The flow aerodynamic and friction loss which are usually considered for heat exchanger design are adapted for a channel design for solid oxide fuel cell stack. In this study the design concept is limited to a parallel configuration because of its simplicity. Heat and mass transfer rate can be improved by an introduction of the non-straight parallel channel design yielding higher fuel cell performance. In this paper, a three-dimensional computational model of SOFCs with non-straight parallel channel has been constructed using computational aided engineering tool, FLUENT. The aim of this work is to investigate the cell performance associated with underlying transport phenomena of different channel configurations by looking at distributions of velocity, pressure, hydrogen and oxygen concentrations and current density of each channel design. The influence of each flow channel design (serpentine-parallel, zigzag-parallel and wavy-parallel) on cell performance in SOFCs is discussed. The results indicate that the most enhanced cell performance, especially at high current density, is achieved by using a serpentine-parallel channel design with a trade-off on its greater pressure drop.

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