High Temperature Metal / Metal Oxide Battery

Thursday, 30 July 2015
Hall 2 (Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre)
S. Yildiz, I. Loll, I. C. Vinke, L. G. J. de Haart, and R. A. Eichel (Forschungszentrum Jülich)
In future there will be a strong demand for large capacity rechargeable batteries to store electrical energy (e.g. from renewable power sources) in long-term stationary applications  [1]. A high temperature metal / metal oxide battery can be built up by combining solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology and a metal/metal oxide storage system [2]. Such a type of battery promises charging and discharging capacities of more than 250 W/cm2 [3]. Requirements for a reversible working solid oxide cell (SOC) are a high performance, minimum internal resistance of the cell, and long-term stability at operating conditions. In the present work the performance of solid oxide cells (SOC) operating in fuel cell and steam electrolysis mode over a temperature range of 650-900 °C and as a function of humidity were studied. Results presented were obtained from single SOCs, with an active area of 16 cm2 and button cells with an active area of 0.5 cm2. The SOCs investigated were anode substrate cells (ASC), with nickel-YSZ-cermet steam/hydrogen electrodes, yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) electrolytes, and lanthanum strontium iron cobalt perovskite (LSCF) air electrodes. Current-voltage measurements were coupled with electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), in order to identify the different loss terms in cell behaviour during the fuel cell and electrolysis mode. EIS measurements are conducted under practical load conditions in SOCs in both modes. The cells show stable current-voltage curves during cycling between fuel cell and electrolysis mode at short cycling times between 2.5 h and 5 h. Measurements at different humidity show that high electrical-to-hydrogen energy conversion efficiencies are achieved and the amount of steam content is the limiting factor for the electrolysis mode. During electrolysis mode remarkable high current densities around -1.3 A/cm2 were achieved at a cell voltage of 1.3 V and a temperature of 800 °C. Below 50 % steam content, however, a strong efficiency loss was observed. It is also well known that the degradation of the SOC during steam electrolysis is still a limiting factor for the long term application [4]. Hence the focus of interest was also the degradation of the air electrode. Increasing the current density and elongating the duration of electrolysis experiments resulted frequently in a very fast delamination of the LSCF electrode.