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Sensors 2016, 16(9), 1329; doi:10.3390/s16091329

Performance and Durability of Thin Film Thermocouple Array on a Porous Electrode

Aeronautical & Automotive Engineering Department, Loughborough University, Loughborough LE11 3TU, UK
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Andrew J. Mason, Haitao Li and Yuning Yang
Received: 16 May 2016 / Revised: 12 August 2016 / Accepted: 15 August 2016 / Published: 23 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integrated Sensor Arrays and Array Signal Processing)
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Abstract

Management of solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) thermal gradients is vital to limit thermal expansion mismatch and thermal stress. However, owing to harsh operation conditions of SOFCs and limited available space in stack configuration, the number of techniques available to obtain temperature distribution from the cell surface is limited. The authors previously developed and studied a thermocouple array pattern to detect surface temperature distribution on an SOFC in open circuit conditions. In this study, the performance in terms of mechanical durability and oxidation state of the thin film thermoelements of the thermocouple array on the porous SOFC cathode is investigated. A thin-film multi-junction thermocouple array was sputter deposited using a magnetron sputter coater. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) characterisation techniques were carried out to understand characteristics of the thin film before and after temperature (20 °C–800 °C) measurement. Temperature readings from the sensor agreed well with the closely placed commercial thermocouple during heating segments. However, a sensor failure occurred at around 350 °C during the cooling segment. The SEM and XPS tests revealed cracks on the thin film thermoelements and oxidation to the film thickness direction. View Full-Text
Keywords: solid oxide fuel cell; thin-film thermocouples; temperature measurement; film characterisation solid oxide fuel cell; thin-film thermocouples; temperature measurement; film characterisation
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MDPI and ACS Style

Guk, E.; Ranaweera, M.; Venkatesan, V.; Kim, J.-S. Performance and Durability of Thin Film Thermocouple Array on a Porous Electrode. Sensors 2016, 16, 1329.

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