This work presents a computational thermofluid-dynamic analysis of circular-planar type intermediate-temperature solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs), based on the Hexis design. A single cell, representative of the average conditions of a real stack, is simulated in detail considering the real anode and cathode channel design, featuring an array of square pegs supporting the interconnection layers. The analysis is developed starting from cell operating data assumed from real test experimental information for an anode-supported SOFC with a 100cm2 active area, fed with pure hydrogen, and is extended to different reactant flow rates and generated heat flux power densities to evidence a generalized correlation for the thermofluid-dynamic behavior of the fuel cell under variable operating conditions. Aiming to provide a set of general results for the calculation of the heat transfer coefficient, which is applicable for the purpose of a complete thermal and electrochemical finite volume analysis, the simulation calculates local temperature distributions depending on radial and angular positions. The fluid-dynamic analysis evidences the existence of preferential flow paths and nonuniformity issues of the gas flow field, which may affect significantly the cell performances, and indicates possible cell design improvements.

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