Optimization of a new flow design for solid oxide cells using computational fluid dynamics modelling

Jakob Dragsbæk Duhn, Anker Degn Jensen, Stig Wedel, Christian Wix

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Design of a gas distributor to distribute gas flow into parallel channels for Solid Oxide Cells (SOC) is optimized, with respect to flow distribution, using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) modelling. The CFD model is based on a 3d geometric model and the optimized structural parameters include the width of the channels in the gas distributor and the area in front of the parallel channels. The flow of the optimized design is found to have a flow uniformity index value of 0.978. The effects of deviations from the assumptions used in the modelling (isothermal and non-reacting flow) are evaluated and it is found that a temperature gradient along the parallel channels does not affect the flow uniformity, whereas a temperature difference between the channels does. The impact of the flow distribution on the maximum obtainable conversion during operation is also investigated and the obtainable overall conversion is found to be directly proportional to the flow uniformity. Finally the effect of manufacturing errors is investigated. The design is shown to be robust towards deviations from design dimensions of at least ±0.1 mm which is well within obtainable tolerances.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Pages (from-to)261-271
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Solid oxide cell
  • Flow distribution
  • Fuel utilization rate
  • Planar fuel cells
  • Geometry optimization
  • Parallel channels


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