5. Low Cost SOFC Manufacturing Process
- Narottam P. Bansal
Published Online: 26 MAR 2008
Copyright © 2005 The American Ceramic Society
Advances in Solid Oxide Fuel Cells: Ceramic Engineering and Science Proceedings, Volume 26, Number 4
How to Cite
Balachov, I., Jayaweera, P., Hornbostel, M., Sanjurjo, A., Lipilin, A. S., Kyzin, B. L., Bronin, D. I., Yatluk, Yu. G. and Sevastianov, V. V. (2005) Low Cost SOFC Manufacturing Process, in Advances in Solid Oxide Fuel Cells: Ceramic Engineering and Science Proceedings, Volume 26, Number 4 (ed N. P. Bansal), John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, USA. doi: 10.1002/9780470291245.ch5
- Published Online: 26 MAR 2008
- Published Print: 1 JAN 2005
Print ISBN: 9781574982343
Online ISBN: 9780470291245
Cost remains a major barrier for commercial success of SOFC. SRI evaluated a cost competitive SOFC manufacturing process developed by Russian researchers who work in this field since the late 1950s. The process is based on thermal decomposition of organo-metallic compounds. Cost savings are possible because: (a) the deposition process is performed at atmospheric pressure, (b) all layers (electrolyte, interface layers, and anode) are deposited sequentially within the same reactor, and (c) the raw materials and equipment are inexpensive.
Electrochemical test cells (sections of a single SOFC element) prepared at the IHTE have been analyzed and tested at SRI International. Each cell consists of LSM cathode, YSZ electrolyte, and platinum paste anode. Composition and microstructure were determined by SEM examination and x-ray diffraction. The electrolyte had a 0.92ZrO2+0.08Y2O3 composition with thickness 17–80 micrometers; it had cubic fluoride type structure similar to compact samples of the same material. Size of crystallites at the external layer of the electrolyte was 1–9 micrometers. In SRI's testing, a power density of ∼0.45 W/cm2 was measured at 900°C. The power produced by elements under a constant load was stable for 1,500 hours of continuous operation, and the fuel elements survived multiple on/off cycles. Examination with a scanning electron microscope (SEM) before and after the tests of the elements' microstructures showed no significant transformation.
SRI concluded that the core technology of the Russian SOFC generators is reliable, has high technical potential, and may offer strong competitive advantage for producing commercial products at a cost of under $500/kW.