Fuel cell is a device that transfers chemical energy of fuels directly to electricity. The energy conversion efficiency of fuel cell is high, not being limited by Carnot’s law. Owing to the advantages of high efficiency, low pollution, no noise, fuel cell is called the green generator of the 21st century. Solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) has the highest efficiency, because its high operating temperature enables the further application of the co-generated heat. The internal reforming of various fuels is also possible without noble metals as catalyst. Direct applicability of such fuels as methane, coal gas, methanol, ethanol, LG gas and gasoline means very low operating cost. 1~100 kW SOFC stacks are useful in hospital, bank, university, PC center, and communication or military facilities.
Shanghai Institute of Ceramics, Chinese Academy of Sciences (SICCAS) has nearly 10 years’ experience in the research, development and manufacture of planar type solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC). We are now able to produce planar cells with the area of 10×10cm2; Anode supported cells with Scandia stabilized zirconia (SSZ) electrolyte can be operated at intermediate temperature (~750 oC) with the power density close to 0.4 W/cm2. We also have developed sealing materials and alloy separators, and have accumulated experiences on the construction, operation and control of SOFC stacks. Several stacks of 700 W level including 60 cells for each have been successful.
The team member numbers ~20, including Professor Tinglian Wen, who was elected the Councillor of the International Society for Solid State Ionics (SSI) from 1994 to 1999, and Council Member of the Asian Society for Solid State Ionics from 2000. Prof. Wen served as the Chairman of the 16th International Conference of Solid State Ionics held in July 2007 in Shanghai and successfully organized the conference with nearly 600 participants.