Modelling the impact of creep on the probability of failure of a solid oxide fuel cell stack
In solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) technology a major challenge lies in balancing thermal stresses from an inevitable thermal field. The cells are known to creep, changing over time the stress field. The main objective of this study was to assess the influence of creep on the failure probability of an SOFC stack. A finite element analysis on a single repeating unit of the stack was performed, in which the influence of the mechanical interactions, the temperature-dependent mechanical properties and creep of the SOFC materials are considered. Moreover, stresses from the thermo-mechanical simulation of sintering of the cells have been obtained and were implemented into the model of the single repeating unit. The significance of the relaxation of the stresses by creep in the cell components and its influence on the probability of cell survival was investigated. Finally, the influence of cell size on the failure probability was investigated. (C) 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.