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Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Cooling Down Solid-Oxide Fuel Cells

Technology Review
April 20, 2011

Startup company SiEnergy Systems has overcome a major barrier to commercializing solid-oxide fuel cells with a prototype that operates at temperatures hundreds of degrees lower than those on the market today. Working with Harvard materials science professor Shriram Ramanathan, SiEnergy Systems, based in Boston, has demonstrated a solid-oxide fuel cell that can operate at 500 degrees Celsius, as opposed to the 800 to 1,000 degrees required by existing devices. This allows the cell, which uses a thin-film electrolyte mechanically supported by a metal grid, to be much larger than similar devices fabricated before—on the order of centimeters in area, the size needed for practical applications, rather than micrometers.
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