Simulation of solid oxide fuel cell anode in aspen HYSYS-a study on the effect of reforming activity on distributed performance profiles, carbon formation, and anode oxidation risk
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A distributed variable model for solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC), with internal fuel reforming on the anode, has been developed in Aspen HYSYS. The proposed model accounts for the complex and interactive mechanisms involved in the SOFC operation through a mathematically viable and numerically fast modeling framework. The internal fuel reforming reaction calculations have been carried out in a plug flow reactor (PFR) module integrated with a spreadsheet module to interactively calculate the electrochemical process details. By interlinking the two modules within Aspen HYSYS flowsheeting environment, the highly nonlinear SOFC distributed profiles have been readily captured using empirical correlations and without the necessity of using an external coding platform, such as MATLAB or FORTRAN. Distributed variables including temperature, current density, and concentration profiles along the cell length, have been discussed for various reforming activity rates. Moreover, parametric estimation of anode oxidation risk and carbon formation potential against fuel reformation intensity have been demonstrated that contributes to the SOFC lifetime evaluation. Incrementally progressive catalyst activity has been proposed as a technically viable approach for attaining smooth profiles within the SOFC anode. The proposed modeling platform paves the way for SOFC system flowsheeting and optimization, particularly where the study of systems with stack distributed variables is of interest.
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