Project No: FWP-40552
Performer: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory


Contacts

Shailesh Vora
Technology Manager
National Energy Technology Laboratory
626 Cochrans Mill Road
P.O. Box 10940, MS 922-204
Pittsburgh, PA 15236-0940
(412) 386-7515
shailesh.vora@netl.doe.gov

Briggs White
Project Manager
National Energy Technology Laboratory
3610 Collins Ferry Road
P.O. Box 880, MS PO3B
Morgantown, WV 26507-0880
(304) 285-5437
briggs.white@netl.doe.gov

Jeff Stevenson
Principal Investigator
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
P.O. Box 999, MSK2-44
Richland, WA 99352
(509) 372-4697
jeff.stevenson@pnl.gov

Duration
Award Date:  10/01/1999
Project Date:  09/30/2014

Cost
DOE Share: $55,889,667.00
Performer Share: $0.00
Total Award Value: $55,889,667.00

Performer website: Pacific Northwest National Laboratory - http://www.pnl.com

Advanced Energy Systems - Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

SECA Core Technology Program - PNNL

Project Description

This project will accelerate the development of reliable, low-cost SOFC power generation systems capable of operation on coal derived fuels by developing advanced SOFC component materials and computational tools. Interconnection components for both atmospheric and pressurized operation will be developed. Important to this work is the evaluation and development of materials and manufacturing processes for various SOFC components (electrolyte, anode, cathode, cell-to-cell interconnections, and seals) to support higher performance and robustness, less degradation, and lower cost. In addition, this project will address the effects of coal contaminants on SOFCs and how to mitigate any deleterious effects through upstream clean-up and modification of SOFC components.

This project will also identify, develop, test, validate, and optimize cost-effective cell and stack components, materials, and fabrication techniques; develop advanced computational tools and capabilities for cell and stack design analysis and optimization; test cells exposed to coal contaminants and complete analysis of the results, both post-test and using thermodynamic software; and develop and evaluate new interconnect compositions appropriate for pressurized SOFCs.


Program Background and Project Benefits

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is developing the next generation of efficient fossil fuel technologies capable of producing affordable electric power with near-zero emissions. The Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) program at DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL) is focused on developing low-cost, highly efficient SOFC power systems that are capable of simultaneously producing electric power, from either natural gas or coal, with carbon capture capabilities. Research is directed towards the technologies that are critical to the commercialization of SOFC technology. To successfully complete the development of SOFC technology from the present state to the point of commercial readiness, the SOFC Program efforts are aligned into three Key Technologies:

(1) Anode, Cathode, and Electrolyte (AEC) Development
(2) Atmospheric Pressure Systems
(3) Pressurized Systems

The AEC Development Key Technology is R&D in nature whereas the other two, Atmospheric Pressure Systems and Pressurized Systems, are focused on the development, demonstration, and deployment of SOFC power systems.

The AEC Development Key Technology consists of projects that will lead to substantially improved power density, enhanced performance, reduced degradation rate, and more reliable and robust systems. Research is focused on the technologies critical to the commercialization of SOFC technology, such as cathode performance, gas seals, interconnects, failure analysis, coal contaminants, fuel processing, and balance-of-plant components. Research is conducted at universities, national laboratories, small businesses, and other R&D organizations.

This project focuses on developing and evaluating advanced cell and stack components and computational tools and capabilities for cell and stack design analysis and optimization. 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 develop, manufacture, and evaluate advanced component materials, manufacturing processes, and computational tools.


Project Scope and Technology Readiness Level

PNNL will identify technical barriers, prioritizes technology development needs and conduct advanced research, engineering simulation and design optimization and testing with respect to the development of reliable, low-cost, solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) power generation systems capable of operation on coal derived fuels. The FY14 effort is focused on four tasks:

Task 1: SOFC Component Development — Develop, test and optimize high-performance, reliable cell and stack component materials and fabrication techniques for low-cost, reliable SOFC stacks.

Task 2: SOFC Modeling — Develop and utilize computational techniques for the optimization of cell and stack designs that allow mitigation of performance degradation and optimization of electrical performance in modular SOFC stack and systems.

Task 3: Experimental Support of Modeling — Obtain bulk and interfacial materials properties that support the development, optimization and validation of SOFC designs through simulation and modeling.

Task 4: Management, Technology Integration and Transfer — Provide overall technical supervision and program management, facilitate technology transfer, and integrate emerging technologies and interfaces with SOFC program participants.

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".


Accomplishments