Control system design for micro-tubular solid oxide fuel cells

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Colleges, School and Institutes

Abstract

Fuel cells have been widely studied in the past decades due to their high energy conversion efficiency and low-carbon emissions. Solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) work at a high-temperature range, allowing the use of several types of fuels such as natural gas or methane. However, in operation, too high a fuel utilization (FU) leads to a large internal temperature gradient, thus the thermal shock of ceramic cracking; while a very low-FU results in carbon deposition and thus a decrease in the overall efficiency. In this work, a control system was designed for a small-scale micro-tubular SOFC (μ-SOFC) stack by employing the National Instruments™ Labview Programme and Data acquisition (DAQ) 6009 as well as related electronic components which enabled the control of the fuel flow rate for the stack and the temperature inside the furnace. The results showed that a well designed control system can not only improve the overall efficiency but also extend the working life, finally achieving a more economical μ-SOFC system.

Details

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Low-Carbon Technologies
Early online date22 Mar 2013
Publication statusPublished - 2013

Keywords

  • micro-tubular SOFC, control system, fuel utilization, energy efficiency