Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Richard D. Sisson, Jr., Department Head

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Isa Bar-On, Advisor

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Robert N. Katz, Committee Member




Cost effective high volume manufacture of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) is a major challenge for commercial success of these devices. More than fifteen processing methods have been reported in the literature, many of which could be used in various combinations to create the desired product characteristics. For some of these processes, high volume manufacturing experience is very limited or non-existent making traditional costing approaches inappropriate. Additionally, currently available cost models are limited by a lack of incorporation of device performance requirements. Therefore, additional modeling tools are needed to aid in the selection of the appropriate processing techniques prior to making expensive investment decisions. This project describes the development of a SOFC device performance model and a manufacturing process tolerance model. These models are then linked to a preliminary cost model; creating a true multi-process, performance based cost model that permits the comparison of manufacturing cost for different combinations of three processing methods. The three processing methods that are investigated are tape casting, screen printing, and sputtering. . This model is capable of considering production volume, process tolerance and process yield, in addition to the materials and process details. Initial comparisons were performed against processes used extensively within the solid oxide fuel cell industry and the cost results show good agreement with this experience base. Sensitivity of manufacturing costs to SOFC performance requirements such as maximum power density and operation temperature are also investigated.


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Materials Science & Engineering

Project Type


Date Accepted





Solid oxide fuel cell, SOFC, cost model, sputtering, tape casting, screen printing, performance model, process yield model, Fuel cells, Manufacture, Tolerance (Engineering), Mathematical models, Manufacturing processes, Costs