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Practical Guidelines for Reliable Electrochemical Characterization of Solid Oxide Fuel Cells


Electrochemical measurements on solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) often uncover unusual readings. These are then ascribed to unknown material properties or newly discovered physical effects. However, a closer look shows that these are simply errors − mostly test artefacts. Our group has isolated many causes of error and developed reliable techniques to avoid them, focusing on open circuit voltage (OCV) measurement, current/voltage (i/v) curves and electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). This paper aims to help researchers avoid errors through balanced choice of apparatus and test procedure. Simple to implement test-sequences are set out to avoid errors. First, test-bench wiring, hardware limitations and apparatus selection are detailed to avoid error sources. Secondly, measurement settings and how they impact measurement results are discussed. Our developed procedures avoid the majority of errors; this is exhaustively tested at operationally relevant conditions.