Comparison of humidified hydrogen and partly pre-reformed natural gas as fuel for solid oxide fuel cells applying computational fluid dynamics

Martin Andersson, Hironori Nakajima, Tatsumi Kitahara, Akira Shimizu, Takahiro Koshiyama, Hedvig Paradis, Jinliang Yuan, Bengt Sundén

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) approach based on the finite element method (FEM) is used to investigate a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC). Governing equations for heat, gas-phase species, electron, ion and momentum transport are implemented and coupled to kinetics describing electrochemical as well as internal reforming reactions. The model cell design is based on a cell from Ningbo Institute of Material Technology and Engineering in China and the electrochemical area-to-volume ratios are based on experimental work performed at Kyushu University in Japan. A parameter study is performed focusing on the inlet fuel composition, where humidified hydrogen, 30% pre-reformed natural gas (as defined by IEA) and 50% pre-reformed natural gas (as defined by Kyushu University) are compared. It is found that when 30% pre-reformed natural gas is supplied as fuel the air mass flow rate is halved, compared to the case with humidified hydrogen, keeping the inlet and outlet temperatures constant. The current density is decreased but the fuel utilization is kept at 80%. It is found that the cathode support layer has a significant oxygen gas-phase resistance in the direction normal to the cathode/electrolyte interface (at positions under the interconnect ribs), as well as an electron resistance inside the cathode (at positions under the air channel) in the same direction. The methane steam reforming reaction is shown, both according to the experiments and to the models, to proceed along the main flow direction throughout the cell.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1008-1022
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer
Volume77
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014

Fingerprint

natural gas
solid oxide fuel cells
computational fluid dynamics
Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC)
Hydrogen
Natural gas
Computational fluid dynamics
Cathodes
cathodes
Reforming reactions
hydrogen
Gases
cells
vapor phases
inlet temperature
Electrons
air masses
mass flow rate
outlets
Air

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes

Cite this

Comparison of humidified hydrogen and partly pre-reformed natural gas as fuel for solid oxide fuel cells applying computational fluid dynamics. / Andersson, Martin; Nakajima, Hironori; Kitahara, Tatsumi; Shimizu, Akira; Koshiyama, Takahiro; Paradis, Hedvig; Yuan, Jinliang; Sundén, Bengt.

In: International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer, Vol. 77, 10.2014, p. 1008-1022.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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