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Research Papers

Steady-State and Transient Analysis of a Steam-Reformer Based Solid Oxide Fuel Cell System

[+] Author and Article Information
Tuhin Das1

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY 14623tkdeme@rit.edu

Sridharan Narayanan, Ranjan Mukherjee

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824

1

Corresponding author.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 7(1), 011022 (Nov 11, 2009) (10 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3120269 History: Received December 22, 2007; Revised August 05, 2008; Published November 11, 2009; Online November 11, 2009

In this paper we perform a model-based analysis of a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) system with an integrated steam reformer and with methane as a fuel. The objective of this study is to analyze the steady-state and transient characteristics of this system. For the analysis, we develop a detailed control-oriented model of the system that captures the heat and mass transfer, chemical kinetics, and electrochemical phenomena. We express the dynamics of the reformer and the fuel cell in state-space form. By applying coordinate transformations to the state-space model, we derive analytical expressions of steady-state conditions and transient behaviors of two critical performance variables, namely, fuel utilization and steam-to-carbon balance. Using these results, we solve a constrained steady-state fuel optimization problem using linear programming. Our analysis is supported by simulations. The results presented in this paper can be applied in predicting steady-state conditions and certain transient behaviors and will be useful in control development for SOFC systems.

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Figures

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Figure 1

Schematic of the SOFC system

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Figure 2

Schematic of the tubular steam reformer

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Figure 3

Schematic of the tubular SOFC

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Figure 4

Open-loop simulation of the fuel cell system

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Figure 5

Transient fuel utilization due to step change in current

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Figure 6

Response to step changes in fuel flow

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Figure 7

Transient STCR and STCB due to step change in current

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Figure 8

Steady-state fuel optimization

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Figure 9

Fuel optimization simulation

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