Jülich – Success! For 10 years now, a high-temperature fuel cell developed by Jülich scientists has been generating electricity as part of a lifetime test. No other fuel cell with ceramic cells has ever run for this long, and Jülich’s cell just keeps on running. The short lifetimes have in the past been regarded as the major flaw of this type of fuel cell – but Jülich’s slow burner is proving the opposite. Ceramic high-temperature fuel cells of this type achieve outstanding efficiencies and are considered particularly low-maintenance. They are thus suitable particularly for applications in stationary power supply systems, for example for households or small businesses, but also for large vehicles such as trucks, trains, or ships.
Record fuel cell stack at Forschungszentrum Jülich
Copyright: Forschungszentrum Jülich / R.-U. Limbach
High-temperature fuel cells operate at temperatures of 600 to 1000 degrees Celsius and deliver the highest electrical efficiencies of up to 60 percent, whereby the resulting waste heat can be utilized additionally. The record cell stack of Forschungszentrum Jülich went into operation on 6 August 2007. The fuel cell stack consists mainly of components that scientists from Jülich Research Center have developed themselves. For more than 20 years, they have been researching the "Solid Oxide Fuel Cell" for the "SOFCFC". They have obtained 95 patents during this period. The self-developed components include, for example, the ceramic cells, the contact layers and a special glass ceramic, which is used for sealing because of the high temperatures. The material for the intermediate plates with which the cells can be assembled into a stack, the so-called stack, originates from the Austrian company Plansee SE in Reutte.