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Efficiency and fuel utilization of methane-powered single-chamber solid oxide fuel cells

Hao, Yong and Goodwin, David G. (2008) Efficiency and fuel utilization of methane-powered single-chamber solid oxide fuel cells. Journal of Power Sources, 183 (1). pp. 157-163. ISSN 0378-7753. doi:10.1016/j.jpowsour.2008.04.072.

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The single-chamber solid oxide fuel cell (SC-SOFC) is a simplification of the conventional dual-chamber SOFC and has great potential for meeting portable power generation needs. While the high energy density of hydrocarbon fuels makes SC-SOFC a promising candidate as a power source for scenarios where portability is most preferred, the low efficiency and fuel utilization reported by many experimental groups have presented a major barrier keeping it from real application. Based on an experimentally validated numerical model, this work systematically investigates the fuel cell efficiency and fuel utilization of a methane-powered SC-SOFC as a function of operating parameters including flow rate, fuel-to-oxygen ratio, fuel cell layout and balance gas. We predict that the maximum achievable efficiency of a single-cell SC-SOFC is above 10% and the efficiency at typical operating conditions is above 5%, significantly higher than the reported 1% in literature. Optimization approaches are proposed at different levels in terms of both improving the power output and reducing the unspent fuel.

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Additional Information:Copyright © 2008 Elsevier. Received 7 March 2008; revised 25 April 2008; accepted 28 April 2008. Available online 4 May 2008. This work was partly supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) under grant N66001-01-1-8966 and partly by the Office of Naval Research under grant N00014-05-1-0339. We greatly appreciate the constructive suggestions from S. M. Haile, Z. Shao, C. Pantano, W. Lai, J. Mederos and Vaughan Thomas.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyN66001-01-1-8966
Office of Naval ResearchN00014-05-1-0339
Subject Keywords:Single-chamber fuel cell; Methane; Efficiency; Fuel utilization
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:HAOjps08
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Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:12269
Deposited By: Archive Administrator
Deposited On:31 Oct 2008 18:13
Last Modified:08 Nov 2021 22:27

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