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Research Papers

Modeling and Designing of a Radial Anode Off-Gas Recirculation Fan for Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Systems

[+] Author and Article Information
Patrick H. Wagner

Laboratory for Applied Mechanical
Design (LAMD),
École Polytechnique Fédérale de
Lausanne (EPFL),
Rue de la Maladière 71b,
Neuchâtel 2002, Switzerland
e-mail: patrick.wagner@epfl.ch

Zacharie Wuillemin

HTceramix SA—SOLIDpower,
Avenue des Sports 26,
Yverdon-les-Bains 1400, Switzerland
e-mail: zacharie.wuillemin@solidpower.com

Stefan Diethelm

Group of Energy Materials (GEM),
École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL),
Rue de l'Industrie 17,
Sion 1951, Switzerland
e-mail: stefan.diethelm@epfl.ch

Jan Van herle

Group of Energy Materials (GEM),
École Polytechnique Fédérale de
Lausanne (EPFL),
Rue de l'Industrie 17,
Sion 1951, Switzerland
e-mail: jan.vanherle@epfl.ch

Jürg Schiffmann

Laboratory for Applied Mechanical
Design (LAMD),
École Polytechnique Fédérale de
Lausanne (EPFL),
Rue de la Maladière 71b,
Neuchâtel 2002, Switzerland
e-mail: jurg.schiffmann@epfl.ch

Manuscript received September 14, 2016; final manuscript received April 5, 2017; published online May 10, 2017. Editor: Wilson K. S. Chiu.

J. Electrochem. En. Conv. Stor. 14(1), 011005 (May 10, 2017) (12 pages) Paper No: JEECS-16-1126; doi: 10.1115/1.4036401 History: Received September 14, 2016; Revised April 05, 2017

To improve the industry benchmark of solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) systems, we consider anode off-gas recirculation (AOR) using a small-scale fan. Evolutionary algorithms compare different system design alternatives with hot or cold recirculation. The system performance is evaluated through multi-objective optimization (MOO) criteria, i.e., maximization of electrical efficiency and cogeneration efficiency. The aerodynamic efficiency and rotordynamic stability of the high-speed recirculation fan is investigated in detail. The results obtained suggest that improvements to the best SOFC systems, in terms of net electrical efficiency, are achievable, including for small power scale (10 kWe).

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Methodology of the SOFC system optimization using OSMOSE and the fan modeling and designing

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Fig. 2

Process flow diagram of the considered co-flow SOFC system with 10 kWe

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Fig. 3

Comparison between experimental and simulated results for a short SOFC stack (six cells), cell area 80 cm2, and 75% fuel utilization

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Fig. 4

Pareto front of the optimized SOFC systems

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Fig. 5

Fan efficiencies for the SOFC system with cold AOR, calculated with the 0D (similarity concepts), 1D, and 3D model for different specific speed values. Optimized specific speed values are indicated with stars.

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Fig. 6

The SOFC system composite curve for cold AOR (solid line) and hot AOR (dashed line) at the point A, respectively, B on the Pareto front shown in Fig. 4

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Fig. 7

Evolution of three design variables along the Pareto front

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Fig. 8

Evolution of the fuel cell parameters along the Pareto front (constant current density of 0.4 A/cm2)

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Fig. 9

Evolution of anode off-gas recirculation, local and global fuel utilization along the Pareto front

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Fig. 10

Evolution of system temperatures (left y-axis) and cathode air excess ratio along the Pareto front (right Y-axis)

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Fig. 11

Evolution of isentropic fan, mechanical and total efficiencies along the Pareto front

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Fig. 12

Evolution of rotor speeds, fan and shaft diameters along the Pareto front

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Fig. 13

Anode off-gas recirculation fan design with four full and four splitter blades (left), as well as fan from the side view with mounted fan nose cone and stainless steel shaft, coated with diamond-like carbide (DLC), with one of the two herringbone grooved journal bearings (right). Every tick is a one mm.

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Fig. 14

Meridional view of fan impeller with relative velocity flow field

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Fig. 15

Illustration of the full computational recirculator domain and grid

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Fig. 16

Campbell diagram of the rotor with forward (circle) and backward (square) modes and corresponding logarithmic decrements

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