Mathematical modeling analysis and optimization of key design parameters of proton-conductive solid oxide fuel cells

Hong Liu, Zoheb Akhtar, Peiwen Li, Kai Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


A proton-conductive solid oxide fuel cell (H-SOFC) has the advantage of operating at higher temperatures than a PEM fuel cell, but at lower temperatures than a SOFC. This study proposes a mathematical model for an H-SOFC in order to simulate the performance and optimize the flow channel designs. The model analyzes the average mass transfer and species' concentrations in flow channels, which allows the determination of an average concentration polarization in anode and cathode gas channels, the proton conductivity of electrolyte membranes, as well as the activation polarization. An electrical circuit for the current and proton conduction is applied to analyze the ohmic losses from an anode current collector to a cathode current collector. The model uses relatively less amount of computational time to find the V-I curve of the fuel cell, and thus it can be applied to compute a large amount of cases with different flow channel dimensions and operating parameters for optimization. The modeling simulation results agreed satisfactorily with the experimental results from literature. Simulation results showed that a relatively small total width of flow channel and rib, together with a small ratio of the rib's width versus the total width, are preferable for obtaining high power densities and thus high efficiency.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)173-190
Number of pages18
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2014


  • Mathematical model
  • Optimization of gas channels
  • Proton-conductive SOFC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Optimization
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Fuel Technology
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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