An international research group has developed a solid oxide fuel cell that can be used in vehicles. The monolith device has an active cell area of approximately 18 cm2 and was constructed using common manufacturing processes. It was found to achieve a high power density of 5.6 kW/L, which the scientists say is comparable to that of the most efficient fuel cells based on ceramic anodes.
Excerpt from pv magazine Global
A Danish-Norwegian research group has designed a metal-based monolithic solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) that is believed to be suitable for transportation applications. The scientists explained that SOFCs are typically used for stationary applications, especially with combined heat and power systems, thanks to the high temperature at which they can operate. However, these devices are generally considered less suitable for vehicles due to their low power density and the limited robustness to thermal cycling of their ceramic anode.
In the proposed fuel cell configuration, the ceramic anode has been replaced by metal interconnects. “The monolith concept integrates cell support, gas channels and interconnects into a single layer, reducing stack height by a factor of 2 to 4,” the researchers explained, noting that the stack of metal-based monolith is significantly cheaper than a conventional battery. “This dramatically increases the volumetric density and specific power of the stack, which are important parameters given the space and weight constraints in vehicles.”
Additionally, the high metal content of the SOFC is believed to reduce temperature differences across the stack and provide more robustness to rapid thermal cycling during operation, which scientists believe could be important when combining the fuel cell with electric batteries in a vehicle. “Previous work on monolithic SOFC designs has been reported by Saint-Gobain, which has developed all-ceramic monolithic SOFC stacks, and by Argonne National Laboratory, which has designed metal-supported SOFC stacks ( “TuffCell”),” the research group said. “However, our concept of monolithic metal-based SOFCs includes several significant differences from that developed by Argonne National Laboratory, such as processing techniques to integrate gas flow channels, materials and thicknesses. electrodes, and the concept of integrated seals. ”
A SOCF monolith with an active cell area of about 18cm2 was built through four processes – strip casting, lamination, co-sintering and catalyst infiltration – which scientists have described as common techniques used in fuel cell manufacturing. The device was found to have an open circuit voltage of 1065 mV and a power density of 5.6 kW/L, which the researchers say is comparable to the most efficient fuel cells based on aluminum anodes. ceramic. “We believe this design, or a similar one, could enable large-scale production of fuel cell-powered electrified transportation with significantly increased range, reduced charging times and lower costs,” they concluded.
The fuel cell technology is presented in the article Production of a high power density monolithic fuel cell, published in nature communication. The research team includes academics from the Technical University of Denmark and the Norwegian research entity Sintef.
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