NGK Insulators Ltd developed a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) that uses hydrogen gas as fuel and achieved a lower heating value (LHV) of 63%, one of the highest in the world.
The SOFC features a power output of 700W and an operating temperature of 800°C.
The company 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.
The company provided a stack in which tens of the cells are layered to a leading oil company in Japan, asking it to evaluate the fuel cell's power generation performance. And it will aim to commercialize the cell for use in homes and commercial facilities such as convenience stores and shopping malls by further improving its performance. The company is planning to advance the development through technical alliances and joint developments with other companies.