Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) stack development

Project manager:


  • Ir. Nico Woudstra




    Involved People:

    Facilities used:


    The first generation Solid Oxide Fuel Cells are developed for operation at high temperatures (900 to 1000˚C). These high temperatures however require expensive materials for the separator plates (in the case of flat plate cell concepts) and specific system components. The reduction of the operation temperature to about 600˚C is supposed to be necessary to obtain cost effective SOFC systems.

    Therefore a 20 kWe SOFC stack will be developed by ECN in cooperation with TU Delft and some industrial partners. The contribution of TU Delft will focus on the development of models for the evaluation and optimization of the fluid dynamic behavior of the SOFC stack. These models should enable the analysis of the gas distribution in the cell as well as in the stack, the temperature distribution in the stack if the effects of all reactions taking place in the cells are considered and the effect of temperature differences on thermal stresses in the stack. The analysis of the proposed stack design should result in determining the optimum stack size for the specified cell power.


    The aim of the project is to optimize the design of solid oxide fuel cell and stack operating at intermedium temperature by modeling.

    Work programme

    Firstly three dimensional models of cell and stack will be developed to investigate the flow dynamic behavior of anode gas and cathode gas in cell and stack without considering reactions. Secondly the reactions will be implemented into modeling. The reactions which will be accounted for include the electrochemical reaction (so called "cell reaction") used for converting chemical energy of hydrogen into electricity, the water gas shift reaction which can model the thermodynamic balance of CO CO2 H2 and H2O, and methane reforming reaction calculating the conversion of CH4 and H2O to H2 and CO. And then the related heat production and transportation will be implemented in the previous cell and stack models. For each step of modeling the corresponding experimental measurement will be performed to validate the results of modeling. In the end all the modeling results will contribute to the optimization of the design of cell and stack.

    Project partners


    University Twente

    Innovative Dutch Electro-Ceramics

    Euro-Techniek Eindhoven