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ENrG, SC, NASA team report on solid oxide fuel cell fabrication and testing

ENrG Inc in upstate New York, which specializes in the design, development and manufacture of ceramic components, is working with the University of South Carolina’s college of engineering & computing and NASA’s Glenn Research Center (GRC) on the fabrication, testing and analysis of new SOFC designs.

Researchers at GRC say they have developed a novel method of fabricating and stacking SOFCs to improve power and energy output. ENrG has an agreement with NASA to continue working on this method and commercializing this new technology, which could make the next generation of SOFCs more powerful and durable. Details of the research collaboration were highlighted by presentations at the recent National Hydrogen Association conference in Columbia, South Carolina.

ENrG and the University of South Carolina have also formed a partnership to further develop this fuel cell technology. ‘This research collaboration links the resources of government, private industry and university scientists to develop clean energy systems for the future,’ says Dr Frank Chen of USC’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. Chen is working with Dr Chris Xue and Dr Ken Reifsnider, director of USC’s Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Center of Excellence.

He continues: ‘New energy sources are needed, and solid oxide fuel cells show promise… [They] also can generate hydrogen as an energy source to replace fossil fuels.’

USC researchers are also involved in the stage between product design and commercialization – the critical juncture of testing and analysis. They will create the facility to test and analyze the new SOFC stacks and systems manufactured by ENrG. In addition, they will also develop new materials and processes to improve performance and reliability, and produce multi-physics models that enhance the fuel cell design process and become a guide for manufacturing.

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