Delphi Meets Phase 1 for Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Power System

Troy, Michigan [] Delphi Corp. has reached an important milestone in bringing solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology to market by 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

A Delphi-led team working jointly with DOE’s Office of Fossil Energy has achieved all Phase 1 goals of the Solid State Energy Conversion Alliance (SECA), according to Wayne Surdoval, DOE’s SECA program manager. It included four key goals, all of which the DOE said were met: peak power performance, peak efficiency, power degradation and factory cost. SOFC auxiliary power systems, for example, are said to save 85 percent of the billion gallons of fuel consumed annually in the U.S. during extended idling of heavy trucks. “In meeting SECA’s Phase 1 goals, Delphi has delivered to DOE’s National Energy Technologies Laboratory a fully operational, highly compact demonstration system, capable of meeting the space constraints of many potential mobile and stationary power applications,” said Surdoval. “Their leadership at the systems level has greatly advanced this team’s progress toward a modular, broadly applicable SOFC power system by 2011.” Phase 2 of the SECA program is the next step for Delphi and the DOE. “Phase 2 will be a three-year, cost-shared contract between Delphi and the DOE, valued at more than $45 million,” said Mary Gustanski, director of engineering, Delphi Powertrain Systems. “Phase 2 goals will be to reduce the SOFC system factory cost to less than $600 per kW, to increase efficiency to 40 percent or more and to further increase power density. The Delphi team will also work to increase durability, particularly to withstand more thermal cycles.” Ultimately, SECA’s final goal in Phase 3 is to deliver an SOFC power system capable of 40 percent or greater efficiency at a factory cost of $400 per kilowatt. “Achieving the goals of the SECA partnership is important for U.S. economic, environmental and energy security concerns,” said DOE’s Surdoval. “Not only will Delphi’s fuel-flexible SOFC system provide clean, efficient electrical power for vehicles of all sizes, but its modularity will enable economies of scale in manufacturing SOFCs for near-zero emission, larger-scale stationary power plants as well, a key objective for the FutureGen initiative,” Surdoval added.
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