Thermal Stress Analysis of LCA-based Solid Oxide Fuel Cells
LeMasters, Jason Augustine
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This research characterizes the thermal stress resulting from temperature gradients in hybrid solid oxide fuel cells that are processed using a novel oxide powder slurry technology developed at Georgia Tech. The hybrid solid oxide fuel cell is composed of metallic interconnect and ceramic electrolyte constituents with integral mechanical bonds formed during high temperature processing steps. A combined thermo-mechanical analysis approach must be implemented to evaluate a range of designs for power output and structural integrity. As an alternative to costly CFD analysis, approximate finite difference techniques that are more useful in preliminary design are developed to analyze the temperature distributions resulting from a range of fuel cell geometries and materials. The corresponding thermal stresses are then calculated from the temperature fields using ABAQUS. This model analyzes the manufacturing, start-up, and steady state operating conditions of the hybrid solid oxide fuel cell.