A ceramic supported SOFC for operation at 950°C is being developed by Rolls Royce Fuel Cell Systems (RRFCS). In parallel with the evolving design of the fuel cell system, it is necessary to ensure reliability not only of the electrochemical cell, but also the main structure under both manufacture and operational constraints. With a ceramic based system for use at high temperature this presents particular challenges, and to address these, RRFCS is in partnership with leading academic institutions including Imperial College London and the University of Genoa supported by the European Union. This paper will identify potential areas of concern for reliability and integrity of the fuel cell system, and will indicate the work that is being undertaken to ensure reliability, including thermomechanical stresses arising from fluid flow, electrochemical reactions and operational temperature distributions; joining of components; assessment of the stresses within ceramic structures, manufacture tolerances of dimensions and material properties.

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