Environmental Friendly Energy from Solid Oxide fuel cell (2009–2012)


The project is aimed at building four prototypes of micro CHP, respectively 1 and 2.5 kWe of power, based on technology of solid oxide fuel cells with tubular and planar geometry, with an industrial cost to allow for a payback in 5 years without any economic incentives.
The target users of these devices are single or multifamily residential homes; especially for this second segment there is a need to develop a modular device also at 2.5 kWe.

The project aims to develop in Italy a number of skills needed for the construction of an Italian production chain. In fact, the currently available components and technologies pertinent to the achievement of Micro CHP are mainly abroad, in particular the USA, Japan and Germany.

The realization of this target is based on the presence of all partners with the skills and technological background necessary to develop such components, in particular:

ARISTON THERMO is Italian leader in the ongoing development of Micro CHP based on technology of Stirling engine as that of solid oxide fuel cell

SOFCpower is the only Italian company active in the development of planar solid oxide fuel cell type, potentially the most suitable solution for the development of Micro CHP for cost and size, if some critical functionality are exceeded

ACUMENTRICS (USA) is a leading US partner in developing the technology of tubular solid oxide fuel cells type, which is currently offering the best guarantees of functional strength, thereby ensuring, however, the industrial feasibility of the project

STMicroelectronics is an Italian leader in the development of electronics components necessary for the project in order to achieve the cost targets for the inverter

HYSYTECH, PROENG, ENTERPRISE, GENERAL IMPIANTI-Loccioni Group are the companies selected for the development of all various components such as reformer, inverter, grid connection and power modules


The program
The program consists of 9 sub-projects each having a controller and 83 packages of work carried out by individual companies and will have duration of three years.
The sub projects identify areas of technological development based on a tree representation of Micro CHP in order to ensure for each sub-project maximum uniformity issue. In addition, it was agreed by partners, for more efficient management of the project and meetings, the creation of three distinct working groups, each with a manager for the 3 macro areas:

  • Development of basic cell and stack (Manager SOFC Power)
  • Development of control/BOP (Manager GENERAL IMPIANTI-Loccioni Group)
  • Responsible Micro-CHP (Manager ARISTON THERMO)