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Numerical Modeling of the Distributed Electrochemistry and Performance of Solid Oxide Fuels Cells

[+] Author Affiliations
Kurtis P. Recknagle, Moe A. Khaleel

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA

Emily M. Ryan

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Seattle, WA

Paper No. IMECE2011-64232, pp. 571-580; 10 pages
  • ASME 2011 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 4: Energy Systems Analysis, Thermodynamics and Sustainability; Combustion Science and Engineering; Nanoengineering for Energy, Parts A and B
  • Denver, Colorado, USA, November 11–17, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5490-7
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


A cell-level distributed electrochemistry (DEC) modeling tool has been developed to enable predicting trends in solid oxide fuel cell performance by considering the coupled and spatially varying multi-physics that occur within the tri-layer. The approach calculates the distributed electrochemistry within the electrodes, which includes the charge transfer and electric potential fields, ion transport throughout the tri-layer, and gas distributions within the composite and porous electrodes. The thickness of the electrochemically active regions within the electrodes is calculated along with the distributions of charge transfer. The DEC modeling tool can examine the overall SOFC performance based on electrode microstructural parameters, such as particle size, pore size, porosity, electrolyte- and electrode-phase volume fractions, and triple-phase-boundary length. Recent developments in electrode fabrication methods have lead to increased interest in using graded and nano-structured electrodes to improve the electrochemical performance of SOFCs. This paper demonstrates how the DEC modeling tool can be used to help design novel electrode microstructures by optimizing a graded anode for high electrochemical performance.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME



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