The SOSLeM project aims at reducing manufacturing costs for solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) stacks while at the same time making production more resource efficient and realising environmental benefits. Specifically, the project will:
new and optimised processes for the production of the fuel cell
interconnectors by lean manufacturing processes, improved sealing
adhesion on interconnectors, using anode contact layer laser welding and
automation of the welding process.
- Reduce production time and costs by advanced glass curing and stack conditioning with an improved/optimized gas test station.
- Enable environmental benefits by on-site nickel removal from waste water.
- Promote safer and cheaper Co-free protective coatings.
improvements will sum up to a reduction of manufacturing costs of about
70%, leading to decreased capital costs of about 3.500 €/kW.
The SOSLeM project will have significant impacts in the following main domains:
- Performance and efficiency of the production line: Fast feedback of a powerful end-of-line quality monitoring-tool enables to reduce the response time inside the manufacturing line to counteract against loss of quality or reliability. And less rejects increase performance and efficiency of the production line.
- Production costs: Fast recognition of defects reduces the amount of outage. And identification of the root cause of outage empowers the manufacturer to implement countermeasures.
- After-sales costs: For the SOFC technology it is crucial to increase the reliability of the stacks. Outage at customer sites provokes an image loss for this new technology in the public and causes extra maintenance costs.
- Lifetime: The lifetime of the ceramic and glass-based SOFC stacks depends heavily on the structural integrity of the brittle material in use. One goal is the detection of material defects at the end-of-line (sealing failure, poor contact due to assembly issues, improper gas distribution).
In summary, the impact of SOSLeM has quantum-leap potential for European manufacturing and market penetration of solid oxide fuel cells in the highly competitive global fuel cell markets.