This paper describes a case study of two electrolysis tests of solid oxide cells [Ni/yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ)-YSZ-lanthanum strontium manganite (LSM)/YSZ] tested in a plug-flow setup. An extensively instrumented cell test setup was used, and the tests involved measurements of the cell impedance at open-circuit voltage and under current load, the cell voltage, and the in-plane voltage in the electrodes. From the cell-voltage measurements it was evident that a significant passivation of the cells occurred over the first similar to 10 days. Thereafter, the cells reactivated at constant electrolysis conditions. From measurements of the in-plane voltages in the electrodes and impedance spectra obtained during the electrolysis operation, we derive information about the resistance distributions in the Ni electrodes and describe how these distributions evolve over time. Impedance spectra at open-circuit voltage before and after electrolysis testing at various gas compositions were used to show that the Ni electrode was affected by the electrolysis operation, whereas the LSM electrode was not.
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