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The NETL-Regional University Alliance (NETL-RUA) Fuel Cell Project performs fundamental SOFC technology evaluation, enhances existing SOFC technology, and develops advanced SOFC concepts in support of the SECA program. Research projects are designed to meet critical technology development needs that can be uniquely addressed by NETL-RUA and are broadly focused on investigation of the degradation processes of anode/electrolyte/cathode (AEC) components and engineering cathode materials and microstructures to enhance performance. The research approach for each component task is targeted to address SECA program technology development goals, especially with regard to reducing stack costs, increasing cell efficiency, and increasing stack longevity. The ultimate goal of these research and development efforts is to transfer technology that facilitates commercial acceptance of SOFC technology. 

In FY14, the project will investigate the following tasks that directly addresses programmatically identified research priorities: 

Task 2 Cell and Stack Degradation: Investigation of degradation modes exhibited by the anode/electrolyte/cathode (AEC), development of computational models describing the associated degradation rates, and generation of a modeling tool predicting long-term AEC degradation response.
Task 3 Electrode Engineering: Generation of novel cathode materials/microstructures and implementation of the improved cathode technology to enhance performance. 
Task 5: System Level Economic and Process Models: Development of a facility to test 30 kWe stacks and systems.

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Infiltration of manufacturer's cells resulted in Area Specific Resistance (ASR) decrease of more than 20% and power density increase of more than 30%. Tests on the manufacturer's cells were consistent or better than the average results obtained on all cells tested at NETL using the infiltration technology.
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Principal Investigator
Greg Hackett
gregory.hackett@netl.doe.gov
Project Benefits

Task 2 focuses on the investigation of degradation modes exhibited by the anode, electrolyte, and cathode (AEC), the development of computational models describing the degradation rates, and generation of a modeling tool predicting long term AEC degradation response. Improved cell/stack life and performance will reduce operating cost and increase efficiency, resulting in reduction in the cost of electricity and reduction of CO2 emissions from the entire platform. Specifically, this project will conduct cell tests, utilize conventional electrochemical techniques to measure performance, and employ advanced spectroscopic techniques in post-test analysis. Task 3 focuses on the development and performance evaluation of electrode materials and structure that improve peak cell power output while maintaining cost and durability metrics. Improved cell/stack life and performance will reduce operating cost and increase efficiency, resulting in reduction in the cost of electricity and reduction of CO2 emissions from the entire platform. Specifically, this project will identify and characterize manufacturing processes, select and evaluate candidate materials, conduct lab-scale performance and stability tests, and demonstrate the preferred process and materials in short-stack testing. Task 5 focuses on estimating component and system costs and the economic benefits of technical innovations. Improved cell/stack life and performance will reduce operating cost and increase efficiency, resulting in reduction in the cost of electricity and reduction of CO2 emissions from the entire platform. Specifically, this project will estimate the economic benefits associated with the fundamental and applied research completed in other program-sponsored R&D projects.

Project ID
FWP-2012.03.04
Website
NETL-RIC
https://www.netl.doe.gov/research/on-site-research