Release Date: September 20, 2006
|Government-Industry Partnership Reaches Key Milestone in Fuel Cell Development
Delphi Achieves Performance, Efficiency, Cost Goals in First Phase of SECA Program
MORGANTOWN W.Va. - Delphi Corp. of Troy, Mich., has achieved all of its goals for solid oxide fuel cell performance, efficiency, and cost during phase I of its project in the Department of Energy's Solid State Energy Conversion Alliance (SECA) program. The achievement is a significant step toward the SECA goal of a market-ready, affordable solid oxide fuel cell by 2010 and enables Delphi to enter phase II of the SECA program.
In its recently completed demonstration, Delphi reached the following milestones:
NETL validated those results through its Fuel Cell Test Facility where researchers can evaluate solid oxide fuel cell technologies and provide performance testing of prototype fuel cell systems.
"Achieving the goals of the SECA partnership is important for U.S. economic, environmental, and energy security concerns," according to Wayne Surdoval, DOE's SECA Program Manager. "Not only will Delphi's fuel-flexible SOFC system provide clean, efficient electrical power for vehicles of all sizes, but its modularity will enable manufacturing-scale economics for larger scale, near-zero emission power plants as well-a key objective for the FutureGen initiative."
A fuel cell is an electrochemical device that converts the chemical energy of a fuel (hydrogen, coal, natural gas, gasoline, or diesel) into electrical energy without combustion. In today's energy market, with high costs, shortages, and emissions concerns, fuel cells are becoming increasingly attractive because they produce none of the air pollutants associated with conventional power systems, are fuel flexible and dramatically reduce the release of greenhouse gases.
The SECA program was initiated in the fall of 1999 as an alliance between government, industry, and the scientific community to capitalize on the advantages of SOFC technology and develop SOFCs that could eventually be sold in virtually every market needing clean, affordable electric power. The Energy Department projects that SECA technology will save the Nation more than $50 billion by 2025 through increased efficiency and lower fuel costs.
In phase I of the program, DOE established a number of goals aimed at moving fuel cell development toward a 2010 target date for low-cost fuel cells ready for the commercial market. The ultimate goal is to reduce the cost to $400 per kilowatt, which would make fuel cell energy competitive with conventional power sources.
Delphi's focus is to successfully develop and test a 5-kilowatt fuel cell capable of mass-production at low cost competitive with traditional energy sources. The company's fuel cells would initially target auxiliary power units with the ability to scale to large stationary systems.
Following the success of phase I, Delphi and the Energy Department will again partner in phase II of the program, a 3-year $45-million substantially cost-shared effort. Phase II will further reduce solid oxide fuel cell cost, increase small system efficiency to 40 percent, and increase power density.Two Department of Energy national laboratories, the National Energy Technology Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, spearhead the SECA program. For more information, visit the SECA website at http://www.seca.doe.gov/.
|Contact: David J. Anna, DOE National Energy Technology Laboratory, 412-386-4646, email@example.com.|