Project No: FWP-2012.03.04
Performer: NETL's Office of Research and Development


Contacts

George Richards
Focus Area Lead
Energy Systems Dynamics
Office of Research and Development
3610 Collins Ferry Road
P.O. Box 880, MS EO2
Morgantown, WV 26507-0880
(304) 285-4458
george.richards@netl.doe.gov

Kirk Gerdes
Technical Coordinator
Energy Systems Dynamics
Office of Research and Development
3610 Collins Ferry Road
P.O. Box 880, MS DO6
Morgantown, WV 26507-0880
(304) 285-4342
kirk.gerdes@netl.doe.gov

Shailesh Vora
Technology Manager
Office of Coal and Power R&D
Strategic Center for Coal
626 Cochrans Mill Road
P.O. Box 10940, MS922-204
Pittsburgh, PA 15236-0940
(412) 386-7515
shailesh.vora@netl.doe.gov

Briggs White
Technical Monitor
Power Systems
Strategic Center for Coal
3610 Collins Ferry Road
P.O. Box 880, MS PO3B
Morgantown, WV 26507-0880
(304) 285-5437
briggs.white@netl.doe.gov

Duration
Award Date:  10/01/2011
Project Date:  09/30/2014

Cost
DOE Share: $4,281,000.00
Performer Share: $0.00
Total Award Value: $4,281,000.00

Performer website: NETL's Office of Research and Development - /research/on-site-research

Advanced Energy Systems - Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

NETL-RUA Fuel Cells Initiative

Project Description

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.


Program Background and 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 Scope and Technology Readiness Level

The NETL-RUA Fuel Cell Team directly engages SECA industry team members and SECA-participating national laboratories and academic institutions to support a comprehensive theoretical and experimental approach. Research in these topical areas directly addresses programmatically identified research priorities and will accelerate development and commercial deployment of SOFC technology.

Task 2 Cell and Stack Degradation: The cell and stack degradation effort is intended to compile complete knowledge of prominent degradation modes in AEC, quantify the relative importance of each identified mode, and generate a comprehensive degradation modeling tool that will serve as the basis for comparison to other prominent stack component degradation modes. Degradation analysis will be pertinent to a wide range of operating conditions relevant to commercial SOFC and will be completed for both hydrogen and syngas fueled conditions. Objectives for FY14 are as follows:

Task 3 Electrode Engineering: The electrode engineering effort will complete development and performance evaluation of electrode materials and structure that improve peak cell power output by greater than 30 percent, while maintaining other critical performance metrics of cost and durability. Information and specific technology developed through this effort are intended for direct transfer to SECA industrial partners. Objectives for FY14 are as follows:

Task 5: System Level Economic and Process Models: This task will develop a facility to test 30 kWe stacks and systems. This task also covers general engineering required to maintain and perform minor upgrades to facilities. A preliminary design, schedule, and cost estimate for building a facility at NETL for testing industry team stacks with capacities of ~30kWe will be completed first.

The Technology Readiness Level (TRL) assessment identifies the current state of readiness of the key technologies being developed under the DOE’s Clean Coal Research Program. In FY 12, this project was not assessed.

The TRL assessment process and its results including definition and description of the levels may be found in the "2012 Technology Readiness Assessment-Analysis of Active Research Portfolio".