form of fuel cell system and for the application in question. Additional objectives are then to compare the fuel cell system with other technology alternatives, to conduct scenario and sensitivity analyses and to provide insights into process optimization. The primary emphasis (Task 1) of the WP will be a Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of the construction, operation and disposal of the specific alkaline fuel cell system under development by AFC Energy Plc. The complete LCA also includes the fuel cycles of the energy carriers feeding the fuel cell and the recycling and refurbishment of fuel cell electrodes, either for continued use of the fuel cell or to regain materials at the end-of-life. Cumulative resource uses and emissions to the environment from the life cycle will be calculated and characterized in the form of indicators quantifying a range of burdens and potential impacts on the environment and human health. In addition, Task 2 will analyze a range of economic and social indicators related to these additional aspects of sustainability. The goal is to supply a wide range of indicators for multi-criteria assessment by a range of stakeholders, including not just the fuel cell vendors and customers, but also regulators, environmentalists and society as a whole. These indicators will include direct costs, their components, sensitivity to cost factors, direct employment, and construction and operating characteristics of interest. Social indicators related to fuel autonomy and risk and social acceptance will also be assessed.