Standardization of fuel cell testing to allow comparisons presents one of the major challenges to the fuel cell community. This becomes more critical when there is a need to take commercial decisions on the direction of the technology. One part of the development toward such standardization is the formalization of what measurements are made and how they are made, including the control of external and environmental parameters. This presentation details some of the elements of the standardized measuring system in place at Forschungszentrum Jülich (FZJ) and explains some of the rationale behind this system. The established measurement system adopts many of the principles employed by generic international quality assurance standards and commercial organizations. An analysis of the testing process identifies critical control points, e.g., those parameters that must be controlled to ensure internally consistent test results and repeatability. The FZJ solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) testing process is illustrated by means of a flowchart. This chart details critical control points and shows how the parameter measurements are documented in a systematic fashion. Specific examples are given of SOFC test data to illustrate how FZJ determined some of the critical control parameter values used in our testing, those included are the effects of Ni-cermet reduction temperature, the effect of the chosen time intervals between individual I-V measurement points, and finally, the effect of the hydrogen flow rate. Standardization within the SOFC community can prove a contentious issue, but whatever standard test parameters are finally chosen by the community, to allow comparison of SOFC options organizations will have a need to introduce a well-designed, controlled, and formalized measurement system. We have found that adopting a generic QA systems approach has been successful internally and recommend this option to other organizations.

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