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Research Papers

Simulation Study for the Optimization of Microtubular Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Bundles

[+] Author and Article Information
Yoshihiro Funahashi

 Fine Ceramics Research Association, 2266-99 Anagahora, Shimo-Shidami, Moriyama-ku, Nagoya 463-8561, Japan; NGK Spark Plug Co., Ltd., 2808 Iwasaki, Komaki, 485-8510, Japany-funahashi@aist.go.jp

Toru Shimamori

 NGK Spark Plug Co., Ltd., 2808 Iwasaki, Komaki, 485-8510, Japan

Toshio Suzuki, Yoshinobu Fujishiro, Masanobu Awano

 National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), 2266–98 Anagahora, Shimo-shidami, Moriyama-ku, Nagoya 463–8560, Japan

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 7(2), 021015 (Jan 12, 2010) (4 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3177384 History: Received April 13, 2008; Revised April 30, 2008; Published January 12, 2010; Online January 12, 2010

Microtubular solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are shown to be robust under rapid temperature changes and have large electrode area per volume (high volumetric power density). Such features are believed to increase a variety of application. Our study aims to establish a fabrication technique for microtubular SOFC bundles with the volumetric power density of 2Wcm3 at 0.7 V. So far, we have succeeded to develop a fabrication technology for microtubular SOFC bundles using anode supported tubular SOFCs and cathode matrices with well-controlled microstructures. A key to improve the performance of the microtubular SOFC bundles is to optimize the microstructure of the cathode matrices because it influences a pressure loss for air and electric current collection. In this paper, a simulation study of an air flow, temperature, and potential distributions in the microtubular SOFC bundle was conducted in order to understand the characteristics of the present bundle design. In addition, operating conditions of the microtubular SOFC bundles was discussed for realizing the target power density of 2Wcm3.

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Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Simulation models for the cubic SOFC bundles: (a) 2D model for 1 cm3 cubic bundle with nine 2 mm tubular cells, (b) 2D model for 1 cm3 cubic bundle with 25 0.7 mm tubular cells, and (c) 3D model for 1 cm3 cubic bundle with 25 0.7 mm tubular cells

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Figure 2

Estimated air pressure loss in type A and type B bundle at 550°C

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Figure 3

Distribution of air flow late (msec−1): (a) 1 cm3 bundle with nine tubular cells of 2 mm in diameter, (b) flow rate distribution of zooming in position A, (c) 1 cm3 bundle with 25 tubular cells of 0.7 mm in diameter, and (d) flow rate distribution of zooming in position B

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Figure 4

Voltage distribution in type B bundle at 550°C: (a) simulation result and (b) schematic image of cubic bundle

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Figure 5

Joule heat distribution in type B bundle at 550°C: (a) Joule heat distribution caused by anode resistance, (b) Joule heat distribution caused by cathode matrices, and (c) total Joule heat distribution at the part around single tubular cells

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Figure 6

Temperature distribution in type B bundle at air utilization of 20%

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