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Robust, Multifunctional Joint for Large Scale Power Production Stacks

Stage: Development
Berkeley Lab scientists have developed a multifunctional joint for metal supported, tubular SOFCs that divides various joint functions so that materials and methods optimizing each function can be chosen without sacrificing space. The functions of the joint include joining neighboring fuel cells in series, sealing cells so that distinct atmospheres don’t interact, providing electrical connections between neighboring cells, and insulating electrodes in the same cell.


The design takes advantage of highly conductive metal cell supports and edge current collection to ensure efficient power production. Traditionally, the various functions performed by the Berkeley Lab joint require physical separation, which complicates the manufacturing process and produces a less robust cell. The new joint demonstrates excellent structural integrity and is expected to be inexpensive and easy to manufacture. Novel Berkeley Lab brazing techniques make the innovative design possible.

Applications and Industries

Sealing/joining for:

  • Electrochemical devices, especially metal supported tubular SOFC cells
  • Electronic devices operating at elevated temperatures

Benefits

  • Robust, gas-tight, and compact
  • Provides electrical management over a wide range of temperature
  • Promises to be inexpensive and easy to manufacture
  • Enables rapid thermal cycling and endures thermal shock