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Enabling mass market adoption of SOFC fuel cell systems

Project description

Cost-effective technique for mass production of solid oxide fuel cells

Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) are the most efficient fuel cells for combined heat and power generation. Despite their potential, their high manufacturing cost and limited lifetime hinder their wide commercialisation. The EU-funded BestinclassSOFCs project aims to significantly reduce the cost of a single unit cell. The project will cover the whole spectrum of SOFC development, from the design and manufacturing of each cell layer to the commercialisation and testing of the optimised product together with customers. Cost-effective production methods will promote mass production of SOFC and help decrease costs by 65 % compared to those of current systems.


Elcogen’s mission is to be instrumental in realising the potential for distributed power generation from deploying SOFCs, the most efficient fuel cells when it comes to converting fuel to power and heat (CHP). However, there are two main obstacles to successful mass commercialisation: high manufacturing cost and insufficient life-time.
Elcogen's SOFCs have best-in-class electrical efficiency of 74%, their lower operating temperature allows lower cost (up to 76%) fuel cell systems to be produced by CHP system manufacturers. They are fully validated for standard manufacturing techniques, are fully tested by customers and approved as the best performing.
Over the last 5 years Elcogen has developed the market for CHP (combined heat and power) and has now received purchase commitments from several customers. It has signed agreements with three key CHP Sumitomo Precision Products and LOI’s from SolidPower (Italy) and Convion (Finland). They are now waiting for large volume deliveries from Elcogen. Manufacturing scale up is a top priority now. Elcogen needs to plan the manufacturing plant scale-up with initial capacity of 2m cells p.a. envisaging revenues of €57m and EBITDA of €36m in 2023.
The feasibility of the deployment of standard manufacturing equipment has been established during a Phase 1 study. It will be possible to reduce cell manufacturing cost by nearly 90% to €5 by 2021, compared with €40 for the current 2nd generation.
Elcogen will deploy a cost-effective method for mass production of SOFCs, cutting fuel cell system costs by 65% compared with current system costs. This will open the path to widespread adoption of stationary power generation, unlocking a €25bn+ market for fuel cell systems, of which ~ 1/3rd will be for SOFC unit cells. The ramp-up of sales volumes sales in stationary and automotive applications will make the cells cost-effective for mass electrolyser applications.

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Net EU contribution
€ 1 793 050,00
Valukoja 23
11415 Tallin

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Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Other funding
€ 768 450,00