Scaleup and manufacturability of symmetric-structured metal-supported solid oxide fuel cells
Metal-supported solid oxide fuel cells with symmetric architecture, having metal supports on both sides of the cell, are scaled up from button cell size to large 50 cm2 active area cell size. The cells remain flat after sintering assisted by the symmetric structure. Equivalent performance is achieved for button cells and large cells, and thermal cycling and redox cycling tolerance are demonstrated for the large cells. The catalyst infiltration process is improved to enable high-throughput manufacturing. The cumbersome lab-scale molten nitrate infiltration process is replaced with a room-temperature process in which a shelf-stable aqueous solution of nitrate salts is applied to the cell by spraying, painting, or other scalable techniques. A fast-ramp thermal conversion of the nitrate salts to the final oxide catalyst composition is implemented, allowing many infiltration cycles to be accomplished in a single work shift. Increasing the number of infiltration cycles from 5 to 10 led to an increase in peak power density from approximately 0.3 to 0.52 W cm−2.