Posted: July 1, 2010

Solid oxide fuel cells getting closer to the market

(Nanowerk News) The Danish company Topsoe Fuel Cell A/S and Risø DTU have received a grant of 54.5 million DKK from the Danish Energy Agency's Programme for Energy Technology Development and Demonstration (EUDP). This will ensure that the current efforts within solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) will be continued, leading to prototypes in 2012 which meet market demands for efficiency, life time and price.
A technology meeting energy and climate challenges
The solid oxide fuel cell is a technology for more efficient power production. Compared to traditionel technologies SOFCs have a higher efficiency, lower noise and lower emissions of, e.g., CO2. They work by transforming the chemical energy of a fuel directly into electricity.
The SOFC technology will help meet Danish energy and climate policy goals, and it will play a key role in the future intelligent and decentralized power grid. The fuel cells can react rapidly to varying loads, and their great flexibility makes it possible to utilize a number of different fuels such as natural gas, biogas and bioethanol.
Research and industry in a fruitful collaboration
For a decade the Fuel Cells and Solid State Chemistry Division at Risø DTU has had a close collaboration with Topsoe Fuel Cell on the development of fuel cell technology. This has led to major technological advances. The new project will allow the partners to continue the collaboration within the development and demonstration needed to bring the technology to the commercial market.
A market-oriented project
The new project will be more directly market-oriented compared to previous SOFC projects.
Topsoe Fuel Cell will develop prototypes for specific product market. An external sounding board with representatives from independent energy companies and end-users will ensure a continued focuses on the market demands.
Risø contributes to the project with expertise within cell development and manufacture. Key tasks will be the manufacture of fuel cells with higher performance and longer durability, and the development of cheaper and more environmentally friendly production processes.
Source: Risø National Laboratory for Sustainable Energy