Investigating macroscopic geometrical and physical properties of solid oxide fuel cell electrodes

  • Langner, Eric (Institute of Solid Mechanics, TU Dresden)
  • Makradi, Ahmed (Luxembourg Institute of Science & Technology)
  • Gouttebroze, Sylvain (SINTEF Industry, Metal Production&Processing)
  • Belouettar, Salim (Luxembourg Institute of Science &Technolog)
  • Wallmersperger, Thomas (Institute of Solid Mechanics, TU Dresden)

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Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) represent a promising and sustainable solution for energy conversion, offering high efficiency that can significantly contribute to the future energy landscape. The porous microstructures of electrodes are widely recognized for their substantial impact on overall fuel cell performance and durability. In this context, gaining a detailed understanding of how microscopic parameters affect the behavior is essential for advancing efficiency and reliability of these energy converters. Our objective is to demonstrate the determination of various geometrical and physical properties. In particular, the electrochemical reactions exclusively occur at the interfaces between the pores and the solid phase, which makes them a critical element. Additionally, porosity and associated tortuosity play key roles in facilitating the transport of fuel and oxidant to the electrochemically active sites. As our research aims to identify the influence of microstructural properties such as porosity, morphology and the materials used, we developed a computational homogenization framework that is implemented in a finite element tool. This framework enables the determination of essential physical properties, including thermal, ionic, and electronic conductivities, as well as permeability. By focusing on these properties, we can bridge the gap between microscopic characteristics and macroscopic fuel cell performance through comprehensive numerical simulations. The proposed computational approach serves as a powerful tool for unraveling the complicated relationship between microstructure and overall efficiency. By exploring the complex interplay of parameters, our research not only sheds light on the fundamental aspects of SOFC behavior but also lays the groundwork for optimizing these energy converters.