Theoretical and Experimental Investigation of a Small-scale, High-speed, and Oil-free Radial Anode Off-gas Recirculation Fan for Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Systems

The Laboratory for Applied Mechanical Design (LAMD) designed, manufactured, and experimentally tested a novel recirculation fan for a 10 kWe solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC). The fan uses oil-free bearings, more specifically herringbone-grooved journal and spiral-grooved thrust gas bearings. The radial inducer-less fan with a tip diameter of 19.2 mm features backward-curved prismatic blades with constant height. Prior to coupling the recirculation fan with the SOFC, the fan was experimentally characterized with air at 200 °C. At the nominal point of 168 krpm, the measured inlet mass flow rate is 4.9 kgh-1, the total-tototal pressure rise 55 mbar, the isentropic total-to-total efficiency 55 %, and the power 18.3 W. This paper compares the experimental data towards a computational fluid dynamic simulation of the full fan impeller and volute suggesting an excellent correlation at the nominal point what validates the numerical approach. However, the heat flows crossing the fan fluid domain, have an increased effect at off-design conditions, thus the experimental results need careful consideration. The fan backface leakage has negligible impact on the measurements.

Published in:
Journal of Engineering for Gas Turbine and Power, 142, 4, 041023
Feb 14 2020

Note: The status of this file is: Anyone
The file is under embargo until: 2021-02-15

 Record created 2019-10-08, last modified 2020-04-20

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