Research Papers

Influence of High Current Cycling on the Performance of SOFC Single Cells

[+] Author and Article Information
Markus J. Heneka, Ellen Ivers-Tiffée

 Institut für Werkstoffe der Elektrotechnik (IWE), Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT), D-76131 Karlsruhe, Germany

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 9(1), 011001 (Dec 15, 2011) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4004639 History: Received February 11, 2010; Revised July 13, 2011; Published December 15, 2011; Online December 15, 2011

In this contribution, the performance of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) under high current density load cycles is studied by means of electrical measurements and material analyses. Our study is an important premise for the application of accelerated life testing (ALT) to SOFC single cells. In reliability engineering ALT is a well known method for rapid lifetime evaluation [Nelson, W., Accelerated Life Testing, 1990, John Wiley, New York]. Furthermore, our results are of particular interest for the (La,Sr)MnO3 -zirconia system. We find that during current treatment, a nanoporous domain containing lanthanum zirconate is formed at the cathode-electrolyte interface. The nanoporosity leads to an enhanced cathode performance while the formation of lanthanum zirconate degrades the mechanical stability of the interface.

Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Conduct of load cycle experiments

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Figure 2

Degradation of output power P at 0.7 V and ohmic resistance Rohm during cycling (both quantities are normalized to their initial values at N = 0)

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Figure 3

Degradation of normalized output power at 600 mA/cm2

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Figure 4

WDS mappings of manganese on electrolyte cross sections

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Figure 5

Cross section of single cell after 434 current cycles

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Figure 6

Effect of current constriction caused by delamination of cathode layer

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Figure 7

Development of active area Aact and specific polarization resistance rPol during cycling (both quantities are normalized to their initial values at N = 0)

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Figure 8

SEM analysis (a) after sintering, (b) activation, and (c) accelerated testing

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Figure 9

Cathode-electrolyte interface (a) before and (b) after current load

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Figure 10

Changes at cathode-electrolyte interface due to current treatment



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