Research Papers

Steady-State and Transient Analysis of a Steam-Reformer Based Solid Oxide Fuel Cell System

[+] Author and Article Information
Tuhin Das1

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY 14623tkdeme@rit.edu

Sridharan Narayanan, Ranjan Mukherjee

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824


Corresponding author.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 7(1), 011022 (Nov 11, 2009) (10 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3120269 History: Received December 22, 2007; Revised August 05, 2008; Published November 11, 2009; Online November 11, 2009

In this paper we perform a model-based analysis of a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) system with an integrated steam reformer and with methane as a fuel. The objective of this study is to analyze the steady-state and transient characteristics of this system. For the analysis, we develop a detailed control-oriented model of the system that captures the heat and mass transfer, chemical kinetics, and electrochemical phenomena. We express the dynamics of the reformer and the fuel cell in state-space form. By applying coordinate transformations to the state-space model, we derive analytical expressions of steady-state conditions and transient behaviors of two critical performance variables, namely, fuel utilization and steam-to-carbon balance. Using these results, we solve a constrained steady-state fuel optimization problem using linear programming. Our analysis is supported by simulations. The results presented in this paper can be applied in predicting steady-state conditions and certain transient behaviors and will be useful in control development for SOFC systems.

Copyright © 2010 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 7

Transient STCR and STCB due to step change in current

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Figure 8

Steady-state fuel optimization

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Figure 9

Fuel optimization simulation

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Figure 1

Schematic of the SOFC system

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Figure 2

Schematic of the tubular steam reformer

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Figure 3

Schematic of the tubular SOFC

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Figure 4

Open-loop simulation of the fuel cell system

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Figure 5

Transient fuel utilization due to step change in current

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Figure 6

Response to step changes in fuel flow



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