I highly recommend that anyone interested in SOFC should watch this nice and general movie. Due to a very close collaboration, our work at DTU Energyconversion can be a part of the next stack technology from TOFC.
On the 1st June I mentioned about an interesting publication from Juelich, where they have successfully completed a 40000h stack test. As this is a very important publication, I think it deserves a bit more comments here.
Together with DTU Energyconversion, group at FZ Juelich are at the forefront of the fuel cell technology, especially when it comes to the stack technology. In the available literature, no long term testing of stacks were reported so far. With the required lifetime of at least 40000h (US Department of Energy requirements), no one has so far presented such a long experiment. FZJ in the framework of the Real-SOFC project started long term stact test some time ago. This year the test reached over 40000 hours of operation and some conclusions might be drawn.
Technical details of the stack:
The critical degradation phenomena are therefore Cr poisoning from the interconnect. Developing of a successful coating is therefore a direct need. Other degradation phenomena has been identified as the Mn diffusion from the cathode to the electrolyte. This weakens the electrolyte and can cause cracking of the cell.
Between 5th and 11th of October I was attending 13th conference on Solid Oxide Fuel Cells held on the Okinawa island of Japan. It was a very nice and focused conference although it was disturbed heavily by two typhoons that approached the island during the beginning.
I will try to write a bit more detailed report soon.
web page: www.sofc-xiii.com
Today in my daily RSS feeds I found a link to the famous Polish monument, cave carved in the salt, it was highlighted in the technology section of Popular Science as it has been included into Google Street View, so that everyone can enjoy it now.
Link to the article (picture on the left taken from this site):
Info on Wikipedia:
Unfortunately I haven't been there yes ut now I can take at least a virtual tour which is very impressive as you should see by yourself at least in the Google.
HALO Fuel Cell: a charger for your outdoor needs
Some time ago I wrote about a metal supported SOFC system for developing countries in Africa, where the device was meant to be put into the burning stove. The company is now trying to develop the technology further and built a camping stove with built in fuel cell to generate electricity. They try to get funding through the Kickstarter platform. You can try to get one of the devices for as low as 79$ (+20 for shipping to Europe). I think it is a very good price. I pledged for the 138$ option where you also buy the Voto unit for Kenya. I hope they will be successful as I would like to get one of these devices. I would really be using this device on my camping trips. Too bad it will be delivered after summer.
You can find more info on the Kickstarter site: LINK
In a recently released Journal of Power Sources (vol. 241, pp. 477-485, 2013) a very interesting and important publication about operation of SOFC stack test was published. It was submitted by FZ Juelich in Germany, one of the leading players in the SOFC area. Stack reached more than 40000 hours and I think it is the only publication with such a long test. It proves that this technology can be regarded as feasible. More information about the findings in this report I will try to write soon...
Publication - link to publication on the Elsevier platform.
Few years ago I heard about a company called Liliputian (coming from MIT university) that was developing solid oxide fuel cell based on micro platforms. Then I lost track about it and very recently I read that based on this new mobile phone charger will be sold. Using micro SOFC platform and butane cartridges it will allow to recharge your mobile phone as long as you will have the butane cassettes.
One of the interesting things about this company is that it includes cooperation with Intel and some of the venture funding has been provided by Rusnano. Russian government initiative to invest money in prospective nanotechnology ventures.
Nectar Power - LINK
Brookstone, you can preorder Nectar here - LINK
Article in Ceramic Tech - LINK
Some time ago (LINK) I found a very interesting article about the development of metal supported cells that will be actually produced and used to help developing countries. After spending many years on research of metal supported cells (and being still involved), I have to say I am happy to see that. Names of people involved I know from the literature, so it proves that science can be transferred from the lab to the market if right people are involved. The application area is maybe somewhat strange or niche, but definitely it is a huge success and I hope the company will manage to grow.
I am a researcher working in materials science, mainly with ceramic materials but also with metalic alloys. I focus on deposition techniques (electrophoretic, electrolytic, spray-pyrolysis) and a few different applications (fuel cells, electrolysis).