Research Papers

Development of a Detailed Planar Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Computational Fluid Dynamics Model for Analyzing Cell Performance Degradation

[+] Author and Article Information
Vittorio Verda1

 Department of Energy Engineering, Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10129 Torino, Italyvittorio.verda@polito.it

Michael R. von Spakovsky

Center for Energy Systems Research, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA 24061vonspako@vt.edu


Corresponding author.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 6(1), 011005 (Nov 04, 2008) (9 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2971046 History: Received March 03, 2007; Revised January 13, 2008; Published November 04, 2008

Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) are a promising technology for distributed electricity generation and cogeneration. Numerous papers have been published in the past several years proposing mathematical/computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models for predicting the transient and steady-state performance of such cells. In this paper, a detailed steady-state CFD model of a planar anode supported SOFC is proposed, which accounts for mass, thermal, and charge transport as well as electrochemistry and the chemistry of internal fuel reforming. Its main characteristics include the use of a continuous model for the electrochemistry, allowing one to examine different three-phase boundary geometries. This is an improvement over the typical model reported in literature, which utilizes an equivalent resistive circuit approach or a homogeneous distribution of three-phase boundaries. The model proposed here is used to simulate the degradation of anode, cathode, and electrolyte due to instabilities (e.g., anode oxidation due to fuel depletion) or to the delamination of the electrodes from the electrolyte. Such degradations result in a drop in cell performance but are difficult to predict without the use of models that can be helpful for diagnosis. The model is applied to experimental data available in literature both for the nondegraded and degraded cases.

Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
Your Session has timed out. Please sign back in to continue.



Grahic Jump Location
Figure 1

2D schematic of a single cell of a planar SOFC

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 2

Example of a cathode reacting layer

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 3

Shape of the triple-phase boundary

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 4

Example of the discretization of the region where the electrochemical reactions occur

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 5

Fluid velocity in the cell (m/s)

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 6

Temperature field in the cell (K)

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 7

Hydrogen mass fraction

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 8

Boundary conditions imposed on the model

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 9

Potential losses along the cell

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 10

Polarization curves for Cases 1 and 2

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 11

Current density distribution in the anode for the case of delamination (Case 2)

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 12

Current flows for the case of delamination (Case 2)

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 13

Polarization curves for Cases 1 and 3

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 14

Polarization curves for Cases 1 and 4

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 15

Current density distribution in the cathode for the case of increased contact resistance

Grahic Jump Location
Figure 16

Differences between the mass fractions calculated with the two approaches




Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging and repositioning the boxes below.

Related Journal Articles
Related eBook Content
Topic Collections

Sorry! You do not have access to this content. For assistance or to subscribe, please contact us:

  • TELEPHONE: 1-800-843-2763 (Toll-free in the USA)
  • EMAIL: asmedigitalcollection@asme.org
Sign In