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DIAMOND - Diagnosis-aided control for SOFC power systems

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The DIAMOND project aims at substantially improvement of the current performance of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) for CHP applications in order to boost their diffusion into the broad commercial use. Advanced monitoring models will be developed to integrate diagnosis and control functions with the objective of having meaningful information on the actual state-of-the-health of the entire system. 

HyGear Fuel Cell Systems B.V. (NL)
Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives (FR)
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland (FI)
HTceramix SA HTc (CH)

  • Improve management of system components to enhance SOFC performance and lifetime. 
  • Monitor SOFC stack to predict any deviation from its safe operation envelope, thus increasing time to maintenance. 
  • Reduce stack degradation rate through a tight management of control variables by adapting their values according to the actual status of the stack.
  • Increase mean time between failures (MTBF).
  • Use existing FC system HW and SW architectures and minimize the implementation burden.
  • Leverage methodologies from mature sectors to reduce development costs of diagnosis and control strategies.
  • Monitoring and diagnosis support the advanced control strategies to find the optimal values of the controller to be actuated on the system. 
  • Diagnosis and control algorithms will be released for implementation into conventional hardware.
  • New diagnosis concepts will be introduced the baseline is the state of the art set by the FCH-JU funded GENIUS and DESIGN projects.
  • Improvement of the fault signature matrix will be achieved starting from the outcomes of the FCH-JU funded GENIUS and DESIGN projects
  • Monitoring and diagnosis will support the control algorithms in adapting its parameters according to the actual system status reducing the risk of faults.
  • Signal- and model-based monitoring will provide the information about actual state-ofhealth. 
  • Fault detection and isolation for stack and BoP components will be implemented with advanced signature matrices and improved thresholds
  • Software-in-the-Loop methodologies will be applied for the monitoring and diagnosis algorithms development and testing phases.
The project DIAMOND tackles the problem of monitoring, diagnosing and controlling (MDC) SOFC systems with a holistic approach to achieve advanced management. The close link among these three functions guarantees a comprehensive solution to the problem of achieving improved performance, maintenance scheduling, higher reliability and thus increased lifetime. The key innovation of the project consists in the coupling  between diagnosis and control (i.e. the main management tasks) through condition monitoring, which supports the other two functions. Read more
The project focuses on two SOFC based generation units; one being an integrated module (HotBox™) with two stacks, heat exchangers and reformer and an external BoP controlling the gases supply, the total power of such a system is 2 kW; the second one is a single stack of 10 kW connected to an external BoP with conventional layout. These two distinct configurations cover a broad spectrum of possible SOFC system assemblies, e.g. multi-stack, medium power generator, integrated fuel processor and components. It’s worth to note that both configurations have not received yet the proper attention towards the integration of monitoring, diagnosis and control to improve their performance. 
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