Spring based connection of external wires to a thin film temperature sensor integrated inside a solid oxide fuel cell

© 2019, The Author(s). Thermal management of SOFCs (solid oxide fuel cell) is important for helping to minimise high temperature-related performance losses and maximising cell/stack lifetime. Thin film sensor technology is proposed as an excellent candidate to measure the cell temperature during operation due to its negligible mass, minimal disturbance to normal operation and higher temporal and spatial resolutions. However, the effective application of such sensors in SOFC systems is a challenging endeavour and predicated on incorporating the external wire attachments to complete the electrical circuit. This is because of the high sensitivity of SOFC materials to any interference to operation, limited available space and harsh operating conditions. In this paper, a new concept of packaging external wire attachments to the thin film sensor is described to enable the integration of the sensor in the SOFC system. Temperature measurements have been monitored under OCV and operating condition with the thin film sensor directly from SOFC cathode surface via proposed spring-based wire connection, from room temperature to SOFC operating temperature. The impact of the parameters including contact resistance (Rc) between sensor pads and attached wire on monitored temperature has also been analysed with the contribution of conductive paste. High temporal and spatial resolutions have been obtained with the implemented sensor.