Solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) systems possess the capability for highly-efficient power production at a low level of emissions. However, these fragile, high-temperature cells are prone to thermal failure, which shortens their life-span and hinders their marketability. Thermal radiation has proven itself effective at mitigating temperature gradients, and preventing thermal failure, in tubular SOFC stacks. However, the conventional planar SOFC design does not allow for sufficient radiation exchange inside the gas channels to have a significant impact on temperature gradients. For the purpose of investigating unconventional planar SOFC designs that would optimize radiation exchange, a 1-D radiation model was developed. This model focuses on the radiation exchange within the flow channels of an SOFC, and resolves a radiation profile based on the current temperature profile of the cell. This radiation model was integrated into a 1-D, planar SOFC Matlab-Simulink™ model developed for the HyPer fuel cell/gas turbine facility at NETL in Morgantown, WV. This paper describes the development of this radiation model, and verifies the model outputs against those of another SOFC radiation model. The model presented is designed to characterize SOFC operation over a broad range of geometric settings and operating parameters in order to determine the optimal conditions for radiation exchange. The capability of this model to characterize SOFC operation, for conventional and unconventional geometric designs, is presented and analyzed.

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