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Energies 2018, 11(3), 473; https://doi.org/10.3390/en11030473

Effect of Electrolyte Thickness on Electrochemical Reactions and Thermo-Fluidic Characteristics inside a SOFC Unit Cell

1
School of Mechanical Engineering, Chung-Ang University, Seoul 156-756, Korea
2
School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, 50 Nanyang Avenue, Singapore 639798, Singapore
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 26 December 2017 / Revised: 15 February 2018 / Accepted: 23 February 2018 / Published: 25 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Fundamentals and Conversion)
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Abstract

We investigated the effect of electrolyte thickness and operating temperature on the heat and mass transfer characteristics of solid oxide fuel cells. We conducted extensive numerical simulations to analyze single cell performance of a planar solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) with electrolyte thicknesses from 80 to 100 μm and operating temperatures between 700 °C and 800 °C. The commercial computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code was utilized to simulate the transport behavior and electrochemical reactions. As expected, the maximum power density increased with decreasing electrolyte thickness, and the difference became significant when the current density increased among different electrolyte thicknesses at a fixed temperature. Thinner electrolytes are beneficial for volumetric power density due to lower ohmic loss. Moreover, the SOFC performance enhanced with increasing operating temperature, which substantially changed the reaction rate along the channel direction. This study can be used to help design SOFC stacks to achieve enhanced heat and mass transfer during operation. View Full-Text
Keywords: solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC); computational fluid dynamics (CFD); heat and mass transfer; electrolyte thickness; operating temperature solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC); computational fluid dynamics (CFD); heat and mass transfer; electrolyte thickness; operating temperature
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Park, J.M.; Kim, D.Y.; Baek, J.D.; Yoon, Y.-J.; Su, P.-C.; Lee, S.H. Effect of Electrolyte Thickness on Electrochemical Reactions and Thermo-Fluidic Characteristics inside a SOFC Unit Cell. Energies 2018, 11, 473.

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