Growing up in the countryside in Sweden, I got used to several power outages a year due to snow, storms, lightning, etc. No water, no electricity and no heat for days, sometimes in the middle of winter, meant you had to huddle together to keep warm, get water from a local supply and eat cold food. A possible remedy for this annoyance is distributed energy generation. Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFC) combined heat and power systems are independent of local weather conditions (unlike wind and solar systems) and provide a cleaner, quieter and more efficient alternative to traditional petrol generators. SOFC systems are used to power and heat/cool data centers, homes and stores across the globe, as well as for offshore and remote military applications. Power outage for a data center doesn’t only mean inconvenience and freezing indoor climate, it also means large financial losses due to downtime, so SOFC systems are often used to supply reliable power.
To support the movement towards cleaner and more efficient distributed energy we have made simulations of SOFC systems straightforward in STAR-CCM+® v12.02. You can now natively specify the required electrochemical reactions on the anode and cathode as well as the ion transported through the membrane, making it much easier than before to set up such calculations.