Accelerated testing of solid oxide fuel cell stacks for micro combined heat and power application

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State-of-the-art (SoA) solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) stacks are tested using profiles relevant for use in micro combined heat and power (CHP) units. Such applications are characterised by dynamic load profiles. In order to shorten the needed testing time and to investigate potential acceleration of degradation, the profiles are executed faster than required for real applications. Operation with fast load cycling, both using hydrogen and methane/steam as fuels, does not accelerate degradation compared to constant operation, which demonstrates the maturity of SoA stacks and enables transferring knowledge from testing at constant conditions to dynamic operation. 7.5 times more cycles than required for 80,000 h lifetime as micro CHP are achieved on one-cell-stack level. The results also suggest that degradation mechanisms that proceed on a longer time-scale, such as creep, might have a more dominating effect for long life-times than regular short time changes of operation. In order to address lifetime testing it is suggested to build a testing program consisting of defined modules that represent different application profiles, such as one module at constant conditions, followed by modules at one set of dynamic conditions etc.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Pages (from-to)223-228
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Financial support by the Danish Energy Authority EUDP in the project: Test Center for Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Technologies. Phase 1. (EUDP 09-II, 64009-0246)


  • Solid oxide fuel cells
  • Stacks
  • Micro CHP
  • Accelerated testing
  • Load cycling


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