The highly efficient, small-scale SOFC system developed at PNNL features PNNL-developed microchannel technology and two unusual processes, called external steam reforming and fuel recycling
Microchannels narrower than a paper clip are etched onto the heat exchanger’s shim, which has been removed in this photo for illustrative purposes
A new, small-scale solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) system developed at the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (DoE PNNL) could be used for household and neighborhood power generation. Fueled by methane, the system achieves an efficiency of up to 57 percent, improving on the 30 to 50 percent efficiencies seen previously in SOFC systems of similar size. The PNNL researchers say the pilot system they have built generates enough electricity to power the average American home, and can be scaled up to provide power for 50 to 250 homes.
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