NETL Develops 3-D Analysis Tools for SSFC Systems

August 08, 2002 by Jeff Shepard

The National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL, Washington, DC) announced that researchers are developing FLUENT-based, 3-D, analysis tools for complex solid-state fuel cell (SSFC) geometries, which will provide performance predictions, thermal stress distributions and the ability to explore complex design options.

The design and development of the solid-state systems is based on a 5kW, solid-state module that can be mass-produced and used in residential or auxiliary power unit applications, or applied to large fuel cell systems. One of the tools being developed for the system is an accurate computational fluid dynamics method for simulating the performance of fuel cells so that design advances can proceed rapidly without the need for time-consuming build-and-test efforts.

NETL is now operating solid-oxide fuel cell (SOFC) test facilities to generate detailed model validation data using well-characterized SOFC test specimens. The steps should make it possible to create a model that will accurately predict the performance of cells and stacks so that critical design information, such as the distribution of cell and stack stresses, can be provided.