Fast online diagnosis for solid oxide fuel cells: Optimisation of total harmonic distortion tool for real-system application and reactants starvation identification

Hamza Moussaoui*, Gerald Hammerschmid, Jan Van Herle, Vanja Subotić

*Korrespondierende/r Autor/-in für diese Arbeit

Publikation: Beitrag in einer FachzeitschriftArtikelBegutachtung


This study investigates the potential application of total harmonic distortion (THD), as a fast online monitoring tool, to identify the early signs of failure modes in solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC). Indeed, the timely detection and identification of faults is crucial for applying mitigation strategies to avoid irreversible damage and increase the system lifetime. Two of the most common faulty conditions are considered in this work, namely fuel and air starvation. This experimental work aims at progressively triggering these errors in a controlled manner, by following different realistic scenarios, and recording THD values on a frequent basis. Several well-established laboratory monitoring tools, like electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS), complemented by the distribution of relaxation times (DRT) are used to analyse and support the interpretation of the THD measurements. A sensitivity analysis on the THD parameters, namely the signal amplitude and the number of harmonics, is carried out to identify the optimal combination of parameters and achieve the best faults detectability. Finally, the impact of the fuel flow direction and the operating temperature are examined. The results of this work are summarised as practical guidelines to better employ the THD technique to identify the early warning signs of reactants’ starvation.

FachzeitschriftJournal of Power Sources
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 1 Feb. 2023

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Erneuerbare Energien, Nachhaltigkeit und Umwelt
  • Energieanlagenbau und Kraftwerkstechnik
  • Physikalische und Theoretische Chemie
  • Elektrotechnik und Elektronik

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