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Research Papers

Modeling Studies of Tubular SOFCs for Transportation Markets

[+] Author and Article Information
Gianfranco DiGiuseppe

e-mail: gdigiuse@kettering.edu

Naveen K. Honnagondanahalli

Kettering University,
Mechanical Engineering Department,
1700 West Third Avenue, Flint, MI 48504

Jeff Dederer

Pittsburgh Electric Engines Inc.,
402 East Main Street, Mount Pleasant, PA 15666

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Fuel Cell Science and Technology. Manuscript received January 7, 2013; final manuscript received January 16, 2013; published online March 26, 2013. Editor: Nigel M. Sammes.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 10(2), 021009 (Mar 26, 2013) (9 pages) Paper No: FC-13-1001; doi: 10.1115/1.4023844 History: Received January 07, 2013; Revised January 16, 2013

This paper reports a new 3D isothermal, steady state electrochemical modeling study for tubular solid oxide fuel cells where the testing setup is studied in order to improve fuel distribution and geometry. For the model validation, an experimental voltage-current density curve measured in house was used. This study focuses on the cell testing setup and is used to optimize the testing geometry for improved testing conditions. The mathematical model consists of coupling fluid dynamics, electrical conduction, and diffusion physics. The model indicates that flow mal-distribution may be of concern and may affect cell performance. In addition, concentrations of current densities throughout the solid oxide fuel cell may cause some hot spots. Finally, the model is able to predict the cell voltage-current density of the cell very well when compared to experimental data.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Schematic of the turbo fuel cell engine (TFCE) for transportation markets

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Fig. 2

Picture of PEEI cells and bundle

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Fig. 3

Cell testing setup

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Fig. 4

Typical meshing combination used for these modeling studies

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Fig. 5

Volume plot of the flow field (velocity magnitude and velocity vectors) in the air and fuel side

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Fig. 6

Air flow field inside the AFT at different conditions: (a) standard testing setup, (b) elevated AFT, (c) centered AFT, and (d) off-centered AFT

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Fig. 7

Fuel flow field for different testing geometries: (a) standard testing geometry, (b) rounded fuel flow volume, and (c) squared fuel flow volume

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Fig. 8

Cathode current density along a selected short cell section at 0.7 V

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Fig. 9

Electrolyte/anode current density along a selected short cell section at 0.7 V

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Fig. 10

Electrolyte current density along the whole cell length at 0.7 V

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Fig. 11

Comparison of VJ obtained from COMSOL with experimental data from PEEI

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