Fuel cells are electrochemical devices that directly transform chemical energy into electricity, which are promising for future energy systems, since they are energy efficient and, when hydrogen is used as fuel, there are no direct emissions of greenhouse gases. The cell performance depends strongly on the material characteristics, the operating conditions and the chemical reactions that occur inside the cell. The chemical- and electrochemical reaction rates depend on temperature, material structure, catalytic activity, degradation and the partial pressures for the different species components. There is a lack of information, within the open literature, concerning the fundamentals behind these reactions. Experimental as well as modeling studies are needed to reduce this gap. In this study experimental data collected from an intermediate temperature standard SOFC with H2/H2O in the fuel stream are used to validate a previously developed computational fluid dynamics model based on the finite element method. The developed model is based on the governing equations of heat and mass transport and fluid flow, which are solved together with kinetic expressions for internal reforming reactions of hydrocarbon fuels and electrochemistry. This model is further updated to describe the experimental environment concerning cell design. Discussion on available active area for electrochemical reactions and average ionic transport distance from the anodic- to the cathodic three-phase boundary (TPB) are presented. The fuel inlet mole fractions are changed for the validated model to simulate a H2/H2O mixture and 30% pre-reformed natural gas.

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