Jacobson, Steven Visco, and Lutgard DeJonghe have
invented a robust and low cost electrochemical
device stack system based on a modified segmented-cell-in-series
design. In this invention a number of small cylindrical
cell segments are in contact with a planar metallic
interconnect sheet that electrically connects
one cell segment to the one above and/or below
it as well as to the cell segments on the same
interconnect sheet. This system allows one or
more cells to malfunction without disabling the
whole system. The novel design enhances stack
efficiency through simplified gas manifolding,
gas recycling, and improved heat distribution.
Berkeley Lab design may potentially be over ten
times less expensive to manufacture than other
available stack designs. Fabrication is simplified
because only the punched out metal interconnect
and the small tubular cells need to be manufactured.
Other systems require several additional steps.
Co-firing the tubes themselves is less costly
because no interconnect element is involved. The
interconnect plate can be made of inexpensive
ferritic steels and can be punched into shape
using low cost technology. The cost per cell segment
and power density achieved by this new invention
make it commercially promising.