Date of Award

Fall 1982

Document Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical Engineering

First Advisor

Gaggioli, R. A.

Second Advisor

Linehan, John H.

Third Advisor

Blumenthal, Robert N.


This thesis deals with the improvement of combustion efficiency. Because fuel cells convert chemical energy into electrical energy more efficiently than conventional means, this research focused on the investigation of the various available energy consumptions (polarizations) occurring within the fuel cell. A theoretical, mathematical model was developed and refined for the purposes of simulating fuel cell performance, enabling one to study the individual consumptions of each polarization. Because the available energy consumption of a reaction is directly related to the difference in chemical potentials of the reactants and products, the computer model basically studies the voltage consumption by analyzing the electrochemical potential field that exists within the cell. Simulation results indicate that, although many different consumptions occur in the high-temperature, solid-electrolyte fuel cell, the most influential available energy consumption is due to the various ohmic resistances, classified as electrolyte, electrode and "3-point contact" resistances.



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