SOFC Systems Expected to be the Star Fuel Cell Solution in Future

Consistent research and development efforts are expected to pay off as solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) emerge as the preferred fuel cell technology. New analysis from Frost & Sullivan finds that SOFCs are likely to reach commercialisation in Europe between 2010 and 2012.

LONDON - 19 December, 2007 - Consistent research and development efforts are expected to pay off as solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) emerge as the preferred fuel cell technology for distributed generation. Besides their high electrical efficiency and environment friendly nature, fuel cells allow industries to completely redesign existing products and ascertain a synergy across sectors.


New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (http://www.energy.frost.com), Solid Oxide Fuel Cells in Europe: a Strategic Review, finds that SOFCs are likely to reach commercialisation in Europe between 2010 and 2012. The market is estimated to reach about $61 million in the first year of commercialisation.

"Amidst growing concerns over security of fuel supply and emission reduction, fuel cells are expected to play a pivotal role in the future of the European energy industry, buoyed by their high electrical efficiency and favourable environment friendly profile," notes Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Hema Sarathy.

SOFCs show electrical efficiencies between 40 to 50 per cent, and when used in a cogeneration mode, where the waste heat given out by the system is also utilised, the efficiencies reach to about 80 to 86 per cent. Further, when used in a hybrid cycle with a gas turbine, SOFC systems offer efficiencies of 60 per cent and greater. Thus, higher efficiencies and better benefits will aid cogeneration or CHP based fuel cell systems to lead the stationary fuel cells market during the initial years of commercialisation.

However, high capital and operating costs are a major deterrent to commercialisation of fuel cells as customers are awaiting cost reduction for an enhanced value proposition. Moreover, the lack of robustness in the systems reduces its performance compared to the traditional technologies. Hence, the commercial launch of SOFC systems is impossible without more of a competitive product and price offering.

"The stationary fuel cell industry is currently in a demonstration and product validation stage where the focus is not only on product development, but also on understanding the requirements of customers and using their feedback to enhance SOFC product solutions," says Sarathy. "Competing fuel cell technologies, such as molten carbonate fuel cells (MCFCs) and proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFCs) are being simultaneously developed. MCFC has higher electrical efficiency than SOFC and PEMFC is the most widely researched technology across the world."

The SOFC industry values the feedback from demonstrators and system manufacturers and is looking forward to strategic alliances and partnerships with utilities as well as component suppliers to develop SOFC products that match customer necessities. The focus henceforth will be on sustained and dedicated research of new materials, improved manufacturing processes and augmented process capabilities, which will enable a smooth transition from the current demonstration/development phase to the commercialisation stage.

If you are interested in further information on the SOFCs market in Europe, then send an e-mail to Chiara Carella, Corporate Communications, at chiara.carella@frost.com, with your full name, company name, title, telephone number, fax number and e-mail address. Upon receipt of the above information, an overview will be sent to you by e-mail

Solid Oxide Fuel Cells in Europe: A Strategic Review is part of the Energy & Power Growth Partnership Service programme, which also includes research in the following markets: European Stationary Fuel Cells Market, World Micro Fuel Cell Markets for Consumer Portable Devices, Fuel Cells for Stationary Power - Global Trends and Technology Developments, World Micro Fuel Cell Markets for Consumer Portable Devices and World Advances in Micro Fuel Cell Technology. All research services included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends that have been evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants. Interviews with the press are available.

Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Consulting Company, partners with clients to accelerate their growth. The company's Growth Partnership Services, Growth Consulting and Career Best Practices empower clients to create a growth focused culture that generates, evaluates and implements effective growth strategies. Frost & Sullivan employs over 45 years of experience in partnering with Global 1000 companies, emerging businesses and the investment community from more than 30 offices on six continents. For more information about Frost & Sullivan's Growth Partnerships, visit http://www.frost.com.

Solid Oxide Fuel Cells in Europe: A Strategic Review
M182

Contact:
Chiara Carella
Corporate Communications - Europe
P: +44 (0) 20 7343 8314
E: chiara.carella@frost.com

Johanna Haynes
Corporate Communications - North America
P: 210.247.3870
F: 210.348.1003
E: johanna.haynes@frost.com

Donna Jeremiah
Corporate Communications - Southeast Asia
P: +603 6304 5832
F: +603 6201 7402
E: djeremiah@frost.com

Ravinder Kaur
Corporate Communications - South Asia
P: +91 44 42044760
F: +91 44 24314264
E: ravinder.kaur@frost.com

Shwetha Thomas
Corporate Communications - Middle East
P: +91 22 4001 3429
F: +91 22 2832 4713
E: sthomas@frost.com

José María Jantus
Corporate Communications - Latin America
P: + 54-11-4777- 9951
F: + 54-11-4777-0071
E: jose.jantus@frost.com

Amelia Wong
Corporate Communications - China
P: +86 21 5407 5783 Ext 8669
M: +86 13621724823
E: amelia.wong@frost.com

Sharmin Jassal
Corporate Communications - Australia & New Zealand
P: +61 2 8247 8900
F: +61 2 9252 8066
E: sharmin.jassal@frost.com

Patrick Cairns
Corporate Communications - Africa
P: +27 21 680 3274
F: +27 21 680 3296
E: patrick.cairns@frost.com

http://www.frost.com

Featured Product

SMA America - Introducing the New Sunny Boy 5.0/6.0-US

SMA America - Introducing the New Sunny Boy 5.0/6.0-US

The Sunny Boy 5.0-US / 6.0-US features a wealth of improvements and joins SMA's lineup of field-proven solar technology backed by the world's #1 service team. The world's first Secure Power Supply now delivers up to 2,000 W of opportunity power when the grid goes down and the sun is shining. Installation has never been easier thanks to SMA's Installation Assistant, direct access via smartphone, and integrated DC disconnect. The Sunny Boy's multiple independent input channels, each with SMA's OptiTrac™ Global Peak, mean hundreds of stringing configurations for flexible system design while solving the challenges of complex roofs and shading. The residential PV market is changing rapidly, and we understand that your bottom line matters more than ever. That's why we've designed a superior residential solution that will help you decrease costs throughout all stages of your business model. The Sunny Boy 5.0-US and 6.0-US are once again raising the bar by offering improved performance, enhanced features, and most importantly, cost savings across the entire spectrum of residential installation processes.