Image Number 6 for United States Patent #4910100.
In a solid electrolyte fuel cell, reactant gases are directed by the reactant gas distributing means to flow radially between its central and peripheral portions and this obviates the need to provide an overall gas seal between the individual components of the fuel cell. A gas seal, if necessary at all, may be provided in selected areas. This permits the individual members of the fuel cell to freely slide with respect to one another during thermal expansion or contraction. The radial flow of reactant gas streams effectively reduces the travel path, and hence the concentration gradient, of the reactant gases. This contributes to the accomplishment of a solid electrolyte fuel cell having improved reliability and characteristics. As a further advantage, the discharged reactant gases may be burnt in a combustion chamber and a solid electrolyte fuel cell having a higher thermal efficiency can be realized by making use of the resulting heat of combustion.