Improved Model for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

Improved Model for Solid Oxide Fuel Cells

Author: Elmar Zimmermann

Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) are futuristic power sources which are highly attractive due to their high efficiency and fuel flexibility. The challenges facing the commercialization of the SOFC technology include the improvement of cell design to increase cell efficiency. This requires a variety of models ranging from a simple zero-dimensional model to complex three-dimensional ones, which require enormous computational time.

A team around Moses O. Tade, Curtin University, Australia, demonstrated the performance of an improved tank in series (TSR) model of a tubular SOFC as a preliminary study for more refined models. This model includes species mass balances for the gas channels and diffusion layers, energy balances for the fuel and air channels and also for the positive electrode/electrolyte/negative electrode structures. Using the TSR model they simulated the potentiostatic operation of the SOFC.

The results verify a strong coupling between the temperature, concentration and current density distributions.

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