This research is focused on the flow characteristics in channels and internal manifolds embedded on the interconnect of a planar solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC), by implementing both numerical simulations and optical experiments. The selected commercial computational fluid dynamics (CFD) code solves the three-dimensional fluid problems with a finite volume method, while laser Doppler velocimetry (LDV) is utilized to measure the two-dimensional flow field in the channels on a hydraulic half-model. It is shown that the trend of measured velocity distribution is quite consistent with the counterpart predicted by the concurrent simulation, which serves as the mutual benchmarking process for the both approaches. Furthermore, parametric studies are carried out numerically, to reveal the insights of flow characteristics in the flow passages. The results show that pressure balance mechanisms among various channels and in-/outlet plenums turn out to be a critical measure, as far as the velocity distribution is concerned.

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