Reliability of Fuel Cells
Researcher: Dr Samuel Humphry-Baker
Sponsor: 7th EU Framework
Fuel cells offer efficient and small-scale conversion of fuel-to-electricity. However their high operation temperatures render some thermal stability challenges. Specifically, when a device is turned on and off, it is repeatedly cycled from room temperature to several hundred degrees Celsius. Such temperature cycling can induce stresses at the interface between components of differing thermal expansion coefficient. We are using X-ray diffraction to characterise the nature of residual stresses in joints between metal and ceramic components, and thus guide strategies for stress minimisation in future generations of device.