Spatial temperature feedback control has been developed for a simulated integrated non-pressurized simple cycle solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) system. The fuel cell spatial temperature feedback controller is based on (1) feed-forward set-points that minimize temperature variation in the fuel cell electrode-electrolyte solid temperature profile for the system operating power range, and (2) decentralized proportional-integral based feedback to maintain the fuel cell spatial temperature profile during transients and disturbances. Simulation results indicate the fuel cell spatial temperature variation can be maintained within 15 degrees of nominal to significant load perturbations. Temperature gradients through the fuel cell are needed to remove the heat generated within the cell and cannot be avoided. The goal of the developed spatial temperature control is to minimize temperature variations from a nominal temperature profile in time. Minimal temperature variations in the SOFC electrode-electrolyte solid assembly will result in decreased thermal stresses and thereby decreased degradation and probability-of-failure. Simulation results demonstrating the ability to maintain the SOFC spatial temperature during large load perturbations indicates SOFC could be designed and controlled for rapid load following capability. Such performance can greatly improve SOFC system operating flexibility and thereby open new markets for SOFC systems including load following or spinning reserve services for the utility grid.

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