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63% Efficient Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Developed by NGK

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Highly efficient hydrogen fuel cells are wanted due to the high price the existing ones have so far. So, being efficient means less money spent on them, and more market share for hydrogen. SOFCs (solid oxide fuel cell) are a type of hydrogen fuel cell that use solid (not liquid) electrolyte to do their job, while being much more efficient.

NGK Insulators Ltd developed a SOFC that uses hydrogen gas as fuel and achieved a lower heating value (LHV) of 63%, one of the highest in the world, also featuring a power output of 700W and an operating temperature of 800°C.

They lowered the resistance value by completely coating the cell’s supporting anode with a thin film (5μm thick) of electrolyte (zirconia) and secured a sufficient power generation area by forming cathodes on both sides of the cell to achieve the large output, it said.

To evenly spread fuel gas to the entire cell, flow channels for fuel gas were formed inside the prototype cell. The thickness of the cell is 1.5mm. Also, the new fuel cell is superior in terms of size and cost because it can generate power on both the top and bottom sides and its flow channels eliminate the need for components (separators) to separate fuel gas from air, NGK Insulators said.

A ten cells stack was provided by NGK for testing by a leading oil company from Japan, to evaluate its power generation performance. Technical alliances are also sought with other companies.

Hydrogen is good when it is generated from renewable resources, of which the simplest to think of is solar power, but generating it from methane still generates carbon dioxide, which is not good… you know why.

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