Pressurized Systems

PRESSURIZED SYSTEMS (INDUSTRY TEAMS)—SOFCs demonstrate enhanced performance by increasing the cell pressure. Thus, power systems with pressurized SOFC technology have the potential to achieve efficiencies greater than 60 percent (HHV) with greater than 97 percent carbon capture, near-zero emissions, and low water usage. The Pressurized Systems key technology is developing a deeper understanding on the behavior of the state-of-the-art SOFC material set under pressurized operation; quantifying the effects of pressure on cell performance, reliability, and degradation; and identifying and resolving the operational issues associated with pressurizing the SOFC stack.

This key technology also focuses on the design, scaleup, and integration of the SOFC technology, ultimately resulting in pressurized modules suitable to serve as the building blocks for distributed-generation, commercial, and utility-scale power systems. Activities include fabrication, testing, post-test analysis of cells; integrating cells into stacks; and the development and validation testing of progressively larger stacks (>10 kWe) to meet performance, reliability, endurance, and cost goals.

The Industry Teams are independently developing unique and proprietary SOFC technology suitable for either syngas- or natural-gas-fueled applications. They are responsible for the design and manufacture of the fuel cells, hardware development, manufacturing process development, commercialization of the technology, and market penetration. The teams also focus on the scaleup of cells and stacks for aggregation into fuel cell modules and the validation of technology that evolves from the AEC Development key technology. Stack tests (laboratory scale), proof-of-concept systems, pilot-scale demonstrations, and deployment of commercial power systems are the responsibility of the Industry Teams. The multi-Industry Team approach not only provides technology diversification but also offers insurance against business environment risk, reducing program dependency on a single developer. The Industry Teams have the opportunity to determine relevant R&D topics based on their design-specific experience and needs and are held to a common set of performance and cost metrics.

The following comprise the portfolio of projects in the Pressurized Systems key technology.

Pressurized Systems Projects:

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