Company and Partners Will Match NYSERDA Investment to Move from Prototype Device to Commercial Product
July 08, 2013
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has awarded $200,000 to Solid Cell of Rochester to help the company move its solid-oxide fuel cell from prototype to an affordable, easy-to-manufacture product for residential, commercial, industrial and military uses.
Solid Cell will contribute another $200,000 in matching funds, with help from partners RocCera, a Rochester-based company specializing in advanced ceramic component manufacturing, Alfred University and the NanoMaterials Innovation Center at Alfred.
This is one of a number of technologies supported by NYSERDA to accelerate cleantech product commercialization in New York State. Solid Cell's solid-oxide fuel cells can be used for devices such as cell phone towers, communication devices and water pumps in remote locations.
“Fuel cells present a promising technology that can create clean energy while reducing demand on the electric grid -- a technology that can help meet Governor Cuomo's goals of making the state's energy grid more resilient and efficient,” said Francis J. Murray Jr., President and CEO, NYSERDA. “By helping Solid Cell bring its innovative product to market, we are promoting a technology that will not only benefit the environment but will stimulate the state's clean-energy economy.”
Solid Cell began developing its patented fuel cell design in 2006. The company will use the funding to develop methods to mass-produce a critical fuel-cell part called the “interconnect” using a patented ceramic material. Its NTN Interconnect product, which both separates the fuel cell chemicals and electrically connects individual cells, has a lower cost, superior high-temperature stability and higher electrical conductivity than most current interconnect materials, according to the company.
Solid-oxide fuel cells operate at very high temperatures (between 500 and 1,000 degrees Celsius), which allows them to run on a variety of fuels other than pure hydrogen. The high temperature operation also allows the fuel cell to provide thermal energy for heating needs, a process known as combined heat and power.
This is NYSERDA’s fourth award to Solid Cell. The first $250,000 was awarded in 2010, and helped the company set up its current manufacturing space at the Rochester Technology Park (formerly Kodak’s Elmgrove Plant). In 2011, NYSERDA awarded the company $200,000 to help it perfect its ceramic-based interconnect membrane. The company also received a $61,000 award in 2012 for business development.
"NYSERDA has been a supporter of Solid Cell from the beginning, and we are pleased that our partnership continues," said Arkady Malakhov, CEO of Solid Cell. "With NYSERDA's support, Solid Cell continues to develop our technology, which we believe will lower the cost of fuel cell manufacture and help to increase the use of these energy-saving devices."
One of NYSERDA’s goals is to innovate and sustain new clean-energy technologies and businesses in New York State. It helps to stimulate a vibrant innovation ecosystem and a clean-energy economy, including programs to support product research, development and demonstrations, as well as clean-energy business development. As a result of NYSERDA’s technology and business development investments, there are more than 200 new and improved clean-energy products in the market. For every $1 invested by NYSERDA in energy product development, New York State realizes approximately $6 in statewide economic benefits.
NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation, offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise, and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA professionals work to protect our environment and create clean-energy jobs. NYSERDA has been developing partnerships to advance innovative energy solutions in New York since 1975.