Thermal Gradients in Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Anodes: X-Ray Diffraction, Thermal Imaging and Model Prediction
In this study the effect of thermal gradients on SOFC anodes is investigated using both experimental and computational methods. Experiments conducted at Diamond Light Source using combined synchrotron X-ray diffraction and infrared thermal imaging (7) are detailed highlighting the presence of non-uniform thermally derived stresses at operationally relevant temperatures within the Ni phase of the anode of cells. Computationally derived thermal gradients have been generated using finite element method modelling in order to study the effect of cell operation utilising a three dimensional electrochemical model. The results obtained from the model have been coupled with the experimental results in order to investigate the effect of various parameters upon the cell. Operational conditions including cell polarization and fuel flow conditions and configurations are examined to highlight the importance of cell optimisation in minimising stresses within the cell anode to prolong cell lifetime whilst maximising performance.
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