Friday, 18 March 2011

Ceramic Fuel Cells Limited Operating Temperature

Its basically saying that SOFC will heat from 450 to 1000 degrees celcius.

I guess its not likely that all of the heat will be available for space / hot water heating, but surely that would do for a bit of hot water.

"Different types of fuel cells are categorised by the type of electrolyte. Within each fuel cell type different companies are using different designs to tailor a fuel cell’s performance for a given application. The main groups of fuel cells are listed below:
Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cell (PEFC) or Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC)
Here, the electrolyte is a polymer ion exchange membrane that is very good at conducting protons often combined with an expensive platinum catalyst. These fuel cells are a good option for automotive and portable applications as they are best suited for fast start up and shut down situations.
Phosphoric Acid Fuel Cells (PAFC)
In this fuel cell, concentrated phosphoric acid is used as the electrolyte. The design and power outputs make them suitable for buses and large stationary applications.
Alkaline Fuel Cells (AFC)
The electrolyte is essentially a potassium hydroxide solution. These fuel cells are often used for expensive mission critical applications such as the USA space programme.
Molten Carbonate Fuel Cells (MCFC)
These highly specialised fuel cells use a combination of high temperature alkali carbonates (sodium or potassium) as an electrolyte and can use a wide range of fuel types. MCFC are best suited to large stationary power applications.
Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC)
With SOFCs, the electrolyte is a solid non-porous ceramic based metal oxide often Yttria doped Zirconia material. Because SOFCs operate at high temperature, a wide range of fuels can be used with out having to specially pre-treat the fuel.
Fuel Cell Type
Operating Temperature
Electrical Efficiency
Fuel Type
~ 550 – 700°C
~ 50 to <70 %
Most hydrocarbon based fuels
Large (100’s of kW to MW) stationary power generation
~ 450 – 1,000°C
~ 45 to <70 %
Most hydrocarbon based fuels
Small (<1kW) to large (MW) stationary power generation
~ 150 – 200°C
~ 40 %
Pure Hydrogen
Space exploration
~ 100 – 220°C
~ 35 to 40 %
Pure Hydrogen
Buses, trucks & large stationary applications
~ 80°C
~ 30 to 35 %
Pure Hydrogen
Passenger cars & mobile applications
SOFC’s are ideally suited to producing constant power for small stationary applications. Ceramic Fuel Cells Limited is developing SOFC systems for domestic applications generating highly efficient electricity from today’s existing fuel sources and infrastructure.

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