For the Establishment of a Joint Venture to Manufacture and Sell Fuel High-Performance Cell Stacks
TOKYO — NGK SPARK PLUG CO., LTD. (NTK) and Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems, Ltd. (MHPS) have concluded an agreement regarding establishment of a joint venture and the operation of a company to manufacture and sell cylindrical cell stacks as the power generating elements found in solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC)
Joint venture signing ceremony Left side: NTK President & Chief Operating Officer Takeshi Kawai Right side: MHPS Executive Vice President Taiji Yoshida
Fuel cells are widely expected to be utilized as clean energy devices for commercial and industrial use, and are considered a solution for future energy and environmental issues. NTK and MHPS concluded a business partnership agreement in June 2014 for the mass production of cylindrical cell stacks, and of recent time, have been pursing joint development. The integration of NTK’s mass production technologies for ceramics and MHPS’ cylindrical cell stack design technologies, which allow for long life and heat utilization, has resulted in the commercial development of high-performance cylindrical cell stacks.
Going forward, NTK will establish a preparatory company, with a joint venture company to be established following examination by competition authorities.
(1) Cylindrical fuel stacks are structures of elements (laminate of fuel electrodes, electrolytes, and air electrodes) on the outer surface of a high-strength ceramic substrate tube, which produce a power-generating reaction. The elements are serially connected by a conductive ceramic interconnector (cylindrical horizontal-stripe cell stack), allowing for efficient generation of low current, high voltage electricity.
(2) Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) generate electricity using oxygen (O2) from the air, along with hydrogen (H2) and carbon monoxide (CO) extracted from reformed town gas or other sources. The cell stacks that are the core component for power generation are composed entirely of ceramic.
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