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DOE Awards Additional Funding to FuelCell for Phase 2 of ARPA-E Project

FuelCell Energy

DOE Awards Additional Funding to FuelCell for Phase 2 of ARPA-E Project

FuelCell Energy has received a new $8 million contract from the Department of Energy to execute the second phase of a project aimed at developing ultra-high-efficiency solid oxide fuel cell systems

The Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy effort is part of the DOE’s Innovative Natural-gas Technologies for Efficiency Gain in Reliable and Affordable Thermochemical Electricity-generation program. Under the project, FuelCell helps develop system approaches to ultra-high electrical efficiency in SOFC power generation systems, Green Car Congress reported

The new funding from the Energy Department is for FuelCell’s SOFC technology. After executing the design activities under the project’s first phase, the Danbury, Connecticut-headquartered firm is set to design and build an ultra-high-efficiency SOFC sub-megawatt power generation prototype system. 

The fuel cell technology firm’s work on the project will include developing pressurized stack model designs, which are critical to supporting the configuration of power generation systems. The project also seeks to improve the efficiency of solid oxide-based electrolysis and energy storage systems, the firm said on May 4. 

FuelCell also announced its progress on the Modular Solid Oxide Electrolysis project, an initiative funded by the DOE’s Office for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.

The project seeks to advance the use of FuelCell’s solid oxide platform for high-efficiency electrolysis. When solid oxide cells are used for electrolysis, the cells are able to produce hydrogen “much more efficiently” compared to when using currently available technology, the firm explained. 

Under the program, the firm created and is operating an SOEC system that can produce up to about 44 lb of hydrogen per day. So far, the test operation has demonstrated an electrical efficiency above 90 percent, FuelCell said, adding that opportunities have been identified for boosting efficiency to 100 percent with the use of external thermal heat energy. 

FuelCell is set to demonstrate a 250 kW electrolysis system at the Idaho National Laboratories.

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Tags: Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy ARPA-E contract award Department of Energy DoE electrolysis federal civilian FuelCell Energy funding Green Car Congress power generation prototype SOFC systems