Advanced SOFC technologies for low carbon, energy efficient and affordable power

Lead Research Organisation: Imperial College London
Department Name: Materials


Solid oxide fuel cells have the potential to greatly reduce carbon emissions in electricity generation because of their high conversion efficiency and suitability for distributed generation. Overall, this project will target the critical fuel cell issues of system cost and lifetime, including cell and stack cost, power density and affordability. The research will focus on the design, development and validation of novel components, sub-systems and integrated systems for RRFCS's initial system, a 1MW SOFC stationary power generation unit. Imperial College will contribute by developing new low-cost materials and geometries that are fundamental to the realisation of competitive fuel cells and stacks. This will involve using theoretical modelling at the atomistic level to identify promising new materials with the appropriate electronic properties. These will be synthesised and characterised in detail and finally the most promising ones will be evaluated in the RRFCS fuel cell structure.


10 25 50
Description New materials (both metallic and ceramic) were identified and evaluated for improving the performance of the Rolls-Royce solid oxide fuel cell. A theoretical quantum mechanical study of the ceramic material explained why this material is such a good electronic conductor.
Exploitation Route Generally useful basic science for other fuel cell developers.
Sectors Energy

Description The research has been used by RRFCS (now LGFCS) in developing their current collection technology employed in their current 250 kW fuel cell generator.
First Year Of Impact 2012
Sector Energy
Impact Types Economic

Description ESL Europe 
Organisation ESL Europe
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
Start Year 2007
Description MEL Chemicals 
Organisation MEL Chemicals Inc
Country United States 
Sector Private 
Start Year 2007
Description Rolls-Royce Fuel Cell Systems Ltd 
Organisation Rolls Royce Group Plc
Department Rolls-Royce Fuel Cell Systems Limited
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Evaluation of new and existing materials for fuel cells
Collaborator Contribution Guidance for required improvements in performance and supply of materials and designs.
Impact Improvements to performance and reliability of fuel cell technology
Start Year 2007
Description Scitek Consultants Ltd 
Organisation Scitek Consultants Ltd
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
Start Year 2007