Researchers augment the design of solid oxide fuel cells to improve efficiency by 10%

March 3, 2020 |

In Switzerland, engineers at the Laboratory for Applied Mechanical Design have devised a method to improve the efficiency of domestic solid oxide fuel cells. Solid oxide fuel cells are devices that produce both electricity and heat by oxidizing a fuel such as natural gas or biogas. The engineers added a steam turbine fan that recirculates gases through the system, which has the added benefit of increasing the lifespan of the fuel cell since the recirculated gas mixture increases the catalyst stability. Under normal conditions, solid oxide fuel cells only convert about 80-85% of input fuel, but the researcher’s recirculation of the gases a second time improved the efficiency as much as an additional 10%.

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