SOLIDpower is a dynamic and rapidly progressing Italian company that develops and manufactures high temperature electroceramic devices based on Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC) technology. SOLIDpower’s fuel cells can be used to provide electricity and sometimes heat in applications as diverse as housing (hot water, space heating and electricity), remote power where no electricity grid exists. The company was created in 2006 by carving-out the SOFC activities started in 2002 within the Eurocoating – Turbocoating Group, a privately-held group active in the fields of coatings and processes for gas turbines, machinery and biotechnology. In early 2007, SOLIDpower acquired 100% of HTceramix SA in Yverdon (Switzerland), a spin-off of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL). The vision of the company is to be a leading supplier of SOFC-based products.
SOLIDpower technology gives to the consumer an electric kilowatt-hours with a demonstrable electrical efficiency of 50 and a combining electricity and heat efficiency up to 90%. This data that should be compared to the efficiency of the electricity that comes from the traditional electrical network, which in Europe does not even reach 35%. The savings on bills is equivalent to that obtained using much more expensive interventions. Since they are remote-controlled, SOLIDpower generators can compensate local unbalances caused by the use of renewable resources, saving large investments on the electrical network. Benefits would fall upon the entire economy. The challenge Italy can take up is that of 1 GW of cogeneration to be installed in the country by 2020: the power of a nuclear power plant obtained through a system which can be monitored and controlled remotely.
SOLIDpower will take care of two main activity in the project: cells production, according to their processes, for further stack development and manufacturing by the partners. Long term stack’s testing focus on new design of stack cassette validation and to assess the stack’s degradation rate by the time.
For the industrialization of its products, SP built a pilot manufacturing plant for cells, stacks and SOFC generators in Mezzolombardo (TN, Italy) with a production capacity of 2 MW/year. The company is comprised of a young and motivated team of about 30 people.
Previous experience relevant to the role in the proposal: has a proprietary knowhow on SOFC cell and stack manufacturing , including unique expertise on the following processes relevant for the proposal: Water-based tape casting process, either for ceramic and metal powders, including thin and thick layer used in manufacturing anode supported cells; sintering, co-firing and oxidation processes; deposition of protective coatings to limit Cr evaporation; SOFConnex-based stack technology, including design, manufacturing and testing.
Selected Publications with relevance to the proposal:
D. Montinaro, S. Modena, S. Ceschini, M. Bertoldi, et al., “Anode supported solid oxide fuel cells with improved cathode/electrolyte interface”, presented at the 107th Annual Meeting & Exposition of The American Ceramic Society, Baltimore (USA), April 10-13, 2005
D. Montinaro, V. M. Sglavo, M. Bertoldi, et al., “Functionalization of the cathode-electrolyte interface in solid oxide fuel cells” presented at Solid State Ionics 15 Conference, Baden-Baden, Germany, July 17-22, 2005
M. Bertoldi, T. Zandonella, V. Sglavo et al., “Protective coatings of metallic interconnects for IT-SOFC application”, presented at First European Fuel Cell Technology & Applications Conference (EFC05), December 14-16, 2005 in Rome, Italy
S. Modena, A. Tomasi, S. Ceschini, et al., “Hydrogen Application for Energy Production: Electrochemical Characterization of Solid Oxide Fuel Cells”, in N. H. Afgan, F. Orecchini, A. Santangeli (Eds.), “1st World Congress of Young Scientists on Hydrogen Energy Systems - Hysydays”, USA, 2006, pp. 283
Previous funded projects (including activities of HTceramix to which SOFCpower has full access): European: RealSOFC (FP6 - Integrated Project, 2004-2008); RAMSES (FCH-JU 2009 call); LOTUS (FCH-JU 2009 call); ADEL(FCH-JU 2009 call); FlameSOFC (FP6 - Integrated Project, 2005-2009); SOFC600 (FP6 - Integrated Project, 2006-2010); ADOPTIC (FP6 - Collective Research Project, 2006-2009).
National: EFESO (Industria 2015, Efficienza Energetica, 2009-2012).
Main scientific contact person: Massimo Bertoldi, CTO, Ph.D. in Materials Engineering graduated from the University of Trento in 2004 and from 2004 to Feb 2007 was employed in Eurocoating’s R&D Dpt. as project leader of SOFC research. Since Feb 2007 he has worked as CTO of SP with responsibility for R&D activities, product development and setup of a pilot production plant in Italy including team selection and coordination. He is project leader of several National and European research projects and has more than 15 International scientific papers and patents published. He was a member of The Scientific Committee for the European Fuel Cell Forum 2008 in Lucerne (CH).