Acta Phys. -Chim. Sin.

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Identification of Electrode Process in Large-size Solid Oxide Fuel Cell

Tonghui Cui1, Hangyue Li1, Zewei Lyu1, Yige Wang1, Minfang Han1, Zaihong Sun2, Kaihua Sun2   

  1. 1 Department of Energy and Power Engineering, State Key Laboratory of Control and Simulation of Power System and Generation Equipments, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China;
    2 Xuzhou HuaTsing Jingkun Energy Co. Ltd., Xuzhou 221001, Jiangsu Province, China
  • Received:2020-11-03 Revised:2020-12-07 Accepted:2020-12-07 Published:2020-12-15
  • Supported by:
    The project was supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (2017YFB0601903), the Beijing Municipal Science and Technology Commission (Z191100004619009), and the Tsinghua University Initiative Scientific Research Program (20193080038).

Abstract: Solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) with high energy conversion efficiency, low pollutant emission, and good fuel adaptability has witnessed rapid development in recent years. However, the commercialization of SOFC remains limited by constraints of performance and stability. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) can distinguish ohmic impedance caused by ion transport from polarization impedance related to electrode reaction; it has been widely used in the research of performance and stability as an efficient on-line characterization technology. The physical/chemical processes involved in EIS overlap significantly and can be decomposed by the distribution of relaxation times (DRT) method which does not depend on prior assumptions. Since industrial large-size SOFC is vulnerable to the influence of inductance and disturbance when testing EIS, its EIS analysis is rarely studied and mostly based on the research results of cells with smaller electrode active area. To further elucidate the impedance spectrum of industrial large-size SOFC under actual working conditions, the EIS of industrial-size (10 cm×10 cm) anode-supported planar SOFC was systematically tested over a broad temperature and anode/cathode gas composition range. First, the quality of the impedance data was examined by performing a Kramers-Kronig test. The residuals of real and imaginary data were within the range of ±1%, indicating good data quality. Then, the DRT method was adopted to parse the EIS data. By comparing and analyzing the DRT results under different conditions, the corresponding relationships between each characteristic peak in the DRT results and the specific electrode process in the SOFC were revealed. The characteristic frequencies were separated into 0.5–1, 1–30, 10–30, 1×102–1×103, and 1×104–3×104 Hz regions, corresponding to gas conversion within the anode, gas diffusion within the anode, oxygen surface exchange reaction within the cathode, charge-transfer reaction within the anode, and oxygen ionic transport process, respectively. In this study, the identification of each electrode process in industrial large-size SOFC is realized, indicate that the gas conversion process in large-size SOFC with larger active area and smaller flows cannot be ignored compared with the cells with smaller electrode active area. The method followed and the results obtained have a universal quality and can be applied to the in situ characterization, online monitoring, and degradation mechanism research of SOFC, thus laying a foundation for the optimization of the performance and stability.

Key words: Solid oxide fuel cell, Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy, Distribution of relaxation time, Large-size

MSC2000: 

  • O646