Invent Baltics OÜ consultants supported the consortium led by the National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics (NICPB) in putting together a successful FP7-PEOPLE-2013-IAPP project and negotiating it with the EC

On 1 March 2014, the consortium led by NICPB from Estonia, together with academia and industry partners from Estonia (Elcogen AS, SME)  and Finland (Elcogen Oy, SME; Teknologian Tutkimuskeskus VTT), will start the activities of the project „High Efficiency Low Temperature SOFC Stack“ (acronym: HELTSTACK, No. 612431). The project, featuring a successful Marie Curie Actions’ sub-programme Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways (IAPP) activity, will last for 4 years or 48 months.

HELTSTACK addresses the main development challenges related to the commercialisation of Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) technology and SOFC systems, which lie in reduction of their cost, increasing lifetime and efficiency. SOFC stacks are the key components of SOFC systems, form approximately one third of the total system cost. Stacks with high performance and efficiency are required for high system efficiency.

HELTSTACK combines the top European know-how in single cells, coatings, gaskets, and stack designs to produce a novel 1 kW SOFC stack, together with the proof of concept of a 10 kWe SOFC stack. Multiple improvements over the state-of-the-art in cost, performance, efficiency, and reliability will be stated.

The project is based on the products of industrial partners Elcogen (cells) and Elcogen Finland (stacks) and motivated by their interest to further develop and commercialise their products. Other project partners include 2 research institutes: National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics (NICPB) supports cell development and coordinates their use in stack; VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) provides stack design and evaluation.

Transfer of knowledge in HELTSTACK promotes harmonised development of cell, stack and their characterisation methods. NICPB provides Elcogen Finland knowledge about achieving optimal cell properties and their adjustment for stack production, also about cell design for optimal electrochemical performance. Elcogen provides VTT knowledge about cell mechanical properties important for stack production. VTT provides Elcogen knowledge about long term cell testing. Elcogen provides NICPB knowledge about ceramic production challenges, to improve cell production efficiency.

All manufacturing methods, designs and materials are chosen to be suitable for mass production and lead to decreased costs compared to current state-of-the-art. HELTSTACK outcomes will form the basis for Elcogen companies’ commercial SOFC cell and stack technology subject to immediate commercialisation.

Project duration: 48 months

Project total budget and EC contribution: 1.46 million EUR