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Method to Reduce Camber in Anode-Supported SOFCs

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

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A) Typical camber developed in 7 cm x 7 cm anode-supported SOFC. B) Details on matched TEC backing layer opposite electrolyte surface for camber control (Invention 13536).
A) Typical camber developed in 7 cm x 7 cm anode-supported SOFC. B) Details on matched TEC backing layer opposite electrolyte surface for camber control (Invention 13536).

Comparison of camber development in cells with (below) and without (above) TEC additive (Invention 13851).
Comparison of camber development in cells with (below) and without (above) TEC additive (Invention 13851).

Technology Marketing Summary

Thermal expansion differences between the porous anode/active anode and dense electrolyte in an anode supported solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) result in a camber (out of plane deflection) after high-temperature heat treatments. Researchers at PNNL have devised two methods to reduce the camber by applying a symmetrical thermal expansion design to the planar cell assembly.

Description

The first method (13536-E) focuses on placing an equilibrating thermal expansion layer on the back of the anode in a designed pattern which enables functionality of the cell to be maintained. The other (13851-B) is a low-thermal expansion additive to the anode that counterbalances the camber during the cooling down phase of cell operation.

Either method or a combination of both inventions provides several benefits in the manufacturing of anode-supported SOFCs.

Benefits
  • Enables production of “thinner” (e.g., from 1.5 mm to 0.25 mm) cells with minimal camber, improving down-stream reliability and improved stack assembly
  • Removes excess support material from the fabrication process, thereby reducing manufacturing costs.
Applications and Industries
  • Electricity generators
  • Auxiliary power sources
Patents and Patent Applications
ID Number
Title and Abstract
Primary Lab
Date
Patent 7,351,491
Patent
7,351,491
Supporting electrodes for solid oxide fuel cells and other electrochemical devices
An electrode supported electrolyte membrane includes an electrode layer 630 facing an electrolyte layer 620. The opposing side of the electrode layer 630 includes a backing layer 640 of a material with a thermal expansion coefficient approximately equal to the thermal expansion coefficient of the electrolyte layer 620. The backing layer 640 is in a two dimensional pattern that covers only a portion of the electrolyte layer 630. An electrochemical cell such as a SOFC is formed by providing a cathode layer 610 on an opposing side of the electrolyte layer 620.
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory 04/01/2008
Issued
Patent 7,455,700
Patent
7,455,700
Method for creating solid oxide fuel cell anodes and electrodes for other electrochemical devices
A method for forming an anode supported electrochemical device, such as a SOFC, is disclosed. A thin layer of electrolyte 310 is supported on an anode layer comprised of an active anode layer 320 and a bulk anode layer 340. The bulk anode layer includes silicon carbide 340 in an amount between about 0.5 and 10% by weight. A cathode layer on an opposing side of the electrolyte completes the cell. The presence of the silicon carbide 340 in the supporting anode layer 340 has been found to reduce room temperature camber due to thermal expansion coefficient mismatches.
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory 11/25/2008
Issued
Technology Status
Technology IDDevelopment StageAvailabilityPublishedLast Updated
13536, 13851Prototype - Reduced to practiceAvailable - Available for licensing in all fields of use09/23/201009/23/2010

Contact PNNL About This Technology

To: Jennefer Hodas<Jennifer.Hodas@pnnl.gov>