Alfa Laval has launched what it says is the first heat exchanger developed specifically for fuel cell systems – the AlfaNova GL50.
According to Alfa Laval, fuel cells will play an important role in the global transition to green energy. By unleashing the energy stored in hydrogen and derivatives such as ammonia, methanol and methane, fuel cells can accelerate decarbonisation of hard-to-abate sectors like shipping and heavy industry. The key to viability, the company says, is maximised system efficiency and minimised energy losses.
High efficiency for the green energy value chain
“More and more carbon-neutral fuels are being created through power-to-X processes,” says Business Unit Brazed and Fusion Bonded Heat Exchangers President Malgorzata Moczynska. “Fuel cells provide X-to-power conversion without combustion.
“To get the most out of these fuels, you must minimise energy losses at every step. This is the role of the AlfaNova GL50 heat exchanger – it helps fuel cell manufacturers achieve full system potential.”
A new focus area
The launch of AlfaNova GL50 represents a strengthened focus on fuel cell requirements, says Business Development Fuel Cells and Energy Storage Vice President Tue Johannessen.
“The time is right,” says Johannessen. “There is a growing demand for net-zero solutions. We know that fuel cells are more costly than conventional engines, but the high efficiency of fuel cell systems makes them very attractive.
“If you can cut the total system cost even further, you enhance the viability of your solution. With our cutting-edge innovations, high-volume manufacturing and global infrastructure, we are the ideal partner for the fuel cell industry.
“The AlfaNova GL50 is one of many steps in this direction.”
Exceptional performance at extreme temperatures
The AlfaNova GL50 was first showcased at the Alfa Laval Net-zero launch event in mid-February 2023.
According to the company, AlfaNova heat exchangers are known around the world for their robustness and ability to handle the most demanding applications. And the new AlfaNova GL50 “is an asymmetric gas-to-liquid plate heat exchanger, made from 100 per cent stainless steel.”
“AlfaNova GL50 handles gas flows up to 250m3/h and inlet gas temperatures up to 750°C with exceptional performance. This makes it an optimal choice for fuel cell systems, as well as for applications such as waste heat recovery, biogas post-treatment, and cooling of hydrogen from electrolysers.”
A compact unit
“The AlfaNova GL50 is small enough to hold in one hand, but it gets the job done with very low pressure drop,” says Johannessen.
“The ability to condense water vapour makes it ideal for systems where fuels such as ammonia or methanol require reforming. This is an important step in Alfa Laval’s dedicated, long-term effort to support the fuel cell industry with highly efficient, industrial-scale solutions.”