The global solid oxide fuel cell market is estimated to reach $3.32 billion by 2018, with a projected CAGR of 8.7%, signifying an increase in demand for a clean and emission free power source that is fuel cells.
Solid oxide fuel cells are emission free power sources, which run on electrochemical conversion reactions. SOFC use ceramic electrolytes that are hard and non-porous in nature. As the electrolyte is a solid, the cells are not necessarily constructed in a plate-like configuration as seen in other fuel cell types. Electrical efficiency provided is around 50% to 60%. In applications designed to capture and utilize the system's waste heat (cogeneration), the overall fuel use efficiency could top 80% to 85% and operate at very high temperatures of around 1,000°C (1,830°F). The unique properties of solid oxide fuel cell such as portability, long-term stability, easy fuel selection, and emission-free power serve this requirement. These cells have vast applications, with military applications expecting the highest growth. Planar SOFC has been identified to be the dominating fuel cell in the market for its versatility. Asia-Pacific is the leading market for SOFC with Japan and South Korea dominating the region.
Variety of fuels can be used with high electrical efficiency: Driver of SOFC Market
The global solid oxide fuel cell market has witnessed decent growth, owing to an increase in the demand for clean and alternative energy sources. These fuel cells provide better and efficient alternative as they can work on almost any type of fuel, whether fossil, hydrogen or bio-fuels, resulting in better fuel efficiency than the burning of the same fuel. Along with better fuel efficiency, there is minimal emission, thereby providing clean and green energy. These properties drive the market for these cells.
FuelCell Energy (U.S.), Bloom Energy (U.S.), Aisin Seiki Co. Ltd. (Japan), Chofu Seisakusho Co. Ltd. (Japan), Kyocera (Japan), and Ceramic Fuel Cell Ltd. (Australia) are the major players globally in the solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) market.
Agreements and Collaborations: Key Strategy
Most of these companies mainly rely on growth strategies such as new product launches, joint ventures & contracts, mergers & acquisitions, and investments & expansions in diversified geographic areas. The risk of failure involved in the industry is more due to the new and innovative technologies that are being introduced. Therefore, to enhance market penetration and share the expenditure along with the risks, the companies have opted for agreements & collaborations.
The major solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) types include Planar, Tubular, and other. The Planar SOFCs have the largest share in the market.