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International Journal of Electrochemistry
Volume 2011, Article ID 465452, 11 pages
Research Article

Diffusion and Gas Conversion Analysis of Solid Oxide Fuel Cells at Loads via AC Impedance

1Center for Microfibrous Materials, Department of Chemical Engineering, 212 Ross Hall, Auburn University, AL 36849, USA
2Ceramatec, Inc., 2425 South 900 West, Salt Lake City, UT 84119, USA

Received 16 June 2011; Accepted 25 July 2011

Academic Editor: Boniface Kokoh

Copyright © 2011 Robert U. Payne et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Impedance measurements were conducted under practical load conditions in solid oxide fuel cells of differing sizes. For a 2 cm2 button cell, impedance spectra data were separately measured for the anode, cathode, and total cell. Improved equivalent circuit models are proposed and applied to simulate each of measured impedance data. Circuit elements related to the chemical and physical processes have been added to the total-cell model to account for an extra relaxation process in the spectra not measured at either electrode. The processes to which elements are attributed have been deduced by varying cell temperature, load current, and hydrogen concentration. Spectra data were also obtained for a planar stack of five 61 cm2 cells and the individual cells therein, which were fitted to a simplified equivalent circuit model of the total button cell. Similar to the button cell, the planar cells and stack exhibit a pronounced low-frequency relaxation process, which has been attributed to concentration losses, that is, the combined effects of diffusion and gas conversion. The simplified total-cell model approximates well the dynamic behavior of the SOFC cells and the whole stack.