With the help of acoustic-emission (AE) monitoring system, a simple fracture testing method was developed in order to investigate the mechanical performance of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) under simulated environments. The fracture testing method was applied to ceria electrolyte-supported single cells. The fracture damage process involves vertical cracking and delamination in the cathode as well as vertical cracking in the electrolyte. The fracture damages were most likely due to the chemical expansion induced stresses. Determining AE method demonstrates the capability of detecting the above-mentioned fracture process and the determining the condition for the onset of the fracture damage in the single cell.