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Transient Reversible Solid Oxide Cell Reactor Operation – Experimentally Validated Modeling and Analysis


A reversible solid oxide cell (rSOC) reactor can operate efficiently in both electrolysis mode and in fuel cell mode. The bidirectional operability enables rSOC reactors to play a central role as an efficient energy conversion system for energy storage and sector coupling for a renewable energy driven society. A combined system for electrolysis and fuel cell operation can result in complex system configurations that should be able to switch between the two modes as quickly as possible. This can lead to temperature profiles within the reactor that can potentially lead to the failure of the reactor and eventually the system. Hence, the behavior of the reactor during the mode switch should be analyzed and optimal transition strategies should be taken into account during the process system design stage. In this paper a one dimensional transient reversible solid oxide cell model was built and experimentally validated using a commercially available reactor. A simple hydrogen based system model was built employing the validated reactor model to study reactor behavior during the mode switch. The simple design leads to a system efficiency of 49% in fuel cell operation and 87% in electrolysis operation where the electrolysis process is slightly endothermic. Three transient operation strategies were studied. It is shown that the voltage response to transient operation is very fast, provided the reactant flows are changed equally fast. A possible solution to ensure a safe mode switch by controlling the reactant inlet temperatures is presented. By keeping the rate of change of reactant inlet temperatures five to ten times slower than the mode switch, a safe transition can be ensured.

Related subjects: Production & Supply Chain ; Safety
Countries: Germany ; Netherlands

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