The fuel cell laboratory aims at developing knowledge in the areas of SOFC technologies particularly in gasifier-SOFC system combination, biofuels for SOFCs, electrochemistry of the SOFCs and stack development.
Focus is also on studies on the effect of contaminants present in fuels on the SOFC as well as developing numerical tools to simulate the response of SOFC to various operating conditions. For the testing of SOFCs the lab has the following equipment.
Stack Test station- Complete stacks of around 1 kW power level can be tested with a variety of fuel flows which can be set to desired concentrations. I-V curves for various conditions can be obtained and longetivity tests can also be performed to observe stack degradation behaviour.
Cell test station- Single cell SOFCs can be tested in various operating conditions and fuel feeds. IV curves for various fuel mixes can be obtained which can be used to analyse the effect of fuel composition on the cell performance.
Electrode test station/ Impedance Spectroscopy- SOFC Anodes can be tested in this setup with Electrochemical Impedance measurements to provide details about the electrochemical behaviour of the anodes with different fuels and operation conditions
A 2 l/min gas cleaning unit with a lowest gas cleaning point temperature of 873 K was designed and fabricated for testing fuel cells up to 50 W SOFCs fuelled by gasified-biomass. This unit has several stages to remove contaminants from raw biosyngas. A parallel gas flow stream for testing independent sorbents separately in a single reactor, e.g. tar catalytic reforming is also possible with the set-up.
A 40 l/min gas cleaning unit with a lowest gas cleaning temperature of 623 K was designed for testing SOFC stacks of 1 kW power level using gasified biomass. This unit has several stages to remove contaminants from raw biosyngas and it is transportable. Clean biosyngas is expected after the raw biosyngas pass through this unit and can be supplied to fuel cell stacks for performance investigations. The same unit also can be used as a gas cleaning unit for other applications, say for testing a biofuel production unit.