Quality Assurance and Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Testing at Forschungszentrum Juelich

[+] Author and Article Information
V. A. C. Haanappel1

 Institute for Materials and Processes in Energy Systems, Forschungszentrum Jülich, D-52425 Jülich, Germanyv.haanappel@fz-juelich.de

M. J. Smith

 Institute for Materials and Processes in Energy Systems, Forschungszentrum Jülich, D-52425 Jülich, Germany


Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 4(2), 194-202 (Aug 15, 2006) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2713782 History: Received August 14, 2006; Revised August 15, 2006

Standardization of fuel cell testing to allow comparisons presents one of the major challenges to the fuel cell community. This becomes more critical when there is a need to take commercial decisions on the direction of the technology. One part of the development toward such standardization is the formalization of what measurements are made and how they are made, including the control of external and environmental parameters. This presentation details some of the elements of the standardized measuring system in place at Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ) and explains some of the rationale behind this system. The established measurement system adopts many of the principles employed by generic international quality assurance standards and commercial organizations. An analysis of the testing process identifies critical control points, e.g., those parameters that must be controlled to ensure internally consistent test results and repeatability. The FZJ solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) testing process is illustrated by means of a flowchart. This chart details critical control points and shows how the parameter measurements are documented in a systematic fashion. Specific examples are given of SOFC test data to illustrate how FZJ determined some of the critical control parameter values used in our testing, those included are the effects of Ni-cermet reduction temperature, the effect of the chosen time intervals between individual I-V measurement points, and finally, the effect of the hydrogen flow rate. Standardization within the SOFC community can prove a contentious issue, but whatever standard test parameters are finally chosen by the community, to allow comparison of SOFC options organizations will have a need to introduce a well-designed, controlled, and formalized measurement system. We have found that adopting a generic QA systems approach has been successful internally and recommend this option to other organizations.

Copyright © 2007 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Symbols to be used for the testing procedure flowchart reflecting starting and ending points of the testing procedure, actions to be taken, decisions to be taken, and documents

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Figure 2

Flowchart of testing procedure for single cells at FZJ

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Figure 3

Experimental setup (alumina housing) of cell testing at FZJ

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Figure 4

Current density at 800°C and 700mV of LSM-type SOFCs as a function of the start-up procedure

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Figure 5

Current-voltage measurements of an LSM-type SOFC as a function of the step size between each individual measurement point (test temperature: 800°C; hydrogen flow: 1000ml∕min; airflow: 1000ml∕min)

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Figure 6

Current-voltage measurements of an LSM-type SOFC as a function of the hydrogen flow (in ml/min) (test temperature: 800°C, airflow: 1000ml∕min)

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Figure 7

Copy of a standardized FZJ test report



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