A Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC)-Based Portable Power Source
Agency / Branch:
DOD / DARPA
This proposal is on the demonstration of a portable, thermally self-sustaining, Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC)-based power module, delivering 25 W at ~70% efficiency, continuous power operating on liquid hydrocarbon fuels, with energy density > 1300 Wh/liter(>2000 Wh/kg. for a 72hr. operation), including fuel canister. SOFC stack, operating at 550oC, is based on novel, anode-supported fuel cells with performance levels higher than traditional, yttria-stabalized zirconia (YSZ)-based fuel cells. Cells arelightweight, and stack design is compact. Rationale for lowering the operating temperature to ~550oC, instead of state-of-the-art 800oC, is based on minimizing amount of fuel required for start-up. Fuel is one of the convenient liquid hydrocarbons with noexternal fuel processing. Required water is added directly to the fuel. The fuel is vaporized and injected directly into the SOFC stack. Essential element of the power module is attainment of thermally self sustaining operation with modest heat loss. Thework proposed consists of (1) Fabrication of novel, high performance single cells. (2) Their assembly into compact stacks, using patented, low resistance, metallic interconnects. (3) Design and construction of thermal insulation jacket. (4) Housing thestack in a thermal insulation jacket. (5) Demonstration of a fully integrated SOFC-based portable power module. Successful completion of Phase II objectives will lead to the development of a portable power source capable of delivering 25 W continuouspower, operating on a convenient choice of fuels. In addition to the military, its applications include consumer electronics such as a laptop computer, medical instruments and devices for patient use at remote locations, away from centralized power.Somewhat larger units, based directly on the proposed work, may also find applications for desk-top computers, uninterrupted power, and small, emergency power.
Small Business Information at Submission:
Principal Investigator:Guangyong Lin, Ph.D
Business Contact:Dinesh Shetty
Research Institution Information:
MATERIALS & SYSTEMS RESEARCH, INC.
5395 West 700 South Salt Lake City, UT 84104
Number of Employees:
UNIV. OF UTAH
1471 Federal Way
Salt Lake City, UT 84102
Nonprofit college or university