The U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy Stationary Fuel Cell Program

TitleThe U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Fossil Energy Stationary Fuel Cell Program
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsWilliams, M. C., J. P. Strakey, and W. A. Surdoval
JournalJournal of Power SourcesJournal of Power Sources
KeywordsDistributed generation, Fuel cell program, Fuel cell/turbine hybrid, SOFCs, Solid oxide fuel cells

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy's (FE) National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), in partnership with private industries, is leading a program for the development and demonstration of high efficiency solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) and fuel cell/turbine hybrid power generation systems for near-term distributed generation markets, with emphasis on premium power and high reliability. NETL is partnering with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in developing new directions for research under the Solid State Energy Conversion Alliance (SECA) initiative to develop and commercialize modular, low cost, and fuel flexible SOFC systems. Through advanced materials, processing and system integration research and development (R&D), the SECA initiative will reduce the fuel cell cost to $400 kW-1 for stationary and auxiliary power unit markets. The SECA industry teams and core program have made significant progress in scale-up and performance. Presidential initiatives are focusing research toward a new hydrogen economy. The movement to a hydrogen economy would accomplish several strategic goals, namely that SOFCs have no emissions, and hence figure significantly in DOE strategies. The SOFC hybrid is a key part of the FutureGen plant, a major new DOE FE initiative to produce hydrogen from coal. The highly efficient SOFC hybrid plant will produce electric power while other parts of the plant could produce hydrogen and sequester CO2. The produced hydrogen can be used in fuel cell cars and for SOFC distributed generation applications.