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.
|Number of pages||15|
|Journal||International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer|
|Publication status||Published - Oct 2014|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Mechanical Engineering
- Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes