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Efficient Characterization of SOFC and SOEC Fuel Cells
31 March 2011 - FuelCon presents a test solution which allows a non-destructive and reproducible evaluation of fuel cells. The new Evaluator C50-HT test station enables not only a long-term evaluation, but also a reproducible characterization of SOFC or SOEC cells.
For research and development of SOFC or SOEC fuel cells, detailed knowledge about material properties as well as long-term behavior and interaction of the several components are necessarily required in order to accelerate market entry of this high efficient fuel cell technology. Cell characterization thereby is a major research part, since the MEA is the key component for the energy conversion process. Thus, cell durability and performance are critical for efficient operation of SOFC or SOEC stacks. In order to optimize the cell, R&D activities focus on both, realization of small degradation rates (<0.5% / 1000h power loss) and cost reduction. Especially the low degradation rates, in combination with high operation temperatures of SOFC cells, are challenging for qualified testing systems, because already smallest performance changes of the cell have to be measured.
With its approved process engineering, FuelCon's test station Evaluator C50-HT meets these requirements and enables not only long-term evaluation, but also reproducible characterization of SOFC or SOEC cells by applying FuelCon's special cell housing.
Various mix options of the anode and cathode gas supply allow display of any fuel gas scenarios, like for example operation with natural gas for SOFC applications in stationary energy systems. Integrated impedance spectroscopy provides detailed electrochemical characterization. The received data can be used for developing of realistic simulation models or material optimization. For long-term test programs, the necessary comparability of these data is assured by reproducible adjustment of test conditions like gas flow, temperature, humidity and pressure.
For performance testing and optimization of SOFC or SOEC cells, an especially for this purpose developed cell housing provides efficient and non-destructive test runs with high reproducibility. Since the housing does not require any special sealing, a fast and easy assembling is assured. Furthermore, the cell can be exchanged within a short time. The design with full-ceramic components avoids any contamination of the cell including the resultant performance loss. Due to fast assembling times, the housing is also ideal for quality assurance of SOFC cell production processes.
FuelCon presents the SOFC cell housing from April 4th to 8th at HANNOVER MESSE 2011 fair.
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