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2016-08-29 11:20:47
NEWS [16.08.19]Hanyang News, 김영범 교수 연구실 "Impacts of Hanyang"s Research"로 소개


    Professor Kim Young-beom of the Department of Mechanical Engineering recently published a paper titled “A Thermally Self-sustaining Solid Oxide Fuel Cell System at Ultralow Operating Temperature (319 degrees Celsius)”. Its achievement is in creating an energy system through fuel cells, known as the Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs) that function without any outside heat intervention. The hopes of this innovative energy resource is high as the Internet Hanyang News (IHN) met Professor Kim to learn about what this energy system is and how it is operated.


    Recently, Kim and his research team designed a thermally stable and self-sustainable, portable energy conversion system using low temperature thin film SOFCs. Simply put, fuel energy can be produced in this manufactured system that operates by itself through SOFCs or metal hydride battery. Energy can be generated by fuel cells through various methods and so far, but SOFCs have been the most effective for energy production. The process seems quite simple - SOFCs reacts with oxygen and hydrogen to create electricity. However, within this concept, complicated steps are required to gain the final result – generating energy.


    The picture demonstrates the SOFCs eneregy system developed by Lee and his research team. (Photo courtesy of Lee


    “First, this system’s goal was to make as much energy as possible at a low temperature point. In order to do that, we increased the size, or total area, of the machine by the process of stacking, putting more layers of thin SOFCs on top of each other,” said Kim. The stacking process integrated with the blow system, the ion reaction process that creates electricity, and with the insulating stage for effective application of the system. The research proved that this system could operate on its own without an exothermic reaction, or outside heating assistance. In other words, by providing only fuel to the system, it can create practical energy.


    Moreover, the research successfully dropped the operating temperature. “The catalytic burner plays an important role in the success. Because the SOFCs generate large amount of electricity, the process of reacted ions going through the inner layers of the solids is difficult. Therefore, the operating temperature is very high,” Kim explained. “If the usual operating temperature was about 800 degrees Celsius, we have lowered it to about 319 degrees Celsius. So, the burner adds instant heat to the system without outside help.”


    Currently, even though operating temperature has been lowered, the efficiency of the system is still lacking. Kim and his research team is still attempting to increase the efficiency at low temperatures. “The performance level between 800 degrees and 300 degrees Celsius is very different. We have only proven that this energy system actually functions and that it can run without outside force,” said Kim. “It took us about a year to complete this research. Even though we have just begun, we are one step closer to proving that fuel cell energy is effective replacement for nonrenewable energy. Our next step is to increase the efficiency of this system.”


    Kim believes that the current finding as still in the lowest and basic level of his studies. “We have much more to do in order to allow SOFCs applicable to our daily lives. Even though some have doubts on the application of fuel cells, our job is to prove the qualities of fuel cells by persistently studying it,” Kim said. “For one successful research to be recognized by others, there are hundreds of failures that exist behind it. It is very important to not give up and just keep going.”


     Professor Kim will continue to research on creating effective fuel cell energy for the society.





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