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A Multiscale Approach to the Numerical Simulation of the Solid Oxide Fuel Cell

1
Department of Fundamental Research in Energy Engineering, AGH University of Science and Technology, Mickiewicza ave. 30, 30-059 Krakow, Poland
2
Academic Centre for Materials and Nanotechnology, AGH University of Science and Technology, Mickiewicza ave. 30, 30-059 Krakow, Poland
3
Department of Machinery and Control Systems, Shibaura Institute of Technology, 307 Fukasaku, Minuma-ku, Saitama-shi, Saitama 337-8570, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Catalysts 2019, 9(3), 253; https://doi.org/10.3390/catal9030253
Received: 31 January 2019 / Revised: 5 March 2019 / Accepted: 7 March 2019 / Published: 12 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Solid Oxide Fuel Cells – The Low Temperature Challenge)
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Abstract

The models of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs), which are available in the open literature, may be categorized into two non-overlapping groups: microscale or macroscale. Recent progress in computational power makes it possible to formulate a model which combines both approaches, the so-called multiscale model. The novelty of this modeling approach lies in the combination of the microscale description of the transport phenomena and electrochemical reactions’ with the computational fluid dynamics model of the heat and mass transfer in an SOFC. In this work, the mathematical model of a solid oxide fuel cell which takes into account the averaged microstructure parameters of electrodes is developed and tested. To gain experimental data, which are used to confirm the proposed model, the electrochemical tests and the direct observation of the microstructure with the use of the focused ion beam combined with the scanning electron microscope technique (FIB-SEM) were conducted. The numerical results are compared with the experimental data from the short stack examination and a fair agreement is found, which shows that the proposed model can predict the cell behavior accurately. The mechanism of the power generation inside the SOFC is discussed and it is found that the current is produced primarily near the electrolyte–electrode interface. Simulations with an artificially changed microstructure does not lead to the correct prediction of the cell characteristics, which indicates that the microstructure is a crucial factor in the solid oxide fuel cell modeling. View Full-Text
Keywords: solid oxide fuel cells; mathematical modeling; numerical simulation solid oxide fuel cells; mathematical modeling; numerical simulation
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Mozdzierz, M.; Berent, K.; Kimijima, S.; Szmyd, J.S.; Brus, G. A Multiscale Approach to the Numerical Simulation of the Solid Oxide Fuel Cell. Catalysts 2019, 9, 253.

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