Redox, PNNL, and AVL Develop Low-Cost, Small-Scale SOFC Power Systems
For Immediate Release
Beltsville, MD — Redox Power Systems, LLC (Redox) is pleased to share that Redox has partnered with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and AVL Powertrain Engineering, Inc. (AVL) on an award with the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Fossil Energy and Carbon Management. The project (“Low Cost SOFCs for Small-Scale Distributed Power Generation”) brings together advances in SOFC cells/stacks, balance of plant (fuel reformer and heat exchangers), system design and best practices to reduce system cost at lower production volumes (≤ $1,000/kW at ≤ 10,000 systems/year) for small-scale power systems (i.e., 5-25 kW). The project will further increase Redox’s stack performance, while simultaneously reducing stack cost through improvements to reactant flow distribution within the stack and external manifold and use of lower cost components. PNNL will reduce the cost of their microchannel heat exchanger/fuel reformer technology through manufacturing improvements without negatively impacting performance. Moreover, leveraging the lower operating temperature of the SOFC (≤ 650 °C), the system design will be optimized to minimize cost while still achieving very high efficiency (e.g., > 50% LHV) for distributed power generation. Finally, utilizing industry best practices, AVL will lead the detailed design and build for a 7-kW system prototype, which will then be operated using natural gas for ≥ 5,000 hours to provide power for a host test site.
According to Redox CTO Bryan Blackburn, Ph.D., “This project will allow us to greatly reduce the cost of small-scale SOFC power systems for accelerated adoption even at relatively low production volumes. We have put together a world class team and advanced technologies that enable these advances. At the end of the project, we will be in an excellent position to address a greater number of markets without the need for subsidies or MW size installations to make the economics attractive.”
The project kicked off earlier this year is expected to run from 2021 through 2023.