Configuration Development of Autothermal Solid Oxide Fuel Cell: A Review
Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) is typically operated at high temperature. Both electricity and heat are generated during operation. Therefore, SOFC can be efficiently designed to integrate the endothermic reformer with the cell for optimizing heated utilization, as called autothermal operation. However, the mismatch between rate of exothermic electrochemical reaction and endothermic reforming reaction is easily resulted in material cracking of those integrated structure. In order to overcome the thermal mismatch limitation, various approaches for autothermal SOFC configurations have been widely developed; these configurations can be classified into 2 main groups including direct internal reforming (as called DIR-SOFC) and indirect internal reforming (as called IIR-SOFC) operations. This review focuses on the technological progress of these various configurations. In detail, computer simulation technique has been applied to study the thermal behavior inside the autothermal SOFC configurations using various primary hydrocarbon fuels. In addition, the advantage and disadvantage on thermal stress reduction of each configuration are also discussed.