KIM, J.-S. and RANAWEERA, M.P., 2016. Cell integrated multi-junction thermocouple array for Solid Oxide Fuel Cell temperature sensing: N+1 architecture. Journal of Power Sources, 315, pp. 70-78.
Understanding the cell temperature distribution of Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC) stacks
during normal operation has multifaceted advantages in performance and degradation studies.
Present efforts on measuring temperature from operating SOFC stacks measure only gas
channel temperature and do not reveal the cell level temperature distribution, which is more
important for understanding cell’s performance and its temperature-related degradation study.
Authors propose a cell integrated multi-junction thermocouple array for in-situ cell surface
temperature monitoring from an operating SOFC. The proposed thermocouple array requires
far fewer numbers of thermo-elements than thermocouples would require for the same
number of temperature sensing points. Hence, it causes far less disturbance to the cells’
performance during sensing. The array was sputter deposited on the cathode of a commercial
SOFC using alumel (Ni:Al:Mn:Si – 95:2:2:1 by wt.) and chromel( Ni:Cr – 90:10 by wt.) as
thermo-element materials. The thermocouple array was tested in a furnace covering the entire
operating temperature range of a typical SOFC. Each sensing point of the array could
measure temperature independently, and as accurately as a thermocouple. Thus, the concept
of multi-junction thermocouples is experimentally validated and its stability on a porous
SOFC cathode is confirmed.
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