Conference paper

A new platform concept for micro-scale SOFC using low temperature co-fired ceramic technology

Micro-scale solid oxide fuel cells (μ-SOFCs) based on microfabrication processes have been found to be interesting as a battery replacement for portable power generation. The system consists of a fuel cell element, a fuel processing unit, a thermal control system and packaging for the electrical and fluidic connections as well as for mechanical support. The system is capable of operating above 500°C under both oxidizing and reducing atmospheres. Due to the relatively large size, complex fluidics and silicon microfabrication manufacturing is not practical for fabrication of the complete package and the gas processing unit (GPU). Low-temperature co-fired ceramic technology (LTCC) has recently emerged as an alternative solution to packaging μ-SOFC devices because of its easy 3D structuration capabilities allowing for integration of fluidics, combined with stable electrical connections, and outstanding thermal and chemical stability. In this paper, we propose a new concept of a packaging, GPU and test platform for μ-SOFC applications using LTCC technology. The platform primarily functions as a hotplate. Slender bridges carrying the electrical power supply and fluidic ports are used for thermal decoupling, allowing low conduction losses and convenient low-temperature interconnects, while providing mechanical support for the hot zone. Screen-printed thick-film silver palladium and platinum meanders are used as both heating elements (for testing and startup) and temperature measurement devices. The electrical characterization of the temperature regulation system was evaluated. The resistance-temperature behavior of the heating meanders was also characterized.

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