A New Numerical Study Method of Thermal Stress Distribution and Tortuosity Effectiveness in an Anode Porous Electrode for a Planar Solid Oxide Fuel Cell

Document Type : Research Paper


Mechanical Engineering Faculty, K. N. Toosi University of Technology, Tehran, Iran



A fuel cell is an electro-chemical tool capable of converting chemical energy into electricity. High operating temperature of solid oxide fuel cell, between 700oC to 1000oC, causes thermal stress. Thermal stress causes gas escape, structure variability and cease operation of the SOFC before its lifetime.The purpose of the current paper is to present a method that predicts the thermal stress distribution in an anisotropic porous anode of planar SOFC. The coupled governing non-linear differential equations, heat transfer, fluid flow, mass transfer, mass continuity, and momentum are solved numerically. A code based on computational fluid dynamics (CFD), computational structural mechanics and finite element method (FEM) is developed and utilized. The code uses the generated data inside the porous anode in order to detect the temperature and the stress distribution using the Darcy’s law and the Navier-Stokes equations. The numerical results used to govern the areas of high values of stresses were higher than the yield strength of materials. The results show that a highest thermal stress occurs at lower corners of the anode. The concentrated temperature occurs at the middle of the electrolyte-anode whereas the maximum pressure occurs at the middle of the upper and lower section of the anode.


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