Test and characterization of reversible solid oxide cells and stacks for innovative renewable energy storage

Anne Hauch*, Alexandra Ploner, Sergii Pylpko, Julie Mougin, Géraud Cubizolles

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review

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This work aims at developing an innovative renewable energy storage solution, based on reversible Solid Oxide Cell (rSOC) technology. That is to say, one system optimized to operate either in electrolysis mode (SOEC) to store excess electricity to produce H2, or in fuel cell mode (SOFC) when energy needs exceed local production, to produce electricity and heat again from H2 or any other fuel locally available. Firstly, work focused on optimization of the different layers constituting the single SOC cell to reach high initial performance applying state-of-the-art materials as previously reported [1]. Secondly, the initially highest performing cells were selected for long-term reversible SOFC/SOEC single cell tests. Thirdly, these cells were integrated in a stack design optimized for reversible operation at high degrees of H2 and H2O utilization. The long-term single cell tests showed significant degradation in galvanostatic test periods during electrolysis but not in fuel cell mode prior to starting the reversible test operation while the degradation diminished during the subsequent rSOC operation of the cells operating at 700 C, +0.6 and -1.2 A/cm2 in SOFC and SOEC modes respectively, at fuel utilization (FU) up to 80% in both modes. Electrochemical impedance spectroscopy analyses and post-mortem SEM investigations of tested single cells reveal that the fuel electrodes degraded significantly during the long-term single cell tests. Furthermore, long-term stack tests were conducted on 5-cell stacks, integrating both reference cells and optimised cells. The long-term stack tests were conducted applying different switches between SOFC and SOEC modes. Initially long duration tests (100h each mode) were performed in a mixture of 50% H2O and 50% H2 to see the effect of the polarisation only. The alternating cycle SOEC/SOFC was repeated over a 1800 h testing period. Then stack switched daily from SOEC mode (8h in 90% H2O and 10% H2 @ 0.84 A/cm2 FU 54%) to SOFC (16 h in 100% H2 @ 0.26A/cm2@ FU 60%) for full cycles over a testing period of 500 h. Stack tests were operated in reversible mode for up to several thousands of hours and results on the stack performance and lifetime will be presented.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 14th European SOFC & SOE Forum 2020
Number of pages11
Publication date2020
Article numberB0903
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Event14th European SOFC & SOE Forum 2020 - Lucerne, Switzerland
Duration: 22 Oct 202023 Oct 2020
Conference number: 14


Conference14th European SOFC & SOE Forum 2020


  • Reversible solid oxide cells (rSOC)
  • Load cycling
  • Performance
  • Durability
  • Impedance spectroscopy


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