Research Papers

Experimental and Numerical Study of Various MT-SOFC Flow Manifold Techniques: Single MT-SOFC Analysis

[+] Author and Article Information
V. Lawlor

Department of Eco-Energy,
Upper Austrian University of Applied Science,
A-4600 Wels, Austria;
Department of Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering,
Dublin City University,
Dublin 9, Ireland
e-mail: vlawlor@gmail.com

K. Klein, S. Kuehn

eZelleron GmbH,
Collenbuschstr. 22,
01324 Dresden, Germany

S. Griesser, G. Buchinger

Department of Eco-Energy,
Upper Austrian University of Applied Science,
A-4600 Wels, Austria

A.-G. Olabi

Department of Manufacturing and Mechanical Engineering,
Dublin City University,
Dublin 9, Ireland

S. Cordiner

Dipartimento di Ingegneria Meccanica,
Università di Roma Tor Vergata,
00133 Rome, Italy

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Advanced Energy Systems Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF FUEL CELL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received November 24, 2011; final manuscript received April 14, 2012; published online January 15, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Masashi Mori.

J. Fuel Cell Sci. Technol 10(1), 011003 (Jan 15, 2013) (11 pages) Paper No: FC-11-1157; doi: 10.1115/1.4023216 History: Received November 24, 2011; Revised April 14, 2012

Standard anode supported micro tubular-solid oxide fuel cell (MT-SOFC) stacks may provide the oxidant, in relation to the fuel, in three different manifold regimes. Firstly, “co-flow” involves oxidant outside the MT-SOFC flowing co-linearly in relation to the fuel inside. Secondly, “counter flow” involves oxidant outside the MT-SOFC flowing counter-linearly in relation to the fuel inside the MT-SOFC. Finally, “cross-flow” involves the oxidant outside the MT-SOFC flowing perpendicular to the fuel flow inside the MT-SOFC. In order to examine the effect of manifold technique on MT-SOFC performance, a combination of numerical simulation and experimental measurements was performed. Furthermore, the cathode current tap location, in relation to the fuel flow, was also studied. It was found that the oxidant manifold and the location of the cathode current collection point on the MT-SOFC tested and modeled had negligible effect on the MT-SOFC's electrical and thermal performance. In this study, a single MT-SOFC was studied in order to establish the measurement technique and numerical simulation implementation as a prerequisite before further test involving a 7 cell MT-SOFC stack.

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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

(a) A photograph showing the experimental apparatus. (b) A photograph showing the heating mechanism and indication of oxidant gas flow direction. (c) A CAD drawing showing the layout inside the apparatus. (d) A CAD drawing showing the cell guides and location of gas tight seals.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

Location of thermocouples and current collector on the MT-SOFC used in the experimental apparatus. Note, e.g., “+ out” refers to hydrogen supplied whereby the cathode tap is located at the outlet.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 3

(a) Temperature profile of apparatus confirmed by thermocouple measurement at locations indicated with a yellow dot, (b) view of meshing on the xy plane and, (c) meshing around the MT-SOFC on the xy plane

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 4

I/V and power curve showing simulated and measured recordings when the cathode tap was located at the fuel inlet “+ in” (a) and outlet “+ out” (b)

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 5

Temperature measurements and averaged CFD temperature prediction for all manifolds at (a) the middle thermocouple position, (b) left thermocouple position, (c) right thermocouple position (refer to Fig. 2). (d) The recorded and CFD predicted MT-SOFC current density as a function of oxidant inlet flow rate.

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 6

Co-flow temperature, species, and current density plots for (a) and (b) “+ out” and (c) and (d) “+ in”

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 7

Counter-flow temperature, species, and current density plots for (a) and (b) “+ out” and (c) and (d) “+ in”

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 8

Cross-flow temperature, species, and current density plots for (a) and (b) “+ out” and (c) and (d) “+ in”



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