Ultra-Thin Film Solid-Oxide Fuel Cell Technology Development: Status, Challenges, and Opportunities

Tuesday, October 13, 2015: 14:00
Remington B (Hyatt Regency)
M. Tsuchiya (SiEnergy Systems)
Solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) is one of the cleanest ways to convert chemical energy stored in fossil fuel into electricity. SOFC offers over 50 % electrical efficiency with low pollutant emission and low noise, and it can be utilized in various applications including portable electronics, remote power, and combined heat and power unit for homes. However, the technology has been under development for many decades, but not yet seen large scale commercialization due to issues in cost and durability.

SiEnergy Systems is developing low temperature ultra-thin solid oxide fuel cell that potentially offer major cost reduction and reliability improvement. The use of ultra-thin films reduces the amount of materials required in creating fuel cells, including rare-earth materials, therefore significantly reducing the material cost of the fuel cell. Additionally, the reduced thickness leads to the enhanced ionic conductance across the electrolyte, and enables SOFC operation at 350-550 °C, which is substantially lower than operating temperature of conventional SOFCs that is at 750 °C or above. SOFC operating at this temperature range avoids the disadvantages of conventional SOFCs, such as slow start-up time, costly materials and bulky thermal insulation, while potentially taking advantages of high energy conversion efficiency.

In this talk, recent advancement in thin film solid oxide fuel cell research and development will be reviewed with particular emphasis on electrode materials development and large-area cell demonstration.