Novel grate type electrolytes are designed and fabricated to improve the cell performance and to lower the operation temperature of intermediate temperature electrolyte supported solid oxide fuel cells based on scandium and ceria stabilized zirconia by partly reducing the electrolyte thickness. The characteristics of three different small size cells (11.62 cm(2) active area) having various electrolyte designs are investigated. A standard electrolyte supported cell is also produced as a base case for comparison. Performance measurements showed that all cells having grate type electrolyte produce higher power than that of the base cell due to partly reduced electrolyte thickness. Impedance analysis confirmed that the improvement in the performance is due to the decrease in the electrolyte resistance together with the increased number of active sites. Among the three different designs, Cell C showed the highest power output 14.7 W at 800 degrees C corresponding to 1.26 W cm(-2) power density which is more than twice the base case performance. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.