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Evaluation and optimization of a micro-tubular solid oxide fuel cell stack model including an integrated cooling system


A micro-tubular solid oxide fuel cell stack model including an integrated cooling system was developed using a quasi three-dimensional, spatially resolved, transient thermodynamic, physical and electrochemical model that accounts for the complex geometrical relations between the cells and cooling-tubes. For the purpose of model evaluation, reference operating, geometrical and material properties are determined. The reference stack design is composed of 3294 cells, with a diameter of 2 mm, and 61 cooling-tubes. The stack is operated at a power density of 300 mW/cm2 and air is used as the cooling fluid inside the integrated cooling system. Regarding the performance, the reference design achieves an electrical stack efficiency of around 57% and a power output of 1.1 kW. The maximum occurring temperature of the positive electrode electrolyte negative electrode (PEN)-structure is 1369 K. As a result of a design of experiments, parameters of a best-case design are determined. The best-case design achieves a comparable power output of 1.1 kW with an electrical efficiency of 63% and a maximum occurring temperature of the PEN-structure of 1268 K. Nevertheless, the best-case design has an increased volume based on the higher diameter of 3 mm and increased spacing between the cells.

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