Operation of Thin-Film Electrolyte Metal-Supported Solid Oxide Fuel Cells in Lightweight and Stationary Stacks: Material and Microstructural Aspects

Materials (Basel). 2016 Sep 8;9(9):762. doi: 10.3390/ma9090762.


In this study we report on the development and operational data of a metal-supported solid oxide fuel cell with a thin film electrolyte under varying conditions. The metal-ceramic structure was developed for a mobile auxiliary power unit and offers power densities of 1 W/cm² at 800 °C, as well as robustness under mechanical, thermal and chemical stresses. A dense and thin yttria-doped zirconia layer was applied to a nanoporous nickel/zirconia anode using a scalable adapted gas-flow sputter process, which allowed the homogeneous coating of areas up to 100 cm². The cell performance is presented for single cells and for stack operation, both in lightweight and stationary stack designs. The results from short-term operation indicate that this cell technology may be a very suitable alternative for mobile applications.

Keywords: diffusion barrier layers; gas-flow sputtering; metal-supported solid oxide fuel cell; stack operation; thin-film electrolyte.