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Research Papers

A Study of Temperature Distribution Across a Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Stack

[+] Author and Article Information
Kaokanya Sudaprasert, Rowland P. Travis

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, London SW7 2AZ, UK

Ricardo F. Martinez-Botas1

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, London SW7 2AZ, UKr.botas@imperial.ac.uk

1

Corresponding author.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 7(1), 011002 (Oct 05, 2009) (13 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3080810 History: Received March 28, 2006; Revised August 23, 2008; Published October 05, 2009

In this work, a three-dimensional model of a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) stack is developed to predict the temperature distribution across the stack. The model simulates a particular SOFC stack comprising of five single cells. Isothermal and adiabatic walls are chosen as the different boundary conditions in order to simulate the real situation, which lies somewhere in between. In the situation where adiabatic walls are assumed, the result shows that heat convection dominates the heat transfer process. However, heat conduction plays a major role when the isothermal walls are assumed. It is found that the highest temperature found in the isothermal stack is 1135 K at an operating temperature of 1073 K. The temperature difference is significant with the hottest point located in the middle of the active area. In the adiabatic stack, the temperature is at its maximum of 1574 K near the outlets of fuel and air at the same operating temperature. It should be kept in mind that both situations will have effects on the temperature behavior of the stack in reality. The temperature and current distributions of stack models in this work are also plotted in three dimensions and the analyses of stack performances are given. By comparing the results of five-cell and ten-cell stack models, the temperature differences of the five-cell stack and the ten-cell stack are 62 and 109 K, respectively. This indicates that there is a drastic temperature change throughout the stack when the stack size is increased.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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References

Figures

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Figure 1

Exploded view of the five-cell stack

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Figure 2

Components of the SOFC stack

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Figure 3

Geometry of the interconnect

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Figure 4

Dimension of the PEN layers in the whole stack

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Figure 5

Flow chart of the numerical procedure

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Figure 6

Section plot of the temperature distribution contour at z/L=0.5 for the isothermal coflow case

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Figure 7

Temperature distribution plot at y/L=0.5 and z/L=0.5 for the isothermal stack

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Figure 8

Section plots of the temperature distribution across the coflow five-cell stack with isothermal walls on the top, the bottom, and the lateral sides at y/L=0.1, 0.5, and 0.9

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Figure 9

Temperature distribution plot of the stack along the stack depth at x/L=0.6 and y/L=0.5

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Figure 10

Temperature distribution on the electrolyte layers of the coflow five-cell stack where the isothermal walls are assumed all over the edges of the stack

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Figure 11

Current density distribution on the active layers of the coflow five-cell stack where the isothermal walls are assumed all over the edges of the stack

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Figure 12

Section plot of the temperature distribution contour at z/L=0.5 for the adiabatic coflow case

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Figure 13

Temperature distribution plot of the stack along x/L at y/L=0.5 and z/L=0.5 for the adiabatic stack

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Figure 14

Section plots of temperature distribution across the coflow five-cell adiabatic stack at y/L=0, 0.5, and 1

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Figure 15

Temperature distribution plot of the stack along stack depth at x/L=0.6 and y/L=0.5

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Figure 16

Current density distributions on the active layers of the coflow five-cell stack where the adiabatic walls are assumed all over the edges of the stack

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Figure 17

I-V and power density curves

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Figure 18

Comparison of temperature distribution at y/L=0.5 between the five-cell stack and the ten-cell stack

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