To improve the industry benchmark of solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) systems, we consider anode off-gas recirculation (AOR) using a small-scale fan. Evolutionary algorithms compare different system design alternatives with hot or cold recirculation. The system performance is evaluated through multi-objective optimization (MOO) criteria, i.e., maximization of electrical efficiency and cogeneration efficiency. The aerodynamic efficiency and rotordynamic stability of the high-speed recirculation fan is investigated in detail. The results obtained suggest that improvements to the best SOFC systems, in terms of net electrical efficiency, are achievable, including for small power scale (10 kWe).