Numerical simulations can be used to visualize and better understand various distributions such as gas concentration and temperature in solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) under realistic operating conditions. However, pre-existing models generally utilize an anode exchange current density equation which is valid for humidified hydrogen fuels – an unrealistic case for SOFCs, which are generally fueled by hydrocarbons. Here, we focus on developing a new, modified exchange current density equation, leading to an improved numerical analysis model for SOFC anode kinetics. As such, we experimentally determine the exchange current density of SOFC anodes fueled by fully pre-reformed methane. The results are used to derive a new phenomenological anode exchange current density equation. This modified equation is then combined with computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to simulate the performance parameters of a three-dimensional electrolyte-supported SOFC. The new modified exchange current density equation for methane-based fuels reproduces the I–V characteristics and temperature distribution significantly better than the previous models using humidified hydrogen fuel. Better simulations of SOFC performance under realistic operating conditions are crucial for the prediction and prevention of e.g. fuel starvation and thermal stresses.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Fuel Technology
- Condensed Matter Physics
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology