Modelling and Prediction of the Deformation during Co-Sintering of a High Temperature Dual Membrane Fuel Cell

Wednesday, 29 July 2015: 09:40
Lomond Auditorium (Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre)
D. Masson, J. Kuoh-Moukouri, A. Chesnaud, and A. Thorel (Centre des Matériaux, Mines ParisTech, PSL)
In the frame of a FP7 project (FET-Energy “IDEAL-Cell”, 2008-2011), we have developed with a European consortium a new type of high temperature fuel cell based on a dual membrane with mixed proton and oxygen ions conductivity. This dual conductivity porous membrane, made of a proton conducting phase (BCY15) and of an oxygen conducting phase (YDC15) was sandwiched between a dense BCY15 electrolyte and a dense YDC15 second electrolyte, forming a tri-layer itself sandwiched by a cathode (LSCF48) and an anode (BCY15 + Ni). In this configuration, water is formed neither at the cathode nor at the anode, minimizing electrodes concentration overpotentials, but rather within the dual membrane which interconnected porosity ensures water evacuation. The IDEAL-Cell project i) proved the concept, ii) showed that this new fuel cell was performing better at 750°C than PCFCs and SOFCs having equivalent thickness, iii) showed that the concept was fully reversible with a high dynamic when shifting from the fuel cell regime to the electrolyzer regime, iv) showed that BCY15 was also an excellent oxygen ions conductor when fed with oxygen, and then demonstrated that the cell could be fabricated by using solely BCY15 (replacing YDC15 in the dual membrane and for the oxygen electrolyte), leading to a drastic simplification of the concept, hence of the shaping process.

Today, this simplified cell is fabricated at the laboratory scale by a sequence of successive steps (1/ cold pressing, rolling and sintering of the porous dual membrane at 1350°C, 2/ deposition of both electrolytes by dip coating, and sintering at 1350°C, 3/ deposition of both cathode and anode by bar-coating, and sintering at 1150°C), which is hardly cost effective in view of stacking and further development. The present work proposes to demonstrate that co-sintering of the whole cell in a single step is possible, and to determine under what conditions of geometry, starting materials and sintering cycle a flat and stress-free cell in view of stacking, efficiency and durability can be produced via this simplified process. The research described in this paper was based on the thermomechanical modelling of the multilayer deformation occurring during sintering via a finite element numerical simulation, in which debinding, elastic and irreversible deformations, kinetics of grain growth and pores shrinkage are integrated. The thermomechanical parameters were obtained on a differential CTE measurement set-up, and the microstructural ones by image analysis on SEM images.