(166h) Techno-economic Analysis (TEA) of Next-Generation Proton-conducting Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC)

Authors: 
Colella, W. G., Gaia Energy Research Institute LLC
This work develops preliminary techno-economic models for a highly-innovative, next generation proton-conducting, anode-supported solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) that integrates a methane coupling catalyst into the anode. This cell is under development by Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) and the Illinois Institute of Technology. The cell is currently at technology readiness level (TRL) 1, i.e. proof-of-concept at a laboratory bench scale. This work summarizes (1) a specific physical embodiment of the ANL cell design modelled, (2) the bill of materials (BOM) for this modelled cell, and (3) preliminary cell, stack, and system cost estimates based on this cell. The techno-economic analysis (TEA) focuses on electrolyte-electrode assembly (EEA), or the â??heartâ?? of the electrochemical cell, where the anode and cathode half-reactions occur.

The project methodology is as follows:

  1. Develop a physical embodiment of the design for the EEA.
  2. Develop a Bill of Materials (BOM) that specifies masses and/or quantities of components and materials in the EEA.
  3. Obtain price quotes for materials in the EEA.
  4. Estimate materials costs for the EEA to develop a â??price floorâ?? for minimum costs.
  5. Identify cost drivers within the EEA.
  6. Estimate fuel cell stack costs for a 100 kWe net electric stack mass-produced at a rate of 50,000 systems per year.
  7. Estimate fuel cell system costs for a 100 kWe net electric stack mass-produced at a rate of 50,000 systems per year.

Preliminary results indicate that EEA is estimated to cost 5.56 cents/cm2 or $278/kW of gross electric power from the cell or stack. Within the EEA, the primary cost driver for the EEA appears to be the anode substrate, which is composed of yttrium-doped barium zirconate (BZY or BaZr(1-x)YxO3-d or sometimes BaZr0.8Y0.2Ox or BaZr0.9Y0.1O3-d), with barium zirconate represented as (BaZrO3), and nickel oxide (NiO). The BZY and NiO anode substrate material is estimated to cost either 2.88 cents/cm2 [based on price quotes for BZY from TransTech Inc.] or 16.40 cents/cm2 [based on price quotes from Praxair Specialty Ceramics]. The secondary cost driver for the EEA appears to be the anodeâ??s methane coupling catalyst. The methane coupling catalyst is modelled as a dual metal catalyst composed of Platinum (Pt), gallium(III) oxide (Ga2O3), and silicon dioxide (SiO2). The catalyst material is estimated to cost 2.45 cents/cm2. About 94% of its cost is due to the material cost of platinum as a catalyst.

Preliminary results also indicate that, for a 100 kW net electric stack mass-produced at a rate of 50,000 systems per year, the fuel cell stack subsystem cost is estimated to be ~$478/kW of net electric power from the system. This cost is approximately 74% higher than a â??plain vanillaâ?? SOFC subsystem, analyzed by the author for DOE in a prior analysis. For a 100 kW net electric stack mass-produced at a rate of 50,000 systems per year, the overall fuel cell system cost including all BOP components is estimated to be ~$597/kW of net electric power from the system. This cost is approximately 48% higher than the entire â??plain vanillaâ?? SOFC system, analyzed by the author for DOE in a prior analysis.