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Research Papers

Numerical Analysis of a Cell-Based Indirect Internal Reforming Tubular SOFC Operating With Biogas

[+] Author and Article Information
Takafumi Nishino1

Department of Fundamental Research in Energy Engineering, AGH University of Science and Technology, 30-059 Krakow, Poland

Janusz S. Szmyd2

Department of Fundamental Research in Energy Engineering, AGH University of Science and Technology, 30-059 Krakow, Polandjanusz@agh.edu.pl

1

Present address: NASA Advanced Supercomputing Division (Fundamental Aeronautics Program), NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035.

2

Corresponding author.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 7(5), 051004 (Jul 14, 2010) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4000998 History: Received August 06, 2008; Revised December 04, 2009; Published July 14, 2010; Online July 14, 2010

A numerical study is performed on the thermal and electrochemical characteristics of a tubular solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) employing the steam reforming of biogas in each individual cell unit but indirectly from the anode. The numerical model used in this study takes account of momentum, heat, and mass transfer in and around the cell, including the effects of radiation, internal reforming, and electrochemical reactions. The biogas, which is fed into the reformer with steam, is assumed to be composed of methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2). The results show that, under the conditions of a constant average current density of 400mA/cm2 and a constant fuel utilization of 80%, the terminal voltage of the cell decreases but only moderately as the proportion of CH4 in the fuel supplied to the reformer is reduced. It is also shown that temperature gradients within the cell decrease as the proportion of CH4 in the supplied fuel is reduced. These results are promising for the future use of biogas for this type of indirect internal reforming SOFC system.

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Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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References

Figures

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Figure 6

Reforming rate of methane for different fuel gas compositions

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Figure 7

Mole fraction distributions of each chemical species: (a)–(d) inside the reformer and (e)–(h) outside the reformer. (a) and (e) SC2-M80, (b) and (f) SC2-M60, (c) and (g) SC2-M40, and (d) and (h) SC2-M20.

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Figure 8

Mole fraction of each chemical species at the outlet of the reformer: (a) S/C=2 and (b) S/C=4

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Figure 9

Terminal voltage of the cell for different fuel gas compositions

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Figure 10

Electromotive force distributions for different fuel gas compositions: (a) S/C=2 and (b) S/C=4

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Figure 1

Schematic view of a cell-based indirect internal reforming T-SOFC

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Figure 2

Overall picture of the numerical model

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Figure 3

Schematic diagram of two-dimensional (axisymmetric) gas flow fields in and around the cell tube; the broken line indicates the computational domain

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Figure 4

Schematic diagram of the nonaxisymmetric electric potential and current fields within the cell tube

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Figure 5

Relationship between the explicitly modeled reaction rates (Rsteam and Rshift) and the resulting net reaction rates for the steam and dry reforming and water-gas-shift reactions

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Figure 12

Electrolyte temperatures for different fuel gas compositions

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Figure 13

Contours of temperature for different fuel gas compositions: (a) SC2-M80, (b) SC2-M60, (c) SC2-M40, (d) SC2-M20, (e) SC4-M80, (f) SC4-M60, (g) SC4-M40, and (h) SC4-M20

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Figure 14

Current density distributions for different fuel gas compositions (through the electrolyte layer, azimuthally averaged): (a) S/C=2 and (b) S/C=4

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Figure 11

Cell-averaged EMF and overpotentials for different fuel gas compositions: (a) S/C=2 and (b) S/C=4

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