The development of a bypass valve targeted for use in a solid oxide fuel cell based system



The objective of this study is to investigate the use of a cost-effective high-temperature bypass valve. This valve is designed using Shape Memory Alloys (SMA), which are materials that change shape at different temperatures. Eventually, this valve could be used at a facility at the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) to test the effectiveness of increasing the efficiency of a hybrid gas-turbine and solid oxide fuel cell-based system. The valve is expected to operate at a temperature of 650C. Results to date include the design of the SMA valve and implementation of the valve into a lab-scale experimental system. Initial findings show that the SMA valve design is operational and functions by opening and closing with the application of electrical current. Future work includes measurement of the amount of flow for different positions of the SMA valve at room temperature, elevated temperature, and eventually on-site at NETL.

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Kiana H.
Hi Nicolas, good job on your presentation and poster. For a lay-person, as myself, can you elaborate on practicality of manufacturing a specific SMA valve? (I.e. how would this be used? Will I use this in home, the lab etc?

-Kiana H.

Nicolas Herrera
My apologies for such a late response, the reason we are manufacturing the valve is in hopes of increasing the efficiency of a solid oxide fuel cell. At this point, the Department of Energy is paying just as much for the current by-pass valve as they are on the actual fuel cell. If we could manufacture a new by-pass valve while using more cost-effective resources, we would be increasing the fuel cell's efficiency and allowing the DoE to use those resources in other areas of development. The valve would be used at the National Energy Technology Laboratory and we will eventually conduct our test at NETL as well.

I hope this answers your question
Nicolas Herrera

Paul Rafael B Sabandal
Nicolas, Good job on the presentation and a nice-looking poster. For a non-expert, apart from cost effectiveness, can you provide insights on why is there a need to develop new bypass valves? Are there any other applications for the newly designed valve apart from what you have listed? Paul
Nicolas Herrera
Hello Paul my apologies for such a late delay. Essentally to manufacture a solid oxide fuel cell a by-pass valve is installed from the beginning. the only problem is that the valve costs more than the actual fuel cell. If we were to successfully reconstruct the valve using more cost-effective materials, we would be reducing the cost of manufacturing as well as allow the Department of Energy to use the resources for other developments. As of today, I don't the design of the valve could be used in other applications. However, I do see the ease of using the SMA to be beneficial in a few years.
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