Research Papers

Infrared Thermography and Thermoelectrical Study of a Solid Oxide Fuel Cell

[+] Author and Article Information
Gang Ju, Kenneth Reifsnider, Xinyu Huang

Connecticut Global Fuel Cell Center, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 5(3), 031006 (May 23, 2008) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2894470 History: Received March 15, 2006; Revised September 28, 2007; Published May 23, 2008

One of the most challenging problems in SOFC is the thermal compatibility of materials. Mechanical failure, or cathode delamination induced performance degradation, is related to local heat generations. An accurate measurement of spatial temperature distribution with correlated electric current provides good information for fuel cell performance and thermal management. Because insufficient ability of measuring electric current introduced heat generation, infrared thermography, instead of thermocouple, was used to measure the instantaneous cathode surface temperature response to the electric current in an operating electrolyte supported planar solid oxide fuel cell (LSCF-6ScSZ-NiO). The numerical model was built to study the coupled current and temperature relation by incorporating the temperature dependent material properties, i.e., Ohmic resistance and activation resistance, as a global function in the model. The thermal and electric fields were solved simultaneously. The measured and the predicted results agreed to each other well. The cathode polarization overpotential tended to increase with the current at the low current densities, but the simulated polarization-current curve exhibited a decreased slope under higher current densities that is ascribed to the local temperature increases due to the current.

Copyright © 2008 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Schematic of the cell testing setup

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Figure 2

Relationship of electricity and heat loss in the voltage-current curve

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Figure 3

Measured cell temperature and the estimated furnace wall temperature obtained from IR thermograph. The green line denotes cell temperature where it is averaged at, and the three green circles are for furnace wall temperature where it is averaged at.

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Figure 4

Infrared thermographs for four furnace set point temperatures. (1a)–(4a) are the cells operated at OCV. (1b) and (2b) are the cells, at 1A, (3b) is the cell at 0.7A, and (4b) is the cell at 0.5A. The active cell area is 4cm2.

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Figure 5

Scattered plot of temperature instantaneous increases response to current for nine times of repeated tests. (a)–(d) stand for the furnace set point temperatures at 850°C, 800°C, 750°C, and 700°C, respectively.

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Figure 6

Comparison of the measured temperature increase with the simulated results. (a) is for 850°C at 1A current, (b) is for 800°C at 1A current, (c) is 750°C at 0.7A current, and (d) is 700°C at 0.5A current.

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Figure 7

Cathode polarization as a function of electric current at different temperatures

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Figure 8

Cell voltage effect on the impedance spectrum that is measured at furnace set point temperature of 850°C

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Figure 9

Cell impedance spectrum measured at furnace set point temperatures of 850°C, 800°C, 750°C, and 700°C (H2: 250ml∕min) at 0.3V

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Figure 10

Arrhenius plot of Ohmic resistance measured temperatures of 850°C, 800°C, 750°C, and 700°C (H2: 250ml∕min)



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