Materials for low temperature SOFCs.

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Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are one of the potentially most efficient and clean energy conversion technologies for electric utility applications. Laboratory cells have shown extraordinary durability, and actual utility-scale prototypes have worked very well. The main obstacle to commercialization has been the relatively high manufacturing cost. To reduce these costs, efforts have been underway for several years to adapt manufacturing technology from the semiconductor industry to the SOFCs; however, tape casting, screen printing and similar methods are more applicable to planar configurations than to the more proven tubular ones. In planar cells the bipolar plate and edge seals become ... continued below

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Krumpelt, M.; Ralph, J.; Cruse, T. & Bae, J.-M. August 2, 2002.

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Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are one of the potentially most efficient and clean energy conversion technologies for electric utility applications. Laboratory cells have shown extraordinary durability, and actual utility-scale prototypes have worked very well. The main obstacle to commercialization has been the relatively high manufacturing cost. To reduce these costs, efforts have been underway for several years to adapt manufacturing technology from the semiconductor industry to the SOFCs; however, tape casting, screen printing and similar methods are more applicable to planar configurations than to the more proven tubular ones. In planar cells the bipolar plate and edge seals become more critical elements, and material selection may have repercussions for the other fuel cell components. Ferritic stainless steel bipolar plates may be a good choice for reducing the cost of the stacks, but ferritic steels oxidize rapidly at temperatures above 800 C. Inexorably, one is led to the conclusion that anodes, cathodes and electrolytes operating below 800 C need to be found. Another motivation for developing planar SOFCs operating at reduced temperature is the prospect of new non-utility applications. The U.S. Department of Energy has initiated the Solid State Energy Conversion Alliance (SECA) program for developing small modular stacks ranging in capacity from 5 to 10 kW{sup (1)}. This size range meets the power requirements of auxiliary power units for heavy and perhaps even light-duty vehicles, and also for remote stationary applications. In terms of electric capacity, the distributed electric utility market may well exceed the potential market for APUs, but the number of units produced could be higher for the latter, yielding cost benefits related to mass production. On the other hand, the fuel for use in transportation or remote stationary applications will consist of gasoline, diesel or propane, which contain higher sulfur levels than natural gas. Anodes with some resistance to sulfur poisoning would be desirable. Also, during the more frequent shutdowns and startups in these applications, the anodes may get exposed to air. Typical nickel-based SOFC anodes may not tolerate air exposure very well and may need to be modified. Argonne National Laboratory is engaged in developing new materials options for SECA applications, as discussed here.

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  • 5th European SOFC Forum, Lucerne (CH), 07/02/2002--07/05/2002

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  • Report No.: ANL/CMT/CP-108360
  • Grant Number: W-31-109-ENG-38
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 799806
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc734390

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  • August 2, 2002

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  • Oct. 19, 2015, 7:39 p.m.

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  • March 25, 2016, 12:16 p.m.

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Krumpelt, M.; Ralph, J.; Cruse, T. & Bae, J.-M. Materials for low temperature SOFCs., article, August 2, 2002; Illinois. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc734390/: accessed August 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.