Introduction

M-C Power Corporation (MCP) was founded in 1987 to commercialize Molten Carbonate Fuel Cell (MCFC) stacks. The first generation of active area cell components were successfully scaled-up from the 100-cm2 area laboratory scale to continuous production of commercial-area (1-m2) components. These components have been tested in five commercial-area subscale (20-kW) stacks and one commercial-scale (250-kW) stack. The second 250 kW stack is being installed in the power plant for operation in late 1996 and components have already been manufactured for the third 250-kW stack which is scheduled to go on-line in the middle of 1997.

Concurrent with commercial-area (1-m2) active component manufacturing has been an ongoing effort to develop and test advanced component technologies that will enable MCP to meet its future cost and performance goals. The primary goal is to lower the total cell package cost, while attaining improvements in cell performance and endurance. This work is being completed through analysis of the cost drivers for raw materials and manufacturing techniques. A program is in place to verify the performance of the lower cost materials through pressurized (3 atm) bench scale (100-cm2) cell tests.

Bench-scale cell testing of advanced active area components has shown that simultaneous cost reduction and improvements in the performance and endurance are attainable. Following performance verification at the bench scale level, scale-up of the advanced component manufacturing processes to commercial-area has been ongoing in the past year. The following sections discuss some of the performance improvements and reductions in cost that have been realized.

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