WP6 - Functional Demonstrator

The main objective of this work package is the design and construction of a modularized functional demonstrator. The demonstrator will have a total power of > 60 kWe derived from batteries and fuel cells; of which 60 kWe will be from fuel cell unit. The second aim is to connect the developed genset demonstrator to the electrical grid and operate it for 3 months.

6.1 WP Leader

MAN Energy Solutions (MAN)

6.2 Tasks and Outputs

Process, mechanical and electrical design + component procurement

  • The modularized functional demonstrator is subdivided into a battery and a fuel cell unit. Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen (RWTH) will develop a control strategy for dynamic power distributing to fuel cells and batteries based on the work in WP5 - Control Strategy and Grid Connection.
  • MAN Energy Solutions (MAN) took over the role of the battery integrator providing the associated process, mechanical and electrical design. This battery container includes the real time PC (Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen (RWTH), the hardware platform for the strategy of energy management system (EMS Strategy).
  • The Programmable Logic Controller (PLC) covers the associated battery safety protection system which will be setup in close collaboration between MAN Energy Solutions (MAN) and subcontractors.
  • SolydEra SPA (SE_SPA) delivers the fuel cell unit consisting of the 40x 1,5 kW SOFC stacks and the required balances of plant (BOPs) (including the gas compressor) and providing the associated process, mechanical and electrical design of the fuel cell unit
  • Lloyd’s Register EMEA (LR) assess the layout, functional description, and peripheral arrangements, including ventilation, based on the design and engineering documents provided by MAN Energy Solutions (MAN). Thereby this assessment will be conducted on the previously planned combination of SOFC and batteries within one container.
  • Deliverable D6.2 - Drawings and layout for Design on Battery Container – pending
  • Deliverable D6.3 - Drawings and layout for the design of FC Cabinet completed

Battery container manufacturing, assembly and software programming

  • The manufacturing, assembly and software programming of the battery container will be carried out by MAN Energy Solutions (MAN) in cooperation with subcontractors. These tasks include the set-up of control cabinets, power electronics and programming of the control system based on MAN Energy Solutions (MAN)
  • The resulting battery container is further interconnected with the fuel cell cabinet via a common 600VDC busbar.
  • The shared energy management/control strategy controls the power contribution of both system parts

Demonstrator site preparation

  • For the installation and operation of the modularized battery and fuel cell demonstrator on the yard premises a location has to be prepared with all interfaces.

Installation and operation of demonstrator

Fuel cell testing on inclination pod

Figure 1 Concept design of the inclination experiment

Figure 1 Concept design of the inclination experiment

Real testing at SolydEra premises in Italy

Real testing at SolydEra premises in Italy

Watch the video

  • Deliverable D6.1 - Safety report on the tests of fuel cell unit on the inclination pod – completed

6.3 Duration and Status

  • Months 7 - 54
  • Status – in progress
  • MS11 – List of specifications – completed
  • MS12 – Technical drawings – completed

6.4 WP6 Highlights

  • Design, construction, installation, and operation of a modularized functional demonstrator consisting of a Solid Oxide Fuel Cell-Unit and a Battery container (including the power electronics and the energy management system, the real-time PC).
  • Connection of the modularized functional demonstrator to the electrical grid (DLR site) and its operation for 3 months.
  • Testing of a fuel cell unit on an inclination pod (simulating the behaviour of an SOFC unit under rough sea conditions).
  • Based on a newly designed technical specification sheet (as part of the amendment process), the construction of the MAN Energy Solutions (MAN) Battery-Container was subcontracted to potential partners. Their offers were evaluated, and collaboration with a chosen partner was established, ensuring the timely assembly of the battery container. SolydEra SPA (SE_SPA) initiated production of SOFC Stacks for integration into the generic BOP System for a reduced power unit, followed by the final 60kW SOFC Unit, along with the required Balance of Plants (BOPs).

6.5 Next Steps

  • Battery Container: Procurement of the required parts (Container, power electronics, etc.) and start with the internal software programming. The Battery Container will then be physically assembled in March 2024 and transported to the Deutsches Zentrum für Luft – und Raumfahrt (DLR) premises in August 2024.
  • SOFC-Unit: Perform the first tests with the reduced-power SOFC Unit to finalize the 60kW SOFC Stack Unit. Commissioning to Deutsches Zentrum für Luft – und Raumfahrt (DLR) premises will be done in August 2024.
  • Demonstrator Site Preparation: Finalize the test site on Deutsches Zentrum für Luft – und Raumfahrt (DLR) premises and ensure alignment with all necessary connections, interfaces, and safety regulations for both SOFC and Battery Container.
  • Installation and Operation: Schedule the installation and operation of the demonstrator with a detailed execution plan. Furthermore, establish a test protocol regarding the power profiles to be tested, including for instance edge cases, normal operation modes, stepwise power load variations, and dynamic tests.


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 Last updated: October 27th, 2023