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Research Papers

Fuel Flexibility of Anode-Supported Planar Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Evaluated With Developed Simulated-Reformate-Gas Generator

[+] Author and Article Information
Yohei Tanaka

 National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, AIST Tsukuba Central 2, 1-1-1 Umezono, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, 305-8568, Japantanaka-yo@aist.go.jp

Akihiko Momma, Katsutoshi Sato, Tohru Kato

 National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, AIST Tsukuba Central 2, 1-1-1 Umezono, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, 305-8568, Japan

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 8(6), 061012 (Sep 27, 2011) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4004466 History: Received January 28, 2011; Revised May 10, 2011; Accepted June 21, 2011; Published September 27, 2011; Online September 27, 2011

Background: In general, solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) systems are said to be flexible to various kind of fuels such as natural gas and petroleum gas. The fuels are reformed at a reformer and supplied to anode. Cell testing for 10 to 100 W-class SOFCs needs steady supply of a real reformate gas or a simulated reformate gas. However, it is difficult to reform heavier hydrocarbons without know-how and to evaporate small flow-rate of water. In addition, cell performance comparison with reformate gases of various fuels has been scarcely reported. Method of approach: A new testing system, what we call “simulated-reformate-gas generator” was developed to simulate reformate gases from H2 , O2 , and CO2 stably and safely without dealing with toxic CO. An anode-supported planar Ni-YSZ/YSZ/LSCF cell (100 cm2 ) was subjected to voltage-current density (V-J) characteristic to discuss validity of the generator and to evaluate fuel flexibility with practical size of the cell. Results: It was clarified that equilibrium compositions at steam reforming of hydrocarbons and oxygen-containing biodiesel (C17 H33 COOCH3 ) can be simulated with ±1.0 mol.% precision by the generator. It was found that anode gas conditions can change quickly to shorten voltage stabilizing time at testing. Furthermore, it was elucidated that V-J characteristics hardly changed for simulated reformate of CH4 , C3 H8 , kerosene (C12 H24 ), and biodiesel at S/C = 3.0. DC electrical efficiency was estimated for the fuels as 54.2, 52.9, 52.5, 52.3% (LHV), respectively.Conclusions: The developed simulated-reformate-gas generator is so precise and useful for cell testing, making it easy to change anode gas conditions. As long as fuels for SOFC systems are reformed to thermodynamic equilibrium, cell performance and electrical efficiency will be comparable.

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Copyright © 2011 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 5

Stability of simulated reformate composition for steam reforming of methane at S/C = 3.0 and 600°C

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Figure 7

V-J characteristics for at cell temperature 650°C for simulated reformate of various fuels at S/C = 3.0 and reforming temperature = 600°C

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Figure 6

Dynamic change of open-circuit voltages at cell temperature 650°C for (a): simulated reformate of fuels steam-reforming at S/C = 3.0 and reforming temperature = 600°C and for (b): that of kerosene steam-reforming at 600°C and S/C = 2.0-4.0

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Figure 4

Dry gas composition of simulated reformates at steam reforming of various fuels at S/C = 3.0 and 650°C

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Figure 2

Gas composition of simulated methane-reformates at S/C = 2.0–3.5 and 650°C. Dotted lines represent equilibrium compositions.

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Figure 3

Temperature-dependency of simulated methane-reformate composition at S/C = 3.0. Dotted lines represent equilibrium compositions.

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Figure 1

Schematic image of simulated-reformate-gas generator and gas supply to electrodes. MFC represents a thermal mass-flow controller.

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