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Research Papers

Multicriteria Assessment of the Performance of Solid Oxide Fuel Cells by Cell Design and Materials Development: Design and Modeling Approach

[+] Author and Article Information
Junichiro Otomo

Department of Environment Systems,
Graduate School of Frontier Sciences,
The University of Tokyo,
5-1-5 Kashiwanoha, Kashiwa,
Chiba 277-8563, Japan;
Center for Low Carbon Society Strategy,
Japan Science and Technology Agency,
7, Gobancho, Chiyoda-ku,
Tokyo, 102-0076, Japan
e-mail: otomo@k.u-tokyo.ac.jp

Keiko Waki

Department of Energy Sciences,
Interdisciplinary Graduate School of Science and Engineering,
Tokyo Institute of Technology,
4259 Nagatsuta-cho, Midori-ku,
Yokohama, Kanagawa, 226-8502, Japan;
Center for Low Carbon Society Strategy,
Japan Science and Technology Agency,
7, Gobancho, Chiyoda-ku,
Tokyo, 102-0076, Japan

Koichi Yamada

Office of the President,
The University of Tokyo,
Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8656, Japan;
Center for Low Carbon Society Strategy,
Japan Science and Technology Agency,
7, Gobancho, Chiyoda-ku
Tokyo, 102-0076, Japan

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FUEL CELL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received April 29, 2012; final manuscript received December 20, 2012; published online January 30, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Ken Reifsnider.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 10(1), 011007 (Jan 30, 2013) (11 pages) Paper No: FC-12-1033; doi: 10.1115/1.4023387 History: Received April 29, 2012; Revised December 20, 2012

The performance of current solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) was evaluated in terms of the cell designs and the physicochemical properties of the component materials such as the electrode and electrolyte in order to demonstrate the potentials of state-of-the-art SOFC technology for the widespread use of SOFCs. A flat tubular type SOFC stack for residential use was analyzed as a standard case of a production version in terms of stack volume, weight, and material cost. The power density and power generation efficiency were also evaluated by model estimation. A microtubular type SOFC was evaluated as an example of an advanced cell design. The assessment of the cell design can pinpoint performance advantages of the microtubular type in stack volume, weight, material cost, volumetric power density, and efficiency. In addition, we attempted to demonstrate an analysis for the concurrent comparison of the impact of cell designs and material properties on cell performance by using volumetric power density as a common assessment criterion. Through the assessment with the state-of-the-art SOFC technology, it is possible to make a quantitative comparison of the significances of cell design and material property. The present assessment suggests that the development of cell design is a consistent approach to improving cell and stack performance. In this way, the proposed assessment can provide hints to a reliable research strategy for improving cell performance and realizing the widespread use of SOFCs.

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References

Figures

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Fig. 1

Schematic design of a flat tubular type of cell

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Fig. 2

Schematic design of the microtubular type of cell: (a) dimension of a single cell; (b) stack configuration (type A); and (c) stack configuration (type B)

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Fig. 3

Cell voltage, polarization, and power density for a standard single cell performance as a function of current density under standard operation conditions (see Table 1). Polarization curves, (a) ohmic loss; (b) cathode activation; (c) anode activation; (d) anode concentration; and (e) cathode concentration. The filled circle indicates the standard dc output condition.

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Fig. 4

Cell efficiency (dc) as a function of stack dc output power, according to the cell performance plotted in Fig. 3 (fuel utilization = 0.7). The filled circle indicates the standard dc output condition.

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Fig. 5

Dependence of stack weight, stack volume, and volumetric power density (dc output power/stack volume) on areal power density for a flat tubular type of cell at a fixed dc output power of 800 W

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Fig. 6

The influence of cell design on (a) stack weight, (b) net cell-module volume with a reformer, and (c) net volumetric power density for flat tubular, and microtubular cells (types A and B) at a fixed dc output power of 800 W. (See main text for the definitions of (b) and (c).)

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Fig. 7

The influence of cell design on cell efficiency for flat tubular and microtubular cells (types A and B) at a fixed net volumetric power density (0.21 kW/L: reference value of a flat tubular type of cell)

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Fig. 8

Sensitivity analysis for cell design and material properties of electrode and electrolyte. The broken line represents the base curve for a flat tubular type of cell, i.e., the relationship between net volumetric power density (y) and electrode area for the single cell (x) [y = −0.38 ln(x) + 1.5].

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