Modeling of a 5 kWₑ Tubular Solid Oxide Fuel Cell based System Operating on Desulfurized JP-8 Fuel for Auxiliary and Mobile Power Applications


An onboard autothermal reformer (ATR) integrated with a SOFC stack offers potential for high energy efficiency and utilization, low emission and quiet operation avoiding cost associated with hydrogen storage and infrastructure. Such a system can be a viable and attractive option especially for military's need for quiet and less pollutant Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) and Mobile Electric Power (MEP) units in temporary and permanent base camps [1,2]. A 5 kWe Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) system operating on desulfurized JP-8 fuel was modeled using Aspen Plus process simulation software to examine the effects of oxygen to carbon ratio (O2/C) and steam to carbon ratio (H2O/C) at different ATR operating temperatures (700-850 °C), while keeping the SOFC stack temperature constant at 910 °C. Anode recycle steam and heat have been used to reform the desulfurized JP-8 fuel which would make the system lighter and compact for mobile application. The system modeling revealed a maximum net AC efficiency of 39.5% at 700 °C and a minimum of 32.6% at 850 °C ATR operating temperatures, respectively. Sensitivity analysis with respect to fuel utilization factor (Uf) and current density (j) were also conducted to identify the optimum operating window.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Autothermal Reformer; Auxiliary Power Unit; JP-8 Fuel; Mobile Electric Power; Solid Oxide Fuel Cell

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Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


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© 2013 Elsevier B.V, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2013