The goal of this FuelCell Energy project is the development of solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology suitable for ultra-efficient central power generation systems (coal and natural gas fuels) featuring greater than 90% carbon dioxide capture. The development of this technology will significantly advance the nation's energy security and independence interests while simultaneously addressing environmental concerns, including greenhouse gas emissions and water usage.
The specific technical objective of this project is to demonstrate, via analyses and testing, progress towards adequate stack life (= 4 years) and performance stability (= 0.2% per 1000 hours degradation) in a low-cost SOFC stack design. The work will focus on cell and stack materials and designs, balance-of-plant improvements to extend stack life and limit degradation, and performance evaluation covering operating conditions and fuel compositions anticipated for commercially-deployed systems. In support of performance evaluation under commercial conditions, this work includes the design, fabrication, siting, commissioning, and operation of a = 50 kWe proof-of-concept (fuel cell) module (PCM) power plant, based upon SOFC cell and stack technology developed to date by FuelCell Energy, Inc. (FCE) within the Office of Fossil Energy's Solid Oxide Fuel Cells program. The PCM system will be operated for at least 1000 hours on natural gas fuel at FCE's facility. The cost of the SOFC stack will be at or below the DOE's high-volume production cost targets (2011 $).
This project focuses on cell and stack materials and designs, balance-of-plant improvements to extend stack life and limit degradation, and performance evaluation under operating conditions and fuel compositions anticipated for commercially-deployed systems. Improved cell/stack life and performance will reduce operating cost and increase efficiency, resulting in reduction in the cost of electricity and reduction of CO2emissions from the entire platform. Specifically, this project will design, fabricate, install, and operate a 50 kWe proof-of-concept SOFC module power plant.