Engineering FEA Sintering Model Development for Metal Supported SOFC

Thursday, 27 July 2017
Grand Ballroom East (The Diplomat Beach Resort)
R. Chatzimichail, R. Dawson, S. Green (Lancaster University), D. Sullivan, S. Mukerjee, and M. Selby (Ceres Power Ltd.)
Ceres Power is continuing to make excellent progress in the development of its low-temperature metal supported SOFC design (the ‘Steel Cell’) based predominantly around the use of ceria. This unique design architecture allows for a robust, low cost, subsidy free fuel cell product, whilst retaining the advantages of fuel flexibility, high efficiency and low degradation.

Predicting the thermal stress and deformation evolution during processing is important in the design and manufacture of metal supported SOFC. This leads to reduced waste during manufacturing and feeds into cell and stack designs to produce low stress and mechanically robust modules for high performance and excellent durability.

In a collaboration between Ceres Power and Lancaster University, funded by Innovate UK, an engineering FEA model is being developed to understand the manufacturing processes, such as the densification of the ceria based electrolyte. In such models material properties, such as the Thermal Expansion Coefficient, Young’s Modulus, layer densification rates and creep, are very important. These properties, when interacting with the applied thermal processes, give rise to stresses within the layers resulting in permanent deformation and residual stresses at the end of the process step at room temperature.

We will present results using the developed modelling techniques in example metal supported SOFCs to demonstrate the importance of the above mentioned properties. Sensitivity study results will be also presented to show the impact of variability of the material properties.