SOFC stack (solid oxide fuel cell) with 20 single cells for use in decentralised power supply. Source: Fraunhofer IKTS
Fuel-cell stack during a low-temperature test. Source: Fraunhofer ISE
The newest Fraunhofer developments in hydrogen technology can be seen at the Hydrogen + Fuel Cells Stand at the Hanover Trade Fair. The Fraunhofer Institute for Ceramic Technologies and Sintered Materials IKTS will display durable SOFC stacks with a power of 1 kWel. The fuel cells are intended for application in distributed power supplies and can be operated with either fossil fuels or biogas. In addition, an extremely thin Ag/Zn micro-battery for integration in sensor cards will be presented. The Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE will display a weather-resistant, near-industrial prototype of a miniature fuel-cell system for the temperature range from -20 °C to +40 °C. The target markets are applications in off-grid measurement and controls technology, where the trend is clearly towards decentralised power supplies for the system components.
The extremely thin micro-battery developed by Fraunhofer IKTS, which is less than 0.5 mm thick, is designed for mobile, highly integrated and inexpensive applications, preferably in credit-card format. It is intended to be integrated into miniaturised electronic products, together with sensors, electronics and data interfaces. The primary battery consists of a silver oxide cathode and a zinc anode, which are deposited with thick-film technology onto the current collectors. The flexibility of thick-film technology enables electrochemical cells with differing capacities to be constructed. The capacity of the extremely thin power supplies is 15 mAh, the cell voltage is 1.5 V.
Widespread application of high-temperature solid oxide fuel cells SOFC in decentralised power supplies demands that the long-term stability and the electric contacts in the cathode chamber be improved, and that the currently high costs be reduced. Fraunhofer IKTS has been conducting research on SOFC for more than ten years and can now present stacks with a power of 1 kWel, which have a predicted lifetime of 40 000 hours. The high overall efficiency value of the SOFC, around 80 %, is a particular advantage.
Karin Schneider | idw
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