Developing Accelerated Test Protocols and Tuning Microstructures of the Common Materials to Improve Robustness, Reliability, and Endurance of SOFC Cells


University of South Carolina
Website:  University of South Carolina
Award Number:  FE0026097
Project Duration:  10/01/2015 – 07/31/2020
Total Award Value:  $1,085,577
DOE Share:  $800,000
Performer Share:  $285,577
Technology Area:  Solid Oxide Fuel Cells
Key Technology:  Core Technology
Location:  Columbia, South Carolina

Project Description

The University of South Carolina will develop accelerated test protocols based on recent preliminary results and theoretical analyses to establish common approaches for determining and projecting the durability of solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) cathodes under simulated operation conditions. In addition, researchers will tune the microstructures of lanthanum strontium cobalt iron oxide (LSCF) and nickelates to simultaneously obtain high-power density and high-performance stability. Developing accelerated test protocols remains a challenge because operating SOFCs under normal conditions for tens of thousands hours is often costly and impractical. Therefore, accelerated tests are needed to facilitate rapid understanding of key durability and reliability issues. This project leverages research from a previous DOE contract, DE-FE0023475.

Project Benefits

The University of South Carolina project will provide a SOFC research and development platform upon which to design durable, reproducible, and active cathodes. Researchers will obtain scientific and technical knowledge via accelerated tests and decoupling activity with stability in cathodes. Advances in cathode technology are critical for both improving the robustness and durability of fuel cells and increasing their performance at lower operating temperatures.

Contact Information

Federal Project Manager 
Patcharin Burke:
Technology Manager 
Shailesh Vora:
Principal Investigator 
Xiao-Dong Zhou:

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