3-Dimensional Computational Fluid Dynamics Modeling of Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Using Different Fuels
MISSOURI UNIV OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ROLLA
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Solid oxide fuel cell SOFC technology has been of great interest over many years due to its flexibility in using different fuels for operation including the fundamental fuel i.e. Hydrogen. Various computational and numerical models have been developed along with experimental work to evaluate the performance as well as to identify and overcome the problems faced in the development of SOFCs. In an attempt to achieve efficient operation with respect to design and combined thermal and electrochemical perspective, the main objective of the proposed study is to present a three-dimensional computational model, which will serve as a framework for the analysis and optimization of SOFCs. A three-dimensional model of a tubular SOFC was developed to study the effect of temperature and electrolyte thickness variations on its performance. A commercial Computational Fluid dynamics CFD software ANSYS FLUENT 12.0 was used for the development of the model which incorporates an interactive 3-D electro-thermo-chemical fluid flow analysis. The particular model, after validation against experimental observations for selected benchmark cases, was demonstrated to be compatible for intermediate temperature operations using hydrogen as fuel. The performance of the model was analyzed by varying electrolyte thicknesses from 2-100 micrometer. The same model was further evaluated using different fuels such as CH4 methane and CO carbon monoxide, including the modeling of the reformation and the water-gas shift reactions. The results were compared to other computationally less expensive, analytical and empirical models, thus confirming the given model to be used as a basic model for future research on intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cells.
- Fluid Mechanics