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Research Papers

Increase in Availability of Solid Oxide Fuel Cells by Means of Parallel Connection of Cells

[+] Author and Article Information
Hanno Stagge

Institut fuer Elektrische Energietechnik (IEE), Leibnizstrasse 28, 38678 Clausthal-Zellerfeld, Germanyinfo@iee.tu-clausthal.de

Lars Doerrer

 Institut fuer Metallurgie, Robert-Koch-Strasse 42, 38678 Clausthal-Zellerfeld, Germany

Ralf Benger

 Institut fuer Elektrische Energietechnik (IEE), Leibnizstrasse 28, 38678 Clausthal-Zellerfeld, Germany

Beck Hans-Peter

 Institut fuer Elektrische Energietechnik (IEE), Leibnizstrasse 28, 38678 Clausthal-Zellerfeld, Germanyinfo@iee.tu-clausthal.de

There are significant parallels between fuel cells and batteries as they are both electrochemical devices.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 9(3), 031002 (Apr 20, 2012) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4006048 History: Received November 04, 2010; Revised December 20, 2011; Published April 19, 2012; Online April 20, 2012

Fuel cells consist of single cells that are connected in series to form a stack. This increases output voltage and therefore decreases current-dependent power losses, but the electric current of the stack has to flow through each single cell. In case of an increase of resistance or a failure of just one single cell the whole stack is affected. The failure tolerance of a parallel connection is higher. The serial and parallel connection of single solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) is compared under the aspects of failure probability, power drop and stress on the single cells. With both a highly linearized and a complex SOFC model simulations have been accomplished of the connection of two single cells in parallel and in serial configuration. Additionally different connection concepts of 16 single cells were examined. Finally, an outlook on different other source or storage technologies for electric energy like batteries and photovoltaic cells is given.

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Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Gas concentration at the cell – the concentration in the gas channel cm is used to calculate the Nernst-voltage, the difference of cm and creaction is modeled by the diffusion overpotential

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Figure 2

Segmentation of the cell in the direction of gas flow with segments of identical size

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Figure 3

Voltage current characteristic of the single cell for the different simulation scenarios

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Figure 7

Relative power of the 16-cell-stacks at failure of one cell (simulated with an internal resistance of Ri = 1000 Ω)

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Figure 6

Achievable power against smallest cell voltage for the simulation with 16 cells for the different scenarios given in Sec. 2. Scenarios simulated with and without 0.7 V minimum voltage.

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Figure 4

Equivalent circuit for stacks with connection concept C and D

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Figure 5

Achievable power against smallest cell voltage for the simulation with two cells for the different scenarios given in Sec. 2

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