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KEY USE CASES FOR SOFC

Environmental Monitoring

When important decisions are being made based on environmental conditions, uptimes for monitoring equipment are essential. SOFC provide reliable offgrid power to this critical equipment.

SOFC Solution

Keeping cameras, weather stations, LiDar, SCADA and other monitoring equipment fully operational in all conditions. Adaptive Energy does this by offering highly durable SOFC battery chargers that run on propane and offer reliable low-watt power.

Remote Sites Have Unique Needs

Environmental monitoring equipment is often located at extremely remote sites without reliable access to grid power. Solar and wind are popular power sources at these isolated locations because they need no fuel and little maintenance − and therefore require very few unscheduled site visits.

Repair Visits Can Be Difficult

But long periods of darkness or extremely high winds can reduce a hybrid system’s ability to make power, jeopardizing important weather and environmental data collection. Maintenance visits can be impractical or even impossible at isolated stations or in harsh conditions.

weather monitoring stations rely on SOFC for backup power

SOFC Bridge Hybrid Power Downtimes

Performer Series SOFC are engineered to integrate with solar, wind or rechargeable batteries to provide reliable offgrid power. They are highly fuel-efficient, require no routine maintenance and will not fail in freezing temperatures, unlike other technologies like thermoelectric generators, proton exchange membrane fuel cells or direct methanol fuel cells.

Integrating a SOFC into the power system for environmental monitoring equipment ensures vital cameras, weather stations, radio networks and more will remain operational at all times, even in extreme weather.

“We drop a two-year supply of propane, four bottles at a time, so we only have to airlift fuel every two years.”

– United States Federal Aviation Administration

Federal Aviation Administration Achieves Record-Breaking Uptimes

Using SOFC to power critical weather cameras along busy aviation paths in Alaska’s harsh climate

Extreme cold and low sunlight were causing frequent outages of solar-powered weather camera stations the agency uses to provide real-time weather data to pilots. Turbines and other technologies weren’t viable due to the remote location and harsh weather. Here’s how the FAA reduced operating costs and achieved record-breaking uptimes with SOFC.

SOFCs provide offgrid power solution for USDA Forest Service

How SOFC Work

When the State of Charge (SOC) of the batteries dips below a preset threshold, the fuel cell automatically cycles on to recharge the batteries. When the upper voltage is reached, the fuel cell returns to standby mode and cools down before powering off. This provides reliable auxiliary power to ensure the system can power the load during times of darkness, high winds and other harsh scenarios.

The fuel cells are the size of a desktop computer and can be mounted inside a weatherproof cabinet or added to an existing structure or small building. And especially if you need to keep your site small, the fuel efficiency of SOFC is a powerful benefit because a single 20-lb propane tank offers 80 run hours.

Configuration of SOFC

Benefits of SOFC for Environmental Monitoring

If you need maintenance intervals timed with the seasons, using Performer Series products means you can easily plan site visits according to your schedule. Here are more reasons customers are using SOFC to power offgrid monitoring equipment.

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Quiet & Hard to Detect

With a soft noise signature, SOFC work well in environments with requirements to limit ground disturbance.
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Efficient

A fuel consumption of .25lb of propane per hour offers 80 run hours on 20 pounds of fuel, so you’ll have time to schedule a refueling site visit when conditions are optimal.
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Remote Monitoring

Performance can be monitored from anywhere because SOFC have flexible communications that can integrate with third-party systems.
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Highly Reliable

Customers have reported that our SOFC are so reliable that they feel comfortable letting battery voltage drop as low as 23.5 before the SOFC cycles on to recharge.
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Compact, Lightweight Design

The unique microtubular stack design yields a highly durable, lightweight product that is easy to transport and has a small footprint.
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Fewer Site Visits Needed

Depending on the size of your fuel tank, site visits can be as infrequent as every two years, due to the low maintenance needs and high fuel efficiency of SOFC.
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Excel in Extremes

While other technologies like PEMs, DMFCs or TEGs can fail in cold weather, Performer Series SOFC excel because they are engineered to store, start and operate from -40°C to 50°C. They produce no liquid water and are constructed of heat-resistant ceramic tubes that will not freeze.
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Field-Proven to Withstand Vibration

The SOFC undergo rigorous vibration testing to simulate how they might react to being flown in a helicopter or plane, transported in an ATV or operated on a mobile trailer.
LET’S TALK

Interested in designing SOFC into your hybrid power system?

Contact us today to find out how SOFC can improve your uptimes and reduce your total energy costs.