Roll-to-Roll Fuel Cell Manufacturing for Low-Cost Energy Generation
Redox develops high-performance solid-oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) for distributed-generation power systems, using high power density, intermediate-temperature cell technology.
Cell and stack components are responsible for between 40 to 60 percent of final system costs, and are key to performance. This SBV Pilot will allow Redox to work with Oak Ridge National Laboratory to develop continuous, roll-to-roll (R2R) manufacturing processes in order to increase scale, improve yield, and dramatically reduce SOFC costs for mass markets. R2R processing is a potential path to significantly increase Redox's production cell capacity to hundreds of megawatts per year, allowing the company to support mass markets faster and at lower costs than traditional manufacturing approaches.
If successful, this small-scale manufacturing pilot will allow Redox to transition proven concepts from government laboratories to production scale at U.S.-based manufacturing operations. These program efforts would demonstrate process-economics benefits and technical capabilities, substantially de-risking follow-on efforts and helping attract the additional investment required for scaling.
PROJECT INNOVATION + ADVANTAGES
The high power density and intermediate operating temperature of Redox's solid-oxide fuel cells results in lower costs and more compact generation systems compared to incumbent SOFC technologies. Redox SOFCs can be tailored to operate under various conditions, including with a variety of hydrocarbon fuels, at a range of operating temperatures, with a variety of load profiles, and in combined heat and power applications.
A successful SBV Pilot would also help reduce SOFC cell manufacturing costs, increase cell manufacturing capacity, and decrease capital costs, allowing increased market adoption and enabling new product applications.This project would accelerate production rates by using R2R processing; enable US-based cell production to easily support mass markets; and leverage considerable US-based experience in high-yield R2R processing.
Developing advanced manufacturing R2R processes through this SBV Pilot is a promising approach to reducing SOFC costs and scaling volumes for mass markets like data centers, increasing electrical generation efficiency, improving energy security, and minimizing environmental impacts.
According to the EPA, electricity production from coal and natural gas power plants accounts for more than one-third of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, and the average efficiency of fossil-fueled U.S. power plants has remained at 33 percent for four decades.
By reducing cell production costs, this project would increase adoption of SOFC technologies with electrical conversion efficiencies of over 50 percent. This improvement would cut greenhouse gas emissions and reduce pollution from particulates, nitrogen oxides and sulfur oxides, resulting in cleaner, healthier air.
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