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Wednesday, 23 September, 2020, 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Special session on the thermal engineering in solid oxide fuel cells' stack design

EAST logo
Aims of the special session

The organizers of the CPOTE2020 conference are pleased to invite to a special session dedicated to the project titled Easy-to-Assemble Stack Type (EAST): development of new solid oxide fuel cell stack for the innovation in the Polish energy sector. . This special session is devoted to the progress in the EAST project. The project was realized between 2017 and 2020 year under the FIRST TEAM program by the Foundation for Polish Science and co-financed by the European Union under the European Regional Development Fund. The project's primary focus was to design a novel - easy-to-assemble and easy-to-seal stack configuration of the solid oxide fuel cells. Our patented design is an interconnect-free banded-type solid oxide fuel cell stack that offers a broad possibility of locally resolved catalyst morphologies and microstructure designs. The session summarizes numerical tools that we developed and used in the optimization and design process, such as multiscale modeling, computational fluid dynamics, cellular automata simulation, swarm optimization, and artificial neural network supported numerical simulation of transport phenomena. The session is concluded with a presentation on our successful attempt at building the laboratory scale prototype.

  • Numerical analysis of the catalyst distribution optimization in a steam reforming reactor using genetic algorithm
    Pająk Marcin, Brus Grzegorz, Szmyd Janusz,
  • Modeling electrochemical reaction in solid oxide fuel cell's anode with an artificial neural network-supported numerical simulation
    Buchaniec Szymon, Gnatowski Marek, Brus Grzegorz,
  • From micro to macroscale: Multiscale aspects of solid oxide fuel cell stack simulations
    Moździerz Marcin, Prokop Tomasz, Śreniawski Karol, Chalusiak Maciej, Brus Grzegorz,
  • Interconnect-free (banded) solid oxide fuel cell stack
    Chalusiak Maciej, Berent Katarzyna, Śreniawski Karol, Brus Grzegorz,
  • Tailoring SOFC electrodes' microstructure using 3D representative volume element generation and evolutionary computing
    Buchaniec Szymon, Moździerz Marcin, Prokop Tomasz, Brus Grzegorz,

More info and the order of the presentations are on the detailed schedule

About the project

Title: Easy-to-Assemble Stack Type (EAST): development of new solid oxide fuel cell stack for the innovation in the Polish energy sector

Acronym: EAST

More information about the project is available at the website:

Solid oxide fuel cells are electrochemical devices that directly convert the chemical energy of fuel and oxidant into electricity. Fuel Cells own their growing popularity due to the high energy conversion efficiency in the broad range of system size and low level of pollutants they emit. A single cell consists of an ion-conducting solid electrolyte that separates two electrodes: an anode and a cathode. Fuel, which typically is hydrogen, is fed into the anode, whereas air is fed into the cathode. When the fuel and the oxidant encounter a catalyst, they exchange electrons. Because this process is faster at the cathode side, an electric potential difference arises. This potential difference can be converted into useful work by directing electrons throughout an external circuit. Fuel Cells have extremely complex morphologies of their electrodes' microstructures to promote reaction domain in the vastest possible volume. However, even with extensive access to the reaction site, a single cell produces only about 1.2 volts of the potential difference, which can be transferred only to minimal power output, as the power output is limited by the size of the cell. To achieve higher electric potential the cells must be connected in series creating a stack. The design of such devices is a genuinely multidisciplinary and fast-changing field. The significance of microscale electrochemistry, together with the necessity of accounting for macroscopic flows of fuel and oxidants, makes simulation and design process of fuel cell stacks a challenging task.

Selected project results

Visualisation of ion-conducting phase potential distribution in an anode of a solid oxide fuel cell obtained via three-dimensional heterogenious microscale numerical simulation. More about this study can be found in T. Prokop et al. Catalysts. 8 (2018) 503.

The geometry of the interconnect-free solid oxide fuel cell stack

Comparison of the temperature distribution in a) a conventional reactor, b) with a macro-patterned catalyst distribution found by the optimization algorithm for methane steam reforming scenario.

Distribution of catalytic and metallic foam segments in the reactors: a) a conventional reactor, b) macro-patterned reactor found by the optimization algorithm

The temperature distribution within a six-cell stack assembly of EAST design solid oxide fuel cell stack - results from the numerical simulation from M. Mozdzierz et al. Catalysts. 9 (2019) 253.

An example of the relation between microstructural parameters, connectivity, and volumetric phase fraction is obtained via cellular automata generation of three-dimensional digital material representation coupled with quantification techniques - results from S. Buchaniec et al. IEEE Access. 7 (2019) 34361–34372.
Project coordinator and partners
Project Coordinator AGH University of Science and Technology, Poland
Kyoto University, Japan
Shibaura Institute of Technology, Japan

The „Easy-to-Assemble Stack Type (EAST): development of new solid oxide fuel cell stack for the innovation in Polish energy sector” project is carried out within the FIRST TEAM programme of the Foundation for Polish Science co-financed by the European Union under the European Regional Development Fund.