The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy (FE), through the National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), is leading the research and development of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) technology.
The systems being developed, for central-station application, and based on SOFC technology, are to be cost-effective and operate with high electric efficiency. While coal is the focus for these systems, the program is cognizant that the SOFC technology can be adapted for implementation in advanced power generation systems fueled with natural gas. A natural gas-fueled distributed power generation system could be first to the marketplace, which would provide early manufacturing and operational experience on large commercial scale.
The FE Fuel Cells program, embodied in the Solid State Energy Conversion Alliance (SECA), is structured as a unique alliance between industry, the scientific community and the DOE.
Recent developments in the SECA program will be presented.