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Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Degradation monitoring and performance optimisation of solid oxide electrolysis cells

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
2.06.00  Engineering sciences and technologies  Systems and cybernetics   

Code Science Field
T121  Technological sciences  Signal processing 

Code Science Field
2.02  Engineering and Technology  Electrical engineering, Electronic engineering, Information engineering 
Keywords
Solid oxide electrolysis cell, health monitoring, degradation, modelling, signal processing, fractional order systems
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (6)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  34624  PhD Pavle Boškoski  Systems and cybernetics  Researcher  2018 - 2021  179 
2.  36715  PhD Boštjan Dolenc  Systems and cybernetics  Researcher  2018 - 2019  48 
3.  02561  PhD Đani Juričić  Systems and cybernetics  Head  2018 - 2021  414 
4.  28466  PhD Marko Nerat  Systems and cybernetics  Researcher  2018 - 2021  41 
5.  39149  PhD Gjorgji Nusev  Systems and cybernetics  Technical associate  2021  32 
6.  25655  PhD Boštjan Pregelj  Systems and cybernetics  Researcher  2018 - 2021  130 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0106  Jožef Stefan Institute  Ljubljana  5051606000  90,976 
Abstract
Solid oxide electrolysis cells (SOEC) are electrochemical devices that convert excessive electrical energy directly into fuel components such as hydrogen, syngas and methane, in a highly efficient and environmentally friendly manner. The non-polluting fuels can be  further used for the production of heat and electricity as well as for automotive applications.   High efficiency and, nonetheless, no need for rare materials like platinum or lithium like for application in low-temperature electrolyser or batteries, are just some of the attractive properties that make solid oxide electrolysis highly perspective. This comes at a price of high operating temperatures of ~550-900°C, long start-ups and a range of harmful chemical processes that degrade cells performance and affect its durability. Insufficiently long-term performance and yet poor durability are the major hurdles for broad SOEC commercialization. Apart from the quest for new materials that will help reduce the operating temperatures, the two fundamental problems remain open. One is insufficient understanding of the onset and anticipation of the degradation phenomena within electrolyte and electrodes. The other is the lack of reliable means to detect, recognise and accommodate the evolving degradation modes online (modus operandi) and hence take appropriate counteractions to prolong the operational life of these devices.   These two problems will be the focus of the underlying project in which the teams from TUG and JSI join efforts and complementary expertise. Such a project would be impossible without recent original results in regeneration of solid oxide devices by TUG on one hand and non-sinusoidal signal processing for health evolution obtained by JSI team on the other hand. TUG will conduct a campaign of life-long and accelerated run-to-failure tests in which novel characterisation techniques, relying on non-sinusoidal probing, will be employed. The latter, developed by JSI team, will be combined with novel statistical signal processing algorithms for on-line condition monitoring of the class of fractional order systems. This project aims to find a set of informative features capable to provide the fingerprint of the particular degradation mechanism.   Next, quite a difficult problem to be addressed, concerns the design of efficient counter-measures to avoid or slow down the degradation. There is no result in the SOEC domain available so far. The experience that IJS team gained in the design of mitigation action in solid oxide fuel cells will be utilised. The entire methodology will be assessed experimentally at TUG. An important outcome of the project is the fact that measurements recorded during the test will be publicly released, which will be the first publically available data from SOEC durability tests so far. This research project will go beyond the current state-of-the-art in both new pieces of evidence of SOEC degradation mechanisms, as well as a novel, to date unavailable, methods of monitoring SOEC systems online. These principles will allow gaining fundamental knowledge of different degradation mechanisms, which can induce the irreversible deterioration of the cells’ microstructure and performance. Using new instances of system characterization beyond the conventional electrochemical impedance spectroscopy will push SOEC system control beyond the current state-of-the-art by changing the approach from one of failure detection approach to the detection of each of several simultaneously occurring failures, their prediction and prevention.
Significance for science
The project ambitions go beyond the present state of the art. Thus the substantial contributions of the project to the research community are expected to be the following: The JSI approach to FOS identification (outlined in [**]l) builds on the use of modulating functions represents a fundamental contribution to the theory of FOS. The innovative procedure tuns to be computationally efficient, reliable and returns quality estimates even under substantial noise conditions. If we manage to put it into the algebraic framework, then we get an identification means that outpuerforms any of the known algorithms at the time being. Possible successful extensions towards non-linear dynamical FOS identification would open an entirely new branch of the fundamental research.  Novel health characterisation methods, relying on fractional order modelling and distribution of relaxation times as a side result, are expected to overcome the weaknesses of current EIS and equivalent models approaches. These methods have not been employed in the SOEC health monitoring so far. Reliable features guarantee timely identification of the degradation modes and timely accommodation actions.  New fundamental knowledge on different degradation mechanisms, which can induce the irreversible deterioration of the cells’ microstructure and performance. Using new instances of system characterization, such as DRT to characterize the systems, should provide characteristic frequencies for the different processes investigated.  New mitigation strategies are likely to be among the first results in the field. Correctve measurers at an early stage, when degradation is still reversible will serve to avoid failure and improve the reliability of SOECs. The anticipated project outputs will bring SOEC system control beyond the current state-of-the-art by changing the approach from one of failure detection approach to one of failure prediction and prevention. Based on long-term experiments, the TUG and JSI will create a rule base and quantitative models explaining how the pattern of features changes in the presence of a particular degradation mechanism. New instances of knowledge will help in long-term the EU manufacturers in the design and deployment of a new generation of endurable and reliable solid oxide electrolysis systems.
Significance for the country
The project ambitions go beyond the present state of the art. Thus the substantial contributions of the project to the research community are expected to be the following: The JSI approach to FOS identification (outlined in [**]l) builds on the use of modulating functions represents a fundamental contribution to the theory of FOS. The innovative procedure tuns to be computationally efficient, reliable and returns quality estimates even under substantial noise conditions. If we manage to put it into the algebraic framework, then we get an identification means that outpuerforms any of the known algorithms at the time being. Possible successful extensions towards non-linear dynamical FOS identification would open an entirely new branch of the fundamental research.  Novel health characterisation methods, relying on fractional order modelling and distribution of relaxation times as a side result, are expected to overcome the weaknesses of current EIS and equivalent models approaches. These methods have not been employed in the SOEC health monitoring so far. Reliable features guarantee timely identification of the degradation modes and timely accommodation actions.  New fundamental knowledge on different degradation mechanisms, which can induce the irreversible deterioration of the cells’ microstructure and performance. Using new instances of system characterization, such as DRT to characterize the systems, should provide characteristic frequencies for the different processes investigated.  New mitigation strategies are likely to be among the first results in the field. Correctve measurers at an early stage, when degradation is still reversible will serve to avoid failure and improve the reliability of SOECs. The anticipated project outputs will bring SOEC system control beyond the current state-of-the-art by changing the approach from one of failure detection approach to one of failure prediction and prevention. Based on long-term experiments, the TUG and JSI will create a rule base and quantitative models explaining how the pattern of features changes in the presence of a particular degradation mechanism. New instances of knowledge will help in long-term the EU manufacturers in the design and deployment of a new generation of endurable and reliable solid oxide electrolysis systems.
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