High Efficiency

The SOFC differs from conventional technologies in that it converts the chemical energy of fuels electrochemically, generating electrical power directly, avoiding the inefficient steps of combustion and transformation of heat to mechanical work in order to drive the electrical generator.

Ideally, the power produced in a SOFC can reach up to 70% of the inlet fuel energy; in practice, within an end-user-ready system, these efficiencies are between 40-60%, depending on the power plant configuration. Combustion-based technologies can only reach 55% electrical efficiency in very large scale (of hundreds or thousands of Megawats). The SOFC efficiency is unique in being practically independent of scale, and systems have been demostrated with 60% net efficiency even at one kilowatt of delivered power.

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