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Project title: Innovative SOFC Architecture based on Triode Operation
Project acronym: T-CELL
Project reference: FCH JU 298300
Call for proposals: 2010
Application Area: Stationary Power Production and Combined Heat and Power
Project type: Research and Technological Development
Topic: SP1-JTI-FCH.2010.3.1: Next generation stack and cell design
            SP1-JTI-FCH.2010.3.4: Proof-of-concept fuel cell systems
Contract type: Collaborative project
Start date: 01 Sep 2012  End date: 01 Sep 2015
Duration: 36 months     
Project cost: € 3.4 million              Project funding: € 1.8 million
Project Funded by: Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU)
Coordinator: Dr. Dimitrios Tsiplakides,CPERI/CERTH ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )


The development of Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs) operating on hydrocarbon fuels (natural gas, biofuel, LPG) is the key to their short to medium term broad commercialization. The development of direct HC SOFCs still meets lot of challenges and problems arising from the fact that the anode materials operate under severe conditions leading to low activity towards reforming and oxidation reactions, fast deactivation due to carbon formation and instability due to the presence of sulphur compounds. Although research on these issues is intensive, no major technological breakthroughs have been realized so far with respect to robust operation, sufficient lifetime and competitive cost.
T-CELL proposes a novel electrochemical approach aiming at tackling these problems by a comprehensive effort to define, explore, characterize, develop and realize a radically new triode approach to SOFC technology together with a novel, advanced architecture for cell and stack design. This advance will be accomplished by means of an integrated approach based both on materials development and on the deployment of an innovative cell design that permits the effective control of electrocatalytic activity under steam or dry reforming conditions. The novelty of the proposed work lies in the pioneering effort to apply Ni-modified materials electrodes of proven advanced tolerance, as anodic electrodes in SOFCs and in the exploitation of the novel triode SOFC concept which introduces a new controllable variable into fuel cell operation.
In order to provide a proof-of-concept of the stackability of triode cells, a prototype triode SOFC stack consisting of at least 4 repeating units will be developed and its performance will be evaluated under methane and steam co-feed, in presence of small concentration of sulphur compound.
Success of the overall ambitious objectives of the proposed project will result in major progress beyond the current state-of-the-art and will open entirely new perspectives in cell and stack design.




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