Transformational SOFC Technology


Comparison of Current FCE SOFC and Repeatable<br/>Power Unit Concept at 100 kW Scale.
Comparison of Current FCE SOFC and Repeatable
Power Unit Concept at 100 kW Scale.
FuelCell Energy, Inc. (FCE)
Website:  FuelCell Energy
Award Number:  FE0027584
Project Duration:  10/01/2016 – 09/30/2019
Total Award Value:  $3,750,000
DOE Share:  $3,000,000
Performer Share:  $750,000
Technology Area:  Solid Oxide Fuel Cells
Key Technology:  Systems Development
Location:  Danbury, CT

Project Description

FuelCell Energy, Inc. (FCE) and its wholly owned subsidiary, Versa Power Systems (now FCE Calgary), are developing a portfolio of cell and stack technologies that may provide significant SOFC system simplification, resulting in performance and reliability increases and cost reductions over existing technologies. The approach is bottom-up; it is initiated via development of a radically new and novel concept in fuel cell structure and fabrication processes, and advances to integration of essential balance-of-plant (BOP) components into a transformational stack architecture. The specific goals of the project are to enhance the robustness of the SOFC technology to mitigate the effects of system operational dynamics, increase the redox capability of the fuel cell anode, and reduce overall system cost by integrating the functionality of many BOP components within the SOFC stack. The effort includes R&D to enhance cell durability to a point where BOP systems to protect the SOFC stack are no longer needed, implement stack-level improvements to reduce or potentially eliminate the need for thermally insulated containment modules, and reduce the amount of hot BOP equipment. FCE will design and fabricate a 2-5 kilowatt stack—incorporating the design improvements—and test it for at least 1000 hours at operating conditions representative of a commercial system. This project leverages previous related work under DOE award FE0026093.

Project Benefits

The FCE team project will not only enable a vast reduction in BOP equipment, but also reduce the amount of externally fabricated equipment. Complete assemblies, such as the catalytic heat exchanger, which carries significant fabrication costs along with material costs, can be replaced with less material that is processed by the SOFC manufacturer, as opposed to a third party vendor. This progression toward vertical integration represents a significant opportunity to reduce the factory cost of installed SOFC systems at both low and high volume production. The net outcome of the project is SOFC cell and stack technology with costs significantly below current targets without compromising and, in some cases, improving the performance and degradation rate demonstrated with the current state-of-the-art stack design.

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager 
Joseph Stoffa:
Technology Manager 
Shailesh Vora:
Principal Investigator 
Hossein Ghezel-Ayagh:

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