How to Setup Button Cell Testing with the Probostat

The right testing setup is crucial to achieving the most reliable and accurate results, but sometimes the best setup for your application is not in the users manual. It can take years of learning and testing to discover the best way to achieve results, which is exactly what we have done for button cell testing with the ProboStat™. To save you some trouble, we asked our resident ProboStat™ expert, Sergio Ibanez, for his steps to setting up the ProboStat™ to achieve the best results in testing a fuel cell sample. Watch the video to see Chris Corwin, our ProboStat™ sales engineer, walk through these steps.

Button cell testing is a great way to begin testing SOFCs and SOECs and quickly get results with a small capital investment. The ProboStat™ can conduct many different tests, but it should not be used for fuel utilization tests. If you need fuel utilization results we would recommend one of our larger planar fuel cell test stands for accurate results; like the 10 x 10 test fixture.

Button Cell Testing Steps and Tips

Step 1: Mount the inner gas supply tube to the gas inlet at the top of the base.

Step 2: Connect the electrode contact pair to the inner electrical feedthroughs

  • Make sure to use quality electrode contact pairs and inspect them before each use. The meshes can wear over time and become torn, which will negatively impact your results.

Step 3: Slide the sample support tube over the inner gas supply tube and contact pair and connect it to the base.

Step 4: Adjust the mesh attached to the contact pair so it is flat against the inner tube.

  • Make sure it is as flat as possible so it can provide even contact to the whole side of the cell.

Step 5: Connect the other electrode contact pair.

  • This will connect to one the outer electrical feedthroughs. Any of the electrical ports can be used, but we like to use port 14 or 15 for fuel cell testing.

Step 6: Add o-ring to the outer tube.

  • Make sure the inner tube is about a millimeter higher than the gold o-ring.

Step 7: Place the cell on the o-ring and mesh with the anode side facing down.

  • Adjust the outer electrode contact pair to lay flat with the cathode side of the cell

Step 8: Add the spring compression system to the Probostat base.

  • Slide the alumina tubes into the spring-force assembly.
  • Add the springs to the ends of the tubes.
  • There are different colored springs to signify different strengths.
  • Attach the other end of the springs to the lip under the lip on the base.