Skip to main content
Science and Technology Partnerships and Outreach

GCTool: Design, Analyze and Compare Fuel Cell Systems and Power Plants

Versatile simulation software package that allows the user to design, analyze, and compare different fuel cell configurations
Intellectual Property Available to License

Argonne’s GCTool (General Computational toolkit) is a versatile simulation software package that allows the user to design, analyze, and compare different fuel cell configurations, including automotive, space-based, and stationary systems.

GCTool uses a modular approach to integrate many of the detailed thermodynamic and component models developed during decades of fuel cell and power system research. It’s flexible and easy-to-use, allowing researchers to modify all the system inputs such as fuel, feed rates, and component performance.

GCtool provides a convenient, flexible framework for integrating various component models, in C or any C-linkable language, into simple or complex system configurations. A library of models for subcomponents and property tables common to many different systems and powertrains are available, and users can easily add their own models as needed.

Currently, more than 50 organizations use GCtool for systems analysis and evaluation, including private-sector fuel cell companies and universities.


  • Fuel cell systems, including polymer electrolyte, molten carbonate, phosphoric acid, and solid oxide designs
  • Pressurized fluidized-bed combustion and integrated gasification/combined-cycle plants
  • Coal combustion systems
  • Open-cycle and liquid-metal magnetohydrodynamic (MHD) systems, as well as MHD ship propulsion systems
  • Space power (fuel cell, MHD, and thermionic) systems


  • Modular, flexible and easy to use
  • Supports rapid system prototyping
  • User-friendly graphical interface for editing system diagrams
  • Includes four different types of fuel cells
  • Detailed user manual with examples and frequently asked questions

Technical Details/Requirements

  • Can be used on a PC with Windows 95, 98, or NT