NexTech Materials Introduces NextCell an Advanced Electrolyte Supported Planar Cell for use in Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

NexTech Materials, Ltd. is proud to announce the introduction of the NextCell. Advanced Electrolyte Supported Planar Cell for use in solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) demonstrations, prototyping, research and benchmarking. These cells have dramatically improved strength and higher performance compared to traditional electrolyte supported cells.

The NextCell uses the patent-pending Hionic. electrolyte support that is manufactured using proprietary fabrication methods and materials. The Hionic support is more than four times stronger than the most popular fully stabilized YSZ-8 material, with conductivity surpassing that of YSZ-8. Improved mechanical flexibility makes the cells less brittle and therefore more forgiving during operations such as testing and stack assembly. The first NextCell cells are designed to operate at temperatures above 800°C and have a demonstrated area specific resistance (ASR) of 0.52 W-cm2.

Matthew Seabaugh, NexTech.s Fuel Cell Group Leader, states, .The NextCell design will serve as the platform for future developments that include further reducing ASR, particularly at lower operating temperatures, and incorporating sulfur tolerant anodes. Such developments will enhance the reliability and performance of SOFCs operating on conventional fossil fuels and renewable hydrocarbons.

The NextCell advanced electrolyte supported cell is offered in both custom and standard configurations. Standard shapes are 5 and 10 cm squares and discs, with cathode and anode print areas providing a 5 mm electrolyte-only border for sealing. The NextCell is only available through NexTech Materials direct sales group.

According to William Dawson, President/CEO of NexTech, .the NextCell is another important step in NexTech.s pursuit of better components for SOFCs. We have designed this cell to overcome the inherent weaknesses of the dominant YSZ technology. The unique combination of high strength, flexibility, and superior performance make this cell an excellent option for planar stack developers.

SOFC devices generate power by clean, efficient power by electrochemical methods. SOFCs are particularly attractive in applications such as transportation and auxiliary power units and military power that will use fossil fuels for the foreseeable future. Electrolyte supported cells (ESCs) offer many advantages in fuel cell stacks, including simple sealing configurations, anode and cathode flexibility, and high structural integrity, particularly at high temperatures and under cyclic (startup/ shut-down) operations. ESCs are the cell of choice for many planar stacks in demonstration today.

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