Computational fluid dynamics modeling of a solid oxide electrolyzer cell for hydrogen production

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A 2D computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model was developed to study the performance of a planar solid oxide electrolyzer cell (SOEC) for hydrogen production. The governing equations for mass continuity, momentum conservation, energy conservation and species conservation were discretized with the finite volume method (FVM). The coupling of velocity and pressure was treated with the SIMPLEC (Semi-Implicit Method for Pressure Linked Equations - Consistent) algorithm. Simulations were performed to investigate the effects of operating/structural parameters on heat/mass transfer and the electric characteristics of a planar SOEC. It is found that the gas velocity at the cathode increases significantly along the main flow channel, as the increase in H2molar fraction decreases the density and viscosity of the gas mixture at the cathode. It is also found that increasing the inlet gas velocity can enhance the SOEC performance. Another important finding is that the electrode porosity has small effect on SOEC performance. The results of this paper provide better understanding on the coupled heat/mass transfer and electrochemical reaction phenomena in an SOEC. The model developed can serve as a useful tool for SOEC design optimization. Nejat Veziroglu.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7795-7806
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Hydrogen Energy
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2009


  • Electrochemistry
  • Heat and mass transfer
  • High temperature steam electrolysis
  • Porous media
  • Solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC)
  • Transport phenomena

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Fuel Technology
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


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