There are a growing number of models in the literature dealing with the transient behavior of fuel cells. However, few, if any, employ fundamental kinetic theory to model the fuel reformation process while simultaneously simulating fuel cell behavior from a transient, system-level perspective. Thus a comprehensive, transient fuel cell model has been developed that includes all the relevant thermodynamics, chemistry, and electrical characteristics of actual fuel cell operation. The model tracks the transient temperature response of a fuel cell stack, chemical specie concentrations of exhaust gases, efficiency of the fuel reformation equipment, and electrical output characteristics. Model results provide a concise, parametric evaluation of the influence of operating conditions and user-controlled parameters on fuel cell performance. The model is validated against transient Molten Carbonate fuel cell (MCFC) data from a subscale stack.

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