An easy-to-approach and comprehensive model for planar type SOFCs

P. W. Li, A. Kotwal, J. L. Sepulveda, R. O. Loutfy, S. Chang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


An easy-to-approach and comprehensive mathematical model for planar type solid oxide fuel cells is presented in the current work. It provides a tool for researchers to conduct parametric studies with less-intensive computation in order to grasp the fundamentals of coupled mass transfer, electrochemical reaction, and current conduction in a fuel cell. In the model, the analysis for the mass transfer polarization at a known average fuel cell operating temperature is based on an average mass transfer model analogous to an average heat transfer process in a duct flow. The effect of the species' partial pressure at electrode/electrolyte interfaces is therefore included in the exchange current density for activation polarizations. An electrical circuit for the current and ion conduction is used to analyze the ohmic losses from anode current collector to cathode current collector. The three types of over-potentials caused by different polarizations in a planar type solid oxide fuel cell can be identified and compared. The effects of species concentrations, properties of fuel cell components to the voltage-current performance of a fuel cell at different operating conditions are studied. Optimization of the dimensions of flow channels and current-collecting ribs is also presented. The model is of significance to the design and optimization of solid oxide fuel cells for industrial application.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6393-6406
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 2009


  • Coupled processes
  • Heat/mass transfer analogy
  • Mathematical model
  • Optimization
  • SOFC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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