SOFC - Solid Oxide Fuel Cells Portal Page

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A Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) can operate directly on Natural gas, bio gas, propane, Hydrogen, coal bed methane or other similar light hydrocarbons. The fuel streams and oxidant do not mix or burn, the SOFC produces electricity electrochemically by converting the chemical energy of the fuel directly into electrical energy thus increasing the efficiency of power production. According to theory electrical efficiencies close to 70% are possible, however units being sold on the market today (2009) are demonstrating 60% electrical efficiency or less. This however has proven already to be competitive with incumbent technologies. Due to SOFC systems operating at between 500 950 C they also enable onsite production of heat as well as power which is being effectively utilised for residential and industrial combined heat and power applications.

SOFC Developers are starting to reach early commercial markets in the portable power and micro CHP market due to the foresight of early adopters, however the larger mega watt systems have yet to progress beyond global demonstrations with strategic channel to market partners. SOFC have also shown great promise in demonstrations as auxiliary power units for vehicles.

Channel to market partners sought in the following markets:

How it Works

The Air is carried to the cathode, where oxygen is dissociated, yielding O2 anions. These migrate through the crystal structure of the electrolyte, going on to oxidise the hydrogen atoms carried to the anode by the fuel. This reaction yields electrons, heat and water.

Anode Reactions:
2H2 + 2O2- 2H2O + 4e-
2CO + O2- 2CO2 + 4e-

Cathode Reaction:
O2 + 4e- 2O2-

Image source - http://www.eere.energy.gov/hydrogenandfuelcells/fuelcells/fc_types.html

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