Multidimensional flow, thermal, and chemical behavior in solid-oxide fuel cell button cells

Graham M. Goldin*, Huayang Zhu, Robert J. Kee, David Bierschenk, Scott A. Barnett

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


The quantitative analysis and interpretation of button-cell experiments usually depends upon assuming isothermal conditions together with uniform and known gas composition within the gas compartments. An objective of the present effort is to develop computational tools to study the validity of such assumptions. A three-dimensional computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model is developed and applied to a particular SOFC button cell, characterizing the fluid flow, chemistry, and thermal transport. Results show that when inlet flow rates are sufficiently high, button-cell data can be interpreted using the commonly used assumptions. However, when flow rates are not sufficient, the assumptions of uniform composition can be significantly violated. Additionally, depending on operating conditions there can be significant temperature variations within the gas compartments and the membrane-electrode assembly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-135
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Power Sources
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2009


  • Button cell
  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Modeling
  • SOFC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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