Effect of Design Parameters on the Internal Steam Reforming of Methane in Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Systems
American Journal of Modern Energy
Volume 3, Issue 3, June 2017, Pages: 38-49
Received: May 10, 2017; Accepted: May 26, 2017; Published: Jun. 30, 2017
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Authors
Junjie Chen, Department of Energy and Power Engineering, School of Mechanical and Power Engineering, Henan Polytechnic University, Jiaozuo, China
Xuhui Gao, Department of Energy and Power Engineering, School of Mechanical and Power Engineering, Henan Polytechnic University, Jiaozuo, China
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Abstract
The operation of solid oxide fuel cell systems with the internal steam reforming of methane over supported nickel catalysts is studied. A mathematical model including heterogeneous chemistry, electro-chemistry, mass transport, and porous media transport is developed to explore the thermal energy coupling between the steam reforming and the electrochemical reactions, independent of the geometrical structure. The role of catalyst activity, inlet temperature, current density, and operating pressure in the system behavior is evaluated. A sensitivity analysis is also performed for different design parameters. The effect of flow configuration on the operation of the system is analyzed and compared based on multiple performance criteria. It is shown that the internal steam reforming within the fuel cell system can result in an overall auto-thermal operation which increases efficiency and simplifies the design process. However, a local cooling effect may occur close to the entrance of the reformer. The use of less active catalysts can cause the slippage of the methane. To reduce both the overall temperature increase across the fuel cell and the local cooling caused by the endothermic steam reforming reactions, increasing the operating pressure is found to be an effective approach. High system efficiency is obtained with increasing the operating pressure or decreasing the current density. The more efficient system is found for a co-flow configuration, while significant temperature gradients near the entrance of the reformer are not desirable for ceramic solid oxide fuel cell systems.
Keywords
Solid Oxide Fuel Cell, Steam Reforming, Design Parameter, Flow Configuration, Reaction Kinetics, Energy Conversion Efficiency
To cite this article
Junjie Chen, Xuhui Gao, Effect of Design Parameters on the Internal Steam Reforming of Methane in Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Systems, American Journal of Modern Energy. Vol. 3, No. 3, 2017, pp. 38-49. doi: 10.11648/j.ajme.20170303.11
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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