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The Effect of Gas Channels-Electrode Interface Area on SOFCs Performance

[+] Author Affiliations
Julio C. Moreno-Blanco, Francisco Elizalde-Blancas, Abel Hernandez-Guerrero, Cuauhtemoc Rubio-Arana

University of Guanajuato, Salamanca, GUA, Mexico

Paper No. ESDA2012-82917, pp. 589-597; 9 pages
  • ASME 2012 11th Biennial Conference on Engineering Systems Design and Analysis
  • Volume 2: Applied Fluid Mechanics; Electromechanical Systems and Mechatronics; Advanced Energy Systems; Thermal Engineering; Human Factors and Cognitive Engineering
  • Nantes, France, July 2–4, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: International
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4485-4
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


It is well known that the main overpotentials during the operation of a fuel cell are activation, ohmic and concentration overpotentials. In order to operate more efficiently these devices that convert the chemical energy of the fuel into electrical energy, it is necessary to reduce as much as possible the overpotentials aforementioned. Some of the components of a fuel cell are the so called current collectors. These components affect the fuel cell performance mainly by means of two overpotentials, the ohmic and concentration overpotentials. The second one, is however, affected indirectly by the current collector design, since it may only help to distribute more uniformly the gases over the electrodes. The activation overpotential is basically not affected because it is mainly related with the electrode properties such as the exchange current density. In this work, the effect of the current collectors design on the performance of planar Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs) is assessed by means of fully three-dimensional numerical simulations by comparing the V-I and power density curves of a planar cell. The goal of this study is not to find the optimal design of the current collectors but a way in which the overpotentials relate with their design in order to propose some helpful recommendations during the design process of these fuel cell components. These recommendations may lead to design an improved or optimal flow distributor.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME



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