Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) stand out among other fuel cell types because of their specific characteristics. The high operating temperature permits to reach optimal conductivity and favours kinetics without requiring noble metal catalysts. The SOFC behaviour analysis is fundamental to optimise operating conditions and to obtain the best performance. For this purpose, specific models are studied to investigate the electrochemical kinetics, which is the most critical aspect in the simulation. This is closely linked to cell materials and structure, as well as to operating conditions (feed composition and temperature above all) that influence cell polarization effects. The present work aims at evaluating these contributions by means of a semi-empirical kinetic formulation based on both theoretical and experimental approaches. A dedicated experimental campaign on an anode-supported NiYSZ/8YSZ/GDC-LSCF button cell is performed to identify experimental parameters. Each working variable is changed singularly to understand its specific effect, avoiding the overlap of multiple effects. The studied kinetics is validated using a 0D model to evaluate global cell operation, and a 1D model to estimate occurring mechanisms along anode thickness. The comparison between experimental and simulated data allows a preliminary validation of the proposed model, providing a base for subsequent more specific studies.
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