More energy from the heart of the SOFC.

With its interconnects, Plansee supplies a key component for the fuel cell and is making a vital contribution to a clean, reliable and economical energy supply.

The SOFC (solid oxide fuel cell) has many advantages compared to the conventional methods used to generate electrical power: It has no moving parts and is therefore very quiet during operation.

Interconnects for SOFC fuel cells

And there's more: The carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide emissions are extremely low and no soot particles are generated. CO2 emissions are reduced by up 50 % compared to conventional power stations burning fossil hydrocarbons. When hydrogen or biogas is used as the fuel source, these fuel cells are even CO2-neutral. Scalable small SOFC power plants generate power directly on site. There are therefore no losses due to the distribution of the electricity. If both the generated electrical power and the resulting heat are used then the efficiency of operation can rise to as much as 95 %, while an efficiency of over 50 % is possible if only the electrical power is used.

The SOFC fuel cell at a glance

  • High-temperature fuel cell (700 - 850 °C)
  • Outstanding efficiency due to high temperatures
  • Converts bioethanol, biogas and natural gas into electrical energy
  • Electrical efficiency of 50 - 60 %
  • Total efficiency of 90 - 95 %
  • Silent, low-emission process
  • Used for both mobile and stationary applications

CFY interconnects for stationary SOFC fuel cells.

Plansee supplies chromium-based interconnects for SOFC fuel cells. These provide the electrical and thermal connection between the fuel cell's anode and cathode and distribute fuel gas and air in the system. Using our powder metallurgical production process, we can manufacture near-net shape interconnects.

CFY interconnect for SOFC fuel cells

Chromium-iron. It's all about the mix.

With our mix of 95 % chromium and 5 % iron, we can adjust the interconnect's coefficient of expansion to match that of the electrolyte in the fuel cell. The electrochemical reaction in the fuel cell produces a lot of heat. The temperature can rise as high as 850 °C. At the same time, the surfaces of our interconnects are exposed on one side to the oxygen present in the air. While the opposite side has to withstand high hydrogen concentrations. For our interconnects, that's not a problem! With a chromium content of 95 %, their properties and geometry are unaffected.

Metal-supported cells for mobile applications.

On the move with SOFC fuel cells: These cells supply low-emission electrical power to trucks, mobile homes and yachts quietly and efficiently. With their short start-up time, low weight and long service life which can tolerate a large number of on-off cycles, SOFC fuel cells are able to meet the exacting requirements involved in mobile applications.

Interconnects for SOFC fuel cells

Plansee is cooperating intensively with research institutes and development partners to ensure the continued progress of the MSC or metal-supported cell. We use a powder metallurgical process involving an Fe-26%Cr alloy to manufacture both the porous support for the electrochemically active cell and the interconnects themselves.

For the development of „interconnects for fuelcells“ Plansee SE was nominated for the State Prize for Innovation awarded by the Austrian Federal Minister of Economy. Have a look at the project video (German language, subtitles in English):

Minimum costs. Maximum performance.

Our 90 years of experience of powder metallurgy give us a decisive advantage today: The interconnects that leave our factories have their final net shape. The necessary holes, gas supply channels and surface contours are all present right from the start. The sintered components are ready for immediate use. Another demonstration of the outstanding efficiency of powder metallurgy compared to conventional production processes.