A computational fluid dynamics and finite element analysis design of a microtubular solid oxide fuel cell stack for fixed wing mini unmanned aerial vehicles

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Colleges, School and Institutes


Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and finite element analysis (FEA) are important modelling and simulation techniques to design and develop fuel cell stacks and their balance of plant (BoP) systems.

The aim of this work is to design a microtubular solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) stack by coupling CFD and FEA models to capture the multiphysics nature of the system. The focus is to study the distribution of fluids inside the fuel cell stack, the dissipation of heat from the fuel cell bundle, and any deformation of the fuel cells and the stack canister due to thermal stresses – which is important to address during the design process. The stack is part of an innovative all-in-one SOFC generator with an integrated BoP system to power a fixed wing mini unmanned aerial vehicle. Including the computational optimisation at an early stage of the development process is hence a prerequisite in developing a reliable and robust all-in-one SOFC generator system. The presented computational model considers the bundle of fuel cells as the heat source. This could be improved in the future by replacing the heat source with electrochemical reactions to accurately predict the influence of heat on the stack design.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8519-8532
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number16
Early online date27 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - 29 Mar 2019


  • fuel cell stack and system design, , UAV, unmanned aerial vehicle, power supply, Computational fluid dynamics, microtubular solid oxide fuel cell, hydrocarbon fuels