Ceres Power, a UK-based spin-out from Imperial College, recently unveiled a new 5kW stack platform and the latest advancements of its SteelCell V5 solid-oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology. (Earlier post.)
Highlights of the latest V5 and 5 kW stack platform developments include:
5 kW stack provides double the power/liter compared to the existing 1 kW stack; up to ~500W per liter;
Modular nature of 5 kW stack allows for significant scale-up to power applications from 5 to 100s of kW generation;
SteelCell V5 enables net system efficiencies of 60%, with no combustion;
Demonstrated robustness with more than 3600 thermal cycles without failures or significant degradation (equivalent to ~10 years of daily use).
Fuel-flexible properties make SteelCell suited for running on the current natural gas infrastructure we have today; it is also future-proofed as it can already operate on hydrogen, bio-fuels and other sustainable fuels.
The properties of the SteelCell enable start-up times and robustness to vibration which make it commercially viable for automotive applications such as range extenders for electric vehicles, as well as opening up significant opportunities for global OEMs that need to convert to combustion-free technologies.
Driven by growing customer demand for increased power, the larger cells and stack size Ceres Power has developed enable it to significantly expand applications for its technology beyond mainstream residential and commercial uses to emergent, high-growth markets that require higher power.
Ceres Power is developing a modular 10 kW power-only system for Cummins and the US Department of Energy (DoE) which will work in a number of environments, not least for power-hungry data centers that are fundamental to the global growth of the cloud computing industry.
As part of the EVRE (Electric Vehicle Range Extender) program with Nissan, the robustness of the SteelCell is being further developed. This opens up opportunities in the accelerating e-mobility market beyond small to medium-size electric vehicles, into areas such as commercial and public transport where the fuel-flexible SteelCell is well-positioned to capitalize on changing infrastructure and public demand.