Scientists develop maintenance-friendly CHP plants and 'Ikea-style' handbooks

D2Service European research project launched at NEXT ENERGY
Enefield projectteam

Oldenburg. At the NEXT ENERGY EWE Research Centre, work has begun on the D2Service ("Design of 2 Technologies and Applications to Service") research project, which is funded by the European Union. Under the leadership of the Oldenburg-based energy researcher, a method is being developed jointly with project partners from five countries that will simplify maintenance of different kinds of combined heat and power plants (CHP plants) based on fuel cells. The primary objective is to noticeably reduce costs and labour for repair work, thereby increasing the distribution of energy-efficient fuel-cell-based technology throughout Europe.


We want to simplify and standardise the construction of two different CHP systems

Some of the CHP plants currently in operation are equipped with new components not be used for usual heating systems so far. On top of this, many of them were developed for specific fuel cell systems. As a result, only a few technicians are trained for each particular type of system so repairs can involve long journeys and high costs. This is where D2Service comes in, as project manager Tobias Thomsen explains: "We want to simplify and standardise the construction of two different CHP systems available on the market as far as possible, so that important components are easy to exchange at a later date. At the same time, we are developing graphical operating instructions that explain the maintenance process to non-specialist installers step by step – very clearly, in 'IKEA' style." 


Evaluation phase

An evaluation phase at the start of the project will provide the blueprint. During this time, all seven project partners will analyse the CHP plants and their components, for example concerning maintenance and repair work, reliability, error statuses and spare parts. This will be based on the experience gathered in the various national and international field tests. From the findings it will then be possible to derive the necessary steps for development, which will later form the basis for the redesign of both plants. 


Develop components that are as similar as possible

The real challenge lies in this adaptation of the design of the units, as Thomsen is keen to emphasise: "We want to develop components that are as similar as possible for both systems; however we are dealing with a polymer electrolyte and a solid oxide fuel cell, i.e. two different technologies." As a result, not every component can be standardised, so alongside the joint developments (e.g. in water treatment and in the desulphurisation unit), the manufacturers are also carrying out individual design adaptations. NEXT ENERGY is developing test procedures based on real data from previous field tests to characterise these optimisation processes. 


Evaluation of CHP systems using time-lapse tests

Another focus of the project by the NEXT ENERGY researcher is the evaluation of CHP systems using time-lapse tests developed in-house. These simulate a year of use in the laboratory within a few weeks, enabling more reproducible development cycles within the shortest period possible. The data obtained will be used to recommend further optimisation of thermal management and of electrical and thermal energy yield.


Field test under real conditions

The optimised service features will be tested in a field test under real conditions in the last phase of the project. Six units of each type of plant will be put into operation in private and public facilities at several European sites. All relevant data will be recorded for evaluation and should verify the components' extended durability outside laboratory tests. In addition, NEXT ENERGY will test the acceptance and user-friendliness of the manuals with installers who have no prior technological expertise, and will continue to improve them.


Project partners

The three-year D2Service research project (Grant Agreement Number 671473) is funded through the Horizon 2020 European research programme and the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH-JU) with a total of around three million euros. In addition to NEXT ENERGY, the other project partners involved are the manufacturers Dantherm (Denmark) and SOLIDpower (Italy), the component developer Bosal Emission Control Systems (Belgium), the energy services provider Energy Partner (Italy), the energy supplier British Gas Trading Limited (UK) and the Zentrum für BrennstoffzellenTechnik (Germany).

Other newsitems

BOSAL, a leading European supplier of energy and mobility innovations that contribute to a cleaner world, today announced that the company is opening a new plant and R&D center in Shanghai, China. This confirms BOSAL’s expansion and diversification strategy on the global market, following the Dutch Group’s  announcement of the opening of a new site in Sweden two weeks ago.

BOSAL are proud to announce that we have received 2 Supplier Quality Excellence Awards from our customer General Motors, with regard to the supply of emission control systems out of our factories in Mexico and in Brazil.

Since 2 years BOSAL is assisting the UK company Delta Motorsport with the development of an efficient On Board Charger for Electrical Cars. The solution is based on a small turbine and BOSAL is supplying the Recuperator part, which is needed to reach the high efficiency for this system. Currently the first field test trials are ongoing. More information can be found via this link.

BOSAL Africa (Pty) Ltd is part of the BOSAL Group, the global Tier 1 automotive supplier, privately owned and registered in the Netherlands. 
BOSAL, established in 1923, has been active in South Africa since 1954 and has now implemented major changes and upgrades to their Emission Control Systems (ECS) plant in Koedoespoort, Pretoria.

In order to support employment and economic growth in South Africa, BOSAL invested millions of Rand in the upgrade and relocation of the new OEM manufacturing Emission Control Systems plant. World class standards have been implemented in layout, manufacturing efficiency and operational excellence. The plant possesses full in-house capabilities to develop and produce state of the art emission control systems for passenger cars and commercial vehicles. BOSAL is proud of long standing customer relations with OE car manufacturers in South Africa.

The investment project for the new plant started in 2018, with various internal and external specialists involved in the planning of layouts and processes. In this way, we achieve optimum efficiencies in all aspects of manufacturing and we ensure environmentally sustainable operations.

Setting a new standard as an OEM supplier globally, the same or even improved mirror image of the South Africa operation will be applied in the global expansion planned by the group. Similar standards and investments will also be applicable to the Automotive Carrier and Protection Systems (ACPS) plant located in Koedoespoort Pretoria, after completion of the current ECS project. This second step will include the Research and Development centre and the expansion of its advanced engineering and product development capabilities.

An official opening of the new ECS plant took place on 27th February 2020. We are pleased that our respected customers, government delegates, suppliers, staff and Group Board (Chairman, CEO, COO) have joined us for this occasion. 

For more information click to visit the Swiss Federal Office of Energy SFOE


Bosal ECI presents the latest heat exchanger design at the SOFC & SOEC forum in Luzern from 3-6 July 2018. 

At the Luzern SOFC & SOEC fair (3-6 July 2018) Bosal ECI presents it's latest modular design heat exchanger! 

BOSAL ECI will be present at the Hannover Messe from april 23-27. Read more...

(Source: Sören Thomsen / Carlson Rezidor)

Essen / Frankfurt (energate) - The energy company Eon is building a gas-fueled fuel cell in Frankfurt am Main to supply a hotel. The company announced a corresponding cooperation with the hotel chain Radisson Blu at the trade fair E-world.

BOSAL Nederland B.V. successfully passed the PED 2014/68/EU audit for both it's high tech Energy Conversion recuperator as well as it's evaporator.

French plans to support combined heat and power systems (CHP) using natural gas in power plants have been approved by the European Commission


Attend our presentations at the public & technical forum or visit our experts at the BOSAL-ECI stand at the Hannover Messe...

PED is a directive for the design and manufacture of pressure equipment covering pressure vessels, heat exchangers, steam boilers, pipelines, storage tanks, pressure relief devices, valves, regulators and other pressure equipment with an allowable pressure greater than 0.5 bar.