Manufacturing Analysis of SOFC Interconnect Coating Processes
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AbstractDue to the threat of global warming, and the economic need for energy independence, the United States Department of Energy is developing alternative means of energy production. Solid Oxide Fuel Cells offer a route for more efficient use of fossil fuels, bio-fuels, and biomass, with less pollution compared to combustion approaches. However, widespread use of SOFCs is currently limited, partially by the high cost and corrosion associated with available interconnect technologies. Current corrosion issues degrade performance and limit the life of SOFC systems. These limitations compromise SOFC economic viability and hold back commercial adoption.In this Phase II SBIR Program, NexTech Materials will perform a build upon the success of its Phase I study. Phase I efforts concluded that manufacturing cost for Aerosol Spray Deposition (ASD) of ceramic oxide coatings present an economically viable approach to addressing interconnect corrosion. Comparisons of anticipated manufacturing costs showed that in terms of materials, capital, and operating costs required to manufacturing at scales up to 1.6M parts/year, ASD was a strong choice for SOFC interconnect protection.Critical cost-reducing materials and process refinements were identified in Phase I through modeling and experiment. In this Phase II effort, process demonstrations at the production scale will be performed using representative interconnect components. Components will be produced and tested singly and in SOFC stacks for several hundred hours. Parallel efforts to will customize the technology to suit a range of SOFC developers, thus maximizing the market for the technology and its reach. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: The program will result in the commercial availability of low-cost metallic interconnects for SOFCs that can meet the lifetime requirements established by the Department of Energy.
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