Two Maryland SOFC projects selected by the Department of Energy
The Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) has selected for funding 16 solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology research projects. Fuel cells are a modular, efficient, and virtually pollution-free power generation technology. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2015, NETL issued two funding opportunities announcements (FOAs) to support programs that enable the development and deployment of this energy technology.
The projects will receive funding through NETL’s Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Program. The projects are under two topic areas: Innovative Concepts, geared towards undercutting current SOFC technology costs; and SOFC Core Technology, aimed at laboratory- and bench-scale projects that improve SOFC design. The University of Maryland is leading a SOFC Core Technology project, and is a partner on Redox Power Systems’ Innovative Concepts project. These projects will serve a critical role in moving SOFC technology closer to commercial deployment, with some of the small-scale demonstration projects illustrating the potential of SOFC technology to transfer to industry applications within the next 5 to 10 years.
The two Maryland projects are:
In-Operando Evaluation of SOFC Cathodes for Enhanced Oxygen Reduction Reaction Activity and Durability
The University of Maryland (College Park, MD) will investigate cathode composition and structure under applied voltage/current using real ambient gas contaminants to determine their effects on SOFC cathode oxygen reduction reactions. Successful completion of this research will yield a fundamental understanding of cathode oxygen reduction mechanisms over a broad range of cathode materials.
Total Funding: $249,996
High Power, Low-Cost SOFC Stacks for Robust and Reliable Distributed Generation
Redox Power Systems, LLC (Redox) (College Park, MD) will head a partnership that includes the University of Maryland Energy Research Center (UMERC) and the University of Maryland Center for Advanced Lifecycle Engineering (CALCE). This project aims to improve the performance and reduce the stack costs of Redox’s high power density, natural gas fueled SOFCs. The project specifically emphasizes the systematic investigation of SOFC degradation mechanisms for the Redox technology from the cells to the stack, as well as the development of relevant solutions. The project team will also demonstrate a 20% reduction in the current DOE cost target through a detailed cost analysis based on Redox’s cell technology and its proven manufacturing processes.
Total Funding: $3,125,000
Published July 15, 2015