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New model in ProSimPlus: Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC)

20/02/2010
ProSim recently integrated in its steady state process simulator ProSimPlus a module to represent the operations of a solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC).




A SOFC cell typically includes:

  a chemical converter that allows to enrich a natural gas with hydrogen and carbon monoxide. This conversion can be made inside the cell, it is then called “internal reforming”.
  An electrochemical converter (battery core) consisting in a pile-up of electrochemical cells where electro-oxydation of hydrogen and carbon monoxide take place along with the chemical reactions of the fuel (methane) internal reforming.
  An electric converter for the conversion of the direct current produced by the battery core into alternative current.
  Other auxiliaries (exchangers, pumps, compressors…).


ProSimPlus SOFC module establishes accurate mass and energy balances of the electrochemical cells stack that constitutes the battery core. The reforming part is simulated using a fixed conversion rate reactor or equilibrium reactor. In each case, the operating temperature is imposed since the thermal efficiency is calculated. Additionally, in order to represent the reforming operation the most accurately possible, information streams are also used to transfer the operation temperature (T) and the thermal efficiency (Q) required for the reforming to the SOFC module.


 


In addition to the outlet stream characteristics (temperature, pressure, flowrate, enthalpy, composition…), the SOFC module also calculates many parameters including in particular the consumption rate of the fuel, the energy efficiency, the real electric power or the air channel.

 



This model can be used for single cell analysis, system design or fuel processing systems design and integration. It provides a starting point for understanding and analyzing the different aspects of operation of a single cell and of a process utilizing one or more fuel cells. This module completes the extensive ProSimPlus library of unit operation which includes in particular complex models such as three-phase and reactive distillation, plate-fin heat exchangers, rate based columns...


About ProSim
ProSim is an independent company, founded in 1989, with its headquarters in Labège (Toulouse – France). The company provides state of the art simulation and optimization software that allows process industries to increase their efficiency and their return on investment. ProSim solutions are designed for applications in the chemical, the refining, the gas treatment and the specialties chemical industries as well as in the pharmaceutical, the food processing and the energy industries. Its activities also comprise engineering process consulting and custom software development.

ProSim solutions are used to improve process design, increase plant efficiency and reduce their impact on environment. Thanks to long term partnerships with major research centres and to substantial investment in R&D, ProSim continuously develops innovative software and has become a recognised player on the international market.
The success of the company comes from the efficiency and the robustness of the solutions and of the calculation packages it proposes, but also from the quality of the services it provides.
The expertise and the know-how of ProSim personnel covers vast domains, including thermodynamics, physico-chemical phenomenon modelling, process simulation, energy integration, optimization techniques, numerical methods, software architecture, and GUI development.

ProSim is active in 63 countries around the world, with over 700 customers among which major actors like Axens, Air Liquide, Akzo Nobel, Alfa Laval, Arkema, Braskem, Ciba, Cognis, EDF, Linde, Pharmacia, Praxair, Schering, Sintef, Sanofi-Synthelabo, Technip, Total Petrochemicals, Uhde or Wacker.