Modification of results from computational-fluid-dynamics simulations of single-cell solid-oxide fuel cells to estimate multicell stack performance

William J. Sembler, Sunil Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A typical single-cell fuel cell is capable of producing less than 1 V of direct current. Therefore, to produce the voltages required in most industrial applications, many individual fuel cells must typically be stacked together and connected electrically in series. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) can be helpful to predict fuel-cell performance before a cell is actually built and tested. However, to perform a CFD simulation using a three-dimensional model of an entire fuel-cell stack can require a considerable amount of time and multiprocessor computing capability that may not be available to the designer. To eliminate the need to model an entire multicell assembly, a study was conducted to determine the incremental effect on fuel-cell performance of adding individual solid-oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) to a CFD model of a multicell stack. As part of this process, a series of simulations was conducted to establish a CFD-nodal density that would not only produce reasonably accurate results but could also be used to create and analyze the relatively large models of the multicell stacks. Full three-dimensional CFD models were then created of a single-cell SOFC and of SOFC stacks containing two, three, four, five, and six cells. Values of the voltages produced when operating with various current densities, together with temperature distributions, were generated for each of these CFD models. By comparing the results from each of the simulations, adjustment factors were developed to permit single-cell CFD results to be modified to estimate the performance of stacks containing multiple fuel cells. The use of these factors could enable fuel-cell designers to predict multicell stack performance using a CFD model of only a single cell.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number021008
JournalJournal of Fuel Cell Science and Technology
Volume8
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2011

Fingerprint

Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC)
Computational fluid dynamics
Fuel cells
Computer simulation
Dynamic models
Electric potential
Industrial applications
Temperature distribution
Current density

Keywords

  • CFD
  • computational fluid dynamics
  • fuel cell
  • multiple-cell analysis
  • SOFC
  • solid-oxide fuel cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology

Cite this

@article{991b9cd5aa6b4253828b697df4b7f6b0,
title = "Modification of results from computational-fluid-dynamics simulations of single-cell solid-oxide fuel cells to estimate multicell stack performance",
abstract = "A typical single-cell fuel cell is capable of producing less than 1 V of direct current. Therefore, to produce the voltages required in most industrial applications, many individual fuel cells must typically be stacked together and connected electrically in series. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) can be helpful to predict fuel-cell performance before a cell is actually built and tested. However, to perform a CFD simulation using a three-dimensional model of an entire fuel-cell stack can require a considerable amount of time and multiprocessor computing capability that may not be available to the designer. To eliminate the need to model an entire multicell assembly, a study was conducted to determine the incremental effect on fuel-cell performance of adding individual solid-oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) to a CFD model of a multicell stack. As part of this process, a series of simulations was conducted to establish a CFD-nodal density that would not only produce reasonably accurate results but could also be used to create and analyze the relatively large models of the multicell stacks. Full three-dimensional CFD models were then created of a single-cell SOFC and of SOFC stacks containing two, three, four, five, and six cells. Values of the voltages produced when operating with various current densities, together with temperature distributions, were generated for each of these CFD models. By comparing the results from each of the simulations, adjustment factors were developed to permit single-cell CFD results to be modified to estimate the performance of stacks containing multiple fuel cells. The use of these factors could enable fuel-cell designers to predict multicell stack performance using a CFD model of only a single cell.",
keywords = "CFD, computational fluid dynamics, fuel cell, multiple-cell analysis, SOFC, solid-oxide fuel cell",
author = "Sembler, {William J.} and Sunil Kumar",
year = "2011",
doi = "10.1115/1.4002617",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "8",
journal = "Journal of Fuel Cell Science and Technology",
issn = "1550-624X",
publisher = "American Society of Mechanical Engineers(ASME)",
number = "2",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Modification of results from computational-fluid-dynamics simulations of single-cell solid-oxide fuel cells to estimate multicell stack performance

AU - Sembler, William J.

AU - Kumar, Sunil

PY - 2011

Y1 - 2011

N2 - A typical single-cell fuel cell is capable of producing less than 1 V of direct current. Therefore, to produce the voltages required in most industrial applications, many individual fuel cells must typically be stacked together and connected electrically in series. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) can be helpful to predict fuel-cell performance before a cell is actually built and tested. However, to perform a CFD simulation using a three-dimensional model of an entire fuel-cell stack can require a considerable amount of time and multiprocessor computing capability that may not be available to the designer. To eliminate the need to model an entire multicell assembly, a study was conducted to determine the incremental effect on fuel-cell performance of adding individual solid-oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) to a CFD model of a multicell stack. As part of this process, a series of simulations was conducted to establish a CFD-nodal density that would not only produce reasonably accurate results but could also be used to create and analyze the relatively large models of the multicell stacks. Full three-dimensional CFD models were then created of a single-cell SOFC and of SOFC stacks containing two, three, four, five, and six cells. Values of the voltages produced when operating with various current densities, together with temperature distributions, were generated for each of these CFD models. By comparing the results from each of the simulations, adjustment factors were developed to permit single-cell CFD results to be modified to estimate the performance of stacks containing multiple fuel cells. The use of these factors could enable fuel-cell designers to predict multicell stack performance using a CFD model of only a single cell.

AB - A typical single-cell fuel cell is capable of producing less than 1 V of direct current. Therefore, to produce the voltages required in most industrial applications, many individual fuel cells must typically be stacked together and connected electrically in series. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) can be helpful to predict fuel-cell performance before a cell is actually built and tested. However, to perform a CFD simulation using a three-dimensional model of an entire fuel-cell stack can require a considerable amount of time and multiprocessor computing capability that may not be available to the designer. To eliminate the need to model an entire multicell assembly, a study was conducted to determine the incremental effect on fuel-cell performance of adding individual solid-oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) to a CFD model of a multicell stack. As part of this process, a series of simulations was conducted to establish a CFD-nodal density that would not only produce reasonably accurate results but could also be used to create and analyze the relatively large models of the multicell stacks. Full three-dimensional CFD models were then created of a single-cell SOFC and of SOFC stacks containing two, three, four, five, and six cells. Values of the voltages produced when operating with various current densities, together with temperature distributions, were generated for each of these CFD models. By comparing the results from each of the simulations, adjustment factors were developed to permit single-cell CFD results to be modified to estimate the performance of stacks containing multiple fuel cells. The use of these factors could enable fuel-cell designers to predict multicell stack performance using a CFD model of only a single cell.

KW - CFD

KW - computational fluid dynamics

KW - fuel cell

KW - multiple-cell analysis

KW - SOFC

KW - solid-oxide fuel cell

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=78649990348&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=78649990348&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1115/1.4002617

DO - 10.1115/1.4002617

M3 - Article

VL - 8

JO - Journal of Fuel Cell Science and Technology

JF - Journal of Fuel Cell Science and Technology

SN - 1550-624X

IS - 2

M1 - 021008

ER -