Manufacturing of Solid Oxide Fuel Cells - Bridging the Gap from Laboratory to Industry
Due to their direct conversion of electrochemical into electrical energy solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) have great potential for a future additional energy supply. Even in the last two years numerous developers of SOFCs, both industry and research institutions, have demonstrated long-term stable operation of stacks of various dimensions (ranging from 1 to 125 kWel, with durations of up to 25000 hours of operation). Besides technical proof, single component availability (cells, bipolar plates, sealing…), stable and low-aging operation, as well as cost efficient manufacturing of the components is becoming more and more evident in preparation for a market launch. Close cooperation between SOFC stack developers, SOFC users and manufacturers of powders, semifinished parts or stack components is a prerequisite for success. Within a collaboration project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Labor (BMWA) the development of an SOFC as an auxiliary power unit (APU) is being promoted. The industrial users are BMW for automotive applications and Liebherr for use in construction vehicles or aircraft. The content of this presentation will be the transfer of the manufacturing knowledge developed at Research Center Jülich to CeramTec; including on the one hand the problems and limitations and, on the other hand the successes and positive perceptions. In detail, the transfer of, for example tape casting and screen printing will be addressed, powder characteristics concerning paste or slip formulation and special tests with reference to SOFCs are presented, and single cell tests of various cells manufactured with different powders or fabrication processes are described. Additionally, some remarks will concern different priorities in either R&D or industry (e.g. R&D: high power density; industry: reproducibility), process windows for manufacturing and the search for alternative fabrication methods.
T. Chandra, K. Tsuzaki, M. Militzer , C. Ravindran
N. H. Menzler et al., "Manufacturing of Solid Oxide Fuel Cells - Bridging the Gap from Laboratory to Industry", Materials Science Forum, Vols. 539-543, pp. 1315-1320, 2007