Browse Definitions :
Definition

solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC)

Contributor(s): Stan Gibilisco

A solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) is a fuel cell that derives its energy directly from the oxidation of a solid or ceramic material called an electrolyte. Ordinarily, fuel cells are powered by substances that are gases or liquids at room temperature, such as hydrogen, methane, propane or gasoline. SOFCs can provide power to any device that normally works with batteries, as well as various residential and commercial appliances including computers.

A typical SOFC uses a solid ceramic electrolyte placed between ink-based anode (positive) and cathode (negative) electrodes. When air, fuel, and heat are provided, the device produces electricity. The byproducts are heat (which keeps the process running), water, and carbon dioxide.

In 2010, Bloom Energy introduced a fuel-cell product known as the Bloom Energy Server or Bloom Box. Several designs exist. One of them uses a modular assembly of SOFCs to produce whatever amount of electricity is required for a given application. A single Bloom Box SOFC, for example, can power a 25-watt light bulb. A Bloom Box comprising a bread-loaf-sized SOFC stack can produce several kilowatts of electrical power, enough to serve an average residence. Large SOFC stacks can produce hundreds of kilowatts, and in some cases more than a megawatt, of electrical power continuously. A kilowatt equals 1000 watts; a megawatt equals 1,000,000 watts.

As electricity prices rise, the number of SOFC users grows along with the general popularity of alternative energy sources. Because electricity from SOFCs is produced constantly as long as air, fuel, and heat are available, SOFCs can minimize or eliminate reliance on costly and cumbersome backup power systems such as uninterruptible power supplies (UPSs) and fossil-fuel-powered generators in data centers and other facilities where electrical power interruptions and outages are particularly undesirable.

This was last updated in June 2013

Continue Reading About solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC)

Join the conversation

1 comment

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

How to privide fuel and air for SOFC cells? By external means? What will be the fuel cost per kilowatt?
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • risk management

    Risk management is the process of identifying, assessing and controlling threats to an organization's capital and earnings.

  • compliance as a service (CaaS)

    Compliance as a Service (CaaS) is a cloud service service level agreement (SLA) that specified how a managed service provider (...

  • data protection impact assessment (DPIA)

    A data protection impact assessment (DPIA) is a process designed to help organizations determine how data processing systems, ...

SearchSecurity

  • spyware

    Spyware is a type of malicious software -- or malware -- that is installed on a computing device without the end user's knowledge.

  • application whitelisting

    Application whitelisting is the practice of specifying an index of approved software applications or executable files that are ...

  • botnet

    A botnet is a collection of internet-connected devices, which may include PCs, servers, mobile devices and internet of things ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • business continuity plan (BCP)

    A business continuity plan (BCP) is a document that consists of the critical information an organization needs to continue ...

  • disaster recovery team

    A disaster recovery team is a group of individuals focused on planning, implementing, maintaining, auditing and testing an ...

  • cloud insurance

    Cloud insurance is any type of financial or data protection obtained by a cloud service provider. 

SearchStorage

  • DRAM (dynamic random access memory)

    Dynamic random access memory (DRAM) is a type of semiconductor memory that is typically used for the data or program code needed ...

  • RAID 10 (RAID 1+0)

    RAID 10, also known as RAID 1+0, is a RAID configuration that combines disk mirroring and disk striping to protect data.

  • PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive)

    A PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive) is a high-speed expansion card that attaches a computer to its peripherals.

Close