Record utilization of fuel applied in Solid Oxide Fuel Cell

Fuel utilization (FU) for fuel cells operated in normal conditions can directly affect the efficiency and economy of a fuel cell system. A relatively high FU is one of the most important technological parameters pursued by Researchers & Developers in fuel cells. Single Cell Testing Group from Division of Fuel Cell and Energy Technology in NIMTE (Ningbo Institute of Material Technology and Engineering, Chinese Academy of Sciences) systematically characterized the commercially manufactured cell labeled D091226-9 (LSM|YSZ|Ni/YSZ, with active area of 4×4 cm2). The results indicated power density output reached 600、460与270 mW/cm2 when the cell was tested potentiostatically 0.7V at 850℃ , 750℃ and 700℃,respectively. A huge improvement of FU has been achieved in this group through optimizing sealing effect and testing technology. 98%, 91% and 70%(±3%) fuel utilization were recorded for the cell with application of constant potentials from 0.5V~0.6V at operation temperatures of 850℃,750℃ and 700℃. High fuel utilization was all defined in current studies when the cell was tested at approximately 0.3V. However, the normal single cell operational voltage ranged from 0.5V to 0.7V, and 0.3V was not in this range. Achievement of such high fuel utilization at normal terminal cell voltages for the single cells manufactured by NIMTE indicated that single cell preparation and testing technology has arrived at world class level for SOFC R&D group in NIMTE.