Mechanical Engineering Faculty Research


Conceptual Design of a Novel Ammonia-Fuelled Portable Solid Oxide Fuel Cell System

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-2010


A novel portable electric power generation system, fuelled by ammonia, is introduced and its performance is evaluated. In this system, a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) stack that consists of anode-supported planar cells with Ni–YSZ anode, YSZ electrolyte and YSZ–LSM cathode is used to generate electric power. The small size, simplicity, and high electrical efficiency are the main advantages of this environmentally friendly system. The results predicted through computer simulation of this system confirm that the first-law efficiency of 41.1% with the system operating voltage of 25.6 V is attainable for a 100 W portable system, operated at the cell voltage of 0.73 V and fuel utilization ratio of 80%. In these operating conditions, an ammonia cylinder with a capacity of 0.8 l is sufficient to sustain full-load operation of the portable system for 9 h and 34 min. The effect of the cell operating voltage at different fuel utilization ratios on the number of cells required in the SOFC stack, the first- and second-law efficiencies, the system operating voltage, the excess air, the heat transfer from the SOFC stack, and the duration of operation of the portable system with a cylinder of ammonia fuel, are also studied through a detailed sensitivity analysis. Overall, the ammonia-fuelled SOFC system introduced in this paper exhibits an appropriate performance for portable power generation applications.

Publication Title

Journal of Power Sources





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