(Invited) Review of Progress in Solid Oxide Fuel Cell at FuelCell Energy

Wednesday, 4 October 2017: 08:40
National Harbor 7 (Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center)
H. Ghezel-Ayagh and B. P. Borglum (FuelCell Energy, Inc.)
Significant progress has been made towards the development of Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) at FuelCell Energy Inc. (FCE). The genesis of the advances in the technology is rooted in scale-up of the Company’s anode-support technology made by the TSC (Tape Casting-Screen Printing-Sintering) Process. The anode supported thin electrolyte planar cell platform was adopted for its higher power density at reduced operating temperature (600-800°C). Traditional materials, such as Ni/YSZ anodes, YSZ electrolytes and perovskite cathodes have been utilized in a basic cell structure. Research and development has been successful in developing better electrochemical functional areas at both cathode/electrolyte and anode/electrolyte interfaces. This was achieved through materials advancement, microstructure optimization, and manufacturing process integration. Cell materials development advancements have been made in performance, endurance, cell size (area) scale-up and cost reduction. These advancements led to an enhanced cell performance by reducing cell ASR (Area Specific Resistance) while reducing cell cost through cell design changes and materials reduction. Scaled-up cell size of up to 1000 cm2 have been made and tested with the current baseline cell size of 550 cm2 as the standard unit size for building SOFC stacks. The baseline stack design has been successfully scaled-up from 120-cell 550 cm2 cell area (16 kW nominal) stack. Using standardized manifolds and gas-electrical interconnects, these stacks have been successfully integrated into stack towers and arrays.

FCE recently designed, built, and tested a 50 kW fully automated SOFC system under a Co-operative Agreement with Department of Energy. In a follow-on DOE supported project, currently, FCE is engaged in design and construction of larger 200kW units that utilize baseline factory-built stack blocks representative of the future MW-scale power plants.