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MORE DOE FUNDS FOR FUEL CELLS
Solid oxide devices targeted at industry, large-scale uses
Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) are just one of several fuel-cell technologies that enjoy DOE support because of their commercial potential, department officials say.
SOFC's particular application has been to higher power operations, such as industrial or large-scale central electricity generating stations. According to DOE officials, SOFCs have the advantage of being able to readily use fossil fuels as a source of hydrogen, and of running at high temperatures (1,500 F), which could be used to provide heat for industrial applications.
The 10-year goal of the new DOE programs is to cut capital costs to $400 per kW through manufacturing improvements as well as raising efficiencies to 6070%, DOE says.
The department will provide about $270 million over the next 10 years, and the rest will come from the industrial teams. DOE officials say a related R&D program designed to support the industrial manufacturing projects with about half the funding will be announced in the fall.
Among projects are ones to make modular 3- to 10-kW SOFC systems, 7- to 10-kW combined heat and power residential systems, and small units for vehicle applications.
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