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Fail-Safe, Inexpensive Electrochemical Device Stack Design

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

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Technology Marketing SummaryCraig Jacobson, Steven Visco, and Lutgard DeJonghe have invented a robust and low cost electrochemical device stack system based on a modified segmented-cell-in-series design. In this invention a number of small cylindrical cell segments are in contact with a planar metallic interconnect sheet that electrically connects one cell segment to the one above and/or below it as well as to the cell segments on the same interconnect sheet. This system allows one or more cells to malfunction without disabling the whole system. The novel design enhances stack efficiency through simplified gas manifolding, gas recycling, and improved heat distribution. DescriptionThe Berkeley Lab design may potentially be over ten times less expensive to manufacture than other available stack designs. Fabrication is simplified because only the punched out metal interconnect and the small tubular cells need to be manufactured. Other systems require several additional steps. Co-firing the tubes themselves is less costly because no interconnect element is involved. The interconnect plate can be made of inexpensive ferritic steels and can be punched into shape using low cost technology. The cost per cell segment and power density achieved by this new invention make it commercially promising. BenefitsImproved stack efficiency (10% more power output than a single cell of the same active area)
Potentially over ten times less expensive to manufacture than existing stack designs
Redundancy is built into the system so that it continues to function despite cell failures
Applications and IndustriesSmall scale fuel cell applications (auxillary power units)
Small scale syngas production
Small scale gas separation
Patents and Patent Applications
ID Number
Title and Abstract
Primary Lab
Patent 7,740,966
Electrochemical cell stack assembly
Multiple stacks of tubular electrochemical cells having a dense electrolyte disposed between an anode and a cathode preferably deposited as thin films arranged in parallel on stamped conductive interconnect sheets or ferrules. The stack allows one or more electrochemical cell to malfunction without disabling the entire stack. Stack efficiency is enhanced through simplified gas manifolding, gas recycling, reduced operating temperature and improved heat distribution.
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory 06/22/2010
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated

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To: Shanshan Li<>