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A Theoretical Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Model for System Controls and Stability Design

[+] Author Affiliations
George Kopasakis

NASA Glenn Research Center, Cleveland, OH

Thomas Brinson, Sydni Credle

Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, FL

Ming Xu

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA

Paper No. GT2006-91247, pp. 565-575; 11 pages
  • ASME Turbo Expo 2006: Power for Land, Sea, and Air
  • Volume 4: Cycle Innovations; Electric Power; Industrial and Cogeneration; Manufacturing Materials and Metallurgy
  • Barcelona, Spain, May 8–11, 2006
  • Conference Sponsors: International Gas Turbine Institute
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4239-8
  • Copyright © 2006 by ASME


As the aviation industry moves towards higher efficiency electrical power generation, all electric aircraft, or zero emissions and more quiet aircraft, fuel cells are sought as the technology that can deliver on these high expectations. The Hybrid Solid Oxide Fuel Cell system combines the fuel cell with a microturbine to obtain up to 70% cycle efficiency, and then distributes the electrical power to the loads via a power distribution system. The challenge is to understand the dynamics of this complex multi-discipline system, and design distributed controls that take the system through its operating conditions in a stable and safe manner while maintaining the system performance. This particular system is a power generation and distribution system and the fuel cell and microturbine model fidelity should be compatible with the dynamics of the power distribution system in order to allow proper stability and distributed controls design. A novel modeling approach is proposed for the fuel cell that will allow the fuel cell and the power system to be integrated and designed for stability, distributed controls, and other interface specifications. This investigation shows that for the fuel cell, the voltage characteristic should be modeled, but in addition, conservation equation dynamics, ion diffusion, charge transfer kinetics, and the electron flow inherent impedance should also be included.

Copyright © 2006 by ASME



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