Project: Production of novel redox resistant anode supported SOFC cells and their integration into industrial fuel cell systems

Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC) is recognised as the most promising technology for conversion of hydrocarbon fuels to electricity. It differs from other fuel cells technologies by its high operation temperature and fuel flexibility. The SOFC may provide >60% electrical efficiency, modular systems from 1 kW to MW and essentially no emissions except CO2 and water. The status of the SOFC technology today is that it is finally maturing from pure academic research to fully functional installation providing electricity to customers. RoxSolidCell is a project that brings together a consortium of Ps who will produce a new product that radically improves the performance and reliability of this technology. The product is called 2R-Cell™ and has been invented by the lead SME Fiaxell, a Swiss-based company. Production will be developed by a French ceramic company called CTI and demonstration by a Norwegian company called Prototech – a leading company in fuel cell technology. Basic research, product improvement and materials development will be carried out by three research institutes: EPFL in Switzerland, CNRS-IMN in France and University of Agder in Norway, all three possessing expertise in essential fields._x000D__x000D_Evaluation of 2R-Cell performance in commercial SOFC systems will be carried out by two leading fuel cell manufactures: CFCL and Staxera. Letters of intent are given in the Annex 1 and 2. The business model for a manufacturing Pship between Fiaxell and CTI to supply the CFCL Bluegen market is given in Annex 3 and shows how the commercialization phase follows from the R&D phase._x000D__x000D_The 2R-cell specifically provides a solution to the CO problem that is holding back the commercialization of the SOFC, namely resistance to repetitive cycles of reduction and oxidation. Current generation SOFC systems are based on older technology that mitigates these problems at the cost of lower power and higher temperature, both of which lead to higher cost and faster degradation. The introduction of 2R-cell will provide SOFCs at lower cost, lower temperature of operation and better lifetime. The concept originally invented by the Swiss SME Fiaxell has already been shown to work and provides the necessary specifications to be acceptable in principle by commercial fuel cell manufacturing companies. What is critical to demonstrate is reliability, cost-effectiveness and the ability to tailor the product to specific SOFC stack designs, such as the CFCL Bluegen system. It is therefore necessary to work alongside established fuel cell manufacturers in full Pship and also ceramic manufacturing companies – hence the Pship with CTI ._x000D__x000D_The product in question has the trade mark name “2R-cell”. It is a fundamental component in the make-up of the SOFC stack and possesses properties that will greatly improve the performance and lifetime of the SOFC system. The current generation of SOFCs use what is referred to as electrolyte supported cells (ESC).These are robust and reliable, but do not deliver power unless the temperature of operation is high, typically 850 degrees Celsius. A 2nd generation of SOFC designs is now emerging based on anode supported cells (ASC), which can produce much higher power densities at lower temperature, typically in the range of 600 to 750 degrees Celsius. These systems however suffer from one major drawback – robustness. They simply do not work reliably enough to enter the CO stream fuel cell market. This is where the 2R-cell concept comes in. By solving the robustness problem, the full potential of the lower temperature SOFC can be realised._x000D__x000D_The consortium is made up of 6 Ps, 3 SMEs and 3 academic institutions. The lead P is the inventor of the 2R-cell concept and is Fiaxell, based in Lausanne, Switzerland. Prototech is an SME based in Bergen, Norway and will integrate the 2R-cell into its stack concept. The French SME CTI is responsible for manufacturing of the completed 2R-cell components for sale to the end user. The 3 academic institutes responsible for the research and testing aspects of the project are EPFL (Lausanne, Switzerland), University of Agder (UiA, Norway) and CNRS-IMN ( France). In terms of person hours and budget there is bias towards the SME effort._x000D__x000D_Fiaxcell is the lead P in this project and holds the IPR to the basic fuel cell concept. Fiaxcell is a spin-off company from EPFL and has considerable experience in the field of SOFC._x000D__x000D_The goal is to establish a manufacturing production line for the 2R-cell product for integration into SOFC systems such as the CFCL Bluegen and the Staxera hot module._x000D_

Acronym RoxSolidCell (Reference Number: 7565)
Duration 01/09/2012 - 28/02/2017
Project Topic RoxSolidcell is about the commercialization of a radically new product that greatly improves the reliability, lifetime and cost of high temperature Solid Oxide Fuel Cells aimed at the rapidly expanding distributed power market for stationary applications. The consortium 6 Ps from 3 countries.
Network Eurostars
Call Eurostars Cut-Off 8

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
6 École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne Partner Switzerland
6 Fiaxell Sàrl Coordinator Switzerland
6 Ceramiques Techniques Industrielles Partner France
6 University of Agder, Faculty of Engineering and Science Partner Norway
6 Centre National de La Recherche Scientifique (participating as Institut des Matériaux Jean Rouxel) Partner France
6 Prototech AS Partner Norway