Modelling of a hybrid system for on-site power generation from solar fuels

Haoran Xu, Bin Chen, Peng Tan, Qiong Sun, M. Mercedes Maroto-Valer, Meng Ni

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Solar fuels, as clean and sustainable fuels, are promising energy sources for future low carbon economy. In this work, a hybrid system consisting of a photoreactor and a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) is proposed for on-site power generation from solar fuels. 2D numerical models are developed for the hybrid system for the first time by coupling the mass/momentum transport with the charge (electrons/ions) transport and the electrochemical/chemical reactions. A peak power density of 2162 W m−2 is achieved from the SOFC at 1073 K operating temperature. However, a rapid drop of the power density is observed at large current density due to the fuel starvation in the anode. The inlet CO2 mole fraction is found to significantly affect the output power density of the SOFC and CO2 utilization rate of the photo reactor, where a CO2 mole fraction of 40% is the optimum value for the studied cases. The results offer insightful information on energy conversion from solar to fuel to power and provide new options for sustainable energy conversion devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)709-718
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Energy
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2019


  • Hybrid system
  • Numerical simulation
  • Photoreactor
  • Solar energy
  • Solid oxide fuel cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Energy(all)
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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