Performance characterization and durability testing have been completed on two five-cell high-temperature electrolysis stacks constructed with advanced cell and stack technologies. The solid oxide cells incorporate a negative-electrode-supported multi-layer design with nickel-zirconia cermet negative electrodes, thin-film yttria-stabilized zirconia electrolytes, and multi-layer lanthanum ferrite-based positive electrodes. The per-cell active area is 100 cm2. The stack is internally manifolded with compliant seals. Treated metallic interconnects with integral flow channels separate the cells and electrode gases. Stack compression is accomplished by means of a custom spring-loaded test fixture. Initial stack performance characterization was determined through a series of DC potential sweeps in both fuel cell and electrolysis modes of operation. Results of these sweeps indicated very good initial performance, with area-specific resistance values less than 0.5 Ω.cm2. Long-term durability testing was performed with a test duration of 1000 hours. Overall performance degradation was less than 10% over the 1000-hour period. Final stack performance characterization was again determined by a series of DC potential sweeps at the same flow conditions as the initial sweeps in both electrolysis and fuel cell modes of operation. A final sweep in the fuel cell mode indicated a power density of 0.356 W/cm2, with average per-cell voltage of 0.71 V at a current of 50 A.

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