Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

Rory A. Roberts (Advisor), Mitch Wolff (Committee Member), Scott K. Thomas (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)


Current hypersonic vehicles tend to be incapable of producing onboard power with traditional generators due to their use of supersonic combusting ramjets (scramjets). Because of this, they seek additional energy sources for supporting advanced electronics or other auxiliary power-dependent devices while requiring elaborate thermal management systems to combat temperatures exceeding 700ºC. The incorporation of Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFCs) stacks is an efficient solution, capable of generating large quantities of power through the use of natural fuel sources at high temperatures. Developments in this thesis include the design, construction, and support of a system operating at hypersonic-environment conditions with a usable micro-fuel cell. The capability of testing a stack of SOFCs at both elevated temperature and pressure conditions with various natural fuel sources has become a sought-after experiment by many energy production affiliates. Experimentation for this thesis focuses on the optimization of fluid and thermal inputs to work towards supporting successful testing of SOFCs in both single and stacked formations with variable input conditions. Evaluation of the system’s operational parameters were defined and recommendations for continual enhancement of primary components are given. This research acts as a transition into future fuel-cell testing development by the Air Force Research Labs (AFRL) and all supporting parties.

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering

Year Degree Awarded


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.