Europe aims to dominate solid oxide fuel cell tech

May 07, 2018 // By Nick Flaherty
The VTT Technical Research Centre in Finland is coordinating a €10.4m five-year European consortium developing commercial applications from solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology used in static power applications.

The ComSos (Commercial-scale SOFC systems) project is demonstrating SOFC technology in use in a range of different commercial and industrial environments, working with leading European system experts. Convion of Finland is participating in the project, alongside Sunfire from Germany and SOLIDpower from Italy, to demonstrate at least 25 SOFC technology-based power generation systems around the world. 

"Through the project, we will develop world-class commercial products on the basis of European fuel cell expertise. VTT has been developing fuel cell technology for over a decade and we have strong system expertise. We are now bringing this expertise to a project in which we are ensuring that the equipment is efficient, environmentally friendly and provides added value to end-users," said Project Coordinator Jari Kiviaho of VTT.

SOFC technology has major potential for green applications as it enables the scalable, highly efficient use of biogas to generate electricity without releasing carbon dioxide. The technology is also suitable for small-scale, decentralised local production ad can be used in data centres, hospitals, hotels, households and agriculture. The advantages of fuel cell technology over competing technologies are emphasised in small plants of under 1 MW. For example, the fuel cell plants developed by Convion, Sunfire and SOLIDpower's have an efficiency of well above 50%.

Another important task of the project is to provide open information and data on the SOFC technology for decision-makers, technology developers and potential customers.

The five-year project runs to 2022 with €7.4m backing from the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen 2 Joint Undertaking in the Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme, Hydrogen Europe and Hydrogen Europe research. It also includes Politecnico di Torino (Department of Energy) of Italy, Blueterra of Holland and HTceramics of Switzerland.

Convion is a leading supplier of fuel cell systems, focusing on the commercialisation of products in the power range of over 50kW for decentralised power and heat generation. Convion's employees have more than 10 years of experience in the development and commercialisation

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