Low energy conversion efficiency and high storage costs still hamper a successful implementation of sustainable energy systems. Recent theoretical studies show that reversible electrochemical conversion of H2O and CO2 to CH4 inside pressurized solid oxide cells combined with subsurface storage of the produced gases can facilitate seasonal electricity storage with a round-trip efficiency reaching 80% and a storage cost below 3 ¢/kWh. Here we present test results with a 30-cell SOFCMAN 301 stack operated with carbonaceous gases at 18.7 bar and 700 °C in both electrolysis and fuel cell mode. In electrolysis mode the CH4 content in the stack outlet gas increased from 0.22% at open circuit voltage to 18% at a current density of −0.17 A cm−2. The degradation observed by scanning electron microscopy studies correlate well with the observed electrochemical stack degradation. The degradation rates in both fuel cell and electrolysis mode were comparable to previously reported SOFCMAN stack degradation rates measured at ambient pressure operation with H2/H2O gas mixtures.
- 80% Round Trip Efficiency
- Solid Oxide Cell Stack