In February 2010, Bloom Energy,Sunnyvale, Calafornia, USA, announced availability of its groundbreaking Energy Server. At the core of each Energy Server are fuel cell stacks, consisting of Bloom’s patented solid oxide fuel cells joined together with special thin metal interconnect plates. PLANSEE is a key supplier of these metallic plates.
The interconnect plates are made from a custom metal alloy, engineered to allow the stacks to operate at high temperatures without cracking. To accomplish this, the alloy’s coefficient of thermal expansion has been matched to that of the fuel cells. PLANSEE produces the interconnects using a powder metallurgy process in which cost effective metal powders are pressed into the desired shape. Bloom systems with PLANSEE interconnects are currently producing power for several Fortune 500 companies.
PLANSEE’s interconnects have established themselves as the industry standard for stationary solid oxide fuel cell systems. To meet growing market demand, PLANSEE plans to invest in a highly automated interconnect production facility.
PLANSEE also develops and manufactures an extensive range of products for high-temperature fuel cells, including ultra-thin interconnectors and metal supported solid oxide fuel cells. These components are used mainly in mobile and portable power generation systems, as well as for the reverse process of producing hydrogen.