The Status of SOFC and SOEC R&D in the European Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking Programme

Monday, 24 July 2017: 10:40
Grand Ballroom West (The Diplomat Beach Resort)
A. Aguilo-Rullan, M. Atanasiu, B. Biebuyck, N. Lymperopoulos, C. Marenco, and D. Tsimis (Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking)
The Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) was set up in 2008 to accelerate the development of fuel cells and hydrogen technologies in Europe towards commercialization from 2015 onwards. To reach this target the FCH JU intends to bring together resources under a cohesive public-private partnership to ensure commercial focus, to match RTD activities to industry's needs and expectations and to scale-up and intensify links between the Industry Community and the Research Community. The applications are open to all fuel cells technologies, SOFC being mostly developed for the stationary applications, including back-up powers and APUs for transportation (trucks, planes). Applications are also open to SOEC technologies. There are different groups working in Europe and supported partially by the FCH JU on the SOFC/SOEC technologies. By supporting such a project portfolio, FCH JU is going to reach most of the objectives set-up at European level mainly in terms of potential reduction of costs through sufficient number of units demonstrated across Europe in transport, stationary and hydrogen production applications. The EU public support continues for the period of 2014-2020 for activities with an advanced TRL, moving towards market penetration of the FCH technologies.

As a public-private partnership, the FCH JU has enabled a range of businesses and industry, in particular SMEs, and research communities to commit to longer term developments. It has fostered an impressive level of collaboration between the research and industry community. This unique public-private partnership is already supporting research and demonstration projects in the different areas of application of fuel cells and hydrogen (i.e. 38-39% in transportation and related refuelling infrastructure, with additional 15-16% for the hydrogen production routes and associated storage and distribution paths; 30-31% in stationary applications, mainly for combined heat and power generation in residential and industrial applications; 7-8% for early market applications like forklifts, back-up powers and 3-4% for support activities in terms of RCS, education and promotion/awareness of these technologies) and 5-6% for overarching activities covering more than one of the areas just mentioned. The applications are open to all fuel cells technologies, SOFC being mostly developed for the stationary applications, including back-up powers and APUs for transportation (trucks, plains).

The €732 million in grants already allocated under FCH1JU and FCH2JU to 204 projects (around half of this have already been completed) have contributed to bring some applications near to market readiness (e.g. passenger vehicles, material handling, back-up power systems, and portable power generation). However, taking to market those applications with the strongest potential for addressing energy security and climate change issues (e.g. road transport, public urban transport, stationary power generation, combined heat and power, hydrogen from renewable energy sources and electricity storage) requires both further key technical developments and demonstrations to achieve large scale production volumes fast.

So far € 176 million have been allocated to support 48 projects which address specifically the SOFC or SOEC technologies (almost 40% of the energy-type of projects); these projects cover the whole value chain in the Energy systems from long-term and breakthrough orientated research (degradation and lifetime fundamentals related to materials and typical operation environments for relevant power ranges) to technology validation (proof-of-concept fuel cell and electrolyser systems and their interactions with supply & demand interfaces i.e. other power generation devices, cooling/heating systems, and with the infrastructure i.e. grid interface, fuel supply and local power output) and market capacity building across all applications (full scale field demonstrations of proven systems in real end user environment), including 4 projects addressing APU for transportation (e.g. trucks) and 1 project dealing with the development test procedures for SOC cell/stack assembly.

The proposed paper will provide an update on the current status of the above mentioned FCH JU funded projects, on the outcomes achieved to date and on the expected results still to come.