Manufacturing Analysis of SOFC Interconnect Coating Processes

Period of Performance: 01/01/2009 - 12/31/2009


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Nextech Materials, Ltd.
404 Enterprise Drive Array
Lewis Center, OH 43035
Principal Investigator
Firm POC


Due to the threat of global warming, and the economic need for energy independence, the Department of Energy is seeking alternative means of energy production. Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs) offer a route for more efficient use of fossil fuels, biofuels, and biomass, with less pollution compared to combustion approaches. However, widespread use of SOFCs is currently limited, partially by the high cost of, and the corrosion associated with, available interconnect technologies. This project will develop new manufacturing techniques for coating interconnect metals, in order to lower the cost and improve the longterm durability of solid oxide fuel cells. In Phase I, a manufacturing analysis of various SOFC interconnect coating approaches will be conducted. Anticipated manufacturing costs will be compared in terms of materials, capital, and operating costs (labor, energy, etc) for up to 100,000 m2 of coating per year. Critical cost reducing materials and process refinements will be identified, and strategic experiments will be performed to assess the feasibility of scaling-up the processes. In Phase II, representative interconnect components will be tested and product development will be pursued for the down-selected process. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: The coating technology should result in the commercial availability of low-cost metallic interconnects for SOFCs that can meet the lifetime requirements established by the Department of Energy