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CPOTE2020 logo
6th International Conference on
Contemporary Problems of Thermal Engineering
Online | 21-24 September 2020

Abstract CPOTE2020-1291-A

Book of abstracts draft
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Interconnect-free (banded) solid oxide fuel cell stack

Maciej CHALUSIAK, AGH University of Science and Technology, Poland
Katarzyna BERENT, AGH University of Science and Technology, Poland
Karol ŚRENIAWSKI, AGH University of Science and Technology, Poland
Grzegorz BRUS, AGH University of Science and Technology, Poland

Solid oxide fuel cells are solid-state devices that utilize electrochemical reactions that generate electricity directly from their fuel's chemical energy. They provide numerous advantages over conventional energy conversion systems, including high efficiency, fuel adaptability, or low emitting pollutants. A single cell comprises two porous electrodes, anode and cathode, and a dense electrolyte, sandwiched between them. When supplied with fuel and oxidant, they generate a potential, which is used, when connected to an external circuit. However, a single cell's potential is limited, so the SOFC cells are stacked in series so that the output voltage is accumulated. One of the major challenges for SOFC development is providing electrical connections between the cells while maintaining separation between fuel and oxidant. Typically it is realized by an interconnect. However, it needs to fulfill various harsh requirements, and the choice for its material is very limited. Thus, there are attempts to design a SOFC stack with sufficient mechanical durability without the need for interconnect. This paper summarizes the work on a novel type of SOFC stack with a straightforward assembly procedure without interconnecting. It describes the complete manufacturing methodology of a novel, patented prototype, together with its electrochemical testing. The stack is an electrolyte-supported design, which utilizes one electrolyte as a support for several cells, with anodes on the one side and cathodes on the other side. Each side of the stack is covered with alumina chambers, each with an inlet and an outlet. Such design simplifies gas supply as there are only two common chambers for the entire stack. The cell's manufacturing is divided into anode and cathode depositions via screen-printing. Each series of electrodes is fabricated simultaneously with dedicated mesh using NiO-YSZ paste and LSM paste, for anode and cathode, respectively. Half-circle, alumina covers are then sintered with electrolyte edges with glass-ceramic sealing. The electrical connections are realized using an Ag paste, deposited onto each electrode, and an Ag stripe attached to the paste during sintering. The stripes and lead outside the covers and connected in series. An experimental setup is constructed, and the performance of the stack is verified for various conditions.

Keywords: Solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC), Banded connection, Interconnect, Screen-printing, Stack
Acknowledgment: The presented research is a part of ‘Easy-to-assemble Stack Type (EAST): Development of solid oxide fuel cell stack for innovation in polish energy sector’ project, carried out within the FIRST TEAM programme (project number First TEAM/2016-1/3) of the Foundation for Polish Science, co-funded by the European Union under the European Regional Development Fund.