Toyota, Aisin Seiki, Kyocera & Osaka Gas To Develop SOFC Residential Fuel Cells

April 07, 2009 by Jeff Shepard

Toyota Motor, Aisin Seiki Co., Kyocera and Osaka Gas announced a joint project to develop a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) small enough to fit in apartments. The companies aim to have a marketable product ready early next decade.

The companies will work on an SOFC that runs on hydrogen extracted from city gas and oxygen from the air. SOFCs have a generating efficiency of 45%, compared with 35% for the polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) that Osaka Gas and others will make available starting in May. They also require about half the space of PEFCs. Production costs, which run nearly 10 million yen (US$102,590) each for trial models, will be reduced at an early stage. The SOFCs are more efficient than the polymer electrolyte fuel cells (PEFCs) that are being currently being commercialized, and require about half the space.