Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command

Reversible Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Demonstrated at NAVFAC EXWC

02/04/16 12:00 AM

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From Naval Facilities Engineering Command Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center Public Affairs

PORT HUENEME, Calif. (NNS) -- The first live demonstration of the 50 kW (scalable to 400 kW) reversible Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) system was held at the Naval Facilities Engineering Command, Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center (NAVFAC, EEWC), at Naval Base Ventura County, Port Hueneme, Jan. 28.

The manufacturers of the system, Boeing, Huntington Beach and Sunfire, Dresden, Germany, operated the system and answered questions from the attending NAVFAC EXWC personnel.

"The SOFC is a most promising technology for both remote islands and expeditionary applications," said Michael Cruz, EXWC project manager. "Combined with a solar photovoltaic array, a SOFC system generates electricity, potable water, and heat with only two inputs, sunshine and seawater."

The system is the largest of its kind using a technology called a "reversible solid oxide fuel cell" to store energy from renewable resources (including wind and solar), producing clean, zero-emissions electricity.

The system generates, compresses and stores hydrogen. When the grid demands power, it operates as a fuel cell, consuming the stored hydrogen to produce electricity. This technology is unique in being able to both store energy and produce electricity in a single system, making the technology "reversible."

This first unit was commissioned on the Southern California Edison power grid at Boeing's Huntington Beach, California, facility before being installed for further testing on the Navy's 'microgrid' at the NAVFAC, EXWC.

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