• Steam reformation of diesel fuels

      Neogi, Bhaskar (2002-05)
      The Remote Area Program was created to evaluate the possible use of fuel cells and diesel reformers in residential and off-grid applications. Diesel was chose because an infrastructure already exits in rural communities. The UAF Energy Center demonstrated the use of a reformer to convert kerosene into hydrogen, which was used in a Proton Exchange Membrane fuel cell to power an AC load. In the summer of 1999, UAF hosted an Energy conference. At the conference Northwest Power (reformer manufacturer) indicated a diesel reformer efficiency of 65% while Plug Power promised a system efficiency (reformer, fuel cell and inverter) of 40%. After extensive experiments, the Energy Center found the current design reformer efficiency to be 30% and the system efficiency to be 15% at best. This efficiency does not compare favorably to the currently available diesel generator efficiency of 33%.