CCS and Power Systems

Advanced Energy Systems - Solid Oxide Fuel Cells


NETL-RUA Fuel Cells Initiative


Performer: NETL's Office of Research and Development

Project No: FWP-2012.03.04


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:

  • Complete comparisons of techniques [e.g., electrochemical conductivity relaxation (ECR)] and models (e.g., ORR) generated among the broad SECA core team members and assess maturity of each effort.
  • Complete initial integration of discrete models and data collection tools to generate a comprehensive computational tool capable of predicting the long-term evolution of the AEC structure, which incorporates all primary degradation modes.
  • Couple results of component degradation associated with AEC structure to degradation modes associated with other stack components to develop a comprehensive stack degradation model.

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:

  • Collaborate with industry to complete the full process scale-up of infiltration and transfer technology to SOFC manufacturers.
  • Complete initial demonstration of anode infiltration to either: (1) improve cell stability, (2) improve current density in anode, or (3) enhance methane reforming/resistance to carbon-related degradation.

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".


Project Details