SOFCs manufactured by a wide variety of traditional ceramic methods and atmospheric pressure spraying cost $500 to $600/m2 ($250-300/kW at 2 kW/m2); the better raw material utilization of the ceramic processes offsets the faster rate of the plasma spray (Figure 1). Vacuum processes are considerably more expensive, increasing the cost of production by $200 to 300/m2, while the use of a ceramic interconnect increases the costs by roughly $500/m2. It is also important to note that the cost of manufacturing the fuel cell by a wide variety of conventional ceramic and atmospheric plasma spray technologies is low enough to make the systems competitive in co-generation and combined cycle applications (Figure 1) (2).

Perhaps the most important point to remember about the cost estimating process is that the cost of raw materials and processing scale with either the volume of material used or the number of square meters processed, even though the results are generally reported in terms of $/kW of capacity. In fact, the cost in $/kW is the cost in $/m2 divided by the power density. Thus, by far the most effective means of reducing the cost of fuel cell fabrication is to increase the power density of the fuel cell.

Figure 1 Summary of SOFC Stack Costs

Figure 1 Summary of SOFC Stack Costs

I Tape cast anode (200 pm) and electrolyte (25 pm), screen print

V Tape calender anode (200 urn), electrolyte (25 pm) and cathode (25

pun), green machine, co-sinter, metal IC, stack

PII Atmospheric plasma spray anode (200 pin), electrolyte (25 pm) and cathode (25 pm), co-sinter, metal IC, stack vV Tape cast anode (200pm), sputtered electrolyte (5 pm) and cathode (5

VII Tape cast anode (200 pm), VPS electrolyte (5 pm) and cathode (5 pm), sinter, metal IC, stack

IV Tape cast anode (200pm) and electrolyte (25pm), screen print cathode

(25 pm), sinter, green machine, LSC IC, stack


1 Krist, K and J.D. Wright, Fabrication Costs for Reduced Temperature Solid Oxide Fuel Cells, 1994 Fuel Cell Seminar. 1994.

2 Krist, K and J.D. Wright, "Manufacturing Costs for Planar Solid Oxide Fuel Cells" Proc. of the Fourth International Symposium on Solid Oxide Fuel Cells, Yokohama, Japan, Dokiya, M. et al., eds., The Electrochemical Society.

3 Romero, C and J.D. Wright, The Value and Manufacturing Costs of Planar Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Stacks, GRI Topical Report, July 1996

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