Abstract

Direct flame fuel cells were developed in 2004 and there have been many iterations of them ever since. One of the latest iterations are the micro-tubular flame-assisted fuel cells. Even though there has been significant experimental research characterizing the performance and polarization losses of flame-assisted fuel cells, there is no model that describes their polarization losses. A model is thus developed and presented in this paper to assess the polarization losses and performance of flame-assisted fuel cells. Voltage and power density variation with current density are the main parameters that are analyzed in this paper. A model for calculating activation, ohmic and polarization losses is developed. Experimental parameters from previously published work like dimensions of the fuel cell layers, the fuel and oxidizer flow rates, the charge transfer coefficient and the exchange current density are used to optimize the model. The FFC is assumed to be a lumped system and a zero dimensional model is thus developed. The model was able to achieve an accuracy up to 95%, which adds to its credibility. The fuel-rich combustion exhaust composition is predicted using chemical equilibrium analysis for the equivalence ratios of 1.25 to 1.4 with intervals of 0.5 at 800°C. The model predicts that the open circuit voltage decreases from 0.94 to 0.89 for the equivalence ratios of 1.4 to 1.25, respectively, which matches experimental results. The model also predicts that the maximum power density decreases with decrease in equivalence ratio. Negligible activation loss was observed in the results while the ohmic loss didn‘t vary significantly with equivalence ratio. The concentration loss increased with decrease in equivalence ratio, which also matches with experimental results.

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