The Fuel Cell research forms an integrating bridge between the solar and wind energy technologies because these energy sources are inherently intermittent and require either energy storage or back-up systems in order to function as reliable providers of electricity to the grid. For example, while the wind is blowing electricity from wind turbine could be used to produce hydrogen by electrolysis which is then stored and “burned” at a uniform rate in a fuel cell to supply a constant level of power to the grid. The role that Solid Oxide Fuel Cells for static applications can play in such systems is investigated and also the improvement of PEM fuel cells for mobile applications – the necessary link to hydrogen fuels for transportation applications.
Research includes development of electrodes, interconnects and seals for solid oxide fuel cells, and characterization of fuel cell performance. Nanostructured materials for energy storage and generation are also studied.