The topic "Development of power plants based on solid oxide fuel cells" was for the first time included in the list of VNIITF defense conversion developments in 1988. Before that several top managers of VNIITF met counterparts of Institute of High-Temperature Electrochemistry (IHTE), RAS Ural Branch, the leading Academy of Science institute dealing with the problem. An order was issued in 1990 about commencement of works under topic "Ilmenite" and about establishment of technology research laboratory in VNIITF technology development division focusing on development of solid oxide fuel cells and stacks. Development of technology for making SOFC and its components was started in 1993. Extensive R&D program was completed in 1994–1999.

Major results of R&D activities:

  • 1996 – tubular SOFC without precious metals was developed;

  • 1998 – SOFC bundle was developed, stacking of these bundles allowed making the stack of required power;

  • 2000 – 500 W SOFC stack was fabricated and tested.

  • 2004–2006 – 2.5 kW stack was developed and tested (Figure 1), 1.5 kW demonstration power plant was developed and tested (Figure 2).



In 2008 technology research laboratory focusing on development of solid oxide fuel cells and stacks became an individual structural unit of VNIITF, research department for development of SOFC-based power plants.

Completed projects

SOFC-related ISTC projects (International Science and Technology Center, Moscow):

  • "Project #483 "Development of new technologies for making nano-ceramic Al2O3, TiO2 and ZrO2 for dies and high-temperature fuel cells", 1997–1999.

  • "Project #1231 "Development of vacuum-plasma techniques for making thin-film materials of solid oxide fule cells for electrochemical power converters", 1999–2001.

  • "Project #1647 "Research, fabrication and demonstration testing of 2.5 kW SOFC stack" – 2002–2004.

  • "Project #3361p "Establishment of SOFC prototype production facility", 2006–2010. Partnership project funded by Closed Nuclear Cities Partnership (CNCP).

In 2004–2009 VNIITF participated in the contests of Federal targeted R&D program of Russian Ministry for Science and Education "R&D in top priority fields of development of R&D complex of Russia" for 2002–2006 годы, and then in similar Federal targeted R&D program "R&D in top priority fields of development of R&D complex of Russia in 2007–2012", priority field "power engineering and power saving".

The most important completed projects were: Наиболее значимые выполненные проекты: "Creation of new generation of power plants based on solid oxide fuel cells" (2004–2006) and "Development of design, fabrication and acceptance testing of prototype SOFC-based power plant for cathodic protection stations. Development of demo SOFC-based power plant operated with bio-gas for electricity and heat production. Creation of infrastructure for production of SOFC-based power plants" (2007–2009).

Today R&D department for development of SOFC-based power plants has its own technical facilities for SOFC R&D activities and prototype production of SOFC-based power plant up to 5 kW:

  • due to completion of ISTC project #3361р (supported by CNCP) and financial support under Federal targeted R&D program the site for SOFC protype production with annual productivity rate up to 5000 pcs has been created;

  • Sites for assembly and testing have been commissioned, that allows production of prototype SOFC-based power plants;

  • Highly skilled team was built that can adequately solve technical problems.

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Development of this web-site was sponsored by Closed Nuclear Cities Partnership (CNCP)
within the ISTC Project #3361p.