Ceramic Industry News

GE SOFC Prototype Exceeds DOE Targets (4/4/06)

A prototype of the first fuel cell capable of being manufactured at a cost approaching that of conventional stationary power technology has been successfully tested as part of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Solid State Energy Conversation Alliance (SECA) program.

GE Hybrid Power Generation Systems, Torrance, Calif., received high marks for the recently completed testing of its prototype solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) system. The prototype exceeded DOE targets for availability, efficiency, endurance and estimated production cost. As a result, GE was given approval to move on to phase II of the SECA program, with its more stringent performance and cost targets. GE is the first of six SECA industry teams to complete phase I of the program. The cost of GE's prototype system is estimated at $724 per kilowatt for an annual production of 50,000 units, surpassing the SECA phase I target of $800 per kilowatt.

"Progress in cost reduction is critical to the widespread deployment and market penetration of SOFC technology," said SECA Project Manager Travis Shultz. "At $400 per kilowatt-the SECA phase III target, and nearly one-tenth the cost of power-generating fuel cells currently sold on the market-fuel cells would compete with traditional gas turbine and diesel electricity generators for stationary applications, and would become viable auxiliary power suppliers for the transportation sector."

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