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DOE to award $13.5M to advance solid oxide fuel cells to commercialization

The US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy’s Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) Program will award up to $13.5 million to research projects to develop solid oxide fuel cell technology to the level necessary for broad commercial success. (DE-FOA-0001735) The funding opportunity announcement (FOA) comprises two topic areas:

  • SOFC Prototype System Testing: Applications are being sought under this topic area for prototype system development and field-testing (at a site other than the developer’s facility) of a nominal 250-500kWe rating (system rating near the high end of the range is encouraged) thermally self-sustaining atmospheric or pressurized SOFC system with an average stack operating temperature greater than 500°C.

    The SOFC systems will undergo testing to be conducted in accordance with a DOE-approved test plan at a facility mutually agreed upon by the selected applicant and DOE. The fuel gas composition will be proposed by the recipient with concurrence by DOE as part of the test plan. System performance and degradation as well as cost estimates will be compared to established SOFC Program performance metrics to assess progress.

    The goal is to test the SOFC technology prototype to the degree necessary for commercial system deployment, for a minimum of 5,000 hours. Proposed concepts should have a TRL of at least 5 at the beginning of the project and TRL 7 at project end. Prototype systems utilizing anode-supported planar cells are not desired under this topic area. Projects will be 24 months in duration.

  • Core Technology Development: The SOFC Core Technology research topic area will focus on applied laboratory or bench-scale R&D that improves the cost, robustness, reliability, and endurance of SOFC cell, stack, and or balance of plant technology. Applications in this topic area can focus on any SOFC cell, stack, or Balance of Plant (BOP) components. Partnership with an SOFC manufacturer/developer is encouraged. Projects will be 24 months in duration, during which time concepts will be developed and tested. Proposed concepts should have a beginning TRL of 2-4.



The use of SOFC's run on fossil fuels will result in lower consumption. I don't believe the fossil energy industry supports this. Since the fossil energy industry has infiltrated the DOE fossil energy program, I doubt this effort by DOE is serious.


Nissan is using an SOFC as a range extender in a mini van, I would reform ethanol for a PEM.

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