HYDROGEN AND FUEL CELLS are considered to be a "key solution of the 21st century" for reduction of environmental and geopolitical consequences of the fossil economy.
HIGH TEMPERATURE FUEL CELLS are emerging as sustainable power systems for co-generation of electricity and heat for stationary applications. They ensure low to zero emission of carbon and harmful ambient air substrates, low noise pollution, carbon free energy supply. However, for large scale industrial applications, upstream research efforts should contribute to the achievement of breakthroughs in fuel cell performance. The target is high power efficiency, long term stability, and low costs.
IDEAL Cell is a Collaborative Project (Small or Medium-scale Focused Research Project) within the "Energy" Cooperation Theme (Hydrogen and Fuel Cells Activity), funded by the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Commission, and carried out between 2008 and 2011.
The IDEAL Cell project proposed an innovative and competitive design for a high temperature fuel cell, operating in the range of 600-700°C. The concept offers an original approach for enhancement of the power efficiency and performance stability, which cannot be obtained through the existing concepts for fuel cells and stacks. It eliminates principle disadvantages of the existing solid oxide (SOFC) and proton conducting (PCFC) fuel cells in respect to the water formation and evacuation. The design is based on a junction of PCFC anode/electrolyte and SOFC electrolyte/cathode components through a mixed conducting porous ceramic membrane.
The basic idea of the project was inspirited by a 2005 patent for a dual cell concept by the French research organization ARMINES. The innovative proposal united 11 research teams from 5 European countries, which turned it into realty after 4 years of common project work and interdisciplinary approach. The original dual cell concept gave birth to new innovative ideas applied for the successful implementation of the project and supported by several additional patents.
The project officially concluded in December 2011, but intensive work inside the Ideal-Cell Consortium continues. The new European team pools knowledge resources, expertise and competence, which can contribute to innovations in high temperature hydrogen production in general. Currently, we have a strong creative European Team with a clear vision and robust ideas.